Guna Raj Dhakal
KMC Hospital, ICU BED NO. 406
Not only I but almost everyone loves the property of hardworking bees. Honey is one of my favourite foods. Yet, I have forgotten the sweet taste of honey many times. Because of this I have reached a very serious stage in my life time and time again.
The ‘Honey Scandal’ has been repeated many times in my life. How could I forget the sweet taste of honey? I don’t know, but honey has often reminded me of sweet taste as well as unpleasant memories. However, I still love honey. Here are some of the events in my life related to tasting honey.
When I was young, one day my grandfather was fetching honey to home. I went near him with the desire to eat honey. I went closer and watched while my grandfather was extracting honey from the hive. Grandfather praised the bee’s hard work. The bees not only prepared honey by collecting the juices of various flowers and plants with great diligence but also explained the Ayurvedic importance of honey. He claimed that those who regularly consume honey will not get any disease.
While Grandfather was talking about himself being a priest in the Gorakhpur platoon during the British rule, he ate bee honey and became fat all day long. “Aiyaan …!” I shouted. Grandfather took out the stinger from the place where it had been bitten and put honey on it. In an instant, the pain subsided.
Grandfather said that it is good to be bitten by bees. Then he gave me a big bowl of fresh honey jelly to eat. I tried to eat all, but after having about the half, it felt slight dizziness. I told him that I would take the rest later. Then my grandfather put it in his container and told me to eat later. Next day, I ate all there. The container was completely dry then. I felt a little tired in my entire body. However, I felt the mamaghar (mother’s maiden house) host made my body healthy again.
I became a great friend with my grandfather. Next time again, my grandfather took home the extracted honey. So I got into the habit of eating milk and honey as my daily diet. When my grandfather explained the Ayurvedic importance of honey, I listened to him attentively. His expression ‘honey is the medicine for any disease’ is still fresh in my mind.
One day while I was in college, I went to my maternal uncle’s house. That time, my grandfather was not feeling well. I requested him to go to Pokhara for treatment and he readily accepted my request. Grandmother was also there together to Pokhara. As my grandfather gave first priority to the Ayurvedic treatment, we went to Saaila Vaidya in Pokhara.
After the check-up, Saaila Vaidya prepared a separate list of medicines for my grandparents. Explaining the method of taking the medicine, he said that my grandfather’s problem could be cured quickly if it the medicine were taken with honey. The praise of honey by Saaila Vaidya and my grandfather is still fresh in my mind.
It was not a big deal for me to feel the glory of honey beyond the words of my grandfather and Saaila Vaidya. Then I started eating honey mixed with whatever food I could get.
Time was passing. I arrived Kathmandu and started a job with Plush Engineers and Architech to conduct a three-month long survey to prepare a District Development Plan Profile for Drinking Water and Sanitation Project in Bajhang, Bajura, and Achham districts under Asian Development Bank. I was also involved in the field work. It is not possible to describe how much honey and kodo bread we purchased during the field work. We bought drinking water too. One afternoon, I felt so hungry and poured the honey jelly into the lid of a tumlet. I took as much as I could. Then, I felt my hunger only after I had crossed two tall hills.
After eating honey with the kodo bread in the evening, you will feel better. Thus, I finished two liters in two months. When I reached a Rishidaha in Achham, I added two more liters. Again I took one liter during a month-long walk. The three-month journey ended with the plan for a rest in Kathmandu.
After arriving Kathmandu, I felt ill. I went to Kathmandu Hospital in Tripureshwor for the check- up. The money I had earned in the three months of the field work was squandered in three days. The doctor could not diagnose the cause of my illness. Actually, I was sick because of the honey. Yet, my love for honey was still there.
When honey was extracted at my home, I would get at least half a litter as my share. Life was glorious until honey was found available. I was fascinated by honey. Later a day, my daughter Babita came to Kathmandu for higher studies. There came honey along with her. I did not pay any attention to any other Kosheli (gift), but we started eating honey first.
After the earthquake of 2072 BS, while I was returning from the survey work for rockfall protection at Bhotekoshi Hydropower in Sindhupalchok, I was thrilled to see the honeycomb. It happened then that the wind blew honey out of our drone as we were planning how to get to the shift.
There was a local Mewang Sherpa brother too in our team of eight. When I came to Kathmandu, my entire team members returned to Kathmandu. The Sherpa brother brought me some honey as promised. There was no question of not eating that honey. I fed my son by mixing the honey in milk. He also liked it as sweet as I did. Soon after, he came onto me and complained of some illness. I had just taken him into my arms when he vomited on my arms. Although it was urgent a case, we did not take him to hospital. Gradually recovered on his own. Next evening, I fed him half a teaspoon only. He again vomited. Like the previous day, he felt normal after sometimes. (To be continued ….)