You offend me !

Sunita Giri 10:30 PM |

Whenever a person pops in my chat room to say, ‘I am sorry to know you grew up in Bal Mandir’ that makes me feel uneasy and uncomfortable. Many of them say it when I post my blog link on my Facebook status. Let me put it straight here, you offend me whenever you say this line. It does not even matter who you are. Why are you feeling sorry for the knowledge that I grew up in Bal Mandir, when I am not ! Why should I be ?  Do you want me to be ? but why ? 

Most of the times they are stunned with my response !

Sometimes, I end up arguing them in my chat room for their shallow concern and at times even nice people find me very rude but should I be rude to those who just pops up and say I am sorry to know that you grew up in Bal Mandir, who just presumed that I post my memory on my blog to gain sympathy.

Posting my blog is not about seeking sympathy. I do not seek sympathy, I have no hunger for pity and I am intolerant for shallow concerns about my condition. What I know about it is, all of them, [well  majority of them] are  fake, fake and fake only. No wonder, it makes me feel so uneasy and uncomfortable. There was time, I did not used to say a word about it but now I am not that Sunita who used to be 20 years before. Slumped in low self esteem, who used to get intimidated by those who grew up in family. 

Now, I am up instantly for an hour long debate on it.

I have tried to make people understand, through my post that living in Bal Mandir is not something I should feel inferior about, or be sorry for or seek sympathy. Many of them seem to be refusing to understand my thought, so I also refuse to understand their fake emotions when ever they say sorry you dont have parents.
Yet, there are people who really think, I should realize; its a sorry state and condition. It seem that people in my society are more negative thinking than understanding the reason behind it. Here in our society they would like to say negative things for you or feel sorry for you for your condition. There was time I used to feel sorry for my bad condition. Sorry because I was made to and bad because we were customized to feel bad about we ending up in Bal Mandir. 

The junior staff at the Bal Mandir made believe us its Karma, due to our bad deeds in our previous life we were punished, so we ended up there. It took me years to understand that Bal Mandir is not a jail, we did not ended up there, because we had done anything wrong like the people in jail or I have my direct hand at the age three in the flood that swept the entire village and we ended up in Bal Mandir.  I have written so much about it in my blog, yet people still keep telling me ‘sorry to know that you grew up in Bal Mandir.’ Let me tell you one more time, why feel sorry for me when I am not sorry for being raised in Bal Mandir.

I was not raised by parents. Parents whose world is so limited that their family means, their children and their family members only. They are so much gripped in I me and my family; where as the people who  operated the Bal Mandir and donated and devoted their lives to make sure that we get good life when we grow up; despite we not being their children. The sponsors mostly from the developed country used to pick a child from the picture and then they picked the education bill until we finished school. Some lucky like me also got a chance to finish our college education. Some of them used to visit to see how the children they sponsored are doing, and how they can be more helpful. I never have one of those sponsors but that did not mean I was deprived of educations. I really have not seen or read about such practice here in my country  yet there are people who feel comfortable to pour meaningless sympathy and pour out tsk tsk in loads with long sorry face that you wonder are they sorry for us or they are the one who are in search of sympathy in their own life ?

I am sure some of them need more sympathy and pity than we deserve.

There were girls like Radha and Nirmala. These names strike in my mind even today, who hated the word, ‘poor girls’ whenever some office staff or the somebody who visited Bal Mandir used it for us on our face. Then, I did not realized it until recently what made them so angry about those two compassionate words then ? Even in their teen years, they hated the shallow concern and fake sympathy. Me being a slow to get it, have to go in college to understand. Once, when I was in college one of my friends mother gave me a cold hug vocalizing, she felt sorry for me. It was then I get it,

I just hated that cold hug and fake sympathy. Her sympathy was anyway not going to send me to college or make me dependable later in my life. Because, Bernhard was picking up my college bills and sending me to me college to make me independent in my life. Interesting he n ever ever said I am sorry for you or gave me one of those cold hug. It was around that time, I understood why such cold hugs or shallow is so useless and meaningless ! There was just one Bernhard who came forward to help me in true sense, rest all the other people whoever expressed their baseless and meaningless concerns was fake fake and fake. needless to tell you I grew up hating it. Had I not been careful, I might have turned into the victim of people taking advantage of my condition that suited them mos;t not me.  

Let me share one more incident with you. When I was in college, or while I was working in office I never used to talk about the time I have spent in Bal Mandir. Its not that I was embarrassed or shy about this reality of my life. I just hated to gain some unwanted attention or sympathy from people around me. This was also the best and only way to keep my boyfriends but the moment I tell them I grew up in  Bal Mandir, I give them licence to treat me like second class citizen as their view of me  changed overnight. 

It also made me wonder, what is love or feelings anyway ? Or what is pride and prestige anyway, which can be changed with just couple of words like Bal Mandir or my life.  But, now when I write about my life and experience, its purely not to gather fake sympathy from strangers. 

I do this to understand me and to understand the people around me.

This line - I am so sorry - for your condition is total ignorance of my thought on the reality and the life which I lived in Bal Mandir and which shaped my thought now. Unlike the people who are raised by self centered parents for whom the world meant is to raise their own child and love them and pick up their bills. However, being raised in Bal Mandir means to come across to those people who not just take care of their own children but also take responsibility of others like us in many ways. Nah, not all the time they were rich but they wanted to be make sure that we also have a dignified life later in our life.

To be honest, I really don't understand why do I have to be so offended by the ignorant people who refuse to understand the kind of life I had and how it changed my take on life. I only wish there was some adult to make us understand all this when I was young sadly there were none. My case is different but if they did not have parents, who could make them understand the difference in life ? Parents are not worth missing in life.  

That is why I say you offend me ! when you say, you are sorry to know that I grew up in Bal Mandir, because I am not and will not be just because you feel sorry for me.

Note : Before this also I have posted a blog based on this, which you can read full in these two post or what about  I am so sorry and No sympathy, please, I could brag but I wont.
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My first Christmas

Sunita Giri 9:02 PM |

Christmas is around the corner and suddenly I am flown back in my memory lane of childhood. Its really hard for me to guess my age at this time nor I can remember which class I was in, so that I could have guessed my age. I was in a group of young children to be selected to visit a hotel to the celebrate Christmas party. That’s why I am guessing, I must have been very young to know even the name of the hotel. As for the hotel, I am guessing this must have been the Soaltee Hotel as there is no other hotel’s name is coming in my mind at this moment. Its not that I have not been to all the five star hotels here in Kathmandu, but still the name of the hotel or the place of it, is just not coming clear in my mind. I really don't know why the Soaltee Hotel’s name is coming in my head. Is this the reason the name was mentioned by adults before we went there to celebrate the Christmas ? the reason could be anything.

the main party and the glitter of the hotel and the food platter in front of us is very much blur in my mind nor I do remember for many more years to come. All the fancy things the hotel has organised for the children had nothing to last the memories.  We may have talked about the party and the glitter and the delicious food  we had and place we have been for about a week.

May be it was the concept of the person who really had come to visit Bal Mandir with an idea that this festival and taking out some children with them will bring smile on our face. Strangely though, I do remember the dress I wore, when I went there. I was wearing a two piece striped dress. The stripes were vertical but the horizontal ones. Even more stranger is fact that I also remember the color of the dress also. It was green, light green and the white stripes. It was not even my dress. I have borrowed it from the close friend of mine; which was very common practice when I was in Bal Mandir. Everybody used to borrow dress from each other, whenever we needed to go out.

Its hard to understand why I was not looking for next Christmas party, which is celebrated with such glittery, in a five star hotel and delicious food platter to grace our plate. Why it was not worth remembering and to wait for the next year to come and then again look forward to be taken to a hotel to celebrate Christmas party ? Nah, I really don't remember that part also. Dashain is not celebrated with such glittery environment in five star hotels. Its pure family affairs, but I love dashain and all its aspects. But, as a child what I remember is we always look for so eagerly and intently another dashain to come and celebrate it every year.

Is this call attachment and detachment to ours and theirs national festival ?
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Lucky me !

Sunita Giri 9:57 PM |

When I see this small child who is less than three years old, being beaten by his mother; it's really not easy for me to take it lightly. As I did not grew up in family to take it as normal, presuming that this kind of scene happens in every home. It may be because if we used to eat leftover food in Bal Mandir it was reported on national papers and people presumed we always eat leftover food all the time. And if there is this kind of brutality of physical abuse by our caretakers then this kind of news really used to make a huge cry in society. This is very hypocrite behavior. its accepted by a mother and parents but not by a irate caretakers. Of course, when I was growing up in Bal Mandir, I just did not know about all this may be I was too young to pay much attention to the newspaper craps. To some its a politics and to some writers this kind of news, which can give them instant popularity.

Ture, Bal Mandir is the place where you can see all kind of people with all types of intentions. There are good good people who have good heart and there are bad people who are working for them yet waiting for some personal gains. Recently, I  read in a national daily that Rabin Shrestha who is 43 years old working in fund raise department  in Bal Mandir raped 13, 14, and 15 year old autistic girls and he was not alone to sexually molest those young girls in Bal mandir. There was another man named Rabin Chalise also. But then there are some good hearted human right activist also, who talked to these girls and then sent these molesters to 16 and half years jail term.

I have  been in contact with Bernard for more than 20 years now.  In 1989, when he started helping me to finish my college I was only one but today he is helping 100 more and there are long list of people who have gone to good school and college because he wanted us to get the good education. Now, his Prabina Foundation not just makes sure that the needy children get good education but also good environment; where they can stay and go to school. So, this foundation also runs a Prabina Home in Kathmandu. I have first hand knowledge to say how some people dedicate their entire life to make sure that we get good education and life. They are not the one who exploit the children.

Ironically, most of the times its the staff in children's home, be Bal Mandir or other small children homes where needy, vulnerable and destitute children are kept. Then there are some small time donner[s] who would like to receive something in return, once they give couple of bucks. Pastor Rajan Neupane who  also runs a children's home near by Sun City   helps me to get this matter pretty clear. They have strict policy not to let any donors to stay in their children home, even if they would like to donate them handsome money to run the children home. One must be aware that, in every children home money is always the much needed thing and some donner really would like to take  undue advantage of such need  to run it and vulnerability of the young child in children home. I have seen really bad and sad condition in some Indian children home that makes the headlines in news paper before it ending in the crime shows tear jerker.

How some people really see opportunity to make money in children home is so ill thought and it sure do make us sick to our stomach but whether we like it or in reality there are alway people who will keep doing so and keep taking advantage of those people, and also journalist who will keep their hawks eyes in this place. What to say about those who steals from those children or the one who work in these places thinking they can have free access to those young girls, where they can sexually molest them.  

About six months before one such false sexual molestation news break on national news paper really spoiled the image of a good hearted social worker in just a day. All her good work of 20 years was gone into the drain. what can you say about such journalist who seek instant fame ? Why its so hard for people to accept that it's ok to be abused by  parents but not in children homes ? why ? if parents can have hard times in a day break sometimes can't the staff at the children's home break loose ? or they are paid so they are not expected but  parents are not paid so they can do what they can ? or they are the one who give their child birth so they can do what they can ?

Its not that  Mamta don't shower her young child with excessive love when things are normal but when she gets mad things are really ugly. Can't help but think it was better to be raised in Bal Mandir because there were not overdose of love and overdose of abuse. I think too much of everything  imbalance life.  Ever since  I have seen this I started resenting this kind of unpredictable behavior  in a matter of a moment. I think this kind of behavior is the reason behind the crimes people commit in society. Are not most of the the heinous criminals and murder are raised  by mood swinging mothers ?

I keep watching crime shows and always try to understand why some men commit crimes. Sometimes my mind wanders in the wild zone while trying to find the answer. I have seen sometimes some men are so sweet in a moment and then their mood swings just like that and then suddenly they are unpredictable in next moment and then they end  up committing crime with that wild mood swing. Did this boys [men] were raised by mother who is so unpredictable like Mamta ?

I have read in a survey that children who are raised by caretakers are better than the children who are raised by parents or mainly mothers. Now I think Lucky me ! there were not the mother like Mamta who showered me with love in a month and then went into unthinkable rage in next. What difference it makes even that kind of mood swings makes her crime once she beats her own child brutally ?
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Self Respect

Sunita Giri 10:00 PM |

Growing up in an environment which is regarded as a deprived children by most people is almost not that important, than; the the one that is associated with mental deprivation of real growth. Trust me, we did not lack food on our plate. There was always food, decent food on our plate than most people thought we could have. If the food was not decent enough to eat, its not that there was lack of money but because there were people who saw opportunity to make money out in the name of the destitute, needy and underprivileged. I hope you must have read my earlier post, Greed has no depth. I may not have been aware of the fact, when I was eating the soggy and smelly rice when I was in Bal Mandir but what Madam Shrestha revealed was shocking to me when I grew up. For that, I have to request you to read that post.

But here, I am not talking what we used to eat and what kind of food we were given to eat. Today when I am full grown, I have no complain to the kind if food we were given to eat during my stay in Bal Mandir. I have learned by now, that we are not what we eat. We are what we think and our thought is shaped by what we read, but how can we change our perception about our-selves when we are surrounded by the very people who are so cozy and comfortable with humiliation and disrespect ? Such was the cultural environment in Bal Mandir.

At some point, I thought that the staff, mainly the junior staffs used to treat us roughly and with so much disrespect, I mean verbal abuse was really really harsh. Now when I look back and travel in my memory lane I came to the age to understand, once we grew up; they no longer needed to treat us roughly. Did I say grow up ? we were we were in our pre-teen years and the teen years it was the children who were using the same kind of language to each others and they did not needed adults to treat us that badly.

In a time when I was not accustomed to the world outside which used word like dignity, self respect, self-worth, confidence, lack of confidence and inferiority complex it was not easy for me to request my friends how to treat me and give me respect. So when one of my friend started feeling comfortable calling me nasty word like ‘Kukurni’, I was totally lost; how to tell her to treat me with respect.

Its not that she was the only one who used to feel at ease using foul nasty words . But for others a stern look and good snap did the work. But this friends of mine was as stubborn as I am, so was not easy to deal with her. To make the matter even worse she was my best friend for long time and was in my class and we had shared the same bench for years. It sure was not easy for me to tell her, how not to feel comfortable to call me with word like ‘Bitch’ !

This is a commonly used word and most of the young girl who heard it, seemed to have no objection but me. This acceptance by many and resentment by minority, which happened to be just me, added her confusion. But I was determined to stop her to call me that word and feel comfortable with it also. So, I stood face to face  with my dear friend  Junkiri to stop her not to call me ‘Kukurni’. I was not in a position not in mental condition to help her understand these things and not to call me ‘Bitch’ ! but she would not listen.  

How can I convince her about all this, when I myself was not sure about how I was expecting her to treat me with respect ? In that condition all I did was to avoid talking to her because more I requested more she felt challenged and then felt easy to call me ‘Bitch’.

Having no option I just  stopped  talking to her. At this moment I really don't know how long  I did not talked to her, but; I do remember long enough to make her realize that I have zero tolerance to this word and not going to be accept it, even it coming from my close friend; who grew up with me and who was my roommate as well as classmate.

Would she have given me the due respect had I told her about the  self-respect, dignity and the self worth ? But the question is how when I myself was not aware of these fancy words. when I was still surrounded by people from Bal Mandir who are alien to such words. But this taught me that we should not wait others to give us respect all the time sometimes we have to set the bar for us and then make them treat us with respect, even if they refuse to do it. All you have to do is to figure it out how !
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The storyteller - Dayalu Sir

Sunita Giri 9:01 PM |

Dayalu Sir used to teach us Nepali. If I can remember, he was the one who used to teach us Nepali ever since I was on the first grade. However, when the decades have been standing   in my memory block, I am quite not sure. Was he the same person who used to teach us Nepali from grade one to grade seven in a small school; where I studied as a child. It was the time when I was growing up in Bal Mandir.

He used to tell us stories, apart from our regular classes. May be it falls on the shoulder of Nepali teachers to tell us all the stories from around the world. So, no wonder he used to tell us lots of stories. He was a good storyteller and was equally good at giving the character real life with his voice overs; adding value to the characters with various tones in his voice. He had a very loud and distinctly clear voice. This of course, made him our favorite teacher and we students used to feel kind of comfort level with him as there was less pressure to understand the subject and do all the homework book stories. the best part of stories is that we don't have to do homework on it and there won't be a pressure to understand it as the course book needed us to get it. its kind of creative class and we were free to get it as we liked it.

Today, I may not remember about his all the subjects he covered in my lower classes but I do remember his art of storytelling most in the latter years of my time in this school. This means when I was in seventh standard. I remember so many things which he told us then. its really strange given the fact I can't remember the name of my college lecturers, like what is the name of my english or Nepali teacher who taught me in college. not just that, it seems; I can't remember a single name. I hope this is not regarded as disrespect to my college teachers.  

He was most sought after teacher to tell all kinds of stories, whenever there used to be a specific event. He was the one who is needed to tell all that to the entire school students and not just class about every possible given event or culture god or goddess. It could be religious or cultural or a birthday of a famous personality or some anniversary. Mostly those storytelling followed before the day of holiday and it was given a more important to long holidays which are regarded as important to tell the stories to students, about the reason behind it.

There used to be big yard, in the school which I attended. It was mostly used for a school gathering and school functions, apart from everyday’s students to start a day to sing a song before the classes started. The same yard was used to tell such stories. Dayalu Sir, did not needed mike to address an audience which was as big as 800 audience in an open space,  as he could raise his voice to the max as the space needed him to raise it to tell his story.

I do remember people being jam packed in the windows that covered the yard from all sides and not just from a school compound but also from the first floor also. The children from school compound may be the reason that there was not enough seating place where they could stay comfortable in the yard to hear his speech but if the windows were packed from the first floor building, there is no doubt that they were the staff of Nepal Children organization. This school is inside the premises of Bal Mandir like the office of NCO which is the management body which runs the Bal Mandir. This school not only teaches the children from Bal Mandir but also the students from inner cities of that area.

It was the early 80s time, not the time like today where there is power point, computer, YouTube or television easily available to get busy our students and the facts and story download instantly from Google.  It was also the time there were less movies produced in a year, than today's time. Forget Hollywood it was not that much interested to market its movies in Asia like it does today.  I think to tell a story you have to have full knowledge of what you are telling and be an experience to add your own touch of it.

You have to read books, collect all your data and experience it in life, before you stand up in front of that big audience to speak.These were the 80s version of our great storytelling who had art to grip the big audience and Dayalu Sir, was pretty good at that. His big and clear voice may be the sign of his confidence in his knowledge.
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Pancha Kanya - a group of five girls

Sunita Giri 11:08 PM |

Panchakanya is a group of five virgin girls who have not gone through the phase of monthly period cycle. They are regarded very auspicious to start any ceremony in Hindu tradition. Indeed, this believe comes from the hindu religion, according to which five is very auspicious number. There fore, people do take time to select the most beautiful young girls only, mostly under the age of ten.

The person who are in charge of the panchakanya takes very good care of this project and does every effort to make sure the girls are best looking. Not just good looking but they must have cheerful look also, at least the senior most housemother Kedar Shrestha, who was the in-charge of this picking up girls and then giving them full makeups along with proper dress ups and then preparing them for the big day. She had done this work for more than twenty years during her tenure in Bal Mandir. The five girls were selected for the ceremony not just based on the look only the other quality was also needed like  the winner of little beauty peasant long before the concept of little angel's or the princess pageants took place in my country. If can say so, panchakanya are the early version of such beauty peasants. They have to be well groomed and well dressed with the best of the manners.

For the occasion, they are given the best makeup to look even more prettier for the ceremony and they are dressed equally beautifully and mostly the color of the dress is red or pink to add more charm to the beauty of little girls. No wonder, they look like real angel, so not surprisingly they are most of the time, main attraction of the any big ceremony also. Kedar Shrestha, the housemother, was very careful to pick up young girls for her this small annual projects. She made sure they were well behaved girls with best of the manners not just in front of the royals but also when they were not around the royals or seniors. Oh yes, one of the much needed quality among the girls was, who can hold the pee for couple of hours without crying.  

One time I was also one of the girl in a group of five. It was my first time to be in the group of panchakanya. I never was the choice of house mother to be in this group. You guessed it right, I was not that beautiful child to be in that team of beautiful girls gang.

However, I was really happy that I too was part of a beautiful girl’s gang but the truth only known to the housemother. Did I forget it now, that one of the regular girl was sick or had some wounds in her body which filtered her from that years queen's birthday  ceremony ? Lets not go in that area and let me think and enjoy at this moment that there was a time I too was one of the hand picked girl of this groups. So, after all the makeup and dress up we were taken to the royal palace.

There was queen standing in front of the royal palace, ready to welcome all the visitors who used to come there to wish her on her birthday. We were escorted to her by the housemother, Kedar Shrestha, which she had done may be hundreds of times before and this was one work she could do even in her sleep. There was a small table in front of the queen, which must have been kept there to keep flowers and the gifts she receives from the visiting people. Panchakanya offers her mostly flowers only and it is one of the first thing she gets before she receive anyone on that day.

When a girl on the front row tried to offer her flower to the queen, she could not reach her easily to handover the flowers, so what the girl did was, put her right feet on the front table and then offered her the flower, the next girl copied the first girl. At that time, I was maybe on fourth or in fifth girl in that row of five girls and I too ended up making the same mistake as made by the first girl. When I reach at the front of the queen she had even pulled me slightly and shook me holding my arms not to put my legs on the side of a table. However, all the five girls made the same mistake that day.  

At this very moment the queen Aaishwarya did not say a word, because the mistake was made by a small girls, but as an in-charge of the Bal Mandir, Kedar Shrestha was nervous and she was trying to prevent us the next girl and the next girl not to make the same mistake which the first girl have made innocently. In my vague memory, I think there was a smile on the face of queen and a nervous smile on the face of housemother. I think that nervous smile was the feel of relief also.

When I look back and try to understand now, why she was so nervous about so small mistake - to my small world it was a small mistake. Why she was preventing young and innocent girls not to repeat the mistake again and again what's so big deal about it ? Its bit easy answer indeed, first she was unbelievably polite to us and we were too young to understand why. She was polite because, we were in front of the queen who was in front of the palace. Second, we were not used to of getting the ‘hints’ from such polite form of requesting. In Bal Mandir people just screamed up from the lungs to make us understand, if they wanted us to hear them. It was very rare, people made a point to make us hear them; without raising a voice.

But more than that, what is more important for me to understand now was that we were one of the very first to see queen and its believed when the starting is good the day will be good and when its bad the day will be bad and with the panchakanya some people also tagged the good and bad thing as its also the part from the hindu religion. So, it sure has to be the concept of, start great so that the ending will be great.  Sometimes there are people who believe in small small things rather than big things and that plays a big role in whole matter may be that is the reason the housemother was nervous and was trying her level best to stop us but we were  just too young to understand the superstition that adult hold in their mind and just ended up making the small and innocent mistake that made a huge difference in the mind of adults.
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The Cucumber Thief

Sunita Giri 10:32 PM |

Like most of the boys in their preteen and teen years Gyan Bahadur was also one of them to get the opportunity to have his own small garden in Bal Mandir. When I look back and try to understand the meaning of this one small garden part, which the management took was one of the best; to keep young and overactive boys on their own work and give them something to take responsibility in their life .

Mostly boys used to grow flowers in their garden. The kind of flowers they like and they were the boss where to get those flowers and free to take the decision. But, the small plot also used to provide them enough space to grow some vegetables and some edibles like sugarcane which was one of the choice by boys. Some boys used to grow some instant vegetables which they can eat it once they pluck from the garden most of them used to be salad materials like radish or cucumber. Some boys like growing chilli or garlic also, maybe they wanted to have it with meal and without fearing the scolding from housemothers or nannies blaming them you stole it.

Once Gan Bahadur tried his hand on cucumber, like other boys and that was a good year for growing cucumber. He must have had a ball with his growing and of all that he was saving one to grow it bigger and only he knew, what he had in his head about it growing that big. That juicy cucumber was above our head and we used to see it every time we pass from his garden to go to the school and return from the school so he was quite sure that no one will steal it from that height. It seems that in his youth he forgot that there were plenty of other young child who really wanted to take the challenge, that cucumber posing on them, “come on pick me up, I am juicy and tasty.”

Agreed, not all will take that challenge from cucumber, but it was just way too much for our chirpy and naughty girl, Junkiri and her gang. She made a plan with her friends to pick it up one night as it was not the work of broad daylight work because Gyan Bahadur was her best friend who was in her class and she did not wanted him to know that person who stole his big cucumber is none other than but his best friend.

So one night Junkiri went to the kitchen garden area where that juicy and succulent cucumber was calling her. She was there with her two best friends, Parbati and Ishowary. Parbati took her on her shoulder and then Ishwor handed her the big stick, so that she can aim the cucumber in the dark and hit it to fall from the climer that was hanging over her head. As Junkiri told us later it was not easy to do so, because it was dark and there was nothing to hold hands on to hit it properly. Anyway after some time of hitting and struggle they got their biggest prize and then ran away with it; eat it in a way no one know it; who were in that stealing binge. This story would have ended just like that like so many other stories in Bal Mandir, if Junkiri had not been a  close friends of Gyan Bahadur.

The next day when Gyane - as she used to call him - saw there was no cucumber, he lost his temper and he was really famous for thin patience.  He started calling names to one of the housemother and used all kinds of words, he knew to curse her.

Why he cursed the housemother Sabitri Basnyat, because one day she has remarked that, “Gyane, your cumber is really growing fast and its time to eat it.” She must have meant that, “either you eat it or somebody else will.”  Obviously, Gyan Bahadur took it otherwise and  doubted that its the housemother who stole his cucumber. Coincidently, Junkiri was there when he cursed her heavily, and calling her all kind of names including some long curse like, ‘she must suffer from the severe diarrhoea with indigestion, because she stole it and its my hard work and I must get a chance to hear that she suffered from severe diarrhea.

When we were young and growing up in Bal Mandir we used to face lots of humiliation and insult and as we found ourself helpless to face such condition to let our anger go out from what we felt; all we have to do was to indulge in curse. And the curse used to be really ugly and filthy, having no limits to it; and that was the only thing that pacified or burning hurt emotions. We were not trained to face the people to defend ourselves nor I have got any opportunity to observe anyone who knew how to face such situation with more civilized manner. Honestly speaking, at that age; I was not even acquainted with the word defending ourselves, if we find ourselves in such a condition. But see here Gyan Bahadur was guessing   only who had stole it but at that same time, he was dead sure that his guesswork was right. The only thing is that the real thief was just in front of him to listen and hearing his all ranting to the imaginary thief.

So, hearing all that, the psychology of Junkiri started worsening in strange way. She really felt uneasy with that kind heavy of cruising. As Ishwori and Parvati was watching her, Junkiri really felt pukey and uneasy in her stomach. Suddenly, she started defending Sabitri Dijju - the imaginary thief - and told him softly not to curse her; saying maybe she is not the one.This fueled the anger of Gyan Bahadur, who to my knowledge had one of the worst temper tantrum. Had it been boys or girls he would have fought with them that it sure would have been ugly fight. But because it was housemother and she was on of the most notorious in her behavior and treatment with us so all he could do to calm his anger was by cursing her heavily.

Junkiri is one of the most drama queen in my friend circle and if she can make nice face  when she turns into Gyan Bahadur, she at the same time she time she can give her worst look to Parvati and Ishwori to read her condition. She can do anything to get the attention but when she is in real trouble her friend can read her. So her two face at one time was what amusing and confusing both the girls.  After sometime they left Gyan Bahadur and went to their way where they laugh and  laugh for being able to fool him at the same time not being in the radar of suspect of the cucumber theif.

See Junkiri is my most talkative childhood friend and she loves talking to the extent that she enjoys telling me that so and so friend had visited her and before she could speak she had something else to say to stop her from talking. No doubt she is such a good time pass and I must have told you before in many of my blog post,  I would rather prefer to have my time spent with her than going out for a Hindi movie in a hall. Yeah, sometimes you really have to listen her even though you know she is blowing things way up to get your attention and keep glued to what she is telling you. She will really do everything to like her talk, keep you glued and get the full attention. sometimes all you need to do is to filter a bit or maybe a little more than you really want to filter it, the way she serve us her story. But, every time I tell her you are blowing it way too much she simply ask me do you like boil potato or chili potato with well seasoned ? She knows is before I answer the question, I prefer the second option.

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Dashain Blues

Sunita Giri 11:07 PM |

To every Nepali who is also a Hindu, Dashain sure is a biggest days of our calendar and the best part of Dashain is that it comes with so many holidays with it. When I was young child I like all enjoyed every bit of it. Do I have to say what I loved most as a child ? undoubtedly  it was long school holidays, the lovely beautiful sunny days were the bonus that came with it and school off not only for couple of days but for almost fifteen days sure added our fun moment. At this point I really want to forget the homework parts which were loaded to us.

But one of the biggest minus point of Dashain is its a family festival and you must have your family members around you to celebrate this festival to the fullest. With its all good good sides, its biggest flaw is that it reminds people like me, who you have and who you don't have. Where you can go to celebrate it, in this day and how to spend it with them. All the excitement of it used to vanished when the plan for the big day came close, its like a someone pouring a cold water on your face. Especially, when the truth was that we were living in Bal Mandir. Good news is not having any relatives were not much of the problems except only when there were festivals like dashian came close by.  

Normally, during dashain or Tihar some of the girls and boys used to get a chance to visit their close relatives and stay  with them for more than a week during dashain. Bal Mandir also used to look like the streets of Kathmandu which wore a thin look. But the fun part was   I never paid much attention to the fact that who left and who did not. I was not in that list of people who ever got opportunity to leave Bal Mandir to spend festival time with close relatives.

Usually the big gate of Bal Mandir used to remain closed tightly for all the children who lived inside it, but during big day of dashain it remained open for all those who came in and who wanted to go out to spend the day. This is one day the management used to let us go out from the Bal Mandir, without fearing that we might runway on that day. But the problem was where to go and how to spend that - almost - whole day. Children whose relatives could not keep their child for a week long also used to welcome them for a day, but not all the one who were in Bal Mandir used to have relatives in  town.

Junkiri one of my class mate always used to plan for a movie every year and the movie hall used to be Jai Nepal mostly and if not it used to be Kumari hall that was so close by the Bal Mandir. It was surprising that she always used to manage to have the news on the new movie that was running and be on the hall to watch a movie on the Day of Dashian. It was her way of treating herself with not having the close one around. As I told you before also, with so many people around it was not the problem but on the big day the feeling of not having loved ones just crept in without even feeling so. However, I  was not that much fan of movie not that strong smelly toilet which used to make it unbearable even during  watching movie, it  still have power to haunt me even today, when the hall has got the new face lift long time back.

There used to be some boys who used to go out on the off day and return back with lots of kites. I have not read that book yet. You can use your wild imagination to guess the outsiders used to watch them and figure it out so easily that they were from Bal Mandir. Some children do have the habit of leaving their blueprints wherever they go. The book which has the name of kite runner always reminds of of those boys from my childhood memories. One day I might read this book to see whether their story is any different that those kite runners who were part of my childhood life.

As for me, most of the time I used to go to one of the staff’s home. But there was also times I used to got to movie also despite my lack of taste in movies. However it really took me long time to realize that dashain is all about spending time with family members. I know her for really long time but one truth can never be changed she is not my family member. So suddenly one day I stopped visiting her [ anyone even to take Tika] during dashain.

I stay home and then watch all the good movies that comes on my TV screen with the delicacies I make fro me which really makes my mood.
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Me as Sexual assault Victim

Sunita Giri 11:12 PM |

Gopal and an another guy whose name I don't even know was having a minor dispute. They were in bit lower part of the area than me and I was standing in upper row of the land. Gopal was maintaining his ‘cool’ but it was obvious that the other guy was having hard time to remain polite. No doubt, he was so unnerved by what he just had seen.

Up from my place I could not hear what they were discussing and why one was so agitated   and why Gopal was so calm and composed even hearing his young friend’s in angry tone. Up from there watching both of them, I was thinking the guy who was angry was on the wrong side and Gopal was just being polite. Later on I checked with Gopal what they were discussing and why the other guy was so angry with him ?  Then it hit me that Gopal was trying to escape from the unwanted situation and the younger guy wanted him to stand for  one a girl in the picnic team, who was handled with  wrong intention badly by the bad guy and that to he was not the stranger in the group.
I get really mix kind of feelings to see the two side of a man, at the same time; when one man assaults or rapes and at times kills a girl/woman and the other other man feels more angry than the women who are victim of the rapist sick mentality. Ok leave the big picture now; as I am going to focus on the guy who was assaulting a girl in the picnic team.

Here I have to admit it now I still have not talk about this issue until  now to anyone. Knowing me being so strong yet not having the courage to talk about it even to my closest friends until now.

It was that guy vary guy who used to sexually abuse me when I was younger than 10 years, perhaps I would have been eight or nine years old.  This did not happened in Bal Mandir but it happened in the School. I see me in my memory lane today; me crying and trying to run away from him and he corning me with an ugly look on his face and a stone on one of his hand to throw at me any time if I tried to escape from the direction he wanted me to run and hide. I think that stone was his tool to scare me, not to really use. The place where he used to corner me was one of the most quiet place in Bal Mandir.  

This, in fact; used to be the place where we used to hide ourselves behind the trees, if we have to hide ourselves from the adult. This place was outside wall that separated the big lawn in front of our school. There is one small place that is behind the wall, covered with tall grass and trees. Its shape is triangular, thus we used to call it teenkune for our easiness.  This used to happen almost at the same time when the bell used to ring to announce the start of the class. Once we were there, he used to put me on his lap. He used to put his spit on his finger and then he used to touch my private parts and then maybe he used to insert his fingers. It was so hard for me to open my eyes and look into his face;  I hated every minute of it. I hated this guy and I really wanted to run away from him. He was not much older than me may be about 5 -6 years more than me but even today I really don't know that exact difference. I must have missed many of my classes due to his abuse and ill-intention but today its bit blurred in my mind that how much all this affected my study but that deep seated hatred has not gone yet.

I was never a crybaby or the the kind of girl anyone could bully me or intimidated me under his/her influence regardless of their age.  Yet, the truth was not the same. Worse this was something I could never ever talk to anyone, not even with my best friend. I was not the kind of introvert and tolerated people for their bullshit either yet I just could not talk about this with anyone. It sure has to do with our society's way of viewing sex as taboo and the one who is involved in it has to have a character issue.  No wonder, I used to get irritated in front of him and I used to blabber in a way it was not easy for other girls to understand me why I was so uneasy and uncomfortable around him. I once remember I was blabbering seeing him in dance room and I was so agitated in front of all my friends that he hit me  on my face with his fist. The force of it was so hard  that it pilled my soft skin from the face. It sure was so not easy for other girls to understand my behavior, who viewed this guy as a normal guy and just like other guys who were in Bal Mandir. I really have not spoken about it and this is first time I am talking about.

For some reason once I was in dance group when I was around ten years old all this suddenly stopped. However, that was the face I hated most, not only in Bal Mandir but in my life also. Even today after all this years I hate to take his name and not just that name as his this name; but all the guy who shares this name lacks my unconscious respect which I can't control even if I really want not to see them as the guy who sexually abused me when I was so young. I mean to say that hatred has not faded out even the time has passed by so much.

Even if I myself have been the victim of sexual abuse and rape later on I still strongly believe, rapist should not be punished hang to death; its only the short term solution and the angry decision not the justice. We women have to decide we want sympathy or the long term decision. Agreed, I want to kill my rapist but I don't want to spend rest of my life behind the bar after that because he is not worth it. Fine, I can't trust him that he will not do it again with another woman but still the death penalty is not the lasting solution. Here I am talking about justice not the angry decision or individual decision on this matter. To be honest they should be faced boldly and we must gather enough confidence to look into their eyes and say that, “you can't control me” or “even if you want to I will not allow you to do so.” Trust me it kills men more than the death sentence itself. There are kind of men in our society,  the abuser and the rapist falls in this category hate the confidence we women exude in us. Lets face them !
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Emotional Violence

Sunita Giri 11:50 PM |

It seems I am a kind of nagger when I remember the harsh behavior I had faced during my time in Bal Mandir. They used to use very demeaning words to scold us, respect was the unheard word and dignity ? what it is which birds name it was ? They took pride in degrading us using derogatory language most of the time. even the calling was not so good experience and tell me tell you even the children used to use almost the same tone to each other not just adults. At times it was as close as treating like dogs. No, No not the dog owners who treated them with respect like the PETA members. When I look back and try to understand, sometimes, I think maybe I am just too sensitive or touchy to feel that way but the harsh truth cant be changed just because it was painful for us to experience it like that.

In recent years, I started watching some crime shows, to study human behavior and to understand why some people behave the way they do and why do they commit crime ? Most of the crimes takes place in family members and the victim are dear ones. When police try to connect all the dots during investigation it reveals that some crime was the result of   emotional violence which they face years and one day it burst up in such a way that it sheds blood like anything. It shocks the town and then is the time when people stops believing even in the blood relationship.

Recently, I was watching the webbed a program that comes in MTV there was a brother who stole the girlfriends of his younger brother for very short time; so that he can hurt him. Instead he wanted to hurt his father but to him if he hurts his brother it will indirectly hurt his father who was dotted in his younger son compared to his older one. The oldest one thought he had tormented his life when he was young. His father had kept his brother with him but sent him to the boarding school because in his own word his father wanted him to fulfill his ‘second hand dream’ which he never wanted to live.

With his one act he broke the heart of his younger brother, the girl got killed when they took the wrong medicine from the internet to abort the pregnancy that was caused by the older brother. All this brother wanted to do was to take a revenge with his father and not even his younger brother. This shows the  dark side of inferiority complex which the oldest brother had been living for so long. At this moment, I must tell you that the youngest brother was loved and liked by his father and was much successful in his career than his oldest brother.

In our society its also called act of jealousy. But the root of it has in home and the father had cultivated that in the young mind ever since he was very young. And the result was very scary and an innocent girl had to sacrifice her life.

It is natural not everyone is equally bright and smart and not all can't do good like their siblings and then they suffer long or commit suicide due to excessive comparing; or live life under the shadow of his/her bright and smart sibling, which again is not good for anyone who is not smart enough for the world. The movie Tare Jamin Par sheds some light on this matter how parents discriminates among their own child and how it impart on the young mind; especially when they don't know how to say it. We need to do something on this matter rather than saying he is so jealous or envious of his.

Last year, I saw one more such real life crime case which shook my soul and made me ponder why some young people commits crime ?  In a remote village of India there was a girl of 16 years, who fell in love with a guy who were not from her own caste. The villager were against it and worse than that, her own family members were against it. She belonged to a very small town where the thinking pattern of the people were even narrower than the town itself. To keep her away from the boy, her parents  sent her to the other town to stay with her relatives; presuming out of sight and out of mind would work on this matter. But she was young and the boy was not out of mind, indeed it works as reverse psychology. More she was told to stay away from him, more she wanted to be with him. What is even more hard to swallow that she was not trusted to go out from her new place even to take a fresh breath of air and she was given her meal in her room which was locked when no one was around.

Having been grown up in Bal Mandir my personal experience says that, if you treat people like an animal, they will surprise you acting like one. This is a human tendency. So, one day she felt she must escape from the caged life. But she was locked in her room and the key of the outside gate was with the relative of her - aunt - who was alone at that time. Her uncle and cousin had gone out of home for for about a couple of days. She had to do something to got out and take the key. It so happened that in her desperation and anger she ended up killing her.

See, I am not trying to justify her criminal behavior but it was because of emotional violence she had to face for so long and ultimately one day she turned out to be the criminal at the young age of 16. Why because she was in love and wanted to be her boyfriend for the rest of her life and which was denied. Can we blame it entirely to her for the tragic ending of a live and her own life ending up in jail ?

There was another girl who committed suicide [again in India ] because she could not meet the expectation of her fathers demand to bring 98% in her final school exam. Do not presume she was a bad student, she was third in her class and her passing percentage was 89% but her father wanted it to be 98%. When the final exam came closer she felt the tremendous pressure and realized that she cannot make it even if she put all her might and knowledge so one day she took a bottle of poison and emptied it on her mouth. Before they   rushed her to the hospital she was dead.  When police wanted to file the case or give them clean chit, even then the father was in denial that he had anything to do in her death because he stressed that all he wanted was best for her daughter and good marks meant good education for her and good life. But what education if she had no life at all ? But the sad news is that the father will live on guilt all his life whether he admits it or not.

I know one thing for sure I am lucky in this matter, I was not raised in family and  the one who brought me up did not expected anything from me to be this or that in my life so there was no pressure me[us] to that extent that broke me like that. Oh  yes, they were paranoid about having a boyfriend and getting close with them. It really took me long time to understand that I was not that much violated to that extent in Bal Mandir during my childhood. Had I not seen those Indian shows and movies and real crime cases I would never ever have understood my own condition or be thankful to the condition that was a gift in disguise.  Emotional violence do have power to impact people for long time to come and the result at times is bit scary than we think it may bring.
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