The One Hundred and Four Year Old Man / by dan court

On the border of the Dhading and Nuwakot districts, and on our way to Dandagaon we encountered Sita Shrestha and her husband Dhana Man Shrestha.  At the age of 97, with a chain smoking growl in her voice, a low cackling laugh, winking and bouncing around with the energy of someone a quarter, let alone half her age, she exchanged jokes with our guide, Gopi.  Whilst several of her daughters and sons looked on as she held court, she boasted to us that she’d had fifteen children and that ‘you could go anywhere in Nepal and find a direct relation of hers’ but that she was still on young compared to her husband, who was one hundred and four.  We asked to meet him, and so walked to the back of the building to a balcony where sat a shrunken, frail man slowly finishing up his Dhal Baht, slowly picking away at the food with his hands.  With a shove and rant from his wife, he slowly got up and walked (with no cane and still fairly mobile) to the front where we took some photos of them together. With over two hundred years accumulatively in age, and still showing signs of affection, belonging and love, we couldn’t help but feel we’d just met two very special people.