Hira Maiya Shakya (Kathmandu)
© Michael Murr
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Hira Maiya Shakya
1922 - 1923
About Hira Maiya Shakya:The 84-years-old (2001) ex-Kumari Hira Maiya enjoys her life as a wife. Since 70 years she is married with her man, a craftsman from Srighaa. Her man is thus the living proof, that there is nothing to the story of the early death of the men of ex-Kumaris. Hira Maiya Shakya is the oldest one of the still living ex-Kumaris of the Himalaya-kingdom.
Since the message of the enthronement of the new Kumari reached Hira Maiya Shakya, she can hardly wait to visit the Kumari Bahal at the Hanuman Dhoka, Durbar-square. Hira Maiya often thinks of the Bahal, with its beautifully decorated doors and windows and the mural paintings, where she spent the most valuable years of her life as "living goddess".
"I cannot forgot those times past and the Bahal, where one gave me a new name and I attained incomparable fame. I wish, I could be there every day and serve the Kumari with all my heart, but I am already to old.", she said. Already after a short time Hira Maiya's days as Kumari were numbered and she had to resign, because she was infected by the smallpox virus.
At the age of 15 years she was married with the craftsman Pratyaknanda Shakya. "I cannot remember correctly, whether I was pleased, or not, when my mother presented the man to me. I think, I was pleased with him. We are together until today.", she said, While her eyes are shining, she is smiling and in her face is a mysterious glance.
Her life changed fundamentally, when she moved in the house of her husband. She had to respect her parents-in-law and had to do the domestic work day in, day out. Hira Maiya thinks nothing of the legend that husbands of ex-Kumaris will die early. Instead that she explains: "In my childhood this legend was told to me, but that did not affect our marital life. My husband is alive and loves me until today."
Hira Maiya's husband, Pratyaknanda, 87 years old, is proud to be the husband on a former Kumari. He also dissociates himself of the legend and adds: "I do not state, that a husband of a Kumari never dies, everybody has to die once a time. There are many widows and widowers. That is the natural course of things, and not because they were Kumaris or husbands of Kumaris."
It is difficult for Hira Maiya to remember her time as Kumari. But if she remembers, she tells excited: "It was a very pleasing experience, like a dream. I did not have to work, like my sisters, everyone called me goddess and I was allowed to play what and as long as I want."
She also gladly remembers when the king kneeled down in front of her and she pressed the vermilion Tika with her left hand on his forehead. She continues to remember that the young king Tribhuvan from the Hanuman Dhoka palace followed the preparations of the Kumari procession. Afterwards he sat down on the throne, which stood on a paved platform in front of the Kumari Bahal.
Source: http://www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishdaily/ktmpost/2001/aug/aug23/index.htm von Razen Manandhar