Due Appreciation

Sunita Giri 10:27 PM |

A nicely crafted brick floor on the porch or garden, which is covered by the summer weeds,  look is soo noo, nooooo. We keep seeing such scenes at the places we visit frequently. It clearly tells the story of careless and lazy house owner or the long winter season. At times may be long rainy season also. But we all have our own share of such story.

There was a time when that red crafted brick, a side porch in Bal Mandir used to get covered with long weeds for months. this particular crafted floor that needed cleaning on regular basis was at the statue yard. That Is also the place where they used to grow our  vegetables. Housemother Kedar Shrestha used to take this job in her hand to clean it up. When I say clean it up; she used to tell all the children, big enough to hold a scrapper in our hand to scrap the weeds from the sideways of the bricks that was placed on the ground. About hundreds of children used to scrape it in matter of couple of hours and then it used to look like wearing a new look for couple of months.

I have to be honest here, I don't even know how long she used to wait before she decided to clean it up, how long she waited to see grass growing on to cover brick floored area by summer weeds. During hot summer morning, we were needed to clean it up  on monthly basis. Mostly those were the Saturdays morning, after breakfast on the sunny days. Of course, winter seasons were excused for us as well as rainy days.

The other three housemothers never took initiative to clean it and do anything about it and it was left to the Kedar Shrestha who was the most senior housemother [ by experience not by age] in Bal Mandir.

Just like the cleaning of brick floor, taking care of vegetable garden was also seemed exclusively her department and no other housemother took much interest in this work, definitely not when she was around. She used to stay with the lady who used to work on our kitchen gardens on regular basis. She used to keep close eyes on her every work and stayed with her even in the chilly morning and cold evening. Keeping close eyes on every details was her main work.

Kitchen garden of Bal Mandir used to grow sufficient vegetable not only to 200 children but it also provided many good memories of stealing it and then eating some raw vegetables. I have very vivid memories of stealing, chili, cauliflower and radish and then eating it raw. Today, when  I look back and try to understand the anger they felt and the punishment we got for stealing and messing the kitchen garden. I think it was not the stealing part  housemothers and room nannies were mad about with us then, but it was the misuses of the young vegetables we plucked it and then threw it knowing we can't eat it because it was so young.

Once she died in about 1987, I have no idea when the kitchen garden stopped growing vegetables or the children. I also have no idea how long children in Bal Mandir have been eating the vegetables bought from the market.

Last time when I met Manju Didi, who used to work so hard in the garden to grow vegetables was telling us that she still sees Kedar Shrestha in her dream and and she is asked by the housemother, “why did you stoped working on that garden ? if you would have worked there children would have got a chance to eat fresh vegetables !” It was so obvious to see Manju Didi's eyes getting misty, when she was sharing her dream with us. Its been more than twenty years and she is still seeing her in her dream.

When I have visited Bal Mandir last time I was not allowed to enter in Bal Mandir and the only area I was allowed to see was this place and the area was so brazen and wearing the unkempt look. It seemed to me that there were no one living in this place for very long long time. The truth is this place have always been full of children all the time.

I got to be honest, when I was growing up in Bal Mandir, I was not the one who used to appreciate Kedar Shrestha. Truth be told, it was she who did not like me, perhaps we were much like same in so many ways and they say when you are alike you tend to dislike each other. I was never her favorite child among the group of children and she was very discriminating in her power to keep me away from so many opportunities as much as she could, therefore, I too was not nice to her discriminating behavior.

But when I see the condition of Bal Mandir now, I think maybe I have ignored to see her vision. or if, she had dark side then there was also the side no other housemother in Bal Mandir could replace it. What is harsh reality is, not even in the management to overshadow her presence and importance in the history of Bal Mandir. If only, I could appreciate it long before she died.

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Small things matter

Sunita Giri 9:55 PM |

Last time when I visited Bal Mandir, I was not allowed to enter in the main area where  children lives. Me being product of Bal Mandir and been there so many times without even needing permission of a staff as well as Nepal Children Organization, it was not something I could take it easily. I was never denied to enter in nor was asked why I enter in Bal Mandir. One or the other always knew that we once were one the children. Now after more than 20 years of leaving Bal Mandir and when its management was running by a Mitrataa Foundation, I have heard they are less corrupt and better management. They them self were not satisfied working with the team of NCO for so many reasons, needless to say corruption is one of the main root.

It was beginning of October 2012. I have made something which I wanted to give to Bal Mandir. For this, I have received support from many of my Facebook friends, who have given me some cash so that I could buy wools and then make some woolen caps, two caps for each children that made it 400 woolen caps . Once it was ready, I thought I could go there and then hand over it to all the children in Bal Mandir.

Having been product of Bal Mandir I knew the corruption but more than that I just wanted to be small part of all those years of meekly accepting the stuff from good hearted donors. But, when I wrote Rebecca Bec, Executive Director then, she mailed me there is no need for caps for the children. I wrote her back, I was not giving it with a thinking that they don't have a single cap. I  was fully aware they may be having already 3 sets of it; still I wanted to give it to them. She persisted why not I go to other children home and  give it to them. This kind of mail exchange tested my patience limit. I am nor foreigner not to know that Bal Mandir had several branches across the Kathmandu as well as many around the Nepal. I have my personal attachment to give it to Bal Mandir.

Nine mails exchange between us before I found myself standing in front of the shabby gate of Bal Mandir which could have led me to children room. Just inside the gate there was waiting chair for visitors, which was the picture perfect to scream for donation from all sides. Some children were playing there and now I was seeing them from the same eyes perhaps the others would have seen me decades before during my stay there in Bal Mandir. They were dressed very shabby and they looked dirty to me. I could see their runny nose and dirty faces as well as some legs that was filled with some pus filled small wounds. I thought  it  was not the same when we were there. Or maybe I was not that kind of children who ran with dirty nose or pus filled wounds. I was not that smart also to see myself from the eyes of an adult who has very sharp observation.

More than that the look of brazen kitchen garden and the deserted look it wore made me think hard. It was the place which used to grow vegetables for 200 people throughout the year. Now, it was just play ground  and it really spoke the sorry state of the Bal Mandir and its dire need for financial help.

I was not even allowed to enter in the office to hand over the goods I carried along with me. Rebecca had managed one of her staff to collect the goods from me who was waiting for me just inside the gate and then I have to leave from there. She even had told me in our mails to send me the pictures of children wearing those  lovely,  bright, colorful  woolen caps. Because I have asked some of my friends to help me for this small project of mine so the picture she promised really meant a lot for me. I could post it on my Facebook and thank all my friends who helped me to carry this small charity work.

I have visioned in my mind how happy and lovely those children will look in them, and the twinkle in their eyes will glow more as I myself had those experienced when I was in Bal Mandir receiving one of those goods handed over to us, whether by a staff or from the visitors. I was dead sure I would  get a couple of pictures and there will be 25, or 50 or even 100s of children wearing different designs woolen caps that have power to mock the gloomy look of winter[s].

Lets ignore the fact, that we had nine mails exchange before I was allowed to give small donations, lets try to igonre the fact, she had taken more than three months to send me those pictures as she had excuse that she was sick and had gone to Australia - her native land - for treatment. What was hard to ignore was she gave me the picture of only couple of girls wearing dim colored caps and it was not taken in their rooms. They must have called in the office to take those pictures. Should not she have let the picture speak louder than her sick excuse ? I needed those pictures, not only I was covering an article for my blog  which appeared on November 2012. But I also have some public responsibility, of those people who gave me money to make those caps. But to my surprise, it looked to me, the girls in those pictures were mere used to send message to the donor to ask more caps, than the picture which bore thank you note on it. Besides, she had sent me not the actual picture which I could use for my blog or post it on Facebook but PDF files, which I could not use it in anyway.

When I was in Bal Mandir condition of it was not so bad in so many ways. But lucky me or many like me who were there long before the management of it was even needed to  hand  over to other than a Nepali run charity foundation.  In fact it was managed and operated by Royal family. My small effort to give back something taught me a lot more story than I have asked for and from now on, I will refresh my mind only Nepali are corrupt or have murky conscience.

They say small things matter than big things.

Note : Early 2013 may be around may, I have received a mail from Rebecca, her management team which is [Mitrata Foundation] had handed over the management of Bal Mandir to NCO after completing 5 years contract.
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Young and Wild

Sunita Giri 10:26 PM |

When I watched National Geographic and animal planet  first time, that was somewhere in in 1999, it sent me in deep thought, I was shocked how animals were respected and who their wild behavior was tried to justified, even though they being known for wild. It had power to hammered my memories and made me think hard to find answer. Having been grown up in Bal Mandir it was not the same case, I really don't have much good memories, of one time that any caretaker could have treated us or shown us the understand of the narrator or the program director for us even then we were young yet humans child. For them we are wild and uncontrollable. What is even more hard to believe is, this was not just the conventional thinking of our caretakers as I would like to call them - junior staff of Bal Mandir. We used to call them didi or dai if they, but even the housemothers strongly believed this that we need to be tamed with harsher punishment for childlike stupid mistakes which now I know every child in the world are known for and Bal Mandir was not excluded with Denis the menace type of terror. the only difference in this child like and that too group child mistake was regarded a wild and uncontrollable behavior from our caretakers.

Of course, their work was not easy. They were needed to give us a bath and wash our weakly dresses when we were below 10 years old. If a room nanny has to take care of  20 young children in a room then the male staff has to do even tougher work like, cooks have to prepare meal for all the 200 people morning and evening and other staff has to  wash big vessel that was used to make meal for 200 people.

Sure the work was not easy but, then they knew the work was hard and they must have been briefed before they accepted the job. All that hard work and tight work schedule which was mostly morning and evening always kept them busy. Yet, they had time for oratory service of reminding us, opps ! hammering us constantly that, what was our life before and why we ended there. Of course, they religiously believed, it was our karma and we had done something bad in our previous life before, that's why we did ended in Bal Mandir. To remind us constantly about that was their unwritten duty and responsibility, which they never minded despite their air tight work schedule. It was there that believe was not good for us and our future than what we have done bad in our last life.

I do not remember any good memories I had with diddies nor with any housemother. They were the one who took care of us during our stay in Bal Mandir. Yeah, one can judge me saying I lack the   appreciation for their hard work, but may be I have a bad habit of remember the negative things longer than good work they have done for us. Besides, its my personal belief that, they were paid to do for their work but they were not paid to hammering our young minds constantly that we are not good, sufficient and unlucky. Its not easy to forget in my life the way they treated us and disrespected even though their  body language as well as the harsh words they used for us. It will never be easy to shake my head even today.  

Today, as a grown up, what I know now is majority of the adult hates their work yet they keep doing what they hate. Its still not easy for me to shake my head that may be they hated their work and not us, because I [every child in Bal Mandir] was their work. In my young minds I always thought, they hated us, that's why they disrespected us to that extent.

Needless to mention, I kept a very good distance with staff. Besides I was also the kind who hardly gelled well with even with my own roommates. Ever since I was in my early teen years, I used to bury myself in books and hardly knew what is going on around me. I was always in different world than I was living. Some called this I am in dream world. Most of my inmates in Bal Mandir remember me as a person who was different in so many ways; but in what way, no one could pinpoint it. But its ok, like me they were also young and clueless.

But I do remember Shova didi, who was not bitter about our childlike behavior and she had shown a tremendous patience with us. She was nice with most of us although she had her personal favorite among us. She was the only maid I do remember who had a personal favorite child who was not even in her room or maybe she was in her room before. Just can't remember and everyone knew that Nei was her favorite among the 200 children in Bal Mandir That never bothered me as she liked others too equally, and she was not that harsh and disrespectful in her talking with us. But, it did to some, when she used to spend huge chunk of her salary to pamper her favorite child on regular basis.

She was like a cool breeze in the hot summer noon. Unlike most of the nannies she was warm and caring and we felt cozy with her to share our personal things and ask for some good when she used to resume her work in the kitchen. I doubt we had much age difference. Sure she was not in my room and never was my room nanny. I was mere teenager, when she may have joined Bal Mandir and she was in young children's room. Of course there was another experienced in that room to give her company.

She was not rude or bitter also like most of the nannies. She was not well educated physiologist or the huge fan of animal planet or national geography's young and wild show on animal world. She was more intellect in her behavior than another person around us despite she being an illiterate room nanny.

When I last heard about Shova didi, she was married to a man who was six years younger than her because it was bit late for her to marry by the time she decided to settle down. In her community it was a huge issue. She died with over bleeding when she was giving birth of her second daughter.

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Shades of life

Sunita Giri 10:23 PM |

Rajan Neupane is a pastor of the Greater Grace Church, which is located at Pepsi Cola town planning for more than 12 years. Its been about four years, he also have been running a children home, where about 20 children lives.

I came to know him by fluke, as my niece used to go to his church during her short stay with me. She used to tell me about this pastor, and how she feels good in his company. She used to spent more time there most of the day in all Saturdays. Sometime later I have something to give to this church and I have to look for him to handover the goods I carried with me. Then I came to know that he also runs a children home. Since last two years or so we are in constant touch. Mostly I visit his office to handover some stuff for the childrens in his children home.

Every November around the thanksgiving day, I would like to handover something that can be useful in the Children’s home. Sometimes some goods cannot be used in children home due to size matter handed over to them. Still, those things can be used in church where many people who need help are in constant contact. Its been couple of years I raise some money through the help of my Facebook friends to give to small charity to my personal charity work. This time it was books for 12 children home and I am sorry to admit it I have not been able to give this a full time due to my other engagement.

This Year, when I called him that. “I need to visit you, are you in office now ?” He knew instantly. I have something to handover. And his guess was right also this time I have some winter wears for teenage children along with the books for children s, for which my friend Kiran Khanal from Australia and Suvas Sing from Qatar have also joined hands with me for this good cause. Rajan jee requested me to visit his children home. We scheduled this the very next day in this November and then he and his wife gave me a proper tour of his children home. The place was narrow compared to the Bal Mandir I had grwon up but it was well maintained and looked a lot better place to live than the big palace I spent my life as a child.

The couple not only showed me all the rooms but also showed me some the rooms that was locked up and when I asked them, “is this for [foreign] volunteers ? They replied in unison, “no, we don't keep any volunteers here, if we keep volunteers here at this home we have to face more problems than solutions. Especially from foreign countries, we don't keep them here not even if, they would like to offer us handsome donation to run our charity for long.

From this kind hearted couple, I came to know that monitors from government also will not allow volunteers to spend nights at the children home now a days. Then I shared with them that, I don't know about the dreadful story here in Nepal except there are people who runs children home just to make bread and butter for their family members rather than needy and desperate children but in India some who runs children home do things with cruel intentions in the name of charity for needy children like I posted on my recent post, where power collide with vulnerability. He also shared his personal experience how he have stumble upon with those who runs children home just to collect donations, by providing wrong information to generous donors. People do trust him for his sincerity and honesty, therefore they send him to the children home who are about to get the donation from outside the country and then when he gives his report, the donation stops. He candidly shared his thought with me saying,  “yes its sad the children are in bad conditions in those care homes and need help but needy children should not be used to be the bread and butter for some greedy people. Its good if they don't get any donation and these children be moved to other children home run by good and kind hearted person.”

On the way to the children home he also showed me a small kitchen garden the children home have taken on lease to grow some fresh vegetables. There his wife was working with couple of teenage children. The Neupane couple also saw the opportunity to teach young children the value of hard work and taste of it, in this small effort to grow vegetables for themselves. I myself grew up in Bal Mandir and this is still one of my best memories, so I really like this small effort.

When I saw a sewing machine I could not help but share some of my own ideas regarding the machines and its more use in children home. Why not add more machines and then hire a person to make all the needed dress for the children throughout the year, so that they  can learn also how to make a simple dress along with small contribute in this work at home. And why not hire a teacher who not only can make dress but also can teach these young children how to sew a dress or stitch ?
One thing what Rajan je does not know until now is, I myself grew up in Bal Mandir and was able to finish my school and college just some people like him thought we should get this opportunity in life.

We keep reading and watching some negative news that takes place in children home and those news to grip our mind for so long but the truth is, we also have persons like Neupane couple who do this not for publicity but purely for the the personal satisfaction and helping those who are in need is what satisfy this couple. They say, they are doing this not even fear from God or to book a space in heaven well in advance.

Knowing him and his wife reminds me of Bernhard, a Swiss national  who sent me to college and now he and his team from Switzerland not only runs a children home here in Nepal but also provides education to 76 children and its growing every year.

Children home across the world are the best place where you can see the shades of life. Here you can hear the story of corruption, greedy and needy parents who will leave their child here for no apparent reason like some incurable disease, some staff who do the corruption work and won't even feel guilty of stealing the things which is meant for the desperate children in need. but most of all here is the place you can meet the person like Neupane couple or Bernhard couple who will devote their lives so that hundreds of them will get good opportunity in life to go to school and then lead a decent life later in this society.  

It really feels good to be a small contributor to their bigger vision.

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Where power collide with vulnerability

Sunita Giri 10:02 PM |

If I dig Google about the definition of vulnerability it says, its a weakness which allows an attacker to reduce one's self confidence to face them. So it also can be understood that vulnerability is attack surface. Having been grown up in Bal Mandir, my own condition placed me in a position to observe this ever since I was not even curious about it so keenly; not wise enough to pay attention closely and smart enough to study deeply. Yet, my own condition put me in a situation to observe things unintentionally that went around me. So, for this very reason am not new to this kind of situation and condition. It's only that I was not the attack surface or must feel thankful to God for not finding myself in a situation that anyone who came in my life enjoyed exploiting me. At the same time, the reality is places like children home provides many a good opportunity to exploit vulnerable under the disguise of social worker who has a big heart for poor, needy and desperate children.

Maki Motto as I know him by this name, was a japanese business man who entered in Bal Mandir as a social worker. He also created job opportunities for young girls who needed job after leaving Bal Mandir. It was his knitting business.  This social worker’s job worked as a mask for him. As a social worker he enjoyed a status of a donor which brought him pride and prestige in society. Beneath that mask,  he used to pick up a vulnerable young teenage girls for his lust. He did that for many girl from Bal Mandir over the period of 1996 - 2008 during his social work. One Japanese Magazine described him as a hero for Nepal  for his many charity work which he did for various parts  in Nepal for very long time. Bal Mandir was not just one place he used to do his charity work; there were many other social organisations   which he used to run in Japan and here in Nepal. But, very few people knew the reality, putting that mask  of a social worker, behind all that good guy image and philanthropic person, he was the one who was looking for places where vulnerable women can be found for his lustful act. He died of cancer in 2009. You can read my full story coverage on my earlier post The Japanese Social Worker.

There was a man named Sharad* who ran Sharad Shelter Home in India. This was exclusively for mentally challenged girls only. For many years this is the place, many parents left their young girls under the care of this man, who posed himself as most sympathetic and compassionate man. Under the cover of his very caring and compassionate person who enjoyed a very good status in society; until there was an investigation in the area to nab a fake and multiple suicide case. This man was very meticulous in his side to exploit and then commit the crime. It took really long time to crack the case but at last a mentally retard girl could point her finger towards him to identify him as a victim even though she could not utter a word a  against him. They were dead scared of this man. Most of the girls in his shelter were exploited and the staff could not say fearing they might lose their job if they reveal the truth to this society. But when this news saw the light of the day court punished him death penalty and even three staff was sent to jail for ten years each for hiding the truth and those girls were moved to other shelter homes run by nuns.

Fahim* was a nine year old boy who lived, played and slept on streets of mumbai. One day he was rescued by a man named Alfred Jacobs* to his orphanage. He was washed, clothed and then well fed. This was all boys children home founded by man and ran by all male staff only. Fahim’s happiness of finding decent roof over his head and clean cloth on his body and then food on plate on time did not lasted long when he came to know that why he was needed in that orphanage.

He was needed to please the customers Alfred Jacob welcomed in his children home and he charged them handsome money for satisfying them. His customers, mainly adult white men   got a chance to select the one they like most among young boys bunch.  Fahim did not like being abused sedually and then bring plasure to adult man when he was in pain. He also had to escort these men to the many other Indian tourist cities like Goa during their holiday. In his painful and resentment mood he thought  street life was not much different than this decent living here in the orphanage. Speaking or fighting for all this meant that end of the orphanage and many boys back on street also. Still Fahim decided to speak what is happening to him as well as others in this orphanage. So one day, he picked up a help line phone and then asked for help to rescue him. Most the young boys thought this life was better than the life they had to live on streets and they also accepted cash bribe to remain silent from the lawyers hired by Alfred Jacob, but Fahim choose to fight for his right, to live life his way despite all the odds he has to face not what others thinking, what is good for him.  

With the help of an NGO he fought the case for almost ten years but then at last he won the case. The orphanage was shut down.

Its really hard to believe when people see their own personal benefit in places and peoples vulnerability but people around the world must have noticed by now that there are writers, Directors, TV producers also who sell tears because its still is the highest money spinning machine and there are plenty of business where people make money on the widow's tear and a desperate children’s need and cry.

I am not saying there are generous people who pour their heart out for vulnerable people yet majority of all those generosity gets blocked by these very people who are in power whose prime concern always clashes with the interest of those who are actually in desperate need of help.

Nore : * Names are changed due to privacy but cases are real story which happened in India, I picked two stories from Savdhan India.

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Dark Side of Superiority Complex

Sunita Giri 10:40 PM |

Having been grown up in Bal Mandir, I am very curious to study inferiority complex or those who would let people to belittle them. Strangely, despite my own background this is not what I allow anyone to do and then they say I have serious attitude problem. They may be right in their own way, but I would like to say that, I don't have low self-esteem to allow any Tom, Dick and Harry to inject inferiority complex in my thinking.  

Recently, I saw a very sad crime story on TV. It is about a rich man discriminating behavior against a poor boy who shared his son’s age as well as name. This rich man who lived in posh area of India treated very badly a young boy of a iron man, who had no option but to share the same playground with rich kids of the area. But that too was not acceptable to the rich father who in due course of time corrupted the mind of his young son too.

We all know this, as this is universal law, if we are not born with money then we will have something extra than the rich people can buy with money; like excellent brain. It so happened that the poor kid was extremely bright in studies in comparison to the rich kid. Rich kid used to go to expensive school and could hired expensive tuition class yet the poor kid could catch everything a lot faster than the rich kid, without spending much money. Therefore, when a kind hearted lady of the society went to the nearby school he got instant sponsorship due to his excellent marks on text. As time passed, it so happened that the poor kid joined the same school where this rich kid used to go and it also happened that they found themselves in the same class too.

Although, this rich man did not like the management’s decision to keep the poor boy in school yet he could do nothing to stop him to attend the same school. When mid term exam result was out the report card of the poor kid which had all the excellent marks was mistakenly handed to the rich kid as they shared the same name. It boasted the pride of this father son until the class teacher realized the mistake and then switched the report cards. The rich man felt insulted and humiliated in front of the class and even in society due to the good performance by poor kid. In the heat of the humiliation of fake pride and prestige he pushed the poor kid in society’s big swimming pool and the boy died instantly; because poor kid did not knew how to swim. This happened within fifteen days of report card incident.

Some may say this is the height of discrimination but I would like to say that rich man was the one who was suffering from inferiority complex and he was passing all that strong feeling to the poor kid. No money could cover his bloated pride or cure his inferiority. It is not superiority complex but its the dark side of inferiority complex which blinded him to that extent that he would not hesitate to kill his young imaginary competitor also to end the sickening feelings.

Julian Assange and Edward Snowden and their leak of vital US government’s secret document is raising so many questions not only outside the US but within the country also. Its also causing serious diplomatic problems to Obama Government. For us its insane to keep an eye on Nepal and our diplomatic documents for many years. Forget about German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her phone tapping that too before she became the chancellor of Germany. Germany is at par with US in so many ways even in economic and political growth but what kind of threat US could feel from poor nation like mine which is Nepal to keep their nose deep inside in our diplomatic documents for many years. But to us it makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to spy on each and every nation and then get the vital secret documents. But to them to remain superpower and to feel superior in front of other big or small nations they can pump any amount of money. Should this surprise any wise civilian Julian or Edward are treated like most wanted criminals by the US government for their effort to make us know about that deep dark secrets of US government, because those information are the strong blow to the bloated pride of super nation like US.

One of my personal favorite story of Mahabharat is story of Eklavya for he being punished for his excellent archery skill. He got the punishment in term of his pay which is his right thumb to ‘the teacher’. Remember he was never accepted in that class because of his class and caste. As times passed he mastered the art of archery. Partly he learned from hiding himself from the bushes while the royal boys were getting training and partly through rigorous self training and in due course of time  he became ten times better than the royal students called Pandav. Needless to tell, it was unacceptable to the royal teacher that Eklavya was better than the best of his students and we know that famous name as being Arjun and his four brothers. This teacher and the royal boys must have felt insulted and humiliated to the fact that what they know and could do with money,  poor Eklavya could do it without training but a whole lot better than what he could have learned from the royal teacher.

It should not surprise us, if the young royal boys kept quiet in the name of respect to the guru, because the quiet support had hidden  benefit to the royal boys that no one will know what exactly was the reason why Arjun is best known archer in mythology stories.

Not only our religious book but there are very few books which tells us about this dark side of superiority complex, we have to face in our day to day life. Our books does not tell us the story of discrimination being inferiority [superiority] complex instead we are served this same story telling us to show our respect to cunning and shrewd teachers and pay them who protects our bloated pride and prestige. So that they will remain in the same business at the cost of poor young peoples bright career.  

If US does not suffer from fear of falling apart from the top then they would not spend trillions of dollars on weapons and billions of dollar on spying, if the rich man was not suffering from the inferiority complex he do not need to kill the innocent poor child of 10 years old and if the Royal teacher was better than the poor Eklavya he do not have to ask something that will end his chances of taking part in any future competition, where he could have won even Arjun.

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Children are Clueless Right

Sunita Giri 10:26 PM |

Its believed that children have no experience when it comes to facing the unpredictability or they don't know the tricks like adults do, for survival in harsh condition. But, if we see more closely this is very wrong presumptions. Its the time it shows that how that notion is wrong. They come up some tricks that has power to make us think hard if only we witness it or be the part of it as a child. Children always find better and smarter way to sort out the problems they face than adult can imagine at times. Lying is one of the area they are good at and presuming we are smarter than you [adult] is another quality of children. Its another thing that some appreciate it and some fail to appreciate it. When all this happened we must have cried got beaten but now theses are our sweet memories.

There  are cases which tells me that notion is just wrong here are some of my childhood experience  I would like to share with you.

When I was in Bal Mandir Sabitri Basnyat, the notorious housemother, who was infamous for giving us corporal punishment. She had a slight defect in her eyes. So, this used to give some children a chance to do something which she could never think, teen children will do so. She always used to talk to one person but her eye set on another person, because she had eye contact which is defocused. Due to this flaw, sometimes the one she was looking at used to respond her rather than the one she was talking. Of course she used to get perplex and used to lose her patience. she used to scream in frustration, “I am talking to her and why you respond”, that to with her defocused eye contact. For some reason, she had very thin patience; may be there was just too many children to handle at a time. Some girls used to respond with very innocent look on their face, saying, “I thought you were talking to me.” Of course, girls used to go to the room and then laugh out loud in jubilant feeling sense of pride in fooling meanest woman on earth. However, Govinda who could talk without moving his lips used to confuse her, even more as it was not easy for her to figure out where the voice was coming from or who was talking. Not good for those who used to get bang on the back after that confusion. Exchange of glaring red eyes in anger was the only option these boys could do at times like this.

Ever since I started writing my blog, whenever I meet my childhood friends, my prime focus will be whether this meeting will give me any new story or not. Because, if I get their version of memories or experiences that will be new taste to my readers. But, I have to admit it, its bit disappointing to hear them because what they remember is not what I can post in my blog and what I write in my blog does not please them all the time.

Sure, not all meeting is fruitless too. Recently I visited a friend of mine who shared her memories with me and I have no clue about this particular incident. Lathi charge was part of our life when we were in Bal Mandir and in my clear or vague memories, only one housemother used lathi charge and kick for us than others and that was again Sabitry Basnyat. Other housemothers were not that brutal, when it came to punishing us, or I was not the one who got beaten that harshly by others. Its natural that everyone has their own preference and I was definitely not her favorite child in Bal Mandir. Its not that I was the dearest darling of others just they were not that harsh in punishing like Sabitry Basnyat, that's it.

She could not remember what was the mistake we have done, she only remembers that all the children putting heavy clothes in layers before the brutal beating started. Some of the girls who were involved in wrongdoing, were asking others to give them their heaviest clothes so that they could add on to make the lathi charge bearable. Sadly she can't remember full story and I do not have this particular incident recorded in my memory. Girls may have cried then after the ruthless punishment but now when we look back and talk about all this walking in the memory lane like this, we just laugh and laugh thinking how smart we were then. These are the sweet memories of our past.

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But why she committed Suicide ?

Sunita Giri 9:26 PM |

“Do you know Maya committed suicide ?” Du my close friend gave me the news over phone.   Her way of telling me this news also has a way of asking me about it. Maybe, she  guessed, I already got this news from my other friend circle. She was wrong about it, because she was the first person to give me this news on the late Sunday evening.

This news came as a shock to us. natural death is one thing but when someone commits suicide, she leaves so many untold story behind. So its natural when Du wondered, what could have been the reason for her to commit suicide ?

It  had not been even two years that Maya’s oldest daughter had committed suicide and now she is the the one who ended her life ? We were wondering how come her youngest daughter will face the two suicide in her family that happened within two years.

Maya was our common childhood friend, so her suicide news traveled fast among our vast circle of friends from Bal Mandir. Being a why digger, it fell on me, to find out the reason why she decided to end her life, that too in less than two years of her oldest daughter’s suicide .

A scene reeled in my mind. “Don't cry, its not death it's suicide” my friend told me  about the day when Maya had visited her after  her daughter had committed suicide. Maya was very vulnerable like many women and she just needed to share her deep sorrow with anyone who was ready to listen to her and not judge her for whatever the reason. But, I bet she had not expected to get that kind of response from her most compassionate friend, Junkiri. My chatty friends continued, “when I said that, she had swallowed a big lump on her throat, and suddenly she stopped crying. Then I turned to my daughter and told her, if you commit suicide, I will not bury your corpse.”

I just stared at her with so many questions in my mind but not a single word on my lips. Personally, like Junkiri I am also not in favor of suicide and will never choose that kind of end for myself whatever the situation arise; but, I could never ever; not even in my wildest imagination can tell a person not to cry, when one has just lost a loved one.

I called some of my close knit circle of friends to inform as well as to know, if they knew anything about her death or why Maya killed herself ? It seemed, I was the one who was giving them this news first hand and they were as clueless as I was. Many of us could not even be at the hospital or at her funeral due to this late news circulation.

After couple of more phone call and a visit I got some inside info on this case and what unveiled it was hard to believe. It left more question in my mind than it answered many reason behind her suicide. By nature I want answers not questions.

As I said, its really hard to believe what unfolded. Her story unfolded like this. It so happened that Maya’s youngest daughter, who is freshly out from nursing college was working as a private nurse for a rich Rana family. She started picking some expensive things  mostly jewelry from her workplace. At the beginning the family only suspected their nurse for the things that were vanishing from house. In her six months work as a private nurse in that house she had picked many jewelries including a gold chain worth almost Rs. 150,000/. But due to absence of proof they could not blame her directly. One day, they caught her red handed. Then this family handed her to police. She was kept in police station and Maya was also interrogated in the process to find out the truth.

My friends figured maybe she was too ashamed to face the people around her after this charges so she must have hanged herself; my friend concluded.

Being harshly interrogated for the theft charge that to her daughter was involved, but why Maya hanged herself ? I wanted to know. “Being charged  for a theft case from her daughters workplace and being caught red handed was just too much for Maya to face her peer pressure, may be that's why....  my friend said in response. That conclusion made no sense at all.  

“It can be understood that, she was ashamed of theft charge, but is this a reason she committed suicide ? Is that the reason big enough to end life ?” I still persisted  Because her daughter had spent night at police station due to this charge, it must have been very humiliating for her to face her near and dear ones after such charge ! my friend came with another prompt answer.

It still did not satisfy my curiosity of her suicide. A crime she did not even committed but she is the one who ended her life and not her daughter ? It made no sense at all to me; specially when we all know that Maya herself as a child was notorious for picking things from her friends as well as from room nannies. She could have just grown immune to such embarrassing conditions.

This time my friend shared me one thing which I never knew about Maya’s two daughters. Maya used to visit my friends with her two young girls, when all of them used to live nearby at that time. So when they used to say good byes, my friend noticed about three or five bottle of nail polish vanishing from the place where it used to be. That was the time when her girls were very young, I mean when the youngest one was only three and the big girl was about five or six years old.

We all knew Maya was facing the financial crunch but Maya had told us that its his Dewar [ husband younger brother] who used to help her financially to send her daughters to schools and then college once she was abandoned by her husband years before. A couple of our common friends made it to the hospital before she was taken for the funeral. There her dewar seem to be sharing a thought with them that, Maya and her daughters did not needed to steal things from others to support herself financially, because he had been providing them sufficiently. He wondered why they did such things.

There was also a time Maya had asked for financial help with her close friend circles, most of them from Bal Mandir to send her youngest daughter to nursing college. Many of my friends had given her whatever they could, they were generous too, in their own way.

It was first time even our common friends came into direct contact with her Dewar, who shared some internal information about Maya and her girls which we never knew before. He was the provider and protective umbrella for Maya and her two girls for years. When she died, the truth was revealed that Maya may have had just habit of blowing up her problems - financial needs - and then cheating it even with her own friends and she would not hesitate to shade tear for that to get the quick response.

Due to my hectic schedule regarding my personal work, that keeps me busy during winter season, Du is helping me to finish my work. So Du visited me this time. I told her the reason about her suicide. Just then she remembered the punishment Maya was given when she was in Bal Mandir for stealing couple of bucks from a room nanny.

What my close friend Du remembered when we all were in Bal Mandir, you can read my earlier post on this The punishment.
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