We wanted to visit the family of L/Havaldar Chitra Bahadur, who died with Lt Nawang Kapadia. His family lives in Balithung village, near Besisahar, Pokhara. We inquired about this first in the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and then at the Indian Pension camp in Pokhara. Both had not intimation of his death and stated that the his unit may have directly sent the urn containing his ashes to the family. In such a situation it was not advisable to visit the family as we did not want to be bearer of this tragic news to them.
The Indian Pension Camp is a wonderful establishment, well managed under a Colonel of the Indian Army. It distributes pensions from about 48 organisations in India to Nepali citizens in the Western Nepal Areas. The total amount distributed is about 400 Crores (in Indian Rupees) annually. Detailed records are maintained and this Herculean task is managed efficiently.
At the entrance is the statue of the Gorkha soldiers with their motto : Kayar Hunu Bhanda, Maran Ramro (It is better to die in valour than be a coward). There is a parade ground and rest house.
After passage of sometime we hope to visit the family of L/Havaldar Chitra Bahadur. By strange twist of fate he is linked in death to Lt. Nawang Kapadia
Geeta has taken up to plant trees in memory of Lt Nawang. Many friends also has been planting trees in his memory. In Pokhara we visited the site of the â€œInternational Mountain Museumâ€. This is a huge site where a large Mountain Museum is to inaugurated soon. We planted a holy â€˜Swamiâ€ tree here near the entrance to the Museum. Mr Jalakji, who is looking after the project, assured us that onc the tree has grown they plan to construct a platform surrounding this tree. All visitors will enter from this gate and many will rest under its shade.
Similarly two trees were planted on the banks of the Bagmarti river near Kathmandu. This is a holy river which passes the shrine of Pashupatinath, is in a filthy state at present. Mr Bikrum Pandey who has some land on it bank, has taken to planting trees onits bank and ultimately hopes to contribute to cleaning this river. Many famous mountaineers passing through Kathmandu has planted trees here, including Sir Chris Bonington. We planted two fruit trees here, an Oragnge tree and a Pear tree.
Harish and Geeta Kapadia