I wish I could have taken a picture. This old Nepali lady sat next to me in the bus. She was going shopping, she told me with a sweet smile on her face. Just before that the boy next to me had helped her to sit down on the seat in the front of the bus.
Old ladies in Nepal are treated with respect. According to the CIA World Factbook, the life expectancy in Nepal is around 65 years. The percentage of people over 65 years old is 4,3%. There aren’t many old people around here. And the ones that are still here, they deserve the respect.
These are the people that have lived their life. They worked on the fields, carrying baskets with the harvested rice. They walked the mountains with grass and firewood. They cooked their families dal bhaat day after day.
They’ve seen this land change, from a Hindu state to a secular one. They were here when the royal family was in charge, and when they were murdered.
They saw Nepal step from the stone age into the 21st century in just 50 years time.
Their wrinkles tell the stories.
I wonder what they think about the current situation in Nepal – no constitution, no prime minister. Today is the third round of elections, as the contestants haven’t been able to get a majority of the votes so far.
Before I could ask her, we arrived at Bagar. The driver told the busboy to give her a hand and help her with her bag. She smiled and then slowly walked down the street to get some fruits and vegetables.
This hajur aamaa* was one of many, and I just hope Nepal will take care of them, like they have taken care of Nepal.
*hajur aamaa = respectful term for old women. Literally means ‘grandma’.