by SAGAR CHHETRI
GANGTOK, 09 May: Century-plus in age, and still healthy and charming, 103-year-old Kalawati Sharma Dhakal of Assam-Lingzey in East Sikkim received ‘descendants’ going down five generations at her home today on the occasion of Mata Tirtha Aunsi. This day is observed as Mother’s Day by the Nepali community with elaborate expressions of regard towards one’s mother, registering filial piety. Traditionally, those whose mothers have passed away, bathe and offer ablutions to their dead mothers at Matatirtha near Thankot village in Nepal. The fortunate ones visit their mothers with gifts of sweetmeats and receive blessing from them. For the Dhakal family, the day was exceptionally special today, with five generations getting the chance to receive blessings from their Hajur-Aama.
Not only is Hajur-Aama the only oldest living person of the area, but now she has also become a source of inspiration for the region and a glorious example of good and healthy living.
Members of the Dhakal family of Assam Lingzey along with the extended family of relatives, well-wishers, panchayat members and local people of the area gathered today at her residence at Assam Lingzey to take her blessings.
Hajur-Aama was born to Chandra Lall Tiwari and Dhan Maya Tiwari at Gyalshing in West Sikkim. She married Bharat Dhakal of Daragaon in Assam Lingzey. She was barely 9 years old at the time of her marriage and her husband, 10! Her husband was nominated a Panchayat representative of the area at the inception of Panchayati Raj in Sikkim under the monarchy. He passed away on 18 February 1982 at the age of 72.
Hajur-Aama bore three sons and five daughters, and then she welcomed 45 grandsons and granddaughters, with the next generation of 12 great grandsons and great granddaughters, five great-great grandchildren and four in the youngest generation of great-great-great grandchildren, Janaatis!
It was a joyous occasion at the Dhakal family home today, an occasion made more special by the fact that even in her advanced age of 103, Hajur-Aama is still in good health and her only complaints are with regard to low vision and poor hearing.
First-timers might not find her very coherent, but her family understands her well enough and conveyed that she is proud of never having suffered any serious illness and has never seen the inside of a hospital. She has never taken any prescription medicines of injections!
Yes has been the last of her generation for a while now. Back in December 2008, the panchayat members and people of the area had felicitated and honoured her for being an example and source of inspiration for the whole area.
Today, the family was joined by the area MLA, BB Rai, in offering respects to Hajur-Aama. He remarked that she stood as an example of the virtues of organic food and simple lifestyles of the past.
“Youth should take inspiration from her precious life and stay away from drugs and suicidal tendencies and value life more,” former panchayat president AP Rai commented today. He said that Assam Lingzey was proud to have her among them.
Likewise, Zilla Panchayat Ganesh Chettri mentioned that Hajur-Aama was a blessing for the whole area and that entire Assam Lingzey prayed for her to have an even longer life.
Hajur-Aama’s eldest son, 80-year-old Ram Prasad Dhakal mentioned that she was blessed to have seen her fifth generation and still be in such good health. He added that save some simple illnesses, she never complained for any serious discomfort.
Her second son, Bhim Prasad Dhakal, with whom she is living at present, mentioned that apart from very low vision and problem in hearing, she was totally fit and healthy and takes normal food. He underlined that she was also a very good person and enjoyed good relations with all the people.
Likewise, grandsons MN Dhakal and Yuvraj Dhakal mentioned that on the occasion of Mata Tirtha Aunsi, the entire Dhakal family along with relatives and local people decided to call on Hajur Aama and take her blessings.