8-14 May 2015 #757

Bye-bye baba

Raju Adhikari in Nagarik, 4 May

It was a happy day for ten-year-old Nishma Khadka (pic). On Saturday morning, her father Krishna Bahadur had taken her to Charikot, from there the duo along with the teachers of Galaxy Public School headed to Khasa. Her mother, Parvati, and her younger brother were supposed to accompany them, but since Parvati wasn't feeling well only father and daughter went for the outings.

While the teachers headed to the Chinese side, Nishma and Krishna Bahadur waited on the bus. "We couldn’t go because baba forgot his citizenship card," said Khadka. While they were waiting, the bus started shaking. Once outside the bus, they felt the earth trembling and saw the rocks falling from the slopes. Khadka held on tight to her father as they ran for cover.

Just as the duo tripped on a water pipe and fell down, a rock hit her father's head. Unable to get up, he urged his daughter to run. "I ran and when I turned back I could see him waving at me. Then suddenly he was gone," said Khadka. That image still haunts her.

"I thought he was injured in the earthquake but when my daughter-in-law and grandchildren came without him, I knew," said Man Maya Khadka, 72, Krishna Bahadur's mother. Dil Bahadur Khadka, Krishna's 82-year-old father, remembers the last time Krishna and his family were home. "He had promised to come home during Dasain," said Dil Bahadur "but he will never return now."

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