Text and photos: Hemant Shrestha
When he was just 15, Krishna Makranti left his village. A young man with lofty dreams, Makranti felt Sindhupalchowk was not the place for him to earn a better life. He left home for Kathmandu in search of a brighter future. Upon reaching the Capital, he took up a job as an apprentice to a shoemaker—a means for him to send modest amounts of money back home. After three years of learning, he was finally ready to start making shoes of his own.
Makranti now works at a local shoe factory in Lokhanthali. He toils hard six days a week, and earns around Rs 12,000 to 15,000 each month. He isn’t a rich man, but for 13 years, the shoes he made supported his family. But when last year’s earthquakes rattled the earth beneath our feet, it turned to dust everything Makranti had been working for all these years: His village was completely destroyed, and with it his house crumbled to nothing as the first waves hit.
His wife and child are now living in a temporary shelter in the village. Nearly 30 years have passed since Makranti first left his home in search of a better life. And it is through some cruel fate that he once again finds himself back at square one. Although he wishes to be with his family right in this time of hardship, he gets up each day to work harder—to help rebuild the home ha and his family have lost.
For someone who has struggled to find sure footing in this Valley of Dreams, all he can do is plough on in hope.