Dashain & Identical dress

Sunita Giri 10:50 PM |



It was around 2000, we had gone to visit Babar Mahal revisited. We were about seven - eight group of girls in this tour. All of us used to attend French language in the morning and on weekends we used to gather to visit some places or go to restaurants always. So today, we were at Babar Mahal revisited, strolling around and not buying anything.



There at the art gallery, a painting exhibition was going on so we entered there just to kill the time, I guess. Damu’s eye caught a painting, in which two girls [ probably sisters ]  were wearing flip flops, both of their feet were joined and were slightly leaned on each others from the sides. More than that, what really pulled her attention was that, they were wearing identical dresses.

I was slightly behind Damu, on the row, so she looked back towards me and her eyes fixed on mine, then she look back again at the paining. In that moment of her gesture I understood what she was trying to say. Identical dress, which the girls were wearing had so much to remind her from the past.

I don’t want to say that I fall in the group who say I like identical dress. Its not because, it is not good, but because it reminds us of our time in Bal Mandir. Its not that we all used to wear same dress all the time but during Dashain and Tihar and some other big days, it  was something, we just could not escape. All new dresses, all identical. Everyone is wearing same design, color and pattern. There is no way running out from this and who is small or big ? regardless of age we did wore those dress.

Occasions to wear such dresses came many time in a year, and we had no option but to wear identical dress. Out of many days, two is the day of big days of the two big festival of our country which is undoubtedly Dashain and Tihar and another day is particularly, when the Royals came to distribute the dress for Dashain, just days before dashain.

Mainly, the queen used to distribute those dresse but sometimes may be queen’s sister also used to do this work and at times the kings three sisters also did the work. When queen did this, sometimes even king used to accompany her and this used to give us an extra excitement, but only after we reach at our rooms. Because not everybody used to see them because when the royals came to distribute those dresses they used to come with full entourage. No, not just the and their bodyguards, photographers and security team but so many royals also used to accompany along with the main person. Besides that, the whole team of Nepal Children’s Organisation staff to take care of things, and make sure that nothing goes wrong during such big visit. Not to forget the the huge number of children in the Bal Mandir and the team to take care of them, so they don't do anything wrong in front of royals. When we used to go to receive the new dress for dashain, we used to wear the last years dress. As I told you, in my earlier post that I was in the team to make the dress for us. There were a group of us who used to attend the morning school and then after school we used to run machines  to make all dress that needed in day time.

On the big day, which is the 10th day of dashain [vijaya Dashami] everybody used to wear  new dress and now I would like to leave up to your imagination how it used to look like a big yard full of children wearing same color, and pattern dress and roaming around. Boys dress used to be different than the girls. Then again, girls only mean about ninety wearing a same color dress, is enough to make anyone go dizzy and other about ninety boys wearing the same color dress. At this time, I rather close my eyes, but then it still spins my head if I remember the color choise of the staff body to select one for us.

It used to be Oh ! My God sight !

Most of the people, especially girls grew up feeling extremely uncomfortable and uneasy with the sight of identical dress. There are people, who hate the idea of shcool uniform or others but I doubt they have a slightest idea, how it feels to be in a group, when you are teen agers and have no option but to wear identical dresses.

You know what, those who were in a position to purchase those identical clothes, how come they did not even think of making different color dress for different room and age group or class of girls. Now I understand, why people hate jail dress.

Today, when I look back, I still don’t understand the need to make one color, one pattern and on top of that one design dress for all. How boring, who ever thought we all to wear one color dress. When we went outside during dashain to see movie or roam around, people could easily guess; we are from Bal Mandir, and they did not even have to be Sherlock Holmes to guess that.


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Karma, What Goes Around Comes Around

Sunita Giri 11:28 PM |




Just like me, you also may have heard it, umpteenth time that, if we sow the seeds of cactus we can not expect a crop of roses. From the seed of mango, there will be mango tree not a litchi tree. This law also applies to human life, as per the rule of karma our present life is only a phase in the history of our births, we reap in this life the fruit of actions of our past lives.


Suddenly, now it made sense to me now, why staffs like room nannies, cooks and
many  other staffs in Bal Mandir believed that we were cursed child; thats why we ended up in Bal Mandir. For details on this read my article Are We Cursed ?

But, I think just the other way around. It may be because during my work in Everest Hotel there was a simple rule and we were trained to follow it strictly that ‘guest is always right’ because they kept us in business and they helped us to pick up our bills. Therefore, this is the reason or impact in my mind, when I look back to understand those believe held by those junior staffs, changed my whole perception and I think its the other way around. My life as a child in Bal Mandir was perfect, except those rubbish believe, which kept injecting in our young minds continuously. Had I not worked in the hotel, which diligently followed that believe derived from Sheraton group of Hotel Management; I too would have been agreed blindly with all of them, who thought we were cursed.

Here, let me share with you one particularly shocking reality that I witnessed during my stay  Bal Mandir. I saw it when I was in my pre teen or may be in my early teen years. When I was young, Bal Mandir was bit new and people outside were mistaken that it was only for orphan or abandoned but some thought it was the institute, where they could leave there  some permanently disabled or seriously ill child, who were well above the age that normally even abled children don't get a chance to stay in Bal Mandir.

His name was Aayta Bahadur, Magar perhaps; but I am just quite not sure about his last name. He was the patient of severe case of down syndrome, pure example of life being in the vegetative condition.  He walked wobbly and did unitate or his potty on his bed. He needed to fed, do the potty, clothing, cleaning and washing also. In fact, he could not do anything, that we normally take for granted in life.He was not just down syndrome case but suffering from serious illness and was on heavy dose of drug also for fits and seizure. So there was a woman, who were there to take care of him. In her room, which was the most smelly due to adult urine and...  There was two more mildly disabled boys in her room, I doubt they were just boys, they must be older than other children in Bal Mandir, but I was tooyoung to even guess their age. But one thing for sure; Aayta Bahadur was the oldest ones, among the three boys. Subhas was mentally retarded, who always drooled heavily and threw his drooled towards those who teased him. Amitabh, was may be paralysed in one side of his body, he had one leg short and one hand bent. Oh ! yes other children always teased them, may be including me, but its pretty strange; why don't I remember it, I was on of them to tease the ones, who were already in trouble ?  Do the children knew; it was sin to tease the troubled ones ? Poor children, they will grow up one day to know all that.

Edgar Cayce, who had extra super sensory power and he also could see the past life of a person when he was in hypnotic condition. He had referred in umpteen times that there is direct relationship between sorrow in life and sinful action in the past life.

While reading ‘What is in the Ved’ by Dr. Prapannacharya, writer had clearly hinted that down syndrome is a form of a curse. It really had shocked me when I read it. Curse to whom ? the one who is suffering or the one who are the parents ? but if you flip the pages of books which believes in karma it gives a clear hint that some sickness are curse targeted at the parents [the caretaker] not the child or who is born with it. This is one of the hardest thing, I have read to be convinced.

But, Aayta Bahadur was stranded in Bal Mandir by his parents maybe and Kanchhi [Tamang] didi was just the caretaker, yet she had to do the potty, then feed him, cleaning all an adult toilet that too on bed if she missed him talig out when he needed to do it. Sometimes he also had sever fits, which caused her to tussle with him and then he unknowingly used to strangled her up in uncontrollable manner. That job of hers was sure not easy, May I put it, it being  as hellish work for her.

Compared to other room nannies, she only had to take care of three people, others had to take care of about twenty young children and there was only two room nannies for young children and for teen just one room nannies. On top of that they also had to make us breakfast and daytime snacks once a week,Kanchhi Didi was excused to do all other work which other nannies needed to do on daily or weekly basis.

“What wrong did I do in my past life, to go through this kind of suffering ?” is one common question people keep asking when they find themselves mired in hard times in life. I do not remember I have heard her ask this question and even if she had asked it then, I could have forgotten by now. Her work was enough to drain her so she was not the happy type of nannies to remember in my mind and if you have read my earlier post The Punishment, it may also give you a glimpse of her psychological state of mind. I am sure that Maya may have got such harsh punishment from the over reactive complaint, which the housemother Sabitry Basnyat got from her.

When I was around in eighth grade, perhaps at that time those adults disabled were shifted to other places, may be Jorpati; but I have no idea about it. Once they were shifted to other places the services of Kanchhi didi was no longer needed therefore, she left Bal Mandir almost immediate after the shift.

According to Edgar cayce, “Karma is a psychological law and acts primarily in the psychological realm, the physical circumstances being merely the mean whereby the physiological purpose is fulfilled what the entity is today is the result of what it has been in days and experiences ages and aeons past. for life is continuous and whether it is manifested in materiality or in other realms of consciousness, it is necessary for its unfoldment.”

When I look back and try to understand the things as it was said to me about the karma, I can't help but to wonder; does she has to go to hell too after life ? Was not that, what she had to go through in her life here on earth, was in itself, a hell like experience ?
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