Fall in love at any age

Sunita Giri 11:35 PM |

Just a couple of months ago, I have my hands on Shakespeare's story collection. All  of the story was undoubtedly love story and most of the characters in his plots, fell in love when they were so you young. Yet, I guess you have come across in your life this type of lines.

“You are only 15,  what do you know about love ? Do you even know,  its long term effect in your life ?” or “she is only 16, so young to fall in love.” You must have heard this kind of things in your life many times whatever your age is, unless you are just too young to understand what love is.

A cuple of weeks ago, a lady at this cyber, where I work daily, was telling the guy on the counter about a young lovebirds and how they committed suicide. They tied together and walked in Sundarijal [river], just because their parents did not permit them to marry; citing they were just so young [still in school] and also the differences of their status in the society. Well, will the regretting parents will get those young life back ? even if they pour their hearts out, crying for their dead child ?

Well intentioned parents or experts keep advising young children to wait, until they get mature enough to know, its effects in thier life before they fall in love. I keep reading this experts column on my daily, suggesting youngsters not to fall in love, when you are in your teen years.

Then, the question comes, what is the right age to fall in love ? When I was in college, a friend of mine used to tell me her breakup story. How the guy broke her heart and how painful time it was for her to recover, and how her friends helped her in all this process. that too just before her SLC exam. To make it more amusing [to me ], she never forgot to mention that; she was going through a dasha phase, named Vrammhani Dasha. It just amused me so much. what this dasha has to do with [her] broken heart ?

Then she used to give me her analysis on it; saying  that, “now its too late for us to fall in love”; we both were in your early 20s then. While listening her, it was so hard for me to believe what she was saying. I am single even today and I really have not been in touch with her to give you her status.  No doubt, she was a lot more brilliant and wiser than me, to give me her analysis. She added again that, “we are now, just old enough to understand what is good and what is bad and who is right and who is wrong for us. You should not be at that age to know all that, when it really comes to falling in love.”

Now, my mind is traveling back, back to the time, when I myself, was in my teen years. I was a tomboy, so boys never succeed to pull my attention towards them. Well, honestly speaking, not entirely. But when I was in about eight grade, I had a friend, more precisely saying  a roommate named Devi Budhathoki. Both of us were in our early teen years. She had her bunker next to me, so naturally, one day before we went to sleep, she told me her affair, with a boy. Having been in relationship with a boy, she knew others of her class and rooms were also having their relationship with other boys. But the difference between Devi and other girls in Bal Mandir, was that they used to call their boyfriends ‘Dai’, which means big brother and yet they were having affair with the boy [man] spoiling pure relationship between a brother and a sister.

“I am not like them”, she said to me, and continued “.... Dev is my boyfriend, I love him and so he does love me too. There is no doubt, we will marry, when we grow up.” Devi was telling me. I was listening her quietly; as I have nothing to say on that relationship. Besides, I had not seen Dev also. This boys lived nearby the Bal Mandir area. For teen boys living surrounding the Bal Mandir area was the heaven to find beautiful girls and potential lovers. They just hovered in the gate and lured some girls. I guess, it was easy to lure young girls in Bal Mandir as all they had to do was to buy  some cheap stuffs to lure them.

Unlikes these girls, I was very aloof person, while growing up in Bal Mandir and was too much focused in reading my books. Oh ! no, no. Not for for course books, just junk Indian novels and other kind of Indian magazines. Because, that was all  available to read. They did not provide us good books, so that we could bury ourselves.

Its been more than 20 years, since then and recently, when we gathered up at the gettogether picnic, Shova [ a close friend of Devi ] told me that, the couple sure did marry, almost immediately; after Devi left Bal Mandir and then they have a son too who goes to college now.

Her story really makes me think that, when people tells you not to fall in love when you are too young it only makes me think what do they know about it ? because there is not tryed and tested method to work, right ? and there no perfect way. Like that formal of a mathematics  that work for all like here in case of love.

So, dear it's your life, take a chance and live it with somebody you want to spend rest of your life.
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Why Bernhard looks so Handsome ?

Sunita Giri 3:47 AM |

It could have been late 89 or the beginning of  90 when I got  a man from Switzerland to sponsor my college bill.  It was kind of first of its kind at that time. I was really lucky to get this opportunity. Without his support, I could have finished my college education with so much difficulty. He just made this whole process a total cakewalk [financially].

Honestly, I just dont remeber, when did I first see him. It must be the same year in 90, it self or a year later. As there is Ruth [his wife] on the picture of that year, which I have but Bernhard is missing in all the pictures. I find this pretty strange, I don't have his picture, specially with me, even though he played a huge role, shaping my future. When I was in college he came every year to see us and in two of those occasion he came here in Nepal for less than 22 hours and before the clock touched 24 hours he was out of the country.

Bernhard Rutz was tall and strong built as any european man would be. His height or weight is not much of the issue in my case here. He already had full white hair, when I saw him about 22 years ago. he looked so handsome with his radiant smile, dynamic personality and the touch of that kind look in his eyes just too much to make him so handsome. In my beginning years, although I did not get it then, but he was kind of first person in my life who loved me and made me feel I mean something to him. Nobody acted and expressed that I mean anything to anyone.

He used to bring lots of gift to me and Dhana [older brother of one of the adopted daughter]. Apart from all those gifts, he used to send Ruth with us to buy some stuff for us. On one of such occasion, what I remember so vividly is; Madam Ruth asked some money with him, before heading for shopping with us. He did not pull some bucks and then handed her the money, but he handed her, his wallet. That kind gesture really stayed in my heart [& mind] forever. He spoke very kindly and I loved the sound whenever he spoke. His that swiss-german twang. Now his English is more fluent and does not remind me of his that earlier twang, which I loved so much.

One of the reason I love him and respect him so much is also because; he loves everyone [ children from Bal Mandir then]. Now after 20 years later, he has his own foundation to help support hundreds of children here in Nepal and he help run an orphanage also with the help of Nepali Social workers. He is as energetic and dynamic as he was in 20 years back. He looks equally handsome after all this years. Good for him, the color of hair has not changed and that radiant smile on his face and kind look in his eyes whenever he asks, “how are you ?” and “how is everything going here ?” to young children in his trust run orphanage, really touch anyone’s heart.

Its not that guys are not good looking and eye candy, but they are all on the screens not in real life. Should this surprise me [ or anyone else], why I hardly bump with handsome guy ? Perhaps it's really been blurred in all these year the definition of handsome at least in my mind.
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Choosing lesser devil

Sunita Giri 12:03 AM |

When I was growing up child in Bal Mandir, my digestive system very poor. Needless to mention, I was very prone to diarrhea more and then dysentery also occasionally. Summer was the time, that kept me more prone to this sickness, than during the winter season.  Now, I know it was also due to the smell that surrounded us during the hot season and the flies hovering all over on that smelly open running water drains. Then again, seeing me as very cleanliness and hygienic freak today, which of course due to my weak digestive system I got as a child, that could not hold anything. If they did not pay more attention, to keep foods clean while they were cooking it; like they do, in five star hotels or top rated restaurants, it sure is going to make me sick. But the point was; I just did not know all this, while growing up.

One summer day, my diarrhea got really bad; I mean, bad to the extent, I was not eating any more food to keep me going. Sure enough, that was making me more weaker by the hour; to make all this even more worse, I was also avoiding its medicine. Just because, I hated the taste of that powder mix of salt and sugar, where salt dominated the whole taste. My condition have become so bad that I was the topic of worry, to the didis and housemother, that was in charge of my room.  I really can’t remember, in which room I was, so that I could guess, how old I could have been then but a didi, whose name was Shanti didi suggested me to see a Jhakri [witch-doctor] to cure my disease. It is believed that, the ‘Jhakri’ will not only cure my diarrhea but he will also cure my lost appetite, which seemed I have lost it. That was the main reason, which was making me dangerously weak, and I was not even going to school.

So one evening Shanti Didi, convinced housemother [Kedar Shrestha], to whom we used to call ‘old sister’, not because of her age but because of her work experience in Bal Mandir. She asked her permission to take me to the witch-doctor [Jhakri]. Shanti didi called me in front of housemother. As a child, we used to get very intimidated by her presence. To tell you the truth here, there were a separate medicine room in the Bal Mandir, with remained open on all office days and part time including holidays.

When the idea came to me, I kind of froze, even though my physical condition was worse, I denied to go with her. I was reluctant to go with her for two reasons first I was not a superstitious person, second, because to add my hesitation, she sounded unbelievably mean to me, in fact she snapped at me, when she said follow her. I don’t understand even today, why she hated me that much ? But, we know now, as a grown ups; that there are people in our life, we love for no reason and we hate them for no good reason. My personal belief is that, it’s because, our subconscious mind  approve almost everything about that person if we love and disapproves almost everything in that person, if we hate.

So, it was she; who hated to me to the extent,I purely reciprocated her behaviour. Not surprisingly, I refused to go with her to see the Jhakri.

As I mentioned before,I was not much superstitious person. Lets say this in other language, that I used my common sense, instead of blind faith. I used my brain, since I was very young.

Then the point came, I have to choose between two devils, I dreaded to choose. I mean either I have to choose a medicine, that watery syrup, which tasted so bad or I have to go to the witch-doctor which I simply did not believe. I had to make my decision then and there in front of two grown ups. After much thought, I went for that awful tasting medicine over the Jhakri [witch-doctor].  In fact, I went for the thing I did not like; instead of what I did not believe.

Even though, I did not like the taste, it did wonder on me and helped me heal fast from my simple yet serious disease called diarrhea and lost appetite.

Today, whenever I have this same problem, all I take is hot rice with mixed bean and everythings is gone by the next day. I am fully recharged. But I don’t have that kind of weak digestive system today as I used to have then. Besides, my immune system is envy to everyone around me. The other medicine is, one and half spoonful of sugar and pinch of salt with half lemon in a cup full water also works wonder. take it as much as you want and anytime you want.
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Leftover foods

Sunita Giri 10:46 PM |

It could have been about ‘96-97,  when I read in a local news paper, that the children at the Bal Mandir were fed leftover foods. I cant remember how was my reaction then, but today this news sounds so absurd to me. Does not that reporter ever ate leftover foods in his life  or face such condition in his family ?

There are always about 200 children with a group of staff also to take care of them so they too eat in the same kitchen. occasionally there will be left over in any family and it should not surprise anyone. Oh, yes where there are that many people to eat there will be huge left over ? Why it surprised to that Reporter ? Was he running out of news to cover and trying to make a mountain over a mole hill ?

In Bal Mandir, big pans are used for daily cooking purposes, the rest of the family only have to see those big pans, during the special functions; like marriage or big party in their home.  Don’t you have left over during those unplanned occasions ?

Okay, now you are going to ask me, but you guys do cook huge portion daily, so why leftover ? on top of that those foods are prepared for the children, who can finish it like anything in any time.  They serve left over foods very rare, as its not possible to throw it all the time; but at the same time over cook for over 200 person daily is also not possible.

I really wonder today, why that kind of news was on local news paper ? when the whole country is regarded as one of the poorest nation in the world ? As if, people living in family never, ever eat leftover foods.

Besides, as for me there is nothing called leftover foods, as I always end of cooking more and keep eating it for many days. All  I have to do is heat it and then eat it. I hate spending too much time in kitchen. So, when I have time, I end of making it for almost three days at a time; at least one item. and I am more healthy today. Specially compared to those who eat freshly cooked food in their day in and day out life i am 10 times healthier. Here in Nepal, it is a some what a stronghold believe to eat freshly cooked food only, for health reason also. However, I have found out in many and many cases that eating daily cooked food is not keeping them healthy at all. I have bumped with so many people in my life who throw out the left overs, yet they are the one so unhealthy in their life compared to me. So, you can not convince me today, saying that it has health benefit behind it. I was more prone to diarrhea and dysentery during my stay in Bal Mandir, where they served us, freshly cooked food daily. Now, I don’t eat freshly cooked food daily,  but I am so hygienic freak, so hygienic freak, in fact I am OCD [obsessive compulsive disorder] in the kitchen regarding  hygienic and cleanliness; therefore; no one can please me in their kitchen and I hardly go out eating in their home [unless I stay out of their kitchen]. Restaurants, I am fine.

May be for this reason also I don’t like the concept of leftover foods and  regarding it needs to be thrown in the dust bean. Yes, during the summer time; I do remember the sweeper, at the Bal Mandir carrying loads of leftover foods mostly lentils to his pigs. He used to carry it so often [ may be not that regularly, but I do remember carrying it in his home more often ] but, this memory tells me that they hardly used to give us the leftover foods.

That is different story that the left over of 200 peoples food will be of course, huge compared to the normal family size of about 5 - 10 members. Yes, you can't store those foods in refrigerator as the size of the big bowel cant go inside of it. But, I don't see anything wrong with leftover and eating it again.

Why even that kind of news was on local news paper ? when the whole country is regarded as one of the poorest nation in the world ? As if, people living in family never, ever eat leftover foods; to make that a news worthy of coming in news paper ! Its so hard to understand, why people try to make a news to such simple and useless issue.
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Sunita Giri 3:51 AM |

Junkiri [Tamang] was just back from the prayer room and then was busy telling a long story to Radha, Chhaya and Dibya. She was busy telling her story to these teen girls just outside the prayer room. It was the evening time. I had gone to play outside with other friends of mine and now came back looking for Dibya and Junkiri; they were my close friends at that time frame.

As I told you Junkiry was was busy telling them story, what she had seen in her mind, while she was praying, which lasted only a little more than a ten minutes . But then, she has been telling this story to these girls for more than 20 minutes now. This baffled me. The main hero of her story was a guy named Govinda and he was all over in her story as he was doing all the heroic act in her, perhaps she was mixing some Hindi movies masala here, that too she had not got a chance to see more than five by now. In fact five is too high number for anybody growing up in Bal Mandir. She must not have crossed more than three by that time. But her imagination knew no bounds to keep these girls busy in her narration. In this story she was the lead character and then the boy named Govinda was paired with her as her love interest. The boy, saved her from all the troubles, she went through. She in fact was the princess of the sea world and then there were villains, who without a doubt were the housemothers or the supervisor at the Bal Mandir. She even had told these girls that, “you know, you Radha was dancing, moving your head beautifully behind that tree and you Chhaya and Dibya were singing the song, she was dancing and it was very very beautiful song.”

Govinda, was a boy with a small head and his color was  dark. He was lean and thin boy. He probably was studying in ninth or tenth grade then.  I just could not see, what Junkiri used to see; any thing that is called attractive in him. But to her he was the most attractive person, so she choose him to be there in her story.

As she was telling her story I got impatience. Ever since I was a child I never liked  fiction made up story just gets in to my nerve and cant enjoy it anymore not even today. I like only real story that has touch in reality. So wanted to leave them with her imaginary world ; but before I left I said, “how come your imagination is longer than the pray itself ?” she did not pay much attention to what I said, but Radha didi, did not like what I said, so she said to me, from her behalf; “see, not every one can elaborate story like her, and at the same time keep busy others in her talk. Its her art, that's she is good at. Can you do this ?” I just stared here and then decided to leave them in that meaningless fiction world of hers; which only made me wonder as a teenager.

Hallucination : Hallucinations involve sensing things that aren't there while a person is awake and conscious. Just a couple of weeks back, I find myself talking to experts of the spacial school. A friend of mine, runs a special school for differently abled  children along with his wife. His wife is in fact, expert in real sense in this field. Because my friend wanted me to write, designing and consult on other aspects of making a brochures for his school that required me to listen to him and the other experts of his school and then to his wife. More I listened to them, more it got me wonder. Or to be honest, it make me understand some of my childhood friends in a lot better way. I knew Junkiri hated going to school. She failed many times during her student life and stayed in a class for more than 2 years at times she was in a class for three years also. It took her about 16 years to complete the normal school education; that normally takes only 10 years.  She never finished her S.L.C. also. There are many kind of disabilities. Her case was associated with learning disability. She will make you laugh when she says some of the simple Nepali words and then laugh hard when she tries to tell you some thing in English. But her visual memory was astounding or she used her imagination is another aspect here which I can not remark much then. Some times she tells me the story of the time when I was in Bal Mandir and the way she tells me story makes me wonder, where was I when all that happened ? She swears that I was there in Bal Mandir. But then why I did not know what she knew ? why ?

Did she used her imagination ? or that was she hallucinated all the time ? Experts use the term hallucination to things that happened, when a special child specially some autistics goes through all that phase, which confuses a normal person in normal condition. Most of the autistic child also have learning disability.

Meaning of Hallucination :  a sensory experience of something that does not exist outside the mind, caused by various physical and mental disorders, or by reaction to certain toxic substances, and usually manifested as visual or auditory images.

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Was she crazy ?

Sunita Giri 10:17 PM | ,

A friend of mine called me to help him to  design a brochures for his school. He along with his wife runs a special children's school. I wanted him and his expert wife to talk more, so that I have better idea, what I should put in that brochure. As he was talking more and more to help me to understand about the special child and their behaviour.  While he was talking, it all reminded me so many people, I grew up in Bal Mandir. One name that really stood tall is Kalpana Maharjan.

I think we were in same class, but because normally we are so many in a class that automatically, gets formed in small groups of like minded people; then its so hard to remember who were in my class. Except, some close circle of friends and then the same face also used to be in the same room, so this too added confusion; was she my class mate or room mate ?

Okay, leave the confusion aside. By the sixth standard, we were in the same class. She was a first bench student and I was almost a last bench student. But if you think only a bright student find themselves seated in first bench, her story may surprise you. She was not a bright student, but perhaps attention seeker.

Low Intelligence Knowledge : Her IQ was low, so the teachers avoided her, not  knowing what to do with her. Now I know this, but then I did not. Because she was one of us, and did not look abnormal from any angel, physically; so she was sent to regular school with us.

During the exam, if she got opportunity to cheat; she would start coping it from the first paragraph, instead of coming to the point. Her comprehension of understanding was zero. If asked a question in front of a class and  she did not know the answer, she would let her long tongue out from her mouth.

Confused and Impatience: Once, I was along with my other friend, was waiting for our turn in the toilet. But Kalpana was dying to relieve her. She was impatience and just could not wait patiently like us. She was making noise and banging on the door to come out fast whoever was inside that toilet. When at last, she got a chance to go inside the toilet and as she relieved herself; a loud audible sigh came from her mouth, Prabbbhhhhuuuuuuuuu, meaning [Thank] GOD ! I turned towards my friend and then laugh loud. That kind of act, also give people peace in their mind to thank GOD ? and to remember God to thank, as odd as that situation ? that was Oh My God ! situation. I would be lying to you, if I say, this incident does not bring smile on my face, even today; whenever I mention about it.

She was so confused to give respect to a person or good. “Your call just arrived” in a line simple like this, she would give more respect to the phone than to a person, who got the call, while relating this line and that brought roar of laughter in all of us. That sure confused her more, leaving her to wonder why ?

Over reaction [hyper reaction] : her reaction to a situation can be termed as over reaction or at times its hyper reaction. Another incident which I remember is, she was standing next to a girl, who suffered from a kind of skin disease, that makes them look so white and their hair also becomes blond like westerners. She was busy watching a talents show that was going on in the Baithak Room. Suddenly, her eyes fell on the person, who was standing next to her, she was from another school accompaniying the main performer from her school perhaps. Kalpana’s reaction even scared the one who was watching her from the distance. That person felt so bad [as she too must have been felling so bad about her own disease and it sure must have added inferior complex in her mind too]. She was not aware that Kalpana was mildly mentally challenged. It does not surprise me today, if the person with skin disease may have reacted that children from Bal Mandir are manner less. Today, I know this for sure that, she was speaking from her own insecurities rather than why she reacted that way  and thinking that all are mentally challenged like her.

Loud behaviour : She was loud also. A couple of years ago I was in the Yak & Yeti Hotel with a stall of my own to market my woollen products. This was about a week long exhibition. One day Kalpana saw me on the corridor of a hall . She has been working in this hotel as a maid for so many years by now. She loudly greeted me in excitement I was almost embarrassed. I knew she had nothing to do to make me feel embarrassed, not intentionally, but her loud way of greeting and talking made me so, so embarrassed. I suddenly felt that all eyes, fell on me from the hall.

I knew, she was termed as a crazy, when she was in Bal Mandir by her fellow mates and she used to act just like that; saying loudly this line, “if you treat me like one, I will act line one.”

If only she could have been in good hands who identify her problem when she was still a child and then trained her accordingly, who knows she could have been better in her life.

Note : Kalpana’s mother died immediately after giving her a birth. She was admitted to Bal Mandir, when she was only 22 days old. Children, who come to the earth from a mother who had problems in delivery; also face such fate in their life due to the lack of oxygen flow in their brain during very early stage of life. Just a three minutes delay in flow of oxygen in ones brain can play a huge role in that person life later on. Apart from this there are many other reasons, which make children mentally challenged.
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That yellow Bus

Sunita Giri 9:55 PM |

I could have been on second standard [about seven years old], when I was selected to study in Kanti Ishwori Shishu Bidhylaya. This means, I was a bright child to get such seat, right ? This school owned by a member of a royal family. Its in her name as this school bears her name. Not surprisingly, they used to give some seats for the children of Bal Mandir; in this school. Then, I believe this school was in Tahachal area, now its in Tripureshwor, its management also has been changed. If my information is correct, Little Angel’s School has taken the management from the Royal Family. This was a primary school then [ late 70s perhaps ] all the royal children used to go to this school. My bother Sukdev Giri, who was a lot more brighter than me and who went to this school earlier than me, had a class mate like, late prince Dipendra Shah and Paras Shah and other whole bunch of royal children. The time is so much in his mind that he has names his first sons name Prafulla, who was his best friend in this school, whose full name , Prafulla SJB Rana, as he still remembers. Ulike him, I just cant remember, who were my class mates then. I guess; I was just too young, to remember their names and also to realise, that they were royals.

We all were required to have our meal by 8:00 am in the morning. The Yellow [small] Van came, perhaps around 8:30 to pick up us, who went to this school. There used to be around five or six children at a time in this school. Withing minutes of climbing this bus, it made me sick and then all the meal used to be on my small frock. As a grown up today I can understand it, if it made sick to all the small children inside the bus, but I was more sick than them.

Then, once I was in school, a lady [perhaps school maid] used to give me a fresh bath in front of a tube well. She used to pull the water and then I was given a fresh bath under the huge flow of water. How many classes I used to miss ? I cant remember. This whole trip lasted only for about a week and then again I was back in my old school.

All I remember is, I got this opportunity twice or may be thrice; damn my bad memory power; or may be, I was just too young to keep all the details in my head. Another things is that there is no one to cross check about it, as this matter makes more sense in my life than theirs, right ? But my vomiting on the bus just spoiled every thing. Even today, I am a car sick, specially when its run by diesel. The smell of it makes me more sick, than petrol run vehicles.

But what is even more worthwhile, for me to remember today is, none of those students; who went to such good schools, made them fluent in English. Sure enough, for some of the bright students, who got good beginnings, also got opportunities to go to a better school than I had gone, later on in my life. But that too did not give them the confidence enough, to have better life and job, in their life. Forget about good job and life, I can say this more confidently, that my English is a lot better than those, who went to all English medium school and rubbed shoulders with the Royal's children and the children of high society.

There are people, who do feel so inferior for going to unknown school, which has small class rooms and their friends are as poor as they are yet they seemed to add up, the inferior feelings in them. Its not that people did not make me feel the same way, when I was growing up. But hey, my plus point was, I was already in Bal Mandir and nothing worked against it. It seems that I had outgrown all kind of humiliation and insult and nasty comments and everything in between. In fact, we used to use one term while growing up in BM, every thing we hear used to go, “straight from one ear to another ear.” Nothing we did hold, in between it. It was a kind of mastering an art of hearing process and letting it go from another, directly.

When I see people, who went to ten times better school than me and went to a lot better college and yet are not doing that well in their life now, only reminds me of its not the kind of school that one attends and food that one eat and the dress they wear and the house they stay in. At the end of the day, what is inside one’s head, is what makes the whole difference. Perception is what one can not buy, and perception is what differentiate you and me.

Ever since, I was out from Bal Mandir, I am always mistaken from the people in my life; that I am from so privileged family back ground. I mean most of my life. And now you too know the real truth. Bernhard Rutz, should feel really proud of me, for he picking up not only all my college bills, but for all kinds of training I asked him I want to do. But still, there is one more truth in all this again........, I grew up in Bal Mandir.
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