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Published:August 8th, 2007 01:53 EST
The Living History

The Living History

By Subash Lamichhane

She is the living history of our family. Though her bones have become weak and her muscles have wrinkled, she is still active. Being old doesn’t stop her from doing her daily activities nor does she need other’s hand to support her to perform her work. She has been an example all her life and her stories are the proof of the morals she stood for to bring such a large family.

I am her great grandson. My mother is her granddaughter. The family chain has become so large that when all the family members gather together, it seems like crowd of people gathered for wedding ceremony or for other ritual.

Every time I visit her I feel so glad and she always bless me for my future, and there are always many stories she will tell me. Moreover, in Nepali society it is believed that the blessings of the aged person will bring fortune and luck. But more than the blessing she always offers, her stories are great. I love her stories. They take me back to her childhood days and her adult days. I see the past through her speech.

My great grandmother is the only person who is the living legend in our District. She is about 108 years old. When I visit her, though her vision has been dim, she recognizes me by my voice.

When I visited her last time, she said, “Son, I am now eighty years old, old enough to look after the cattle and work in house.”

I can’t help but to smile when I hear her stories. Some of her stories are so sad ones, but also they always have a happy ending and the morals of her stories would always be “never give up.”

She talks about the old days when girls used to get married at the age of two or three. I wondered in such young age how marriage was possible. She told me that it was the custom and tradition. Parents thought that girls were to marry someday, then why not send them away when they are small?

More than that, people believed that if they married their girl before menstruation starts, then she will go to heaven. It was one of the important rituals in the then society. But she was exception. She married with great grandfather when she became adult. She remembers the day when things were so cheap but money was expensive. It was so hard to earn even RS.1 in those days when she was young. The person having Rs.10 was regarded as the richest man from the village.

My great grandmother repeats her stories so often. If I say I have already heard this story, then she will say, Listen again. Maybe you have forgotten this one.” I have to listen to it again. The story about the operation of her stomach when she was around 90 years old is often repeated. She mentions “the difficult time for her and nearly she was going to die.”

It was so sad time for her when great grandfather died three years ago. They were such a perfect couple that they lived their long life together. My great grandfather also lived more than a century/ Living for century is a history itself.

She has seen the world change. She has faced so many obstacle dealing with the new generation, but still she owns our hearts and all of our family love and respect her so much. I am always thankful for her stories that have helped me so much. They made me strong enough and determined as well. Whenever I go to see her and call her Grandmother, though having very dim vision, she calls me near and says, “Aren’t you Subash?” Then, we share smile.

It is amazing that she has new set of teeth. They aren’t bright teeth, but those smiles are always so comforting. I love her and I am proud that she is with us till today. She is a Living History.