Hot Air balloon Test ride

Sunita Giri 11:31 PM |

Bal Mandir was the place where many people came from many countries for various interest. Not all the interest would have anything to do with the children inside the children home like many kind of experiments. There may have been people, who may have done some kind of experiment in how to provide better environment and then raise children in such environment which may have to do with some kind of training or different kind of education. However I do not know all that officials decision because that was not open for us to know. But if something took place in front of our eyes it remained in our memory. Fine not everything has to be good for us as Bal Mandir was more than children home it was in fact, the center of all the activities that Royal wanted to hold under its banner.

However during 80s time when I was growing up in Bal Mandir, I remember two experiments, one is getting injection  from injection machine experiment and the other is test ride of hot air balloon. See when I was child and even in my teen years all the white color people who spoke English we used to call them Americans and I thought this hot air balloon's test ride experiment was also done by Americans. If they were other nationals I have no way to confirm it now.

I remember, it was a sunny morning, must have been the month of summer. The sky clearly was clear and blue. It was the time before our school hour started. In general we used to be busy in our daily study time before the school hour. But I don't know why we are in the front lawn of the Bal Mandir to see all the procedure before the hot air balloon took place. There were many white people, mostly men, who were preparing a big balloon to make it ready    for the short flight.

Finally, when everything was done and checked its was time time to take off. So, they requested one of the housemother, Kedar Shrestha, who were there to inspect all the process, to climb up in the hot air balloon. At first she felt hesitant with a  bit of nervousness than excited to try this new adventure. Hesitant because four men had made the hand chair, by holding each others hand firmly, so that she can sit there with ease and then she could climb up in the hot air balloon. But, it was 80s nepal and women were not comfortable to accept it due to the narrow thinking  people around us. But as she there was no harm in accepting such wonderful opportunity to see the valley from the hot air balloon, she accepted the request anyway and then when she was in it along with couple of others  the balloon took off up in the sky. There were very strong men in all four side of the balloon to hold and control the move of balloon in the sky. They were also needed to bring down the balloon after about maybe 10 - 12 minutes up in the sky.

In my vague memory, the people who were on the four side of balloons were all white men but may be they could have managed some Nepali for doing that, can't remember that part much.  What I remember is it was very unique sight for us, who were watching it from the distance. making a round on that round lawn that is just in front the main gate of Bal Mandir. Later on she said the men were very strong who could take her weight so easily and make her ride was thrilling, exciting and fun than she had expected.

For a child like me it was really exciting to see a big balloon to fit couple of adults in it and  and then seeing it fly up in the sky and then come it down safely also.

The first public demonstration of hot air balloon had  actually took place long before what I have seen in Bal Mandir during 1980. It took place in France June 5, 1783, they flew this craft in front of some dignitaries which lasted 10 minutes. The inventor of this were two brothers from France, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier and Jacques-√Čtienne Montgolfier.
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Sunita Giri 1:37 AM |

In General I don't write my blog based on the comments, even when; I feel the pressure from my readers. I can't write my stuff bending to the level what my readers want to read it and like it because this is a memoir not a fiction.

Recently, I am surprised to read my name in a twitter mention by my readers Satish Pandey who could remember my name and Prashant Ghimire who does. This mention made me think hard about what I have been writing and the reason I have been writing.  I advocate only the abuse and corruption that goes rampant in Bal Mandir. Sometimes its really hard to hear it back, when people presumes I only talk about the corruption going on in Bal Mandir. Are you not reading Life in Orphanage or you are too cosy with the negative story only in your surrounding ? My blog, shades of life tries to cover all sides of Bal Mandir not just the abuse and corruption that grips it. It seems my readers need to read many other posts that tells you life in Bal Mandir is far better than being raised in family and of the 200 post now; one can't see the whole angle in just couple of post, that shows the dark side of Bal Mandir. Nor I should be remembered the one who dare to expose the abuse or corruption that have been gnawing Bal Mandir since long.

There is two main reason writing my blog, one is to understand me myself so that it will help me to understand the world around me, and the other is hoping that my experience may help people who grew up in family to understand the life in Bal Mandir. It may be different in so many way but at the same time it is not much different than some people think it is. Fine, it won't have family members around us but as for me, this is the real beauty of spending life in Bal Mandir.

Well, I can't say this for all the other people, who could not understand this and found a reason not to be happy for ending up in Bal Mandir. Sorry, that was not me nor I could understand why people want to have the same people whom they lost in life ? How it could be possible to have one when they are already dead ? What is the meaning of life to be attached to the one, whom I have never ever seen in my life. My only regret is, we did not get a chance to realize it when we were young. How I wish I had someone to make me understand the beauty of living in Bal Mandir; then my entire outlook to see the world and people around me would have drastically changed. So reacting  on such comments should not be the reason I post my blog however, sometimes some of my readers reaction compels me to think about it but I wonder why do I really have to reason with misinterpretation.

When children enter the gate at the beginning their look is so haunting but when they leave it; its not. And the difference between the two stage is so vast, as a teenager we failed to appreciate all this. Fine it may not be the same when its associated with some who are suffering from mental retardation but for a normal child who have a potential to make it are trained and educated in every aspect so that one day that child will be able to live life independently. So this really haunts me why people presume life in Bal mandir was or is like hell ?

Honestly speaking, it was in fact,  some people - be it staff at the Bal Mandir or some of our mean classmates - have tried to infuse in our mind that it is the hell like experience to find ourselves in Bal Mandir and not to have parents in life or not to have close relatives in our life to take care of us in absence of the death of our parents. However the reality is vast different from what people presume about our life in Bal Mandir. I think, some of my readers are reading in search of sad and tragic story that comes with the children in desperate conditions, that normally hover around a helpless child after the death of close family members.

My other intention to write this blog was to help people change that mindset and see the other side of the Bal Mandir or other children’s home. But, still people come here to read    heart breaking sad and tragic stories. I wonder why people like tear churning stories only ? Why they are not reading so many things that is written but only some  corruption  or    abuse case that gripes any children home around the world and not just Bal Mandir. Why people forget too many good story and remembers only that do have power to numb our senses! I am not denying when I post some of my stories here that sure do have power to go in silent coma but should not we brush off ourselves and then see more deeper vision and mission behind the establishment of such children home ?

Raising voice without meaning it is so useless and this is one best example if I am taken as an advocate of abuse and corruption through my blog. If I really have not been able to change the thinking process of people who grew up in family; in all these years then, this means; I have still a long way to go, to change that kind of mindset. But I am not in hurry to do so.
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Memory lane

Sunita Giri 12:30 AM |

As I was trying to sing some songs to teach Aditya, I could not remember even a line from the latest songs that could have appeal this young boy. Aditya is five year old boy and a son of my friend. Some time  he has to stay with me, when Alka is busy at her work. Unlike others I am not a music fan and nor I believe music is life. So, maybe its not strange that I could only remember couple of lines of old songs, which I used to sing during my school days years. Yet I was thinking why can't I remember a single song to sing with this boy ! Strange we all get exposed to all types of music channels and some entertainment channels, many of them repeats same song again and again if one song hits the chart. Yet, I can't even remember couple of lines from a new song to teach him. However, this incident or may be more than that this particular month really have power to take me back in my memory lane of childhood time, where we used to take part in after school programs.

After school programs and the training period, is one of the sweetest memory of my life. Being participants used to give us an opportunity to stay away from school for long time and this was the real deal for me as a student. We used to practice months for this one event which used to happen once in every year and that is the birthday celebration of Queen mother. It used to fall on 4th of Bhadra. As the day used to get closer, so the plan for a big ceremony also used to get pressure. This part is one of the thing that has a lasting impact in my life.

At the end of this month we used to get busy with our teachers for completing our dance, song or dramas, so that we could take part in pre-competition in front of the committee board appointed by the royal family. There used to be lots of participants from many school from Nepal. This process used to take about 10-12 days and after that all the selected team has to go to Pragya Pratisthan for final days show. It used to take about fifteen days or so to be used to with the big stage and the final day show. During this practice time, we used to get exposed with all the songs and dance from other schools and we also used to learn most of the dance from the other participants.

This is also the time we used to practice the song but if we are a dance participants then we could copy the song of other teams and then we used to sing it in Bal Mandir. If its a new song then others who were not taking part in this after school program also used to catch up on with us. So it so used to happen that one gang used to sing a song and the other gang who were passing by used to catch up on the same song and they used to cross the path and both are singing the song. The whole ambiance of Bal Mandir used to fill with all new kind of song  children  singing with much enthusiastic and cheerful manner. Most of those competition songs hardly used to come on Radio before the competition yet the children used to copy things pretty fast.

I know once our dance teacher was stunned to see us doing a whole dance sequence ditto after those competition. He was wondering how could we copy all that dance without being taught when we used to take so much time to learn from him. We also used to get exposed to out side world and people during this time and it sure was a pleasant experience from our day-to-day life in Bal Mandir. All those song and dance used to be the part of our daily life after the final day used to end. I used to love the five star food we used to get during the rehearsal time and that too almost whole day food. It was such a nice escape from the regular food we used to eat in Bal Mandir.

Those careless and carefree time  of childhood filled with so much fun filled memories, sure is  hard to forget.

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