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Child

“I did not think much when I ran away from home to India. I was only 13. It was just fun and games with a few of us kids. When I returned home after a few years, father and mother cried tears of joy. Back at home, I began helping father with the animals and the fields. But I had already seen the city of an outside world, and I wanted to get away from the village. But the responsibilities at home were piling up so I could not just leave. I knew that someday I would go somewhere. As I grew older, many youths from the village were joining the Indian Army, and I tried my luck but I was rejected. They never told me why. By this time I had turned 21 and I was married and had a baby on its way. With very limited income and dwindling crops it had become difficult to sustain life in the village. Now going abroad to find work was no more a want but a need. Leaving my 8 months pregnant wife behind, I flew to Saudi Arabia. I remember sending a letter to my wife once I reached Saudi. My wife tells me that she received the letter the same day my daughter was born. I returned home almost after 4 years of toiling in the worst condition in Saudi. I did manage to bring some money home. When I reached home I did not recognise my own daughter. She was already 4 then. After 13 months of staying at home, all the money was gone and I found myself at the same desperate place I was in before I left for Saudi. There was no work for me in the village and with so little education, going to the city would have been foolish. So I went to Qatar. I laboured in Qatar for 14 years. Sometimes I would return home during holidays in a year or two. I missed countless occasions and many festivals, but most importantly I was not there to see my children grow. I returned from Qatar recently after 14 long years. I opened a small hotel here and I am surprised that with all the hard work I put in I am making a decent living for my family. My children are going to school and there is love between me and my wife. And finally after all this years of searching for happiness, I feel like I have found it. All this time, it was here, at home.” (Ganga Bahadur Gurung, Besisahar 8, Lamjung)