Travel to a remote village near Bhumi Dada in Kavre and you will see a very uncommon sight. In one of the huts, a farmer quietly goes about his daily business. But what makes this so uncommon is that this is not just a regular Nepali farmer. He is an Irish man whom the locals know as “Charlie Baba”.
Charlie has been living in the same village for the past 10 years. Deciding to leave Ireland for good, he took a one-way plane ticket to Nepal back in 2009. After arriving in Nepal, he adopted the sage life, thus becoming a baba. He gave up his previous lifestyle and settled in the village where he currently resides.
Charlie has adopted all the rituals that come with the life of a baba. He worships nature’s all five elements: air, water, fire, earth, and Sun. Every week, he conducts the Maun Vrata which is basically a silent fast. On a spiritual level, Charlie believes that life as a sage has been a liberating experience. This new life has allowed him to view the world with a brand new perspective. According to him, this new perspective has allowed him to see the tangible lines of life. He explains that it has enabled him to break away from all the barriers he previously had.
Before Charlie became a baba, he was working as a photographer in Ireland. However, he felt that this profession was not enough to satisfy all his emotional and physical needs. Plus, Ireland’s economic recession did little to help with that. Seeing Nepal as a country with great potential, he decided to permanently move to this country.
However, it was not Charlie’s first visit to Nepal. He had come to this country twice before. The first time that he arrived was for a volunteering service and visited numerous villages in Palanchowk. He stayed for around 10 months before going back to Ireland. After finishing his college, he returned to Nepal as a tourist and spent almost a year travelling across the country and learning to speak the local languages. It was this second visit that solidified his later decision to stay in the country indefinitely.
Charlie thinks that life in Nepal is a far lot better than it was in Ireland. He prefers Nepals’s mostly sunny weather than Ireland’s mostly rainy one. He perceives the Nepali to be more helpful and kinder than the Irish. And most importantly, he prefers the quiet and peaceful life of Nepal’s countryside more than the hectic one of Ireland’s busy cities. In his village, he owns a plot of land where he grows different fruits vegetables. He travels to Kathmandu once every week to sell the vegetables that he has grown.
Charlie does not live his new life alone, though. In 2016, he met his partner and both plan to get married very soon. She is originally from Russia and has accepted Buddhism as the way of life. Charlie also plans to bring his mother to Nepal in the next few years. But for that, he needs to make the necessary preparations for her arrival.