The fit centenarian of Lhamoizingkha

Profile: Lhamoizingkha’s oldest resident, Bhim Bahadur Basnet is 104 years old and relishing the dassain celebrations with his generations of family members.

Originally from a village in Dagapela, Dagana, he is settled at Bichgaon of Nichula gewog in Lhamozingkha.

In Bichgaon, Bhim Bahadur Basnet is often seen guarding his paddy fields. Locals agree that his hearing has improved unexpectedly and he doesn’t need to wear glasses. “His hearing has improved recently,” his grandson Khadka Bahadur Basnet, said. “For sometime he could not hear anything.”

Family members said the centenarian has otherwise remained fit most of his life and does not fall ill often.

“I feel happy,” he said on being alive to watch his second great grandson grow. Bhim Bahadur Basnet’s grandson is eight-years-old.

“He has aged gracefully,” a former gewog official, Garjaman Karki said. “Not even his sons aged like him.”

Villagers said Bhim Bahadur Basnet’s eldest son has crossed 85 years. Although nobody in Bichgaon remembers and knows about his early life, Garjaman Karki said the centenarian married when he was 16 and had two wives.

There is a generation of people in the villages nearby who remember Bhim Bahadur Basnet. Some claim the man could be running 109.

“I have seen him during my childhood days,” a villager, Kul Bahadur Subba, who is in his mid-30s said. “I remember him as a strong and fit man.”

Meanwhile, Bichgaon is still moist from the winter rain. But Bhim Bdr Basnet does not mind getting up to pose for a photograph.

His finger and toenails make a vivid sight. They are polished in bright red. He also sports a rubber bangle on his right wrist and beads around his neck.

His grandson said that Bhim Bahadur Basnet is becoming childish by the day. This may very well be the reason, why people, young and old always gather around his house’s surrounding to sit for a gracious chat.

Rajesh Rai, Lhamoizingkha

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