Who is Nalini?


Nalini Devi Bhattarai was born on June 21, 1939 in Khelpur a rural village of Nepal. She was the eldest daughter (not the oldest child) among 12 siblings. She had a profound personality and command in the family. Even her elder brothers used to think twice before going against her thoughts.

Nalini’s marriage was arranged with Tarani Prasad Bhattarai in 1951. Yes at the age of 12. But at those times it was a common practice that the bride would return back to her home after the wedding ritual and stay back until she is grown enough to take care of the household in her husband’s house. It was called as “Maitalu” tradition. So Nalini stayed back home with her parents and in the mean time her husband went to India for study. In 1959 Nalini was called to her husband’s house as by now she was old enough to be responsible young woman to take care of the house. Nalini travelled on foot for two days to get to Arkhaule a remote mountainous village-soon to be her home away from her home. Being a strong lady, despite of being caught up in the family feud and bullied for being youngest in the household, Nalini always encouraged her husband to get higher education and help build their future. In the early sixties Nalini and Tarani left the village and moved closer to the city. There, she gave birth to a boy Saroj and a girl Sabita. The youngest boy Santosh was born in western Nepal in the late sixties.

In the early seventies Tarani moved around the country with his service to government and Nalini accompanied him everywhere giving him strong support and in the process they built a strong family bond.

Nalini had a strong hold in her family. Regardless of the situation, she never thought of giving up. Her and her husband’s relatives and the acquaintances regarded her with respect. She was a caring person. No matter whether distant relatives or acquaintances from the villages, everyone was welcome in her home. Nalini’s family was first among in their clan to build the house in the city of Kathmandu. So her house was often full of relatives staying overnight or two or even days and weeks. Her house was nick named as “The Guest House” Nalini did not mind, she did not complain, she kept on pleasing everyone and she did it over and over again all her life.

Nalini had an amazing talent in food preparation. She was well known as a brilliant cook. She always cooked with care, love and precision. She loved feeding the hungry, needy and simply anyone ask for any food. She always said, “Food always tastes better when you share” She established a decent food culture in her home. She was always careful in the quality of the food, cleanliness and the manner of serving.

In her early fifties, unfortunately Nalini was attacked by brutal cancer. She fought the enemy for two and half years with the army of her loved ones but with the lack of technology at the time and having to live in the third world country with poor medical care, Nalini said goodbye to world in August of 1993 at the age of 54. Her passing made a deep impact across all family members, relatives, friends and anyone who knew her. Everybody suffered the loss of their biggest inspiration figure.

This establishment and it’s service is to honor Nalini for her love for food, her desire to feed the others, her loving and caring personality, her kindness and most importantly her dedication to keep her friends and family together and strong. 

Nalini Devi Bhattarai

June 1939-August 1993