“Father died of drinking, a few years after mother died. Maybe, he could not bear the tragedy. He drank everyday. If I sit to remember him, I do not find fond memories. He sold everything. In a short span of time we went from having a good life to having nothing.
One day, he told us that we were leaving from our village in Sindhuli. With us came our grand parents. We settled in a village in Sarlahi. Father’s drinking escalated and he died. We were left with our grand parents who did not have love in their hearts. They said, ‘What burden, you and your brother are to us, in this old age.’ They would tell us to find work. They would say, ‘Find work, bring money home or you go hungry.’
I was only 12 and did not know what to do. One night, I woke my brother up, packed some clothes, quietly stole some bread and some money and left. I did not know where I was going. After several days of walking and on buses and trucks, we landed in Narayanghat. We had no money. I could stay hungry for days but I needed to feed my brother. So I started asking people for work. And they asked me to run errands for them.
“Go do this, go do that, and you will get food.” So I found ways to feed ourselves. I remember that my brother has fallen sick and I had no money to admit him in a hospital. We had slept in a staircase of a house and an old woman had offered some herbs. I was angry at my father but also really worried about my brother. But luckily he felt better after a few days. Living around the market of Narayanghat, people started knowing me. And in no time I was driving a rickshaw. I was only 13 years old. And in no time, living in the market, we grew up. I started learning the tricks of earning money – buying and selling vegetable, transporting goods and treating everyone fairly.
Years passed like minutes. People saw my hard work, I earned enough trust and I started to make money. I found a girl and married and I have children today. My brother also started a family and he loves me and respects me and I am happy for him. I have not achieved much, nor hoarded wealth, but I did what I had to, what I needed to, everyday, all the time. And today I am telling you my story, with a very happy heart.” (Barun Devkota, Mugling, Chitwan)