No Sympathy, Please

Sunita Giri 10:21 PM |

Sometimes, when I read some comments from my reader on my blog post or on my Facebook link post, those comments really surprise me. Occasionally some even pops in chat room to chat, saying my post makes them feel sad or angry with Bal Mandir for the way they treated us [badly]. They think life in Bal Mandir is very difficult. Really ? is that what I write my blog to make them feel sad for us, and be mad with the organisation which has such good motto in life ? Do I really write to earn sympathy from my readers ? If yes, then I must change the way I write then !

Conception of Bal Mandir is good from all aspect and the kind of work it does, can't be compared to other kind of social services. Bal Mandir is an organisation and can not perform anything on its own; without the help of team of management and staff. I do remember, once, reading a blogger Saurav Rana on THT Blog surf, who wrote that the children in Bal Mandir live at the mercy of their caretakers. Really ? How much he knows about how the system in Bal Mandir works, to say so ? That statement gives me a clear sense that, he has no idea how things moves in Bal Mandir. That statement also give us the glimpse of how people raised by family member thinks about the children who were raised in Bal Mandir or who are living there.

unlike small shelter home run single handedly by Pushpa Basnet or DilShova Shrestha; where they spend money from their wallet to help the needy ones, long before they got the donation to run their small samaritan work. But, the Bal Mandir is run by management team and staff and all of them are entirely on payroll basis. If some people in the management or even staff are corrupt which cause the pure intention of giving food environment to the children that blame should not go to the organization like Bal Mandir. Should not that person be separated from the good work Bal Mandir carries ? Had there not been organisation like Bal Mandir 1000 like me, would not have decent life today.

Some wholeheartedly sympathies us for not having parents or not having  a single loved ones around while we were growing up. That is strange ! Is that all a person who are raised by parents can think of; when they hear about our stories ? This really press me hard to think. Are they saying the life they lived is better than the life we lived ? Sorry to tell you, but this is enough to offends me! Do I really have to feel bad for that kind of thought.

Why people can't understand that our life is a boon from god to experience life to live all on our own and not by the lecture we hear from those with so much expectation saying I love you. Its really hard to live life with that kind of exception. Why people cant watch and learn from us that we are not dead because of devoid of love in our life or those who surrounded us saying I love you. We don't end on jail or in any kind of trouble as some phycologistes love to predict on their book and articles.

May be organisation like Bal Mandir is a reminder to those who strongly believe life without family is hell. If you are one of them who think so, then think again and I would like to request you to read my blog very carefully. Its written not with the intention to churn tears from you. As for me its life, and; life comes in different package. Why do I have to have, the same life that of the other persons, I keep meeting in life ?  Why on earth they think their life is better than my life in Bal Mandir ? What makes them think that ?

Does that mean that their world is so limited in so many aspect or they live in really small world to know the bigger aspect of everyone's life ? Why do I want parents for me who just died before I even know about them and even recognize one of them ? everyone has a different life and this is my life.

As for me what is really good about being raised in Bal Mandir is that having loads and loads of friends to play with, as well as having bigger playground to play, bigger rooms to sleep and imported clothes to wear. Oh, yes I really have to grow old to know that all that was donations and second hand ! But then, does that really made any difference for us to feel good about the dress we wore ? If it was donation and second hand then why the royals, people in management, staff and even children used to steal it ? Apart from the careless and carefree teenagers who stole it were the others in the above lines were jealous that we got a chance to wear better dress than their own child ?

They were jealous of what ? Was that the way, those corrupt people, trying to say how come we can have all the facilities, when they could not provide such facilities to their own child and sometimes better food, training, shelters and clothes etc. for us ?  

But the question persist, why people presumes everyone's life has to be the same ?

I am okay, if I don't have a relative who is about to die, with whom I am emotionally attached for so many years. I don't have to lose anyone with every year to this or that disease. I don't have to see someone dying with whom I am so close with. I feel good I have not seen anyone who died in front of my eyes in all these years. These are the perks I cherish most for not having whole bunch of relatives surrounding me including parents. Who knows I also  would fear from death, if I see it so closely all the time; and every year. Besides, I get a chance to live my life my way, not the right way and for this liberty nothing seems to be too big loss to bear. 

Sometimes all you need to do is understand our situation without comparing it to anyone. No bodies life is perfect and we all have our set of problems in life. Its justs that, our problems are different in so many ways.

read more

Words not Needed

Sunita Giri 10:18 PM |

Dear Bernhard :

I have been holding myself to write this letter for bit long time. The prime reason about my reservation is because it may have power to disappoint you and again its not my intention to do so anyway. Another reason is may be you wont like the gist of it. By now you know me very well, I tell the blatant truth without even blinking my eyes and biting my tongue, as I leave that part to the one who reads it or hears it. I don't talk things or write subject to please anyone. The reason I am taking this chance to write this letter to you is because, you, and only you can make the change in this matter.

Its about dashain party that takes place every year in the children home. Dashain being the biggest festival holds special meaning to every nepali, mostly to those who are hindu. But that is not what I am talking about, whose religion value is what and who celebrate which festival. We all know that every festival has special meaning to every child and it must be celebrated with much fanfare to give children a good memories to carry with them when they grow up.

Have I ever told you that normal food we used to eat in Bal Mandir used to contain stones, insects whether it be rice or lentils. that long white insect with the black eyes used to garnish the topping of our rice. Dust on rice used to cover the cleaning area like snow in some cold places on earth. When I look back now I am certain those were intentionally added to it to make fast money by some corrupt businessmen or the government staff by selling such huge bulk of staple food to Bal Madidir with such adulteration. Because, as a grown up I  have not seen such filthy rice in market even if I have been hard hit financially. And all this was happening when they say the Bal Mandir was one of the richest organisation. Or that's what Mrs shrestha repeats every time I say her, this stone and insect filled rise we grew up eating in Bal Mandir. Some of my friends remembers that how our hands used to smell horrible even after hours of eating our meal, that part I know but cant remember. However, what I remember is the horrible smell, it have power to throw me  up even today.  Needless to tell you one of my effort while I make my meal is that, its smell must not remind me of the food that I grew up eating in Bal Mandir.

However, I sure would like to copy all the delicacies and its variety they used to make during dashain and have it every year to remind me that how good childhood memories I have when it comes to festival, that to there in Bal Mandir. Have I told you before, I have not been any places yet in my life, which can give me better delicacies than I used to eat as a child. Now, it sure do have power to make me think so hard how come they used to manage to give us such lavish food during big festivals like dashain and Tihar as well as other minor festivals too ? Strange it was not the same in other days ? What I remember today is as a child there was only  five curries I used to like and today I can't find that that much curry not to like. The question is what could have been the reason behind it, and how could they manage it ?

Where as when the normal food the children gets in your children home is better than what I used to get in Bal Mandir, then what could be the reason the dashain food is such a huge disappointment ? here I would like to tell you one thing for sure if you or any of the member from the foundation are here in Nepal the food is not that bad but once they don't see their bosses around the food do have a power to tell us some different story.

Lets talk only about the most recent dashain party and not even mix it up with others before. This time it was meatless event, which is so unusual for dashain party, because dashain means meat meat and meat varieties. Mrs Shrestha said it was meatless party due to bird flu. Chicken is not normally used in dashain party and you by now must have been acquainted that goat is our main meat source. Its bit pricy I think it was way too expensive during dashain. But the food these children get does not come from the pocket of those who spends on the meals so why do I even have to hear such excuse. Lets forget it without meat. some food can over shadow the meat item why such food ? Some times I think she forgets that, I do hear you saying that money is not the big issue for you to run your project here in Nepal. But, then why such poorly provided food during dashain party.

Agreed people do get unnerved after cooking huge meal year after year to feed children. I bet even if the project is seeing increasing number of people it is still less than the number of the children they used to feed with so much variety during dashain. However, I can't remember tired face of the people who served us food, when I was child and growing up in Bal Mandir. dashain was celebrated with so much gusto and excitement; no wonder it gave us such a lasting memory in every child's mind for the way it was celebrated.

Here I am not even complaining the quality of food which fails to please my taste bud, and my eyes and refusing to last in my mind for it being so bland and sorry I lost words to explain about the limited and made with lazy mood and zero excitement.  What I will like to tell you that the way it's served and how they put it on our plate.

Knowing they will serve me the big servings, even if I say I can't finish it, this time I had gone there without my lunch. Mentally and physically prepared to finish the huge serving without complaining. Even though, I hate it when they ignore my request not to fill the plate like they do when they serve the street dweller or in jail and then re-fill with huge portion it always falls on deaf ear. It make me feel they presume, I am [we are] hungry for a whole week and all I [we] get a chance to eat only here. When Junior Mrs Shrestha served us the first round of serving she refilled the small disposable plate overfilling it so much that the  freshly cleaned table looked so dirty before we even have started ! Could not help but watch her quietly when she was doing so. when the plate of other lady next to us was cleanly filled. The only difference between her and us was she was not from Bal Mandir or nor one of the children from your home. Prajina, the caretaker with her ever tired look on that day also have the habit of adding huge portion for second serving, I don't know why that makes them feel, they care so much about us. The truth is all that goes in dustbin when the staffs are not watching us. That disposable spoon spoke in volume and I bet their first requirement must have been to ask with the storekeeper give us the most cheapest one you have in your stock ! the spoon seem to be on protest and wanting to say I will break if you dare take  big serving of yogurt. The sweets they served do have a power to tell us they went out to save money on that buying too. you see they don't even needs to use word to make us feel belittle.

Dustbin, crows and pigeons have more hey day with sufficient fillings on that particular day. 

Most of the time I get this thinking, those who spoils the festival foods must be punished severely. Its really offensive and punishable act.

See I grew up in Bal Mandir and thinking of throwing foods on dustbin is not something we accept as good culture. I was not a good child and that on normal day may be it is okay if dustbin too needs to have big day, but I do not remember we used to throw that much food in dustbin, definitely not during festivals time.

I do remember once Mrs Shrestha had told me “this [the children home] is not Bal Mandir”, she is so very right; this is not Bal Mandir.

Bernhard, personally I think, your staff should be told in clear language to do a little more than pleasing their bosses, this should apply from top to bottom. What about the reason they get their job which give them prestige and status in society ?

Warm regards,


PS : I know some of my posts on this blog immensely disappointed you but I just could not do anything about that because, I want you to know, I love you and I do I have tremendous respect in my heart for you. Not just what you have single handedly done for me, but also for all those children. However I want you to know this which took really long time to understand, that I respect me too.  

read more

National Disease

Sunita Giri 10:01 PM |

I was watching Oprah show years before, where Dr. Mehmet Öz was invited. He was talking about bowel movements and giving us some graphic on the big screen on the stage of our bowel movements. Oprah at one point said, “I never thought I will do a show like this.” At one point Dr Oz stated, it's absolutely normal to pass gas fourteen times a day for.

Well, Dr. Oz’s  that statements make me feel that, as if, I am an unhealthy person. Because I can’t pass gas fourteen times a day; even if I am not counting it. I really have not felt comfortable about it for so long. To tell you the truth, I am never comfortable in front of those people, who shamelessly farts in front of others. One reason may be, I thought this mannerism belongs to some low class family or I had heard all types of sound of fart, when I was growing up in Bal Mandir. But, when I was in my college days, a friend of mine, who acted she is superior than me in so many ways, has shaken the bed with her fart and then she said, “I have gastric”. I have to clarify this, the bed was without mattress as we were about to set it and sitting over it; and then when she let it go, the power of her fart acted like a force of 6.8 scale that shakes earth. Its not easy to forget that, even today after couple of decades have lapsed in the time lane.

It is presumed that gastics is our national disease, and if we are not suffering from this disease, some people even don't hesitate to say, “probably you are not a Nepali.” This is not a joke even doctors don't blink their eyes saying so. Trust me I have some friends who are nurse and they do give me thier inside experience about doctors opinion on this matter.

There is a man in a movie three idiots, who passes gas silently and always blames others for the foul smell. There is also a scene in this movie when the smell became so unbearable inside a car his friends blames him for global warming. Can gas that was passed from human body play such a role to warm our planet ? lets not dig this side as may be for that very reason they were called idiots.

Coming back to Dr. Oz and his belief that one should pass gas about fourteen time it may sound impossible but, I do remember a boy who could pass gas more than fourteen times or thats what I heard. But when I heard about it I just could not believe it. There was a boy in Bal Mandir who was in his teen  years. His name was manohar. There was also a rumour about him and that was based on true rumour  that he used to pass gas counting as many boys as they used to stay in his room.It may sound hard to belive but about 20 boys of his age used to live in that room. He used to point at each other and then used to fart.

Like every where, in Bal Mandir also bad news or meaningless news and views traveled faster than good news and it used  to grip people in its craziness and it used to spread more on into the world of word of mouth. It also could be, maybe nobody had anything to hide from anyone and then it was the time we all were naive and innocent child.

Normally boys story or life were bit of guarded from girls. But, then the nannies were  women, who are good at spreading news and views from one place to another when there was no news channel like today. Even if those news were something that purely should have been limited in bedrooms, even if it was a teenagers bedroom.

but is farting is shameless behavior or if its done by some people who lacks mannerism ?  Recently, I was watching Boston Legal and then I came across this scene :

Dont take it personally, a voice said in a dark room
Then there was a loud sound of fart.
They say it keeps a bad dreams away, another voice said.

Really ? I did not knew about the foul smell having so strong impact on bad dreams.  But Dr. Oz is more compelling when he say a normal man needs to pass gas forteen times even if this is not your national disease. Just wondering if everyone does that will it make it international disease ?

Like it or not, talk of fart if not the sound and smell of it do have power to tickle the funny bones of all age.
read more

Preconceived notion

Sunita Giri 9:40 PM |

Recently I moved with Alka, who has a son less than five years old and she is very rough when dealing with her son. I call her Hitler Mom. I tell her many times, if I had a child helpline number, I would have dialed them many times to alert for abusing her young child with her raised tone for no apparent reason. When I moved in, she also had a guest [ sister-in-law] who has a child of her own about 14 months old. The young mom was so angry and agitated  she used to beat the innocent child for no apparent reason again. That child used to be her angry bag, where she could throw her anger. She used to get irritated and agitated specially at night if the boy did not sleep at time. That time happens to be when she fall asleep and the child was in no mood to sleep yet.

Before this, I have never ever found myself in an environment for so long who raised young child like this and it gave me a chance to have glimpse of inside story of how people raise a child in family.  I also have to be clear the one who were raised by not just both parents at home but also other family members.

I myself have been raised in Bal Mandir and for so long time I harbored a thought that the upbringing in Bal Mandir is normally rougher than that of in family. Our classmates in schools used to pinpoint it, when they used to notice some unusual behavior issue with us during our disagreements. I grew up hearing this from the people who grew up in family.

More I grew up, more I started paying close attention to this fact. As time pass by, I kept changing my thoughts. I have even read article quoting many psychologists on the subject that the children who are ignored, neglected and treated with disrespect while they were growing up, do tend to end up their life in trouble later in their life. This is due to some resentment and reservations that their young minds absorbed while they were young and going up. When I read it for the first time did agreed with that belief, and thought that this the right analysis of our life and behavior. Because, there are many thinkers who believe, our conscious mind is the slave of our subconscious mind.

Agreed; that’s how we were raised. We were not attended when they saw us crying and forgot to ask us, what really bothered us. It is understandable that their hands were full and may be there were ten other children crying, exactly at the same time when I was crying in a room which normally have 20 children at a time and it sure wouldn't have been easy to attend all of them at the same time. Sure, they were just a human being and did not have ten sets of eyes, ears and heart of Mother Teresa to move forward instantly and console everyone at the same time. 

However, their ill treatment and disrespect still do have power to send my mind in numb state, even today. People who believe that supportive family do shape our life, are right to some extent, if not entirely. Because, those supportive words and inspiration is something that will go and rest in our subconscious mind forever.

The reason I am keenly interested in this matter, that people in family are raised better than we in the children home or people would like to call it orphanage is because I need to know more or perhaps everything about this preconceived notion as well as the truth behind it.  Is this, what we believe or there is some truth to it also ?

The first thing that changed my perception about this is the study report from John Hopkins university. As I wanted to know more I found more interesting facts which forced me to change my preconceived notion that believed, poor children from slum or the children who are raised in children homes do  get tangled badly in life. However a reality check by a sociology professor from John Hopkins University have some deeper insight to offer me with the result. He had done a survey in a slum in Baltimore. Students who were sent from the university studied about 200 youth in slum thoroughly, about their conditions. After this they concluded in their report, that these youth from slum, will end up their life in prison, when they grow up.

After twenty five years later, the same professor sent another groups of students to follow up on his earlier study to the same slum in Baltimore. Out of 200 they had succeed tracking down 160 of the people who were part of the social study. What surprised them was, they had turned into civilized men and were doing fine in their lives. Its natural, if they got curious about it, and very humanly possible to ask; why and what is the reason behind it ? The second group of students came to know that the 100 of youth had gone to the same high school, where a teacher named Sheila O’Rourke used to teach them with love and respect that was mostly preserved for only the children of well off families. Her deep believe in religion made her do what she did with those slum children; and with that she proved wrong the prediction made by earlier group of John Hopkins University students.

In recent years I have been studying keenly crime shows on Indian channels and one of my study is to find who are the criminals and who raised them ? Is this true they all come from slum or the inner areas of the society as it is believed ? My believe have been shattered by now that it was just poor and people from slums are the reason behind all the crime that takes place in our society. Oh yes, in times of two facing each other in a battle, rich always presumes monetary variance being the prime reason of the crime. I am also not ignoring  it totally, at times greed is the reason behind all the crime but its greed not having less is the reason. However poor or the slum dweller are not the main reason of the all the bad things that goes on in our society. Interesting it is, that it really serves good to some people in power to say so, and spread the news saying so. It has their benefit in it, not the reality.

Alka is well educated Indian women raised in very well off family but she is not living with her husband and there are reasons with her husband which irks her so much that anger shows in her behavior when she deals with her son. I tell this to her and she nods with me. Mamta is not much educated as she never went to college, but she too is raised in family. Only difference is that it seems that she was raised more roughly than I was in Bal Mandir. She is the second wife of the man she married and some of her anger and frustration is something the young child has to bear. This is hard to believe but this is the truth. Now, this forced me to think hard. No nannies were that irritated with the man, who could smack us in our back or hit us badly. Besides our nannies were not even allowed to touch us, it fell on housemothers to tame us with stick or harsh words.

But looking back and trying to understand the situation, after observing closely, some parents especially mothers raising their child and studying keenly crime shows over many years now, it has given me my own conviction, that we were not treated that badly as some people presumed or even I presumed. Its only a state of mind that was made us to feel like that. Now, I can even rubbish A grade psychologist for that belief even if, couple of us may have ended up in trouble. We can't blame our childhood for all the bad times. But people who are raised my family member do feel more sad and end up in trouble than we from children home. 

read more