“Sir, you will not be able to climb”, stay back at home advised Phurpu Dai. I just could not stop myself. The sheer feeling of being in the Himalayas had energized me from core. However, the body was in a continuous hustle with brain whether to go or not. The body had already taken much the previous day.
We got on a TATA Sumo, popularly known as Taxi here in Nepal. The destination was Aamachoding, a remote village in Rasuwa district. The taxi took us through the recently excavated road above Trishuli’s edge. Rocks could fall from above and the rocks beneath could slip at any time. Undoughly, this was one of the most fearful road trip I have ever done. This fear was further amplified when the taxi stopped in half-way just to show us another taxi that had fallen into the river couple of days ago, where half a dozen people died. I could not help myself from tightly grasping the seats edge throughout the 5 hours trip. On the way we could see the beautiful Trisuli, along with it the big construction projects China was helping Nepal with. River beneath hills and hills beneath mountains and there I was totally amazed how beautiful Nepal is. Finally we arrived at Aamachoding. This was going to be my first night in the Himalayas.
Here in the morning, I was facing the beautiful Langtang and with a cup of tea in my hand. I could hear Trishuli flowing beneath me straight from laps of Sanjen Himal. “ Let’s go” was the call from Phurpu Dai, knowing that I would not stay back even if he asked me too. We were in his house at elevation of 2,200 m above sea level and we had to make the climb up to 4,500 meters the same day to reach the Kharka.
I drive throughout the week and rarely exercise in Kathmandu. I exactly do not considered myself among the fit category and that showed off. After 1 hour of walk and few minutes of steep climb. I was breathless. Phurpu dai looked at me and smiled, “ Sir, I told you to stay back. Let’s rest for a while”. He then took out a packet of biscuit and a bottle of Fanta. He was carrying it all the way so that I could have it when I wanted. This was a really emotional moment. After a while we started walking again.
Thirteen hours of continuous walk. I do not know how I was able to pull it of. Totally sweating and breathless. Finally we saw the Kharka. Seeing that small kharka after climbing 2,500 meters in a day is one of the most successful moments I have ever felt. Inside the kharka was father and a friend of Phurpu Dai. Soon we found ourselves, welcome with Gundruk and rice along with Chauri’s milk. That food felt like heaven. After food was done, we sat down with Phurpu dai and heard his story:
Following the on going trend. Phurpu Chewan wanted to go abroad in 2063 BS. He collected all his fortunes and applied for Singapore. However, the broker’s promises were all fake and he got no job. He returned home. With fortune and time both lost, his had very low self esteem. It was then that few of the fellow villagers brought this plan of working in Afghanistan. Again hoping to secure a stable future for his family despite of the risk evolved, Phurpu sold his family land. Once again, he flew to a foreign land. Yet luck was not in his favor, The broker faked the papers again. His was stopped middle way in a third country on way to Afghanistan. Again he had to return home. Here he was devastated, land, time and money lost. Totally restless and no way to look into future.
Life of looking for opportunities and waiting to hit the next country was going on. In middle of which he went to Ilam for a visit with friends. There he was surprised to see the herbal farm and its business. These were the herbs that were hugely found in his home town. This was the moment when he realized that Nepal has potential. He has to start here in Nepal. Totally energized he came to Rasuwa and started Chiraito farming. While Chiraito farming was going on, he fell in nostalgia with his traditions. His tradition of travelling around mountains, hoarding yaks and being right there in the lap of Himalayas. It was then that he started a dairy company where he bought milk from local farmer sold it along with other milk products. This made him Rs. 2 lakhs. From that 2 lakhs he bought 3 Chauris. This step was hugely supported by his father. His father insisted that he continue his family tradition and buy Chauris, in returns father offered to live in Kharka and hoard the Chauris.
At 2064, he started doing animal husbandry of Chauri in Rasuwa. He took loan from agriculture department and further extended his farm by increasing the number of Chauri. While he had 10 Chauri, after cutting all the expenses, he received Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000 profit annually. And slowly he increased up to 30 Chauri and as for now, he gains, Rs. 1,50,000 amounts of profit annually.
From being heart broken to a satisfied soul. From moving across countries for job to earning Rs. 1,50,000 anually in profit. Phurbu Chewan did it here in Nepal, living beside his family and living in the lap of Himalayas.
Thank you to Phurbu Chewan dai and Ashok Adhikari for making this story possible.