A 10-year-old priest putting tika on the forehead of a little pilgrim at Pashupatinath Temple (Prabin Koirala/Republica)
On a visit to Pashupatinath temple, a rare sight caught my attention and I went to take a closer look. There was a boy, not older than 10 years, intensely studying the palms of a much older man. The look of concentration in his face and the professional way in which he was examining the fate lines spoke of quite some experience.
I found out that the nine year old kid – Subhash Ghimire – spends his Saturdays and public holidays around Pashupatinath with his parents where he can be seen tying the sacred thread around people’s wrists and putting tika on their foreheads. He also does palm readings on the side and earns around 500 to 1500 per day. This he gives to his parents, Krishna Ghimire and Devi Ghimire.
Originally from Dolakha and currently residing at Ghotatar in Kathmandu, the family moved to the capital for better education and work opportunities. Subhash studies in grade two at Balsarathi Academy and is as good in studies as he is in palm reading. He came second in class in his recent exams. Subhash says he wants to be an army officer when he grows up and serve his country.