This is one of the unforgettable reminiscences of my life that I have ever experienced in this life. I better say, it’s the most valuable one which I would love to recall again and again.
In this cripple life of mine, I’ve never been in company with other friends just like me. I was only surrounded by my family members cuddling me like a baby because of my disability. So, I can simply admit that I was actually alone in spite of the family circle because I was only the one who was unable to move here and there.
For twelve long years since the mere teenage of fifteen, I have been suffering this kind of disability which my family always ran to cure but got failed. I was struggling hard to smile in this life no matter how cruel my fate would be. I had no real friends to talk with and share my pain. What company I got was only through the virtual presence of facebook friends and some sites where I could write to my heart’s content. I always longed to go out and peer the world and if possible meet some real friends suffering just like me. However, I didn’t have a slightest idea where I can find such friends though I know they also do exist. I always longed to know the real feelings of being in company with them and to feel the happiness when mutual stories meet one another. I came to know from a facebook sister about a disable’s home at Jorpati, Kathmandu where she had also spent some years. She told me to visit and stay at the place and get training on wheelchair. She also added that I can have good time with friends just like me. Oh ! FRIENDS JUST LIKE ME! I was really impressed at her suggestion and I really longed to go there since then.
But when I told my mom about the place and requested her to take me there, she refused. ‘Hey! Are your parents dead? Why you insist on going there? You know nobody can take care of you well except me. How can I stay well leaving you there? Can you?’ She was a loving mother after all who always liked to hold me in her arms. Definitely, we, mother and daughter, were so close that we would feel it hard to live separately. But, DEATH never shows mercy to anyone. Only it separated me from my mom.
So, I was very-very bereaved at my mom’s death. She used to carry me to the toilet but aftershe passed away, I became helpless. My daughter-in-law also used to carry me but she became weak after her delivery. Then my brother and dad started carrying me. Oh! It was so upsetting that I badly needed to go toilet myself. Then in the meantime, I remembered the disable’s home at Jorpati where I can learn to use wheelchair and be independent. So, I requested my dad to get me admitted there for a month. First, he was also reluctant but I insisted because I wanted to go somewhere so as to soothe my pain. Finally, dad agreed and I was on the way to see the new world.
I was a little nervous in the beginning because it was the first time I had left home but I mustered up my courage to stay there for a month. Dad got me admitted and I bid him goodbye with a heavy heart.
I had prayed Jesus, ‘Lord! For the first time ever I’m gonna leave my home to get myself over with my heart’s pain. I mayn’t be able to stay for a month but please provide me a good friend so that I would be able to complete my duration there. And do give me homely security as I was with my mom.’
I got as I had prayed. I met a good friend named Sanu Shrestha. She was suffering from sci (spinal chord injury) occurred by falling from a tree. I had seen her earlier on TV on a disable’s program and wished to make friendship with her but I didn’t know how. Lo! God provided me the very same friend whom I had never imagined that I could meet her personally although I had wished. God had really heard my prayer by sending her before me and so, I thank the almighty.
Sanu was my roommate whom I first met. She was there two weeks before me. She helped me learn to ride wheelchair and wash clothes. Moreover, she helped me to understand many things which my weak ear didn’t get properly. She was also a lover and creator of literature like me. She was really a good friend and nowadays I really miss her so much. Later I met two other roommates, Dolka Sherpa and Goma Dulal. Dolka was over 35 and suffering from cerebral palsy. I was mistaken to find that such a person is normal at her mind. Her hands and legs were hardly movable and her speech was a little abnormal but she could talk anyway. She used to talk a lot with me and in a short time, I’ve been her intimate friend. I was surprised in the beginning to know that she was able to speak some English sentences too. She told me ‘you are cute’ and ‘I love you’ in English and I really liked that. Sometimes, she would tell me one thing but I would hear the other and it used to make us burst in laughter. Actually, I was there only hearing impaired but my hearing gave me a point to laugh myself and make other laugh too. So, I’ve accepted even my deficiency and weakness as the blessings from God. Similarly, Goma Dulal, my another roommate was a victim of severe arthritis. She was only able to move her eyes and mouth. Oh my God! I was totally stunned seeing her condition and stopped thinking myself as a living corpse. A kind of satisfaction aroused inside me because I wasn’t as severe disable like her. She was totally dependent on other. The working staffs would help her use toilet, eat food, comb hair and almost all daily activities. She talks well whoever comes near her wheelchair.
There were also other disables in other rooms. Deepak Darai, Bishnu Pandey and Keshav Thapa were victims of sci. Dirgha Shrestha was a victim just like me. Tikaram Dhungana was a victim of muscular dystrophy. Sabina Shrestha was victim of severe backbone fracture that she was left always in prone position throughout her life. She could move her trolly wheelchair herself and she was always smiling to me. I forgot my tears seeing her life too.
Ah! LIFE! It’s really amazing. I got to learn a lot from that disability centre. I saw many kind people helping the disables especially, the foreigners. We even got new wheelchairs donated by a foreign charitable institution named ‘latter-day saint charitees.’ Most of the foreigners were the sponsors for the helpless disables there but others who don’t have sponsor had to pay Rs.6000 monthly and it meant quite expensive for the poor disables. So, only those who can pay the money could get admition there.
Trying to know the history, I found out that the centre was absolutely free of cost for the disables before 1999 but it stopped to be so later because the contract was expired. After that, it was re=run only with the concept of paying fees by an enthusiastic person named Rudra Dahal and it’s still running likewise. I wish it was free as before because many disables in Nepal are so poor that they can’t afford to pay the fee at the centre.
There was a brother suffering from sci named Krishna Khadka. He was a severe sci patient with only his head movable and the whole body in complete paralysis. He was poor whose brother was hardly paying the fees. He didn’t have any sponsor. So, a tourist lady from Australia named Paula Lama Morris stood to help him with some funds separating from her own income monthly. She created a facebook account to help Krishna and many supported her campaign. She indeed gives her heart not only to help Krishna but also to all the disables at the centre. I’m really impressed by her and I pray for her earnestly.
I found out that Krishna brother was also a believer in Christ. So, I had a good fellowship with him. I used to read out some words from the holy bible and he would listen interestingly. In spite of his severe disability, he was always smiling and cracking jokes with me. He was indeed a real inspirational I ever met. He taught me how to smile amidst of sorrows or pain. I can never forget him. I always remember him in my prayer and wish for his quick healing.
There were also other disable brothers and sisters out of the centre. Many of them used to work and live independently. I was surprised to know that disables can be independent. In Kathmandu, only Jorpati was a disable-friendly place. So, many people from many parts of the country were settling there. However, it’s a sad thing to say that no place anywhere in Nepal is disable-friendly although the number of wheelchair-users are increasing day by day. The public places, houses, streets are very narrow where it’s difficult to ride for the wheelchair-user.
I saw such world resembling myself. I love them all so much. I met a sister named Lali Sherpa. She was a sci. She was married and had a child when the misfortune took place in her life. And what’s more, her so-called husband left her and married another woman. I discussed w ith Sanu,’if a husband leaves his wife in such a situation, what kind of love it would be? It’s far better to remain bachelor whole life than suffering like that, isn’t it?’ Then Sanu would also agree with me.
Similarly, there was another sister named Radhika Rijal who was already married and had suffered being sci but her husband didn’t leave her but married another able woman. Nowadays she lives happily anyway with her stretched family.
Both Lali and Radhika have pretty adolescent daughters who used to come at the centre pushing their mom’s wheelchair. It felt pleasant to me watching a mom and daughter relationship and simultaneously, I was beginning to think to raise a foster daughter myself in the future. Hahaha…Ah! I wished to be a bachelor mom, can’t it be possible?
At last, I desire to meet them again and again and I do it often nowadays. It feels nice that somewhere outside my home, there still is a place where it feels more like home to me. They loved me and made me realize that I’m also worthy to be loved. They helped me wipe my tears and now, I have a new dream. A dream to bring happiness in their life and serve them with love and care. Please pray for them all.