DANG, Oct 12: Times may be rough on them but they are always optimistic. Despite living under tattered tarpaulins, the locals often say: “We'll surely celebrate the next year's Dashain under broader shelter!”
Every Dashain passes in optimistic note – the wishful thinking of being able to celebrate the next festival under a new house. However, it has already been four years and yet they do not have permanent houses to welcome the festival.
Most of the locals of Bakhariya village of Tulsipur in Dang district are celebrating the festival under tarps. “We'd like to celebrate Dashain in our own house but we won't let the tarps to dampen our spirit,” the locals said.
The settlement was washed away by floods in the Babai River four years ago. Many found themselves without a house in the aftermath. Although life is difficult inside tarps, the festive fervor is still there.“
There's no use of feeling sad over things that are beyond our control. We have to flow with the time and celebrate the festival as best as we can,” said Bishna Badi, a local.
The displaced settlement has also others to celebrate the important Hindu festival. With the little money they have, families have bought new clothes for their children. They are busy managing the best dishes to celebrate the festival with their beloveds.
Bishna said they are planning to celebrate the festival in the grandest way they can afford. “I used to feel sad when festivals approached. But now our family has learnt to take the tarps as our own home. We are moving on and hence do not feel as bad these days.”
Another local, Hasila Badi is also busy making preparations for Dashain. “My children are yearning for new clothes and tasty food. I'm preparing to visit Tulsipur market to purchase the necessities and celebrate the festival with the family.”
Hasila's family did not experience Dashain fervor for two years. Sharing the plights of being displaced, he said, “We used to cry when festivals approached because we cannot fulfill our desire to celebrate the festival. While the neighboring settlements celebrated it in joy, we could only feel bad and curse our luck.”
He is also preparing to welcome guests and relatives to celebrate the joyous festival together. “Although it is difficult to provide them shelter in congested tarps, we'll leave no stones unturned to have fun and joyous moments,” said Hasila.
For them, the festival provides an opportunity to forget their plights momentarily. It is the respite from pains that they badly need.