The Community Where I Grew Up

I grew up in a small community of my hometown, Dharan. Dharan is divided into 18 wards irrespective of any religious or social biases. I belong to ward no.1, which is also called Purano-bazzar or Prithivi-path. Many years ago, our ancestors had settled down here; since then, my family has become a part of this community. Some people living around us are our relatives because we share a common background. There are no concrete walls or boundaries to divide the different wards, but the cooperation and involvement of the families organize to form our own community.

Most people, including my family, inherited our land from our ancestors; therefore, we have our own houses and do not need to rent. There is a long, pitched road ranging from north to south that separates the two rows of houses on the left and right. Besides the main road, there are two alleys which lead to other parts of the town. Some of the houses are rather old and made up of wood and mud; however, there are two to three storied concrete buildings behind these wooden houses where people actually live in. The old, mud houses are still strong enough to reside on; that is why it is rented for cheap cost. Most of these houses are attached in such a way that their rooftops and backyards are very close.

Talking about the people living in my community – mostly Newars and Brahmins are the inhabitants of the society, while there are also some Chettries and Rais, two of the warrior castes in Nepalese history, residing in the same community. All these people follow the same religion; therefore, they celebrate common festivals and occasions. The community’s people come from a middleclass background, so they are service holders. Generally, adults are breadwinners of the family, so they go to work in offices, hospitals, schools, and factories. Not only adult men but also women work outside to add income to the family. They leave their children home with the older adults, who are unable to earn money for the family, but a reliable support for teaching good morals to the kids, and guarding the house.

Small children are the heart of any community. They bring life to the silent locality; similarly, the children in my community form their own friends groups and play on the streets. They climb on bhogate and mango trees on the front yards and play hide and seek on the straw huts. Usually, they get scolded by the elders for making a lot of noise and are chased away from the houses. There is a school named Holy Garden Academy, which has become a family school because almost all the children from Purano-bazzar go to that school.

Unlike children, youths hesitate to roam around the houses. They stick to one place and gather together to have fun. In fact, there is a flat, yellow colored building, with steps in front of the main gate, between the rows of houses, where these boys often meet. These boys are cooperative and socially active. They have their own club, which organizes entertainment programmes in the community during the festivals of Dashain and Tihar. If any problems arise in the community, these youths come together and help the people in need. For example, if a woman in a family gets pregnant and she has to be taken to the hospital for delivery, these boys help the family in making arrangements for admitting the woman to the hospital. Moreover, they stay in the hospital during late nights in order to provide food and medicine for the patient in case of an emergency. In addition, these youths are altruistic enough to assist the needy people, whose belongings have been stolen or houses have been caught on fire.

Besides Nepali people, a large portion of the inhabitants are the Indian migrants referred as “Madhesis”. These people had migrated to Nepal for work and settlement many ages ago. Madhesi people rent the houses’ of the local people and have begun to settle down in the community as the members of the society. They usually earn their living working on shops or selling fruits, sweets, and chatpates on the streets. Since they are poor, they are often treated as the minority. Mostly they are called as Chatpate Bhaiyas, chatpate selling brothers. Especially, Ashok Bhaiya’s chatpate is famous in our town. It is so delicious that almost everyone from the community likes to taste it once a day. Due to the growing popularity, he increased his rates from Rs. 5 per plate to Rs.20. Other Madhesi people also began to raise their standard of living by continuously working hard. Once these people did not have enough money to afford two rooms for their family, but now they have earned enough to rent three extra rooms for their work supplies.

During Saturdays and public holidays, people are free and are mostly engaged in household chores. In late mornings, we can hear Biru bhaiya’s wife yelling at her crying son, who refused to take a bath. People of the community utilize their holiday for cleaning up their houses, so leaves and dirt in the backyards are burnt. Women on their rooftops guard the grains and vegetables kept for drying in the sun from the monkeys. Monkeys are the mess of the society; they destroy the garden flowers and eat away anything kept outside. Therefore, monkeys are also a factor of torture to the community. Jipu dai (brother) belongs to a low caste family and is a drunkard, so he is often asked by the community to help them in taking the sacks of rice to the mill and paint the houses, for which he gets money to buy alcohol.

On hot summer nights, elders gather outside to feel the cool breeze and spend ample time talking about politics and society matters. On the other hand, women, during the day ask their daughters or daughter-in-laws to dye their hair and use free time to gossip with other women. Moreover, visiting temples are common on the holidays when women get up early in the morning, prepare the puja materials, dress up in red attire, and go to the nearby Lord Shiva’s and Lord Krishna’s temples.

Hence, there are different kinds of people residing in my community who have unique attributes. They all share a common place, yet have varied tastes and inclinations. However, all of them have been living together for ages and are familiar with one another’s background and status. As a whole, my community is a great example of cooperation and harmony.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: