Enigma of Arrival

By Deepak Adhikari on August 7th, 2005 in Dashing Deep

On a clear and sunny July morning, three gentlemen in their 40s and 50s tread casually in the corridor of Tribhuvan University, arguably nation’s biggest education hub. A motley of 20-something-year- old students watch them with an air of curiosity and surprise.

There is no age bar for study. But, pursuing your higher education not when you are green and growing but once you are graying and withering might look odd. Oddity however is a recipe for reporting. As a reporter, gaze fixed on something newsworthy, I decided to feature these oldies in Nepal Magazine. But, for me it was like traveling down the memory lane.

Meet Durga Bhandari,47, Ram Prasad Adhikari, 50 and Krishna Prasad Jaisi, 43, and you’ll know what brings them to the crowded class of Rural Development, MA, 1st Year. Interviewing them two weeks ago for me turned out to be a nostalgic evocation. My father too arrived in Kathmandu in order to pursue Degree in M Ed. I too then happened to join MA in English but left the country for greener pastures. My father was most probably fed up with the incessant teachings at school and longed for a break.

One thing is for sure: they embarked upon this rather odd journey when living back home turned increasingly tough. All three had served as local level leaders in VDC and DDC. Mr. Jaisi (the only computer literate among three) is spokesman of DDC Federation. He was the chairman of Accham DDC when Maoists attacked the district headquarters that, according to him, was the most nightmarish moment of his life. He was later abducted by Maoists; he was forced to spend a month with them in Kalikot.”But they didn’t misbehave with me”, a soft-spoken Jaisi remarks.

Mangalsen massacre has remained as an indelible scar in his psyche.” We counted one hundred and forty seven corpses,” he reminisces the incident ruefully. The dead bodies must have become statistics now. He couldn’t stay long in that war-ravaged area and left with his family for Dhangadi, a safer western terrain. Ram Prasad has similar woes. He was accused of being an informer back in his village. He took refuge in his lecturer- son’s abode in Balkhu, Kathmandu and started strolling to nearby TU.

Durga, however, denies any traces of Maoists in his village Kawasoti of Nawalparasi district. All three want to retrace to their villages once the conflict resolves. But, these rural reformers are disenchanted by not only the overtly theoretical course at TU but the same age-old teacher-centric and shallow method of teaching.

2 Responses to “Enigma of Arrival”

1. durga Says:
August 7th, 2005 at 8:58 pm

deepak searching news
2. prashant Says:
August 8th, 2005 at 9:47 am

Hey it might seem odd but it isn’t so in western world. I have a 65 year old engineering student classmate and he is merely a Bachelors student. I have seen even older ones in other majors.

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