Yesterday evening, I received the sad news that one of my dearest Nepalese friends, Mr. Shashi Ram Bhandary, had passed away in the Patan hospital on Monday the 7th of March.
According to the Hindu Death Rituals and Beliefs, his body was cremated last Tuesday at the Pashupatinath temple near the Bagmati river.
Shashi was the founder and Managing Director of Shashi’s Holidays International Travel & Tours (P) Ltd, one of the best Nepalese travel agencies. His agency was founded in 1984 on the principle of providing maximum customers satisfaction, and all tours and adventures were based on his personal experiences amassed during his extensive tours of his country’s hinterlands. For the last 12 years I’ve been visiting Nepal several times and every time Shashi took care of the organization of my trip. Not only he was very professional in his organization, but he knew what I liked to see and what I wanted to take pictures of.
Not only he was an excellent business man who loved his country, he was also a great writer of Nepali poems. He has written and published several books with his touching, sensitive Nepali words.
I lost a good friend, but my thoughts are with his family, who he loved so much.
To his wife Bijaya, his son Sajeev, his daughters Smriti and Yubika, his son-in-law Siroo, his daughter-in-law Karin and his granddaughter Samjhana, who he loved so much, I want to convey them our sincerest condolences. Shashi was a good husband, a good father, a wonderful grandfather and a good friend of mine.
I will never forget when we said goodbye in Kathmandu during my last stay in Nepal in November 2009. My wife and myself were invited by him to have dinner together with his family. We had a perfect evening with excellent food, good conversations and lots of pleasure. At that occasion he gave me a special gift, a limited edition of a Khukuri Gurkha knife. After our return back to Belgium, this souvenir got a special place of honor in our living room. I will cherish this gift forever as a gift from a special man, a true friend and every day when my eyes cross this Khukuri, my thoughts will be with him.
Since November 2009 we have been e-mailing and calling each other on regular basis. We were actually planning together a new trip to Nepal in November 2011. The Gods have decided that we will not see each other during that occasion.
Rest in peace, my friend.
One day we will meet again.