How not to give

Sunita Giri 10:02 PM |

Ragini Upadhaya, an artist is a name which I know since my teenage period. Whenever I see her in page 3 I do remember one particular incident associated with her and I bet she probably wish I do not remember, what I could not forget in all these years. I do remember this artist nor for a good reason but some thing not so best side of her characteristics.

During the mid eighties she must have been the budding artist and so she was there in the Bal Mandir, to exhibit her solo paintings. Well not exactly in the Bal Mandir but the NAFA art Gallery is in the Bal Mandir premises; right ? unlike other artist she taken a small room for the solo exhibition. perhaps that particular room and side was for the rising artists like her. As I told you earlier in my other article on my post No eyes for painting, then NAFA art Gallery may have been the only such place in whole Nepal to provide a good platform to any rising artist like her. As it remained packed most of the time with lots of other exhibition so she may have got a chance to be seen in the crowd.

During her those time she got bit cozy with some of the girls in the Bal Mandir. I do remember a name so distinctively even today , her name was Kalpana Maharjan. As a growing up child, we used to sneak in all those painting exhibitions, regardless of we understanding or not. I was just the time pass for us. And yes we used to sneak in hoards mostly after school.

Not so surprisingly, some of the artist used to build some dot on some of the children who visited their exhibition. I guess all those artist were well aware that those children who came in hoards were from Bal Mandir.


I think its quite normal for outsiders like Ragini Upadhaya to feel a bit odd to see we all girls or boys in one color dress, more often if not all the time. so one day she told Kalpana to give her better dress than what she wore in Bal Mandir. This really exited Kalpana like anything for many days, although I do not remember now, how long her solo exhibition went then, was it 7 days [?], 10 days [?] or 15 days [?] or more than that, I do remember but she was there for quite some time doing her solo painting exhibition.

But, when Kalpana got the dress from Ragini, her excitement had vanished and that was replaced by sheer shock to see the dress. Perhaps she had given her kurta salwar. We did not used to wear those filmy dresses. We grew up wearing mostly western dresses as there was plenty in form of donation from western country and the Bal Mandir made for us frock or skirt with shirt instead of other kind of dress.

She was shocked not because of its color, as it was the only thing that was nice about the dress given by Ragini Upadhaya. What had shocked Kalpana, was the condition of the dress came in. No self respecting child, even if; she is growing up in an orphanage should or would were the kind of dress, which the artist had given to her. The fact was that the dress was not given to her but it was kind of throwing that dress. Yes the dress was worth throwing on the garbage and not worth wearing, it was kind of useful only to mop the floors. Bal Mandir with always around 200 children, don’t even need any one from outsiders to give something that will be useful to mop floors. In fact the dress was not even of the good quality to mop floors.

After more than 20 years, I would like to tell Ragini the artist, through this article, ‘givings must bring joy and smile on the receivers face, not the sadness in a child’s face.’

Kalpana was mildly mentally challenged girls, yet she vowed, not to take any any thing from her in future and also from any other person. That dress not only shrinked her being but also screamed in loudest tone possible, how outsiders like Ragini Upadhaya thinks, the children from Bal Mandir should cover themselves.

Thank God ! we grew up wearing dresses, staff of NCO and royals not only envy, but stole our share of dresses just because it was simple too good of a quality. Read my other articles on this: Truck load of Donation from America.

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