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Raja bhai- My beloved cousin

The name itself hits me organically deep inside my subconscious . It takes me down the memory lanes to my childhood days . After going through different phases of life, I can certainly say my childhood days were the best. Carefree, pure, innocent and organic village life and my wonderful gang of mischievous friends.

I have so many stories to tell about my childhood. We always had so much adventures and fun. We had so many games to play outdoors ,as we didn't have any iPad or iPhone to indulge back then. We had marbles, homemade bows and arrows, dandi beeyo and cricket.

This one is a tragic event that happened during my childhood that i will never forget in my life.

I had a cousin same age as me. I will not say his name for privacy reason. Lets just call him my cousin. We were clearly the favorites of our grandparents. I had 4 uncles and a big family. My granpa had 5 sons and 3 daughters so we clearly have a big family. All the family members have their own houses . MY grandparents live in my cousins house so i used to hang out there all the time. We liked to get spoiled by our grandparents. We both were brilliant youngsters and usually try to beat each other in smartness. We were together from morning till evening doing all kinds of mischiefs. Stealing lichis ,mangoes. potatoes , radhishes from each others farm and sharing it with other friends . Sometimes we get caught and it was hilarious. My cousin was so clever and intelligent. We had memorized so many nursery rhymes and we used to sing it to the willing villagers who would reward us with candees or favors after hearing them. B

We had one more favorite thing to do . Our house was right by the highway. My uncle had a rickshaw business. He had lots of rickshaws and he used to give it for rent. When they come back to his house me and my cousin used to hope on the back without letting the driver know and get a little free ride. That was so risky and our parents always warn us not to do it. But we never cared and heed to the warning.

One day my mom forced me to go to the market. It was weekly Monday market that was pretty common in eastern villages of Nepal. People buy their weekly supplies . There was another one on Thursdays too. I didn't want to go to the market as I had plans to play with my cousin. But she forced me to go with her as she needed someone to carry some groceries.

We finished our shopping and were on the way back home . It was about 15 minutes walk across the river. There was a loud commotion and people were really angry about something. We overheard some people talking about a road accident where a kid had died. The murmur said Rajabhai was dead in a road accident in the highway near my house. Rajabhai was the popular nickname given to me by the villagers. That scared the bleep out of both me and my mother. We hurried towards the scene of the accident. Later everyone realized the kid in the accident wasn't me but my beloved cousin. He was riding the rickshaw with another kid while he jumped on the wrong side of the road and was hit by a truck. The people blocked the whole highway and there was a environment of chaos and trauma.

One small mistake and my beloved cousin had to lose his precious life. I still wonder what if i hadn't gone to market with my mom. Even though I lost him early , I will always remember him. The precious memories of us together will always be cherished. May his soul rest in peace. He left early but he left his mark in this world .

Still lot of lives are lost in nepali highways because of negligence, and lack of speed barriers near populated areas. Hope no other person has to lose another life that can be avoided through proper traffic rules and measures.

Yours sincerely,

Abhi Nepali

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