Karnali: A dark with Freezing day due to Crash of Jumla Bound Nepal Airline,16 February 2014

Karnali: A dark with Freezing day due to Crash of Jumla Bound Nepal Airline,16 February 2014

by Radha Paudel
Nepal Airlines: The crash plane, 16 February  2014
No any argument on each human born for die, and no one able to predict. However, I have very tough time to tolerate the pain from the horrifying, terrific crash of Nepal Airlines 9BB on 16 February 2014. I have been bonding with Nepal Airlines (NA) due to association of my dear inspirational dai Vijay Lama. Most of the NA staff helped me while travelling. Many of them knew me due to spoke on his popular television program BLACK and WHITE. I also often use it while flying from and to Kathmandu and Jumla. The direct flight is easy and cheapest than other flights though bit hard to get the tickets for ordinary people. Because there is quota for the government people, security, leaders and so on etc. Officially, I do not posses anything though sometimes I also flew by approaching myself and sometimes via travel agent. My favorite route for the direct flight is via Pokhara because it flies over Dolpa. I do not stepped in Dolpa yet and secondly, I always feeling of `flying bird’ while flying over the mountain of Dolpa. I feel so proud of my country and my mountain.
 I started my journey to Jumla since 2001 by Asian helicopter where the airport under construction for black topped. I would say that I have experienced of all forms of planes and helicopter except army.  Since day one, I always enjoy in plane where most of my friends are phobic, they chanting the names of the god/goddesses and asking for the wishes for safe and pleasant flight. I don’t know why that I simply sleep even a 30 minutes flights or enjoying with big bumping.
Due to nature of my work and philosophy, most of the people in Jumla, simply love me, respect me and relation (nata) with me; some called me elder sister, some young sister, many called me Phupu (sister-in-law), some called me Thulimummy (mom’s sister). In village, mostly people called me Radha, Radha nani, Radha Sir and very few are calling me Radha jee and Radha Madam. To me, there is no minister, no parliamentarian, no rich, no political identity and so on,  I simply but from my heart called brother, sister mother, father  and jee. Some of them called me during the special days, wishing me and invite me to eat when I am in Jumla. Some are really remember me during festivals and greetings me as like kinship e.g. they touched my foot/hand for greetings. In this ocean of love and respect, very few people just jealous and blamed me. Sometimes, it is more than blaming, press released against me. Usually, I knew such kinds of messages bit late; may be a week or month or more than that. But I never upset, I never angry with them because this is not their fault, the key gap in socialization including pro-longed depression and feudal mind set and culture of Jumla.
While travelling in and out of Jumla, I am lucky and I always get opportunity to take care of kids, money, sick person, valuable materials etc. In 12 Dec 2013, I was flying back from Jumla with Sujay Lama and Dr Edmund Kellerman. They are senior Tennis coach in US and board of directors of the Project Nepal. They were in Jumla for monitoring visits of their support as well as support Action Works Nepal. But, I was busy in chatting with my Jumla friends and relatives such as Barsa Neupane Hamal and her son, EKesh Bikram Hamal, Manav Sejuwal and so many others.
Barsa Neupane Hamal  (Nurse)and Ekesh Hamal
Ekesh was playing at inside of Jumla Airport

Barsa Neupane Hamal was the daughter in law of Sarpananda Hamal, wife of his younger son (Dipendra Bikram Hamal). Sarpananda is close family friend since 2001 while we worked together for establishing blood bank in Jumla. His grandson, Ekesh had disappointed to leave his grand dad so I try to please him by shooting photo, giving snacks and playing with him. His grand dad also asked me to take care of his daughter in-law and grandson.

During that flight, a patient was also with us so I was running to find the relatives to handover the patient. Meantime, Manav Sejuwal dai was also helping me in this process. He called ambulance to transfer the patient to hospital. I knew him since 2001 as a genuine political leader, representing Nepali Congress. He was district president in Jumla. He was the first MSC from Karnali. His wife, Kantika Sejuwal is my friend and we are together in many networks e.g Women Human Right Defender.
Transferred the patient at Nepalgunj airport
Manav Sejuwal in podium 
In Jumla, there are many lovely and funny stories associated with my life and work. In 2001, I was only one woman officer in Jumla so most of the people knew me. I also know but I do not know exact name and relation even today. I keep on confuse all the time J. I do not know that the Tek Bhadur Mahatara and Nanda Mahatara were couple for long. Both were so lovely and role model couple in Jumla. Usually in Jumla, the men are so exposed and women are not and there is huge gap in socialization between husband and wife. But that was the perfect couple, work together, travel together and always smiling. Three years back, Tek Bhadur stopped me in front of his house and requested for tea. He added, pleased just called us if you don’t have time to spent with us. We were so grateful and proud with you for leading to establish blood bank and C-section in Jumla at the first time in Karnali. Mrs Mahatara added, Radha madam, I missed your long and thick hair with Sari, she put long laugh in each meeting. Recently, she just recovered from the breast cancer; she shared with me all details. She is so courageous woman as well and her husband is real role model among men (REAL MEN). They were came to Kathmandu for follow up and others stuffs along with me on November 2013.
Tek and Nanda Mahatara
Since 2001, I was associated with Devkota family when I started to stay in Hotel Everest in Bijaynagar as paying guest. This house is belonging with Mahashanker Devkota. The association is more strong and lovely when I and Bhanu were survived in terrific war between Maoist and Nepal army on 14 November 2002. Mahashanker Devkota considered me as god daughter/adopted daughter. Devkota family is really big, even today I do not know exact name and relation but I know s/he belongs with Devkota family that means with me. They also love me and support me accordingly though we are not much closely communicated except with Bhanu’s family and Chandra (recent days). I know a brother is working in Agriculture Bank and recently in Jumla’s as a In-charge. Usually, dad (Mahashanker) and ama (mother) updates the things.
Since 2001, I keep on observing a young, genuine, calm and dynamic lady in Jumla. I know her as a player, teacher, Radio anchor. Recently, she had many hats/identities such as vice president of Nepal Red Cross Society, Jumla, President of Radio Nari Awaj, Jumla and President of Mahila Shashkta Sanjal (women’s network), Jumla.  In order to strengthen her skills and knowledge, I started to coach her, use her as resource person for Action Works Nepal, brought her to Kathmandu to train her etc. Radio Nari Awaj is also a partner organization of Action Works Nepal so voluntarily I worked with her to improve her radio as well e.g. strategy formulation.  We ate together, slept together, work together several times in village and headquarter of Jumla and Kathmandu. She was also a nominee for Youth Champion Peace Leader 2013 initiated by UNDP, for details; http://n-peace.net/candidate/candidate-11. Further, she was very good friend of Samjhana, Saroj too.
Gauri as a Nominee for Youth Champion for Peace 
Gauri with black scarf and cream white in front row 
In 16 February 2014, I was in Kathmandu office. Samjhana shouted from her office `Radha didi, Radha didi, Jumla’s plane is out of contact.’ I was numbed. I knew some of my friends and relatives were flying and the nature of Jumla flight. Then I started to call Jumla and Kathmandu who were available in mobile network to ensure who were flying. Many of Jumla friends and relatives didn’t know about it, I felt bad. The name list of crew team and passengers were confirmed till afternoon but didn’t know about the status of the plane whether it was lost or kidnapped or anything. Media shared very in consistence news and photos. Samjhana, saroj and www.onsnews.com team came to my residence and keep on trying to find the info by calling police, CDO, army who were involve in the rescue team in Arghakhachi. We gave up everything and paid full energy towards the plane crash. Called to Jumla and asked friends to take care of relatives of victims. In 17 February 2014, many of us gathered in Singhdarbar to create pressure for expedites the search of plane and later we gathered in Sundhara. Finally, about 500 people from Karnali and others gathered in front of the TU teaching hospital for getting dead bodies. Unfortunately, dead bodies arrived late. The process is very systematic and scientific too. Authorities called three family members and taught about the process. They gave us a form (Ante Martum) for filling the gaps about the details about victim (identification). It had 22 pages. I also was inside along with Sarpananda and Dipendra. Later, the friends from Jumla and Nepalgunj also started to come. We filled it well.  When I met Lalit jung Shahi, Bhanu, son of Ms/Mrs Mahatara (Santosh), I really hard to take breath.
About 3.30 PM, of 18 February, 2014 we received the dead bodies. We all went to the Pashupati. I was in Rajendra’s body to Pashupati by Ambulance. I was there till 10.30 PM. I didn’t like to leave the cremation till over. The entire Pashupati was full crying, smoke, occupied by all relatives and friends. Dipendra wanted to burn together of Brasa and her son so we waited for while and over only at 10.30 PM. But two dead bodies still not recognized (administrative process) because they flew at the name of different person. Manav dai and Gauri’s also not over due to political reason. Nepali congress wanted to put Manav’s body in its party office for condolence and Gauri’s mom was coming late from Jumla (initially, Gauri’s body planned to bring to Jumla).
In 19 February 2014, we started to burn our friends since morning. We did Gauri’s about 9 am where Nepal Redcross Society, player and Federation of journalists in Nepal and many people were there. She never married woman so there was confusion for performing funeral activities. Paban, Gauri’s nephew wanted to lead the process, he did fire on dead body (dagbatti), he mentally prepared for that. Unfortunately, his dad and neighbors not agree with him according to Hindu mythology. I know Gauri well, we share the plans  so Paban is right person. I also spoke with Tara (Gauri’s brother) and others to change the Shastra (mythology). I said, does Shastra write about daughter to perform funeral of their parents, my sister and myself did along with our brother so let’s change the frame of Shastra. There was big debate and finally Paban was chosen when Gauri’s mother also suggested for the same.
Then, about 1 PM, Manav’s body brought from party office, he was kept on pyre no 2, considered VIP. Sher Bhadur Deuba and Prakashman Singh were there for honoring him by putting Nepali Congress’s flag over his body.
I knew almost all, Dr Bikalpa Pokhre because I have special connection with Jumla hospital due to establishing a blood bank and C-Section. He was continuing the things which are initiated since 2002 during my time. Deepak Shrestha, a major was appreciated my book Khalangama Hamala, he was good friend of my friends. I knew all of them in a way and other except Denis citizen.
While Manav was on fire, I felt so bad and asking myself; why do I survive all the time? Manav, Barsa, Ekesh, Tekendra and Nanda were together with me while leaving Jumla in November and December 2013 respectively.  I have very bad headache. I couldn’t control myself and I ran back to residence.Indeed, I love to die via air crash or heart attack though it would very panic to relatives/family/friends.
Likewise, I wonder myself, the big chunk of productive people were lost from Jumla which push back about 20 years of Jumla’s development because they are role model in all sectors; politics, journalism, teaching, banking, doctor, nurse etc.
To me, it is the more pain and lose than the Jumla’s attack by Maoist in 14 November 2002. The entire Jumla freeze and in dark.
Now, I am sick having chest infection, severe headache, none of the medicine works. I have no word to express my pain, feeling so empty in my heart and mind.
Love you all, and may your departed souls REST in PEACE. I like to borrow a word of Sarpananda dai; make the space in Heaven for me, I will come one day to see you all.
Dead bodies in TUTH, Maharajgunj
After identification of dead bodies, ready to bring Pashupati
Final good bye to all 
For video news, here is the link https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=745042455514256&set=vb.381311218554050&type=2&theater

PS: This is my personal experience and feelings, my observation Only, I wrote and share for ventilate myself, self counselling 

0 thoughts on “Karnali: A dark with Freezing day due to Crash of Jumla Bound Nepal Airline,16 February 2014

Ujwal Thapa February 20, 2014 at 4:03 pm

Thank you Radha for reminding us about the good people on board that flight ! your words have made us realize the gravity of loss Nepal had on Feb 16th.


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