KATHMANDU: When the entire country is celebrating Dashain, quite many elderly citizens staying at different old-age homes in Kathmandu say they are not having a great time.
When asked the reason for being dejected, they have an analogous response: “We have been abandoned by our sons and daughters.”
Senior citizens at the Senior Welfare Center Briddhashram in Pashupati say Dashain, like previous years, has not brought happiness. Reason: They feel lonely — away from their relatives, mainly sons and daughters.
“What else could we do other than reminiscing those great days when we, too, used to celebrate Dashain together with our family members,” Januka Agasthi of Gorkha district told Khabarhub, her voice shaking and tearful eyes.
For Agasthi and others, this Dashain is no fun. “This festival used to be a grand celebration when we were young,” she says adding, “Oh, don’t take me back to my young age when I used to have much fun with family and friends.”
“You know, my father used to bring new clothes for me when I was a teenager,” she continues to recapitulate those ‘good days’.
During the course of the conversation with Khabarhub, she reminisces the Dashain ambiance, the linge ping (traditional swing), new clothes, the dakshina (money as blessings from elders), among others.
However, for Januka, those days seem to be like a faint dream, never to be achieved again.
“I wish, this Dashain never came,” she told Khabarhub with tears rolling down her wrinkled cheeks.
Shanta Kumari, too, had a similar story to share. For Shanta, Dashain used to be her best time. However, she was left all alone when her husband married another lady and ‘settled somewhere’ in a foreign land.
“I have no one to take care of me,” she says.
Likewise, for Puje Bahadur Thapa of Nuwakot, this Dashain festival is hardly a reason to cheer. This festival, for Thapa, holds nothing much special. “It is just a normal day for me and my friends here,” he shares adding, “I wish this festival never came.”
Thapa, who has been staying at the old-age home in Pashupati for the last 10 years, does not want to recall those moments when he used to enjoy Dashain with his family and friends.
“I feel bad to recall those days,” says Thapa sobbing.
Dhan Bahadur Tamang, 81, of Nuwakot narrates Dashain celebration when he was quite young. “Dashain used to be fun-packed,” he recalls.
“Dashain then was all about eating meat and wearing new clothes,” he told Khabarhub adding, “You know, those days will never come back again.”