I still remember the days when my wonderful mother Heera Devi used to be bed ridden. My mother had tough time with two of her heart valves damaged and also suffered from acute asthma before her death (A.D. 1970). Seeing my strong and wonderful mother in such a vulnerable state was terrifying for all of us. She stayed brave through her last days, however, leaving behind seven children at such vulnerable ages was heart breaking for her. After all, she was the strongest person I have ever known. She used to take charge of every thing including managing the finance for the family from renting the house. Every time she ran short of money she used to add rooms ( concrete structure over very old traditional building materials as per the advice of old traditional builders of Nepal for cleaner space etc ) and earn more from the rented rooms in order to educate her seven children and manage finances of the house. She had always kept my father totally undisturbed with house hold tensions so that he could devote all his life for the development of Nepal, continue with his passion in writing books. ( Dharma Ratna Yami , Dharma Heera Memorial academy Dharma Ratna Yami (WIKIPEDIA) ) He used to be known as a powerful speaker both in India and Nepal. My mother had brilliantly handled singe handed in raising seven children and looking after a husband who had enormous energy in mobilizing the citizens of Nepal for political and social transformation. She was a true example of "strong mother and real role model for the society" . Even when there were tears in her eyes during most painful period of her life, she knew how to say she was "OK" and "FINE".
As she became very ill and realized that her days were counted she started worrying a lot because my father who led a pampered life inside the family never had experience of looking after seven children and managing house hold problems. During last three years of critical health conditions she used to share all her worries with me. My elder sister and brother were both studying in India during that time and I was the eldest one among the remaining children in the house then. My four younger sisters were too young to understand the pain and the sufferings of my ailing mother during her counting days.
My father used to be a person who spent all his life preoccupied with deep desire of fighting for citizen rights specially fighting for the rights of disadvantaged groups He Our house used to be a popular place for interactions among politicians, writers and social workers.
( Typical situation of wife of dedicated persobalities who fights for the citizens of the nation)
also had stayed in our house. He had also written biography about my father. Rahuljeee had traveled from India to Lhasa with my father and used to live there together.
My father was popularly known as a very poweful speaker in India and Nepal. He used to be invited as Chief Guest in many programs of Dr. Ambedkar
Our house is populary known as " YAMI CHHEN" YAMI CHHEN
One day in the month October 1956, there was a news broadcast In radio Nepal broadcast about the visit of the famous law writers of India and main architect of the Indian constitution, Babashaheb Dr. Ambedkar. During his visit, he had also plan to visit Pashupatinath temple. This news brought big earthquake among main conservative Bhatta of Pashupati Nath and Hindu communities of Nepal. . Any influential personality of India was always warmly allowed inside the temple of Pashupati Nath. However everyone knew the fact that Dr. Ambedkar was a Chamar and this word is called Sarki (untouchable ) in Nepal. "How could a Hindu religious lord THE POOJARI allow Sarki to visit the temple premises?".
The Prime Minister, Mr. Tankapasad Acharya, had written to Dr. Ambedkar to cancel his plan to visit Pashupatinath. It was my father who mobilized local people and protested against the movement of Nepal government, hardcore Hindu public and Pojari Bhatta of Pashupati Nath banning the Dr. Ambedkar's visit inside the temple. During this visit he had stayed in our house.Dr. Ambedkar's visit to Nepal After returning to India Dr. Ambedkar passed away on December 6, 1956. My father used to be the person who always gave his heart in fighting for rights of discriminated untouchable people of both India and Nepal. He used to known for his powerful speeches in India and Nepal on religious practices, politics and literature. Dr. Ambedkar was a good friend of my father. My father used to be invited as chief guest in Dr. Ambedkar's programs in India. The famous Indian writer Mr. Dharmbir Bharati ( https://en.wikipedia.org/
also was a good friend of my father. They both worked together in Nepal in promoting Dharmayug magazine in Nepal. This magazine remained very popular in Nepal.
One of my father's popular books Sandeya Lisa (Local Newah language) , Lhasa Bolchhe in Nepali language, Reply from Tibet ( http://www.dharmaheera.com/
My father used to be invited by renowned freedom fighters of India from cities of India for delivering lectures in Buddhism , culture and regional issues. He wrote a book called "Buddha Darshan Ko Roop Rekha" in the year 1934 A. D. This is a book popular among research scholars who specialize in Buddhist philosophy. He also authored "Maha Manushe Buddha" in both Hindi and Nepali language. Ten local people were expelled from Nepal ( http://www.academia.edu/
This is a Sati’s cursed nation. People tell us horror stories of Sati Dhunga. The descendants of designers of such cruel system continued to have grip over weaker section of the people. Nothing will come out of honest people's sacrifices. People who tried to reform traditional unscientific practices of social system and improve the governing system of the nation, sadly, remained in the minority and perished. Those class of people who suppressed innocent citizens lived and enjoyed corruption. Their ancestors appear to have perfected this art and handed it down to their future generations. Insane and incompetent people have mostly ruled people of Nepal. So corruption flourished. Corrupt people have become more powerful. Corruption will be further institutionalized in the land of Gautam Buddha. Citizens are speechless, powerless and have continued to keep quiet.
My mother left us in 1970 at the age of 49. I remember one of my father's cousin sisters crying bitterly sitting next to my dead body of my mother saying " Who will look after the father of these seven children who had always been kept as "8th child" (youngest ) "ALWAYS SO PAMPERED" by his wife Heera Devi. He has no idea of managing the house and looking after seven children". She was the one who tried hard to stop me from leaving for IIT Kanpur. During first semester, first year of IIT K days ( IIT Kanpur ) I used to receive very painful letters from my four younger sisters. I used to be grieving about the loss of my mother and worrying about four younger sisters including my father. I even thought about leaving IIT K every time I read letters of my younger sisters.
After completing first semester of first year of B. Tech program at IIT K I came home to spend my vacation. My father was not the family oriented person who was heavily engaged in book writing and politics. As usual he used to be engaged in outside world including delivering lectures in India. One cannot be perfect in every thing when he had such deep passion on writing books and serving citizens. Our house always used to be filled with people who missed my mother who used to take care of the families who suffered during revolt against Rana of Nepal. My elder sister Dharma (Medical student ) and my brother Vidhan (Engineering student ) were both studying in India.
There were four younger sisters at home and there were no one to take care of them. Seeing the pathetic condition of my sisters I decided to collect youngest sister Hisila ( Hisila Yami ) who had just completed class six from Kanya Mandir High school Chhetrapati, Kathmandu, Nepal. In the hostel I used to share my problem with a Ph.D student Savita Gupta who used to give me good advice regarding Hisila. With lot of difficulty I managed to admit her in class seven at Central School. I am so thankful to Late Professor Narsimha Rao of Chemistry department of IIT K for his special effort to allow Hisila to study at Central School at IIT K Central school IIT Kanpur. He was in the board of that school then. :http://www.kviitkanpur.org/in side IIT campus.
The Principle of Central School had refused to admit her in a class section which had medium of instruction as English. They allowed her only in a class with Hindi medium of instruction. This situation put me into lot of tension with sleepless nights because I was not sure that I would be in a position to continue keeping her in that school. Any time if any thing happened then she would have had to return to her old school of Kathmandu disturbing her education. Every one would pounce on me for taking such risky decision if any thing went wrong then. I went and begged the administration of that school to shift her to the English medium section from Hindi medium section, however, the school principle refused to change the section for her telling me that she didn't have English back ground. Hisila also realized the dimension of the problem and tried very hard to pick up English. I used write the required few dialogue in English. She used to learn them by heart and speak them out in class without any fear. It was such a scary thing to take such step at such tender age when she hardly knew English that time. She learnt how to tell boldly all the teachers to repeat every thing that was taught in Hindi once again in English explaining to teachers that she had good knowledge in English and no knowledge of Hindi. All her teachers then went and complained to the Principle asking him to shift her into English medium section. She faced real tough time because of switching from Nepali medium school to English medium school. She really demonstrated her boldness and the Principle had no choice but to listen to the decision made by her class teachers. There was one compulsory Hindi subject and she had no idea of Hindi making the situation even worst. It was indeed a very tough period for her and she made it. She really saved me from packing off from IIT K for good had she not faced every thing bravely then. School fee was only only Rs 2/- per month.
The warden of IIT K girls hostel also refused to provide a room for Hisila because children were not allowed in adult hostel. I never knew that I would run into such serious multiple problems which disturbed my studies. I got caught up with such multiple problems at one go. After lot of persuasion I managed to get permission for Hisila to stay in that hostel. It was indeed a great miracle of that time in my first year that Hisila was allowed to stay in girl's hostel. Luckily there were plenty of empty rooms available during those days. It was a real turning point for our lives.
The school used to take Hisila and her team mates for All India Junior Sports competition. I used to be horrified with troubled mind because my mother always used to tell us that girls are often stolen in India. I used to go and protest in front of school administration begging them not to take my sister for such programs telling them that "MY SISTER WILL BE STOLEN ". They used to take her in spite of my protests because she had the capacity to bring shield and cup awards for the school. I used be very frightened, disturbed in my studies and in my sleep whenever she went to participate in games tournaments in other sates of India. I couldn't even inform home because I had brought her at my own risk. She was very good in sports and received games scholarship @INR 10 / month in that school.
I was enrolled in Electronic Engineering faculty that was considered the top engineering program of the nation and attracted the best students and top rank holders of the All India Joint Entrance Examination (JEE ). I faced very difficult situation continuously managing double burden at a very young tender age, however, I matured faster. Had I taken help from my youthful batch mates , the life would have been less stress stressful. However , I was very apprehensive. Had I messed up in my responsibilities I would have landed no where and nobody could have saved me.
Faculty members of top institute of the nation has very high expectations from students and grading was very harsh; relative grading among top students of the nation. However , most of the faculty members were very helpful and nurtured students to unleash the maximum latent potentials in every student in the campus. This was place where students and teachers were equally enthusiastic to share a happy moment together outside class.
There were 410 boys in my class and only two girls. My batch-mate Vini was the only person I could communicate, however, she used to be in different section of the same batch. She would often used to find me grieving about the loss of my mother at night and would advice me to go back home because she probably felt bad the way I used to be loaded most of the time with my family tension. I never shared my problems with my other batch-mates. Instead of studying hard in my courses I used to be spending most of my time teaching Hisila so that she could catch up in her class.
My worst days at IIT K was when the hostel warden abused me in front of my class mates in campus corridor when I could't pay the hostel Mess Bill for six months (partial payments). IIT education pressure and the embarrassment of financial crisis !. I used to get the scholarship but that money was not enough to support for both of us. We used to wear clothes I used to buy from shops selling cheap quality materials. When my mother was living she used to tell us not to wear fancy clothes and stay simple. We six daughters carried on with that mentoring from my mother even after her death.
My mother had ensured before her death by expanding rooms in the building to earn more from renting rooms so that my father remained free from financial tension after her death. However, he was not hard wired that way. Any financial deals and complexities he would ask others to handle and dissociated with money matter. This is the part we could not understand about my father those days - may be first stage of Buddhism. This is the typical case I suppose how wives and children suffer in the hands of such personalities. Yeshodha begged Buddha to understand the feelings of her son when he refused to allow his son to enter in the "SANGH" directly and told him to come through the decision of the "SANGH". During those moment how Rahul would have thought about the father?. It may be similar feeling we children carried. Why didn't my father look after seven children after mother's death those days?. Was it right ? Choosing ideology between my mother and father I got influenced more by my mother as per typical culture of Nepalese society. I was always mother's daughter than father's daughter. My mother's role model influenced me more in my life all the time. Instead of focusing on family responsibilities he devoted all his energy to give vision to the society. We were too young to understand all these details during those early days of our lives.
All the complexities I face at IIT K taught me great lessons, however, I used be frightened most of the time. There were no telephone connection between my house and IIT K those days. Postal services were poor. My father used to be in his own world and not aware of what problem I was facing at IIT K.
The interesting thing I observed in the girls hostel was boys entering the guest room and warden Mrs. Nanada getting very worried. This became a big news in the campus and warden Mrs. Nanda tried stopping this and also restricting boys hanging around the premises of the hostel. There were girls working in research labs and spending late hours in library. Every year we have All India Cultural program being organized by the student gymkhana in which large numbers of colleges from India who participate in various cultural programs attracting media people of India. Parents of the hostel became furious when there was couple of media coverage regarding boys being allowed to hang around in the premises of girls hostel and also inside rooms. I think this was the first hostel in India which allowed such practices those days. I do recall some mothers got very scared of this news because they came from conservative communities. One girl student who completed M. Tech. and came from Luchnow told me that her parents had tough time looking for a boy for her and boy's family was asking her parents for larger dowry because she was over qualified and boy's side felt they could bargain for more amount. She was complaining that some families demand dowry after they sons get degree from IITs of India and some girls with IIT degree from conservative communities have to pay even more because they are considered over qualified for marriage. Industries also used to discourage recruiting girls in engineering field those days.
Most memorable incidents of your IIT K life was meeting Mrs. Meera Parasnis, wife of Professor A S Parasnis of Physics department. Her son was Hisila's classmate. The transition from Nepali medium school of Nepal to English medium school of IIT K was really tough for Hisila. I had gone to borrow children's books in English at her flat so that Hisila could pick up English fast. I was so shocked to meet her because her nature resembled with my own mother so much. She was filled with compassion and both the couple liked Hisila a lot. Loss of my mother and finding Meera auntie was really like finding my own mother. When I was grieving about the loss of my father in 1975 two weeks before my examination, she was the one who looked after both of us during such crisis time.
I appreciated the role of Counseling Services of IIT K . My student counselor Prof. R Sharan and his wife Raka Sharan used to give us lovely food while mentoring students. My student guide Neeru Mohan , a final year student, helped me in minimizing the gaps of English standard of Nepal and IIT K. After my graduation I had to wait for Hisila's completion of her higher secondary board examination and had to sponsor for her Architecture course at Delhi School of Planning and Architecture. I too had to sponsor for my another sister's (Kayo) Ph. D. program at IARI https://en.wikipedia.
Technological adaptations like Digital India and economic reforms has fueled the growth world wide. There was a big demand for specialists and skilled manpower both inside the country and world wide. My batch mates excelled in both in studies and extra curricular activities. Teachers and learning methods were really good. Faculty members gave environment for students to excel in flying club, electronics club, dramatic club, music club, debate, sports club and photography club etc. This was a place where we organized national-level student festivals spanning technology, arts and sports, primarily on our own (with help from administration), inviting participants and popular personalities from all over the world. This is the place which gave students chances to go through experiential learning and a place where either we taught ourselves the responsibility that came together with this freedom, or were made to learn this by experiencing the consequences of our actions. We could cherish both in the long run.
Most of the students being toppers in their respective schools felt like each one having a magical world of his/her own and princely positions of the previous schools, some of then got the shock out of the life when faced with times getting scores in examinations lower than peer groups. Many good students lost confidence in tough competitive environment. I used to live daily with a lingering painful memory for having witnessed some students loosing mental composure, and five students committing suicide due to imposed academic burden and competition among best students. I can never forget senior students telling me witnessing the brain of a senior student littered on the ground floor after he jumped from 8th floor of the faculty building in the campus. I used to feel very scary in that campus. It was painful to remember some of the brilliant students loosing interest. The burden to prove oneself was very heavy and not without peril. I also saw large numbers of students got transformed because of the blend of highly competitive academic environment and leanings from extra curricular activities.
I have also observed students who have been able to develop different perspectives through various experiences gained from activities of the campus. Excelling in academics alone may not make students successful in the long run. To emerge as a true role model in the society, it is very important to adopt people skills too. As my class had all the toppers of India, some how, I was very shy because I came from very conservative family from Nepal and I kept aloof from my batch mates for quite long time. It was towards the end of the program I repented for not having shared my problems with my batch mates.
Best part of IIT K was to be with Professors of IIT K who always ensured that the potentials of each and individual student were well unleashed. They all used to be with students in play grounds and various students' clubs after class hours. The students were very focused in studies and excelled in extra curricular activities. This environment not only transformed my life but also helped my sister Hisila in all round development. The best part was Hisila not only did well in academics, she also excelled in sports, musical instruments, dancing and singing, In the hostel Basundhara Chaudary a Ph. D student enjoyed teaching her Sitar. Other girls would teach her Bharatya Natyam, Kathak dancees. Some would teach her Gajal and Hindi songs. Sandhya Deo used to enjoy teaching her Table Tennis with Hisila. Kalpana Mehata used to take Hisila to boys hostel for watching sports competitions where the professional couches of IIT also used to enjoy teaching Hisila games. The coaches of IIT K used to appreciate the knack of she had in picking up sports and excelling in them. She used to be selected as one of the best athletes in her school who used to bring sports awards in all India Junior Sports Competitions in various states of India. I am very grateful to the girls of the IIT K girls hostel who loved Hisila and they used to call her their "darling little sweet bubbly girl". Some of those girls used to be very good in sports, music and other extra curricular activities participating in Inter IIT competitions. Those girls enjoyed developing Hisila in all those extra curricular activities of their interests because her pick up was very good. She literally grew up dancing, singing and playing Sitar, Guitar, Harmonium and Tabla etc etc . No wonder wen she later became Minster of Tourism in Nepal she went and did Bungee jumping in Nepal as well as when she officially visited New Zealand where the Bunjee Jumping started for the first time in the world history. ( https://thehimalayantimes.
I brought two more younger sisters Nhuchhe Shova ( who is currently retired from a post of an Associate Professor, after serving as as Campus Chief of Thapathali Engineering Campus under Thapathali Campus, IOE ) and Kayo ( who is currently retired after serving from the post of Chairperson of Public Service Commission Nepal ) to IIT K Girls hostel. Kayo spent three months to prepare for All India Entrance Examination for her Ph. D. program in IARI, Delhi. Nhuchhe Shova spent three months preparing for her B. Sc examination. She was finding tough time preparing her examination at home because of her in laws were discouraging her to study. They both had an opportunity to understand the best academic environment of IIT K and understood the importance of quality education. The girls in my hostel used to tease me saying " Timila how many more sisters leftover at home who will come to stay in this hostel??"
Some girls of my hostel used to invite me and Hisila to spend time with their families during short holidays when it was not feasible to go back to Kathmandu. During those visits I used to observe grand mothers of my friends some of them in early nineties reading Times of India and many magazines. I used to get shocked to see the level of education of grand mothers of India during those days. During my vacation I started exploring the education level of my own relatives. we come from Newah community of Kathmandu valley ( Newah ) From my own maternal side all aunties had not gone to schools in their lives. During Rana regime in Nepal education was banned for a period of 104 years for general public. I discovered that one of my mother's first cousin had got married only when she was six years old. I started realizing that we six daughters were under very conservative aunties who wanted to act like " mini mummies" in absence of my mother giving strong advises saying that we daughters should go through early marriage settlements because as we run out of early marriage ages we will have tough time getting married. More the girls get higher degrees tougher it gets for marriage proposals during those days. When my mother died all relatives thought that we sisters should be packed off for marriage before any complexities appear. They did not appreciate me studying in India. They did not understand my shifting sisters to India and did not appreciate too.
My father's grand father used to be one of the rich category of people of Kathmandu valley having flourishing business both in Kathmandu and Tibet along the silk road. However, it used to be a trend to loot people who are prospering in business by Rana rulers. My father's grand father was among one of them. When my father's grand father Late Ratna Das Tuladhar was looted by Ranas his entire family members became penny less. All the four daughter in laws of Ratna Das had to bring up children in maternal houses. The family suffered heavily The health of Ratna Das crippled after this financial disaster and died. Only families of Newah communities who partnered in suppressing Newah communities were allowed to be recruited in government jobs. The sons of Ratna Das worked even harder in Tibet and Kathmandu to recover the property loss. My father too went to Lhassa at a tender age of fifteen. It was during this trip that he met Pandit Rahul Shanskrityanan on the way to Tibet. He spent his youthful days with Rahuljee in Lhasa and this opportunity helped him open up his knowledge hirizon in Bhuddist philosophy.
My father and his first cousin https://en.wikipedia.
My father's book - Sandeya Lisa - written in Nepal Bhasa which was written in early 1940 could not be published in time for similar reason. People who tried staging cultural program based on this book and they had to abandon the program because of the threat by the government authorities. This popular book is in now translated in Nepali ( Lhasa Bolchhe) , English (Reply from Tibet https://www.youtube.com/
Chittadhar's sister the first lady writer ( ( in the history of Nepal ) of Nepal Bhasa Moti_Laxmi_Upasika devot
From my father's relatives side we had an aunt who continued studying in spite of pressure from families to get married. Similarly another aunt's daughter did the same. These two were the first ladies in the history of Nepal to be the first women Ph.D. holders from UK. They both had very tough time getting married. My father's first cousin sister landed up getting married to a Britisher in UK because her parents objected to her plan for inter-cast marriage within Nepalese community. His first cousin's daughter got married to a boy who come from outside cast. These two marriages of highly educated ladies of our family sent out shocking news among our conservative communities. Marrying outside our cast used to be taken as a big shame during those days. After these incidences the remaining daughters of our uncles from four grand uncles from mother's and other cousins from father's side were married off at very early age after class ten and some after class twelve due to the fear that they would not get suitable boys within the cast if they run out of marriageable ages. One of my cousins even cancelled offer for scholarship for medical degree from government and got married. They also used to put pressure on us to get married right after my mother's death. We were too young to
to understand these marriage complexities of conservative communities from business class families.
Inter cast marriage used to be a big social taboo in our community. Four of us got married outside caste. We became real bombshells for the conservative communities of Newah society. Relatives really abused me when Hisila got married with Dr. Babu Ram Bhatttrai ( https://en.wikipedia.org/
Among four sons of Ratna Das the third son Man Das contributed a lot in the family in recovering of the loss of property by working very hard in Tibet. After his retirement from family business he devoted his life in Buddhism. After his death his son Sukad Das Tuladhar established a first Buddhist library in the history of Nepal. The name of the library is called Man Das Bodhi Gyan Pustakalaya, Kimdol, Swoyambhu Kathmadu.
My father was a radical social reformer and wanted to abolish unscientific rituals of our communities.
https://www.facebook.com/ ajplusenglish/videos/ 1056674397807400/
My both parents broke the traditional ritual of " Ehee" and " (Bel Marriage - Bel Bibah ( Bel Bibah ) ." Bel Bibah (video) and Barha ceremony Gufa ceremony by abandoning such unscientific ritual for their six daughters. My father announced in one of the public speeches saying my six daughters will not be locked for 12 days in " Ehee " ritual because he announced that all his six daughters have been kept locked up inside stomach for nine months each before delivery by his wife. All the conservative Poojaris became wild and brainwashed the community people never to marry the daughters of "Yami" family. When my mother was a little kid she always remembered her house used to be known as a haunted house because the earlier occupant of that house had a daughter who had died during "Ehee" ritual when she was kept away from sun and male members locked up in a room for twelve days. As per the ritual the girl was not allowed to be treated because male members are not allowed during those twelve days. In those days there were no medical doctors available except for very few health workers and there were no female health workers in Nepal during those days. The girls who fall ill during twelve days rituals used to die without treatment. As per the practices the dead body had to be buried right below the spot where the girl died. The floor of the room had to be cut open on that very spot and brought down to the ground and buried. The girl mentioned earlier fell ill during twelve day "Ehee" ceremony and was buried on the ground floor in the same process. Since then it was said that house used to be troubled by ghost. This way in the past girls used to die during 12 days of "Ehee" program due to lack of treatment. This is happening even now in urban as well as rural areas even now. Those days people used to call my mother and father "mad" people.
When my mother fell ill critically before she expired her well wishers suggested her to get daughters married off. Because the daughters have not gone through "Ehee" and "Bel" marriage people scared her that the community poojaries will block marriage proposals for daughters from such radical families. Even now it is the general practice of the communities is to take advice from the poojaries for decision on permission of marriages. Some relatives even challenged my mother that no families would marry six daughters.
In our business communities trend of the boys those days used to be to taking over business responsibilities of the family at early age and hence education was not in their priorities. Boys also didn't go for higher studies. Girls and women were not allowed to take up jobs. When I got selected in IIT K my aunts tried convincing me that I would be over qualified and no boy would marry a girl who is more qualified than a boy. They also told me that I would not be allowed to take up job after my degree. I attended a marriage party of my friend when we were in class four. Most of my school class mates were married off before class ten. All these used to confuse me a lot. However, I was very determined that the direction given by my mother before her death was the right one and left for IIT K instead of opting to agreeing to get married and producing seven children like my mother.
I used to be the youngest student among the members of National Development Services (NDS) among all the schools of Kathmandu valley. I was class four. I can never forget my days when my mother made me join army training (three months) in morning hours at Tundikhel, Kathmandu. When I was studying in class ten I used to wear army uniform and pass through Asan areas ( market center of Kathmandu valley ). People specially from our communities used to come and watch me with great shock in this dress. The normal practice of our communities for any young girl like me used to be dressing up with lot of jewelries so that other families with richer back ground start sending proposals for marriage. My mother those days used to make us do just the opposite of typical traditional community practices because probably she wished us to grow up becoming "change agents" in the Nepalese society. My relative aunts used to scold my mother asking her to stop sending me for such training. Such practices were against the norms of our Lhasa traders of Kathmandu valley. These people from business class community are still very conservative and have strict practices of keeping girls and women within the house hold premises.
The toughest course I faced in class twelve in Nepal was understanding a course in Newari literature course when we students had to read. It was a text book called "Bhrikuti" authored by my father. The whole class used to find it difficult. I could never go near him and ask him the difficulty I and my batch-mates were facing in that text book. Students in our class used to fail in that subject. Tribhuvan university later shifted that course ( his book - text book) to the final year of Bachelor degree. We seven children used to be quite scared to be near him and could not share our problem.
During my vacation time from I IT K I felt sorry to see two of my younger sisters married early without completing studies. My mother never wanted to get us married to boys from very conservative families and before finishing our academic achievements. This happened while I was still at IIT K.
The most memorable days were when my father visited me in 1975. I lost ten KG because of Typhoid and had relapse also. I took him to one of my class rooms " L7" . Inside this class room he told me " why do you attend classes ?? I never went to any class room to study and I authored more than twenty popular books. You are supposed to do self learning and not depend on any teacher". He wanted me to go for training in news reading, journalism and not engineering degree. He asked me if I could call all students and faculty members so that he could deliver lecture in that big lecture hall. I was too young to understand the procedures of such lecture events in L7. Wish I had communicated this to my batch mates who would have provided right advice on arranging this guest lecture.
The worst day at IIT K was receiving a telex about my father's death right after two months after he left IIT K in 1975. He was only sixty years old. Three years before my mother's death I used to be busy looking after my mother when she was battling for her life. My brother and elder sister was away studying in India. IIT K student life made me focus totally into technical area. I hardly had a chance to be with my father to understand what he was engaged in. He used to be always busy with his hectic schedules when ever I went back home during holidays. I had very hard time getting out of the shock of loosing my father so abruptly. We had never heard of my father having any health problem. I and Hisila just could't believe the passing away of my father. In the reading room of girls' hostel there was a magazine with an article about my father by Mr. Brahmananda Mishra, Editor of Dharma Youg, Times of India. https://en.wikipedia.
Every time I traveled to IIT K from Patna my father's dearest friend Late Upendra Maharathijee http://www.
One of my father's aunt (Ratna Das's one of the daughters Maya Nini Aaji) who was dedicated all her life to Buddhism had spent all her life in Saranath, Kushi Nagar http://www.buddhist-
All through out I used to be grieving about the loss of my mother and tensions about my sisters those days. I often used to wonder during those days while at IIT K why father was not quitting all his activities and start concentrating about family problems when growing seven children needed attention the most. Those days I could hardly understand and analyse the situation my father must have been facing in absence of my mother. I do often recall close friends of both my mother and father discussing pathetic situation of my father. I even used to feel bitter about it may be because I was caught up with so much of complex situations at such tender and vulnerable age during IIT days and the situations of home during holiday period of my visits back at home. Some times I used to feel very bitter about my father for his negligence of looking after the health of my ailing mother before her death. The article about my father in 1975 right after his death by Mr. Brahmanda Mishra, Dharmayug, Times of India. who also mentioned about how my father used to be invited as a Chief Guest in several cases of Dr. Ambedkar's programs in India made me made me understand the strengths and role of my father. At the residence of Mr. Upedra Maharathi ( http://www.umsas.org.in/en/
More deails :
I returned back to Nepal and started exploring history about my both parents. I along with my sisters collected articles from hundred people who were well known politicians, writers and social workers of Nepal and published them in the form of a book called "Smriti Grantha of Dharma Ratna Yami". This book also included the biography of my father written by Maha Pandit Rahul Sanskrtyana which was published by Sasta Sahitya Mandal, monthly magazine, (three series) named Nepali Neta Dharma Ratna Yamii, New Delhi, 1953. Most of articles also covered about my mother's political contributions. I slowly (being student of Engineering field) started learning the complexities of Nepalese history and the sacrifices made by people during revolt against Ranas of Nepal through those articles. I was very surprised to know that this was the first case of publication of a book of this kind in the history of Nepal covering details of the events of struggle of people to achieve democratic rights in Nepal. The ruling government of those days always used to penalize any one exposing facts of such movements. Media used to be under strict control along with lots of restrictions in publications of books. No one had guts those days to write facts about people who contributed in fighting for democratic rights for citizens of Nepal. No wonder Tribhuvan University, History department, even now is always known to have unpopular academic program with least numbers of students attending classes with very low incentives available for doing research work. Their text books lacked coverage of true facts about the political history of Nepal. I didn't find so called leaders of Nepal in the governing system of that period impressive and to my understanding lacked knowledge and leadership qualities. It used to be the government practices not to keep the official records of most of those who gave life for freedom from Rana regime who lost properties and risked their lives. 104 years of banning of education during Rana regime had impacted on the poor development of people. Most of the people had no skill of expressing true evidences of their experiences and all valuable historical information disappeared as people aged and died. It used to be very unsafe those days for people who tried creating true factual documents of such people who sacrificed lives for the cause of democracy in Nepal in order to pass on that learning experiences to future generations. Most of the peole those days also lacked understanding the strengths of people like my father and his associates. Rulers always felt threatened with people like my father who had strong influences on citizens. I was advised by my father's friends to collect articles about my father from dignitaries of India too who gave life for the freedom of India and knew my father well. However, I lacked budget and I was too young then to travel back to India and perform this task. I didn't know how to contact all of them then. I could have used the strength of my batch-mates of IIT K in getting me connected to such people, however, I overlooked this part Today I do repent for not having explored getting materials about my father's details from Indian friends of my father about whom now I see their very impressive profiles in Wikipedia and YouTube video channels.
The ex-Priminster Mr, Tanka Prasad Acharya ( https://en.
Jyajee, daughter of late Rahul Shanskrityanan came to Nepal (A.D 2000) and met all my father's friends and relatives. Yesterday 19th Janury 2018 I had long talk with her over the phone. We discussed about our respective fathers. Few years ago I also had talk with Gopa, daughter of Late Upendra Maharathi. I am also in contact with Gauri Tiwari Awasthi, niece of late Dharamvir Bharati.
Today recalling back after 47 years I realized that I was growing faster than my 410 batch mates during IIT days and taking care of my sisters in order to carry forward wishes of my mother to educate all & create change agents in a very conservative communities of Nepal. It was indeed very tough job when I had to put up with such heavy competition among the cream top ranking students of India. It was indeed a real tough life at such vulnerable tender growing up age. Overall this tough life made me mature up faster to handle life. I feel satisfied to see that what my mother feared about the future of seven children before her death had come out well. During three years of illness of my mother had poured all her worries about the future of her seven children into my head. May be after her death there was "mini mother" working in my head which made me function like this. My other sisters too picked opportunities to pick up all the good values from IIT Kanpur. I am very grateful to the administration of IIT K to have given permission to give space for five years in girls hostel for Hisila in spite of IIT regulation of not allowing children to stay in that hostel. I am also grateful for allowing me to work part time in IIT K library when I had acute shortage of money. The institute also allowed to work in a research project for three years after graduation.
My elder brother was brought up in hostel since child hood in a missionary school. He was one of the best students and excelled in extra curricular actives during his student days. My mother rarely shared household problems probably she wanted him to be more focused in academics. Because he and my elder sister went through sever problem during early child hood when my father was imprisoned as a political prisoner and my mother too was arrested couple of times during revolt against Rana regime. Because of the early childhood sufferings these two children went through, my mother never allowed them to take responsibilities about house hold matters and wanted to provide them the best facilities although my elder sister had to look after all your sisters and house hold matters. My elder sister, (who became a medical doctor ) however, had to follow her husband to USA where she did MD and settled there. My brother unfortunately never understood the problems of the house.
One of the lessons learnt from my IIT days is in one's life any disaster can happen and we should learn to go through without fear in mind. The more responsibility one takes more the person grows with multiple perspectives. One shouldn't complain if constrained by limited resources. I had so many limitations in front of my bath mates. I could have easily given up, however, every thing worked out well. We should emerge as winners in every challenging situations. This used to be how my mother used to mentor us while she was alive. Mothers indeed are the great motivators for children.
I was so lucky to be in an environment at IIT K where Indian government IITs of India gave the best to the cream students of the nation. the best part that happened to me as I perceive is to have visionary political leaders in India who thought about establishing such an elite institute and the sacrifices the highly paid professors who left foreign universities and lucrative jobs to build an elite institute which produced next generation national and international leaders. Specially Pandit Nehru and his team showed a bold vision when they developed a policy to establish elite institutions in the country as top priority of the nation during early days of independence. it benefited not only Indian students but many students from neighboring countries like me.
The best period of my life was the time I spent at IIT K. Those years were very difficult and tough because of high competitive academic environment, however, that environment transformed me completely. The peer group circle was also very good. Hisila always says " IIT K days were the golden period of my life". I too have a very special place in my heart for IIT K. My days were life shaping. I learnt the art of analysis and assimilation of knowledge. Students and teachers were equally enthusiastic to share a happy moment together outside class. A place where some teachers could be real mentors whom you could confide in, even your deepest insecurities. We had so much freedom in our own campus without having the fear of being judged. curbs, restrictions and rules. I firmly believe that the deep relationships I have with my IIT friends specially GH girls, faculty members is because we had no city to distract us from being together on campus. For students of IIT this had made difference compared to other elite academic institutions of India which had closer access to city centers. Those were prehistoric days: no mobile phones, no Internet, no Whats-app and no FB. To call home students had to book a trunk call.. To go to the big, bad Kanpur city, which was at the other end of the earth, one had to wait for the IIT bus or beg a mate to drop us at the main gate from where one rode on a tempo to reach the city center and then took a rickshaw to reach wherever our escapade took us!
We come from very conservative family of Kathmandu valley. IIT K is always remembered among our family members whenever we gather together discussing about our college days. This place really helped my whole family members transform all together. Had my mother been alive how happy she would have been to see how IIT K transformed her siblings. My mother and her dream truly got fulfilled because of IIT K. This is the place which made me truly feel " Best people and places give you memories". In elite academic institution students get more other richer experiences besides academic achievements which most of the guardians and their siblings don't know.
The Silver Jubilee (2000) and 40th reunion (2015 ) of our batch-mates alumni meet gave me great chance to reunite with my batch mates. I was impressed with well-maintained infrastructure in a beautiful balance with the natural beauty. It was great occasion to know the success stories of our batch-mates. Coming back to IIT K after such a long break we all missed all our faculty members of our days. I can never forget the sacrifices the highly paid professors who left foreign universities and lucrative jobs to build an elite institute which produced next generation national and international leaders. I would like to thank them for developing us tirelessly and to acknowledge their contribution towards the society. Most of the girls had gone on to have a very successful and fulfilling career. Perhaps now it is time for them to fulfill some social responsibilities.
Why i didn't i socialize at IIT K? A batch-mate Pulin settled in Chicago introduced me to his son while he visited Kathmandu in 2017 saying " This is Timila and I am speaking to her for the first time in my life " as if I was "untouchable or an element from other planet" during IIT days of my life. This showed how cut off I was from batch-mates. This used to be similar scenario when some of my batch-mates introduced me to their respective spouses during reunion time. This makes me wonder why did't I socialize with all these great national and international leaders of my batch. TUBE LIGHT - the discovery of remaining cut off for so long after graduation ? Had I remained in contact with my batch-mates it would have impacted me a lot in growing my horizon and developing better perspectives in my life.
Facebook, Group mails and other Social Media brought us back together helping us reflect our past student days. Reunions like Silver Jubilee, 40th reunion, Goa visits etc is certainly helping us recreating out past. The reunions gave me this opportunity be be back and socialize more helping me discover what I missed during IIT days specially I missed the fun part. I do recall Prof. Usha Kumar asking boys in the class "why there so little interactions between boys and girls in IIT K ". I suppose because of typical Indian and Nepalese culture and because of the way of girls are brought up in societies those days and segregation that started in childhood which continued. I think this probably is the similar case with other IIT girls of those days.
People here are encouraging us to initiate writing biography of my father. Highlights on his associations with people like Rahul Sanskrityana, Upendra Maharathi, Dr. Ambedkar, Jaya Prakash Narayan, Atul Bihari Bajpai etc etc become very important. They were great friends specially when they were going through most difficult period of their lives during freedom movement, social activities and in literary front. If I can encourage Gopa (daughter of Maharathijee ), Jaya (daughter of Rahuljee), niece of Dharambir Bharatijee, Grandson Prakash of Dr. Ambedkar, children of Jaya Prakash Narayan. etc etc to write chapters for this book which may help in bringing out valuable information about history of both countries.
Buddhist Society of Bhaktapur, Nepal published a book on my father and they have written following :
"Besides this political potential of Dharma Ratna Yami he had immense knowledge of Buddha and Buddhist religion and the proof is his book “ Bauddha Darshan ko roop rekha”. Before this book was published in the year B.S. 2019 ( A. D. 1962) , he traveled to Lukhnow, Varanashi, Sharnath,Calcutta, Gyantok(Sikkim) and went around reading various doctrines (Granthas ) in Nepal and went through heavy debate sessions everywhere and only after 2 years and seven months he completed writing this book.
In his abstract highlighting the objective of the book about the greatness of Buddha and Buddhist religion as “ In new generation world history among so many Karmabir, Dharmabir, Warrior and Aaryabirs Gautam Buddha was “Aryatara”. His religion in todays world is relevant in term of peace of humanity while it was misused. No one like political leaders, scientists, philosophers can’t avoid in getting impressed with Buddha who succeeded in transforming Dharma Chakra as for the situation which is so lively ,very practical, So Mangalmaya ? , and so instilling inside the brain of humanity for peace of mind. etc etc
The impact of his religion has not only influenced Asia but Europe, Africa ,USA etc. many many times for the peace and betterment of humanity. People for Bidwat class heart and brain will attract towards east then this Buddhas freed peaceful religion-people will be compelled to say. Like he was not only expert in politics but also in religion. "
I always wanted to see some girls from Nepal joining IITs of India and I still have not heard any one so far. Now I am approaching girls from Nepal to compete in All India Joint IIT entrance to break this record.
I wrote inside blog " My father had authored twenty five books. I want to get all his books translated in multiple languages. My father traveled to Lukhnow, Varanashi, Sharnath, Calcutta, Gyantok(Sikkim), places in Nepal and went through debate sessions everywhere before completing one of his books named " Buddha Darshan ko Roop Rekha " and finally published it in A. D. 1962. The research scholars of Lumbini University in Nepal call this book as one of the brilliant materials available highlighting the true clear perspective of philosophy of Buddhism. I am sure the organizers of those programs in above cities must have documented his speeches including media overages. I also wish to get connected with the people who were with my father in those programs who also would be in position to allow us to have access to those materials. "
IIT alumni close group Facebook network (12,500 friend list ) may also may be able to help me exploring other remaining close associates of my father. The world is open for conversation. No matter where we’re located, we have the opportunity to connect with others and share information through social media. Trends in social media stretch from country to country and region to region, connecting people, ideas, brands and messages. It’s the communication medium that brings us all together, and it’s easily accessible.
Some of my batchmates : https://en.wikipedia.org/
and many more...who contributed indirectly.
A true example of out come of quality education!
During reunion period Feb. 2015 https://www.youtube.com/
I conducted session between IIT K students and IOE students through SKYPE to teach them about peer learning sessions. I also felt so proud to know the success stories of the children of my batch-mates. Meeting their spouses were even more exciting. Most of them have also done well in their life. No wonder there are so many success stories of my batch-mates and credit also goes to their spouses. I am sure they must have been one of those categories " behind every successful man there is a woman ". Some of my batch-mates introduced me to their spouses " This is Timila. I am speaking to her the first time in my life. She hardly spoke to us in our class during student days. We were 410 students and only two girs in the class!" . All their spouses just couldn't believe this !
Back in early 1970 days I came from a conservative traditional communities from Kathmandu valley, however, now ( 2018 ) all my cousins from mother and father's side ( large extended family structures from both sides ) have very exciting sibling groups. All those cousins who went through early marriages abandoning education at early ages have now very well educated children. They all have inherited the blood of our very hardworking nature of our great grand parents who went through disastrous ups and downs in life. The new generation have indeed inherited rich learning experiences and values from the past generation.