Shyam Sundar’s death occurred down the road from where renowned conservationist Pralhad Yonzon was killed almost exactly six years ago. Both were avid bicyclists, and their deaths have exposed criminal state negligence about road safety and the lack of bicycle lanes that the city promised.
Friends, relatives, colleagues and bicycle enthusiasts gathered on 10 November at the spot where Shyam Sundar Shrestha died for his 13th day remembrance. They paid tribute to a quiet, spiritual man dedicated to helping others. Away from crowd, weeping silently was Sabitri Shrestha.
“I cannot describe to you what a decent man and devoted son he is,” she sobbed, still speaking in the present tense about her son. “He never says an unkind word to anyone, never raises his voice. He does not take sugar or white rice, eating only fruit and buckwheat, and has few cravings.”
After his two sisters got married, Shyam Sundar was taking care of his mother in their Chagal home, his father having died when he was young. He worked as an English tutor and a yoga instructor, but never felt the need to make much money.
Shyam Sundar’s five-year-old nephew points at a photo of him and says, “Pau.” Carrying him on her arms, Shobha Shrestha says tearfully: “He had just started recognising his uncle, and has been asking where he is. What do I tell him?”