Part of my childhood was spent in Baglung, then a small village in western Nepal with a wonderful view of Dhawalagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world. Part of it was spent growing up in a Gurkha army camp in Hong Kong, where my brother was born.
My father was an officer in one of the Gurkha regiments of the British army exclusively comprised of Nepali soldiers: The regiments were born out of respect for the loyalty and courage displayed by Nepali men and women warriors during the many battles of resistance against the British Empire’s attempts to colonize Nepal. The name Gurkha itself comes from the small kingdom of Gorkha, where the reunification of Nepal by the king, Prithvi Narayan, had started in the mid-18th century and moved the capital to Kathmandu.
Sadly, much of the town of Gorkha was reduced to rubble earlier this year, including the homes of many of its inhabitants, for it was very close to the epicenter of the 7.8 earthquake that struck my home country on April 25.