Life and Death in Pashupati


“Here and there they are seating in the courtyard and on the shrine platform with absorbed in detailed memories of a distant happiness. Or it is a place where elderly people are left by their families to die? Thousands question will haunt you but there is no one to answer you but only your inner realm of emotion. They submits to being fed, here, in a old home, It’s the same every day, every day…..I understand, when you get here you don’t worry about the future. Then, I mesmerize, May God bless and give them solace.” – GMB Akash

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Once you enter the premises of the Briddhasram at Pashupathinath you can’t help but feel like you are transcended time back at least half a century or more, to a place where the world moves very slowly.

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Looking at the bed side a damped photo of a grandchild while a grandma smiles and say she didn’t see her last 10 years yet she sleeps with a same photo in her mind. They were like reciting their homelessness to me. I have to capture their souls to keep their image from disappearing out of sight.

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There, you can see all grey haired elderly citizens doing nothing but spending lazy moments for hours in the courtyard and on the shrine platform. Some curious eyes follow you as you walk pass the welfare gate. If any of them is busy praying than other is trying hard to bend and dust off his cloths. A place, all you hear is the steady sound of the wheeled metallic support of an elderly with crippled feet or a faint sound of a broken radio which is playing Nepali song or news.

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(Social Welfare Centre Briddhashram is the only Elderly’s Home operated by His Majesty’s Government in the Kingdom Nepal. At present it is being operated by the name of Social Welfare Centre Elderly’s Home, Pashupati since 1977 A. D. The total sheltering capacity of this Elderly Home is 240 persons. These residents suffer from many illnesses associated with old age; including paralysis, failing eyesight and deterioration of mental faculties)

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For some it is a depressing scene to see people at the end of life, away from family, living in the Briddhasram. But for many, this is a place where they seek refuge from an ever speeding life and feel satisfied enough simply helping and sharing talk with the older citizens. The residents of the home don’t talk much to each other, which gives you an aura of wilderness where no word is spoken; but they really live for each other closely for rest of their life. This home for the elderly fills one with hope. What gives hope is that although they have lost families and possessions, the residents still care, they care for each other and they retain a deep sense of humanity.

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Many people believe that they must help and protect their parents, when they become old. I personally believe that this is a moral obligation that every child should have towards their parents, whichever the way they choose to do so but they should never let them break apart alone.

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“Through my lens I try to listen to their silent voices, in absolute solitude and silence,for I am sure I shall be able to hear about their unbearable wounds in which they stumbled upon alone years after year. So I take out my camera, go inside the place and merged with their pain”

– GMB Akash

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39 thoughts on “Life and Death in Pashupati

  1. ¿Es esto lo que nos espera. cuando más ayuda necesitamos?. Sin embargo, creo, que aún nos queda nuestra propia dignidad humana (siempre y cuando nuestra capacidad mental esté en buen estado), muy a pesar de las circunstancias externas de nuestra vida familiar. La vida y los hechos lo van demostrando, solamente nos tenemos a nosotros mismos y a los que la vida va poniendo a nuestro alrededor. Sigamos pensando que amar es mejor que ser amado. !!

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  2. Powerful images. It is sad to see these people separated from their families…. it’s a sign of the “progress” we are making as civilized peoples, for it happens throughout the world, to our endless shame.

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  3. Again powerful images. What a great photograph of the child under the net, and the two, I assume, ajoined women interacting. The elders in the street tear at my heart and soul. Such a vulnerable population whom deserve our care and respect yet they are left …

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    • we can do much for themselves if only we wish to do so. Its within our ability to cause everything to change. But alas we all are now self centered and declined to our responsibilities towards humanity.

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  4. GMB I can’t help but say wooooowww, all images u shared are truly heart touching, it reminds me of the memory of my grandmother, most of us are afraid to get old and depends to others, awesome work once again…

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    • I appreciate your thoughts. You encourages me hugely. Thanks a lot. About the topic yes, this is heartbreaking to see silent death of grandparents and there is no proper word to describe it.

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  5. This story brought back memories of when my father died, and some family members thought my mother should be ‘put in a home’. They argued she would be taken care of, be safe…but it wasn’t what she wanted. After months of debate, I finally tore up the papers and told mother she could stay in her own home as long as she felt she could manage. With weekly visits from me and my brothers and daily phone calls, she managed quite well for another 23 years! Was it difficult? Yes. Was it inconvenient? Of course. But it was small compensation for the lifetime of love and support she had given me. We learned so much about each other in those years. It was such a blessing for me to have that opportunity to give back to the woman who taught me so much.
    Thank you Akash….for sharing their stories and bringing a little recognition to their lonely lives.

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    • Dear Jilly,

      Thanks for connecting this story with you. Actually if we every individual can feel how precious the affection of our parents for us then all this crisis may never break out. It needs courage and love to take a step. We can not shut and close our heart to the people who has brought up us with their everything.

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