Few days back I got an opportunity to visit one of the Gurung village affected by earthquake called Bhote Namlang – 8, Sindhupalchok. I was there with my friends to distribute relief materials for earthquake victims. I was regretting and thinking why I decided to come here until I reached Bhote Namlang. But as soon as we reached there all my regression faded away. Me and my friend MP Subba were travelling through motorcycle on bumpy road to capture the picture of destroyed structures. Our ride didn’t give proper pick up so we decide to walk in hot sunny day. We chitchat with everyone we met on our way to Bhote Namlang. While my friends were distributing relief material I was talking with locals and framing them on my camera. I love to talk with old age people and children. All houses were collapsed though people were smiling.
We wanted to look whole village and to reach main village we had to walk a bit. But we had to come back to Kathmandu so we didn’t go there due to our limited time. While I was returning I met a little girl who is barely 7 year old. Little dark and beautiful innocent child looked little scared to talk to the stranger.
I asked her name and took her picture. She said her name is Jenisha Gurung in very low voice. She tied up her hair with her mothers old wrapper (LUNGI), TIKa on her forehead, dried booger on upper lips. Jenisha was so adorable as soon as I saw her face I felt so happy and I fall in love with her innocence look, she reminded me of my childhood.
I used to were cloths made by my mothers old wrappers sewed by our villagers tailor. Jenisha was olny tying her hair with her mothers old wrapper but when I was little boy of her age I used to wear vest (bhoto) made of my mothers wrapper and wear Bhangra ( one kind of traditional gurung dress worn by men to carry needy stuff) to put pop corn and soybeans for snacks. I had to cut grass and collect dried wood for fire dressed up like that. The more I looked at Jenisha more I was lost in my childhood memory.
One day my grandpa traded velvet cap with tobacco for me. Because I wanted to wear it from long time. I was very happy to get to wear that velvet cap sewed by local tailor named Dhume Damai. I even wore that velvet cap to school and our seniors teased me for wearing cap like that. Jenisha became familiar with me and she was looking at my camera curiously. While I was trying to take her picture one giant man came to us and ordered her to greet me then she get nervous again.
I gave her my camera and show her picture which I took earlier. She was amazed and happy to see her own photographs on my camera. After a while her few friends came near to us. I took pictures of all of them, they were doing whatever I told them to do.
Children looks so happy to do so. They were friendly to me like we were friend for very long time. Till then my friends have finished distributing relief material, they were waiting for me to have snacks and returning back to Kathmandu. Then I left my little friend Jenisha and her friend there. While we were returning from there, I met Jenisha again with her mother and her little sibling. Her little sister was injured in her head and had bandaged.
I asked their mother her age and she was exactly of my daughters age. Jenisha brought her mother there to show her photographs which I took earlier. My friend were telling me to hurry, it’s already 05:30pm we have to cross Melamchi till dusk otherwise we won’t be able to reach Kathmandu. Then I farewelled Jenisha and her family, then left them behind. After I arrived to Kathmandu, I transport all the photographs to my computer of Sindhupalchok folder. Whenever I open Sindhupalchok folder I remember the day of Sindhupalchok, Jenisha and my childhood.