Tara laments missing smile on Nepalese faces
Purushottam Dhakal, Los Angeles, USA: There are simply too many who refuse to believe that a daughter of a teacher father had no access to education in childhood. That is after they find out what she has achieved here in the US.
Tara Gurung, who was once an “uneducated woman” is with time heading a franchise by the name of Tara Himalayan Cuisine and that too very, very close to US tinsel town, Hollywood. Going by her, she has hundreds of Nepalese American on her payroll. “I have so far made a living for my self”, Tara said.
She said she often is caught up in disbelief given what she has achieved and that of course includes her business, car and a house. “I often question myself: Is this all yours?” She says that US is such a nation where there is nothing which you cannot achieve if you put in efforts.
Tara had ended up in the US in 1994, leaving behind young daughter and her husband back in Nepal. For nearly a decade she worked at an Indian restaurant where she picked up management skills doing odd job of an utility worker as well as cooking. But by 2001 she had set up her own business which has now grown to 4 Nepalese ethnic restaurants.
This is not all. She has found time and resources for the members of her community as well as the country. Tara is a philanthropist in her own right. She is also the one who does not want to spread the word about what she has done to that end
In Armala of Kaski where she hails from she has endowed a school and meets all its budgetary needs including the payroll of teachers. This is not all. She was in Nepal after the deadly earthquake in Nepal in April last with relief assistance adding up to Rs. 20 lakhs. She personally distributed tents and clothes in affected villages in Okhaldhunga, Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk.
Here is more. Tara has donated hefty amount toward the construction of Pashupatinath temple in Los Angeles. She has great attachment to cultural promotion and this is a reason why she is greatly excited when one talks about folk dances of Nepal, among other things.
Daughter of Makardhowj Gurung and Raj Kumari Gurung, Tara has a plan to contribute to the education promotion in remote Karnali region in the very near future. If it needs to be told, Tara who had very poor level of education when she came to the US is now well versed in English and business management.
She vehemently makes it a point to say that US has given her “everything”. That includes someone who loved her but churlish death took it all away in untimely fashion. Someone who currently has a grown up daughter, Tara spends her time with grandson and granddaughter ofcourse she is largely devoted to humanitarian service after recording tremendous success, given her humble beginning.
Like any other Gurung girl, Tara grew up tending cattle and collecting fuel wood and fodder in Annapurna region of Kaski. Undoubtedly she picked up folk dances like Sorathi, Saleju and Rodhi than attend a school where her father taught. But her love for folk dances took her not only Kathmandu but on foreign shore too.
There was a stage when she was offered a hefty deal by restaurants given her popularity among those who love folk dances from Nepal. That was the time when she had established herself as a popular dancer in the dance troupe of Nepal police. Tara might have achieved successes but she still considers herself as born to do folk dances. That for her is an identity.
More recently she has opened an ethnic restaurant in City of Artesia neighborhood of Hollywood where she has roped in well known folk singer Shila Ale, popular Nepalese Singers Sapana Shree and Narendra Pyasi. Such being the scenario, Nepalese food and folk culture lovers are being treated to both Nepalese food and folk culture. However she is yet to fulfill her dream of popularizing Gurung folk dances herself.
Meanwhile like everyone hailing from Nepal she shares pain of political instability and rank sectarianism back at home. “The report of division among caste and community is simply painful. Those who are into politics are tending to split the nation. “I pray to Lord Shree Pashupatinath pleasing to restore smile on the faces of Nepalese,”Tara said in the premises of the planned Shree Pashupatinath temple in Norwalk city, Los Angeles.
Published Date: Friday, January 1st, 2016 | 12:01 AM