Kaili Rana is now 75 but was born in Pilok Number 1, and still lives there. The village was organised into neighbourhoods known by numbers from 1 to 12. “It used to be mini Nepal,” Rana remembers. “We celebrated Dasain, Tij, and Sankranti and the Nepalis would all get together to enjoy the festivals. Today they have all gone, it is all forgotten, and I cry remembering the old days.”
Kancha Rana, 62, moved to Bangkok, but has now returned to Pilok “My heart didn’t allow me to leave the place that was created by my forefathers,” says Rana.
But there are those for whom Pilok now feels distant. Purkharam Rai, 60, moved to Bangkok when it was not even a big city yet, and has lived there ever since. Laxman Khatri left Pilok 22 years ago and revisited the village last year to search for the house he was born in. But it was run down, and the jungle was moving in.