Every single day you may hear a knock on your door,
If you push the door ajar, you see a beggar.
You, I am sure, may be astounded to see,
Because the beggar is none other than me.
What do you think I carry on my back?
Of course, it is nothing other than a big sack.
Don’t ask me why it looks so big
Because the sack is full of tin and plastic.
Whilst I breathe sorrowful songs into the air,
They do echo in the street and go nowhere.
I still wonder who has so strong and keen ear!
Till the moment no one has come near.
Almost every day, in the street,
I meet someone to mistreat.
And to defend myself, I must have a fight,
Just under the street light at night.
ADDRESSING THE THIRD PERSON
I know every person has at least a problem, sorrow, pain, pessimism; however, I think I am the only ill-fated boy. Though I was born into a poor family, my childhood was spent happily. As far as I look back on my childhood, there used to be a lot of movements of people in my home. My father was carving out a niche himself in cattle business, so everyone respected our family.
But I don’t know exactly why my father lost touch unexpectedly with us when I was just a fourth grader. Maybe his career was faltering. We started panicking. My mother was restless. She inquired into the sudden missing of my father, but her inquiry remained unsolved. Time passed and passed. Her hope of his return home was dashed. There was an economic problem in my family. My mother alone, who was in her late forties, started working to bring two of us up (me and my five years junior brother).
My brother was too young to understand how our mother was earning a living, but I could. She used to do different types of arduous tasks such as cleaning, dishwashing, laboring, etc. Before going to work, she always kept cooking ingredients like rice, vegetables, spice and so on ready. I did not know how to cook. I had no other options. I cooked meals—sometimes undercooked and sometimes overcooked. In the end, I learned to cook. It is said it is not a time but an experience that helps humans mature sooner.
I once failed my annual examination when I was in grade two because I was born into a poverty-stricken family—there was no one to help me with my homework, guide me well and counsel about my studies. Perhaps, that failure was a turning point of my life. There is a famous saying that failure leads to success. This really applied to my life. I slowly developed an interest in studies. As a result, I came third in the final exam the following year.
I was a fifth grader. My English handwriting was like that of a doctor. Therefore, my friends used to sarcastically say that I would be a doctor and should serve my country. As I was in grade eight, I knew how difficult it was to be a doctor; how costly it was to study MBBS. I was appalled. When I was studying in grade eight, my father returned home with a seed of disputes and violence. His return couldn’t bring happiness to us. He came empty-handed. We had anticipated some new clothes, money, and biscuits. Moreover, a happy family.
Some weeks later, he started drinking. He usually hurled abuse and insults at me. My father unnecessarily used to get into arguments at nights. The arguments kept me mentally disturbed all night. I was obsessed with my father’s misbehavior. I was prone to headaches. I am not blowing my own trumpet that I was industrious and courteous. I was always encouraged by my teachers.
After I got through grade eight’s district level examination, my academic performance started to go downhill. My father was responsible for the deteriorating performance. I had a passion for football. I was a skilled, talented footballer, so I was chosen the captain of our local football club. My father discouraged me in an indirect way from studying. He said I wouldn’t gain anything. I couldn’t concentrate on studies. I stopped playing football to prepare for the SLC examination. My parents were unable to afford to pay tuition fees. I didn’t take tuition classes. I prepared on my own. Despite this, I passed the SLC in the second division from a public school. Regardless of passing the SLC exam, I wasn’t happy. I faced a dilemma as to whether to pursue higher studies or find a job. The future was looking bleak for me.
I arrived at a decision. I asked my mother to coerce her sister, who was residing in the UK with her family, into helping for higher studies. I got admitted to a well-known 10+2 school. Nevertheless, I sometimes got depressed. I started to worry about monthly fees. I happened to forge a relationship with a construction contractor, Purna Hang Sanwa. He was an ideal person. In other words, he was inspiring. I worked as a labourer in construction sites contracted by him. He gave me a certain amount of money as an extra wage. I loved reading only English books. I was labeled ‘bookworm’ by my pals. I think Sarswoti was dwelling in me.
I met many new friends in the 10+2 school. I think it was only me who usually looked disturbed in class. Everyone looked delighted. My classmates wrote a host of love letters to girls they were infatuated with. They flirted with girls. Neither was I good-looking nor well-off. I couldn’t enjoy myself there.
There was a girl from an indigenous community. She was Samjhana Rai. She was the shortest student in class. My classmates used to tease us saying we were best-matched. Later, I was little attracted to her. She was the SLC topper of her school. She was born in Bhojpur district. She was a hardworking student. I knew there was an only way to impress her—beating her in the upcoming terminal examination conducted by the school. Since then I started to labour. I labored so hard that I came first in the annual examination conducted by the HSEB, let alone the terminal examination. I received Rs 1000 as a cash prize and a well-framed appreciation letter. It was the crowning achievement of my student life. I ascribe this success to hard work and dedication. This inspired me more to further my studies.
She coaxed me into coming to Kathmandu. Kathmandu, like me belonging to a lower class family, was a dreamland. Before she left for Kathmandu, she had told me, “Amar, if we are to be re-united, it is only the matter of time. Sooner or later we will be re-united. Wherever you are, study well.”
Weeks later, an idea struck me. A friend of mine was living at Koteshwor. He was alone. I came to the dreamland with a lot of promises. Fortunately, I got a job in a consultancy as a clerk, which was good enough to earn my keep. I vividly remember that she phoned me a couple of times. One day I phoned her and asked if she was free. She replied that she was watching TV.
Then I again asked her if she could meet me then. She said she couldn’t as she had to do the laundry. She purported to be busy. I felt bad and embarrassed. She turned my request down. I was really broken-hearted.
Then I went into a rage. I deleted her mobile no. from my mobile set so that we wouldn’t meet and talk to each other forever.
I started studying much harder than before. I determined to pass MA anyhow with good marks. And go to the US to settle down. Despite being poor, I want to broaden my knowledge and become an ideal denizen. I want to help the needy. Some things still spring to my mind. Few of my village friends were very weak in academics. They were lazy, too. But, whenever I went to their homes, their parents used to hurl abuse at me. They insisted that I led their sons to the wrong path. I spoiled their life. I no longer forget those insults and abuses until I take my last breath. My neighbours cut me through my heart by speaking ill of my father. People are close to us if we own a lot of property, if don’t they are distant. They may have already forgotten what they told me and how they insulted me, but I haven’t yet.
I have a little faith in God though I am educated and believe in scientifically proven facts. I have God’s blessings. I case I don’t succeed in revenging; I will rub out the word ‘God’ in my dictionary. I am philanthropic by nature since childhood. In my childhood, I played marbles a lot. I pitied the old, differently-abled, and poor people. It still pains me to see such people living a miserable life.
It is true that there isn’t anyone who is as much understanding as my mother is. She doesn’t hurt and complain, and speak ill of anyone. One day I told my maternal uncle that I want to keep my mother and my wife separately. There has always been a hostile relationship between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law. A husband and a wife are the two sides of the same coin. They are interdependent. Nonetheless, a son cannot equate his mother with his wife. A wife can be changed or suggested to mend her ways, but her corrupted brain cannot be replaced.
I usually wished my wife would be very understanding and hardworking. I wished if she would express her repressed feelings and propose me first. If only I loved my wife more than anyone does on Earth.
I know very how it feels to be away from own family after marriage. In fact, life is a combination of happiness and sadness. Both feelings are equally important to have. I spent eighteen long years with my family. I always wondered how I would go away from my family and live. When I came to Kathmandu, I was homesick. Every single night was not less than a horrible nightmare. I was physically in Kathmandu, but mentally in hometown, Damak. When I was in Kathmandu, I happened to know Srijana. Now I feel I can live any sort of life anytime and anywhere if Srijana is with me. I
I am not superstitious and conservative. I wish to marry a well-cultured and well-educated from a good family. I want my offspring to be highly privileged and educated. It is Srijana whose thoughts, ideas, behavior, etc. are praiseworthy. I do not want her to face any obstacles like my mother had. If I had a great deal of money, I wouldn’t let her do a job. I do not want her to work under pressure and time constraints. Rather, I want her to prepare snacks and serve it when I and our children return home from the office and school respectively.
Of course, I want to marry her as early as possible, but I am yet to be completely self-dependent. So many things are yet to be done. My relatives are very rich. Some of them do not visit our home. Our economic status does not match. They think their reputation can be ruined. My close relatives reside in the UK; their financial and emotional support, my hard work and a craving for a master’s degree are what have put me where I am today. They want to come to Nepal to attend my marriage ceremony. How I can marry her until and unless I am financially secure.
My aim, goal, dream—everything is to go to the US. It may hurt my Kaanchi (Srijana) that the foremost thing I wish to do is take my mother along with me. I want to do all I can do so that my mother will forget past sufferings. I will love her as much as I love my mother. If I live abroad, I will open my mother’s account in a bank and deposit some money. I can’t see her work in her old age. I resent my brother’s behavior. He is a defiant boy. I think it would have been better if he hadn’t been born. However, there is a love somewhere in my heart for him.
As far as possible, I want to keep my wife and mother separate. I am unmarried, yet I have tacit knowledge of a marriage life. If she hurts my parents, I feel hurt, too. I do not mean to say that if my parents hurt her, I am not moved. It is very difficult to balance responsibilities as a son and as a husband at the same time. I hope my Srijanais understanding, tolerant and responsible. She will not let me down over trivial matters. She is a Rai. She could tend to act on impulse. Let’s see what happens in the days to come.
I would love a family which consists only of four members. I want to have two offspring. Gender does not matter me. Even though I would love to have a son and a daughter, I am happy with whoever God offers me. I do not have any sister; therefore, a daughter in my family is bound to bring immense happiness. I want to live abroad with my family. The political scenario of this country is deteriorating bit by bit. I love the simplicity, unity and sense of brotherhood of Nepalese but despise dishonest, corrupt politicians and their cadres. I have to do better than what my relatives and neighbours have been doing. At times, I am afraid if my dream doesn’t come true or if my goal is not achieved. I will have earned a degree by the end of 2013. I want to go to the US after I earn a master’s degree in Nepal. I want to marry her by 2015. I know everything does not go without a hitch. I worry if I......Everything is in God’s hand.
Whatever happens I will love her till my last breath. Her love is so spellbinding that I forget my family sometimes. Sometimes awesome ideas strike me. Her family may be looking for a wealthy boy to marry her. I am not good-looking, however, I want her family identify my inwardly qualities. I wish to live a different life than my friends do. I want to make my offspring more disciplined, obedient, and intelligent than myself. I want to bring them up in a good English speaking environment. If I have a daughter, I will bather her, comb her hair, take her to school and many more.
Wishing children is not more significant than the life of my Srijana. Children are close to us during their childhood. We love children with same amount of care until they meet their end. On the contrary, their love towards parents recedes in the course of time. Why I love my Srijana more than would-be children is as long as we fulfill children’s demands and basic needs, they show the utmost care. But when we parents grow older and dependent, they grow indifferent and negligent to us. My love for Srijana is not momentary. It is long-lasting and selfless. We have binding promise.
When I became her friend, she was only an eighth grader. Our relationship started quite differently, unexpectedly. Our relationship was forged due to a radio programme. At first I couldn’t believe she was about 14/15 years old. She sounded mature and practical when we talked on the phone.
I must have hurt her intentionally. In spite of this, she loves me selflessly. She cherishes me. She knows everything of me, whereas I know little about her. Anyway, I love her truly. I have been advising her to lay emphasis on English more than Nepali. I do not know if she does. I felt lonely and homesick. Since she came to my life I have broken the solitary life.
There is one commitment that has struck to my mind. I have to show my friends, neighbours, and relatives that I am better than them in different spheres of life. For this I anticipate as much support as she can give. Being the eldest son is a boon or a curse? I do not know. I have suffered a lot. Not only my pals, co-workers, relatives but also my beloved do not endeavor to know the crux of my problems. My salary is reasonably satisfactory. My workplace is good, too. My co-workers are really smart and have a forceful personality. They have got better lifestyles. Can’t I have those types of lifestyles? Do I not like to appear good-looking? It is bad to be thrifty? I have closely observed wealthy people. Some wealthy people are very sensitive, kind, and philanthropic. They use low-priced goods. They do not like to show off. My sanaba, who resides in the UK, is always dressed in simple clothes. He believes in a saying, ‘Simple living, high thinking.’
When I am at work, I feel embarrassed. My co-workers ride their private vehicles to work. They do the shopping every two weeks. They discuss the latest products to buy. They talk big. Sometimes they sound hypocrite and snobbish. They talk about parties, leaders, and cohorts. I am the representative of a third class family. I feel the brunt of their criticism. I just can baulk at paying high prices for clothes. I cannot draw their attention by showing off. They regularly update themselves on new products that come into fashion. Unlike them, if I had a large amount of money, I would help the needy people.
It has already been nearly a decade that my parents have not bought me new clothes. I cannot resist pessimism. I think my life is doomed to failure. It is easy to live among poor people. I feel alienated when I live among rich people. Rich people always treat poor people as a nonentity.
It is true that I asked my mom some money to buy new clothes inasmuch as Hindus’s greatest festivals—Dashain and Tihar were nearing. I was in grade six. Although I went to a government-owned school, I was much interested in English. I used to read a Nepali-English Dictionary. Instead of buying new clothes, I bought a new dictionary, some thick, hard covered notebooks, packets of sketch pens, a drawing book, and some stationery. I was really into study.
My English handwriting was recognized the best cursive handwriting at school. Aside from being famous for the handwriting, it had added a little spice to my prestige. On account of the handwriting, my schoolmates and teachers thought I went to an English medium school at an early age of schooling. I could take pride in this. I couldn’t enjoy my schooldays, yet I pride myself on improving English and shouldering the responsibilities that a common child cannot think of.
Apart from an eyewitness, God, no one knows how I improved and learned cursive handwriting without a training or a guide. One fine day, I ate up chatpate which was served in a paper cone. I was about to throw away the paper cone, I noticed attractive handwriting on the paper. I took the paper home and practiced to copy the handwriting in a way it was. As a result of consistent practice, I mastered the cursive handwriting skill.
My dream to study in an English medium school came true after I joined a 10+2 school. From the outset, I was serious about study. So, I passed the 10+2 level obtaining the highest marks. On buying the stationery instead of new clothes when Dashain and Tihar were approaching, I confined myself to home. I did not like to go out to visit fairs, watch movies and meet my friends. I was very cut up. I was in my bedroom. I shed a few drops of tears. I did not burst out crying. So I am touchy. I do not mind putting on old clothes. I do not throw clothes until it is worn out. A certain portion of my salary has to be sent to my family. My family needs are primary and mine are secondary.
My family is everything. My happiness completely relies on my family. I have sacrificed my desires. If there exists God, one day the hope of sunshine will fall on my hopeless world. I will be led to my dream land. Or else, I will turn out to be an atheist and brace for any misfortunes.
Maybe my beloved feels uncomfortable to go on dates with me as I am not well-dressed. Beliefs and opinions may clash. Two parties should budge to capitulate. Only positive attitudes, a sense of respect, and compromise are likely to narrow the gulf existed between two persons. Life is a long journey. Let’s see where the life leads me. The year 2009 for me is a most memorable day. My mother always tells us that a marriage between a boy and a girl is not due to their effort but is due to God’s determination. She means marriage is a result of God’s wish. It may be debatable.
This year I was very close to win a scholarship to a South Korean University. The deadline for submitting a medical document was just a couple of days away. I did not have even Rs 2000 to produce medical documents. At the same time, my mother was undergoing an operation. My campus was closed for the winter vacation. I was in two minds whether to go back to hometown to take care of my mother or ask friends for some money. Everyone was on vacation. I had a little money enough to purchase a bus ticket. I bought a ticket and went to see my mother. I am still wondering whether I did justice to myself and my sick mother.
Why cannot poor people grasp opportunities just due to money? Are opportunities merely for the rich? If there exists God, is he doing justice to the poor? I ask these questions to myself. It was late evening, I was feeding my mother. Suddenly my mobile started beeping. I gave a quick look to the mobile. It was from an unknown caller. Anyway, I received the call. ‘Hello, who are you?’ I asked. ‘I’m Srijana Rai from Pathari.’ She replied. ‘Who do you want to talk to?’ I asked. ‘Amar’ she replied quite uneasily. ‘I am Amar. Why do you want to talk to me? How did you get my mobile no.? Have we ever talked and met before?’ I shot questions one after the other. ‘Last Friday, I took a nap. It was must have been around 3:25. My radio was tuned to KFM 96.1 Mhz. Request Zone was being aired. I heard your name and mobile no. I didn’t write down your mobile no. I still don’t know what has prompted me to phone you and how your mobile no. has come to me.” She said.
A couple of days later she phoned me again. I was having a wonderful time with my friends. I had almost forgotten a chat I had with an unknown girl. She asked me if I had snack. She phoned me twice a week for the first few weeks, and once a month later. I was not interested in her, for I had not seen her and vice versa. I had many assumptions about her—some positive and some negative. She must have been a tomboy. Or she must have been a carefree girl. Or she must be a call girl. She must have been looking for a pen friend.
I was back in Kathmandu. She didn’t stop calling me. Talking to her over the phone was just a pastime. I hardly phoned her. I could tell her lies. I was determined not to make girlfriends until my goal was achieved. I knew it was difficult to make a girlfriend happy without a lucrative job. Girls at present are really money-minded. I told her everything about me, my family background, and ambition. She said I had all those qualities which she expected to be in a good man she would love. She was rather impressed. I had thought she would be repulsed.
Time passed unnoticed. Sunshine streaming through hills, the sun beating down, clear sky, and a little chill in the morning with some dips on plants reminded people of the greatest festivals of Hindus—Dashain and Tihar. I was living alone in Kathmandu. I purchased a ticket to Damak, Jhapa. The more Dashain and Tihar were nearing, the more excited I was getting.
The day to go home finally came. I called Srijana and told her I was going to meet her soon. The Koshi River embankments were collapsed by floods. I had to take a long nerve-racking journey through the northern territory of India. Normally, it takes 12 hours to reach Damak from Kathmandu. But some people told me it would take about 25 hours. To see her, I got off the bus at Pathari. It was 4 o’clock in the afternoon. I phoned her to come to the bus park. On that day, we didn’t meet each other on grounds of a misunderstanding. I had told her I was at the south bus stop from my side. She went to the south bus stop from her side. The next day, I went to meet her taking a friend. I again called her to come to a particular pharmacy.
She said she would come with a little sister and would be in loongi. So many things were rising in my mind. I was running out of patience. I was growing a bit nervous and anxious. Whilst she came close to me, both of us flushed. To comfort her, I dared to talk first. She was having difficulties in overcoming her shyness. ‘Are you Srijana?’ ‘Yes’ she said softly. She must have recognized me by my voice. I liked her at first sight. She took us to her fupu’s home, who has a husband and two daughters. Srijana introduced me to her fupu. Her fupaju (fupu’s husband) was working abroad. She ushered us to the verandah. She prepared us chowmein. It was tasty but very hot. Maybe she put in excessive chilli powder. Her politeness, reception, and hard work endeared herself to me.
I had a chat on occasions with her. She was busy doing household chores. I talked seriously with her nini about my family background. I tried to sound practical and honest. After spending nearly two hours, we returned home. No sooner had I lain in bed than she called me. She said she hadn’t expected that I would talk that impressively. Also, she hurriedly said she liked me and ended the call. We grew fond of each other. She became apply of my eyes. That meeting cemented our relationship.
One of the reasons why I gave my heart to her was her mother died in her babyhood. She was deprived of parental love and care. She was brought up by her grandma and nini (father’s sister). She got a step-mother; however, she never felt that she has a step mother. On the contrary, her own father treated her as if she were a step daughter. An only son or daughter in a family is thought to be most loved, but this didn’t apply to her. How unlucky she is! Her father usually got drunk and beat all children. Her father did not take up any responsibilities as the head of the family. He was negligent. She used to put her repressed feelings into words. She had a diary. It was her friend. Nobody knows her feelings more than the diary. I always dreamed of a girl who is hardworking, understanding, and respectful. She was the perfect life partner for me.
I invited her to see a Nepali film in 2066. She came to Damak with her friend, Karuna. The film we watched together for the first time was ‘Kusume Rumal’. She came to Kathmandu in 2067. We went to Kakani the following day. It was our first date. We each felt very uneasy to sit together in a seat in the bus.
“In your pond of love, sometimes I forget my problems and family. My dream is to go to the US. So, to achieve my dream I will be ready to lose any person. If I lose you, you will always be in one side of my heart until I die. I am not selfish but problems compel me to do so. Anyway, I love you and your simplicity. Goodnight, Srijana………
It was my first text sent to her.
The worst text I have ever written to her is:
“And you will miss me in your whole life. I never loved you as much as I did other girlfriends. So I can live without you. I can make my heart strong. Nowadays you are giving me only tension.”
(It was written in 2067 when I was angered by her.)
She passed SLC in 2010 in the second division. She joined NIMS College. She lives in Lagankhel.
Life from her perspective. Srijana’s memoir.
In this huge world, I was born among those millions of people. I was living in a joint family. My father’s family consisted of my father, mother, my nini and two big fathers. My father is the youngest son in his family. Therefore, people say, he was most loved. When I was still a baby, my mother passed away. I was brought up by my nini and my grandmother. When I was able to help them in doing simple household chores, my mother took me to our own home. My father married a second time. I had to live with them.
I and my step-brother started to go to a local English medium school. As I passed grade four, I went to another school. I started to go to a public school. I decided myself to leave the English medium school. I was straight admitted to grade six instead of grade five. I was an eighth grader in 2064. It was winter. I was feeling very cold. My grandmother fell ill. She was living with her daughter. So, I couldn’t meet her every day. Time was going by. I had to prepare for the district level examination. Due to preparation for upcoming exam, I was unable to meet my sick grandmother.
My exam commenced. I did well in the exam. As soon as the exam finished, I went to Pathari. My grandmother was already rushed to a nursing home. I went direct to the nursing home. She was in a critical condition. She was provided with an oxygen mask in a well-equipped room. She was unconscious. I burst out crying. My nini cried, too.
After some time, I raised my head and looked around. So many relatives were present. I could no longer stay there. I returned to my home and stayed alone for a long time in my bedroom. Three sons of my grandmother assembled. The eldest and the youngest son were in Nepal. The second son came from Hong Kong. I used to reckon that nobody would love me as much as my grandmother and nini. I was feeling lonely. At the same time, I had someone special to lessen my pain and suffering. I shared my feelings with him. We knew each other because of Kantipur FM.
We had to keep a vigil staying near my grandmother till 2:30 a.m. I did not use to have sound sleep, so I had to take a nap every day. One day the radio was tuned to Kantipur FM. My nini called me. At the moment, Amar’s mobile no. was being read out. I memorized the number. I dialed the no. two days later. He received my call. We had a good chat on the mobile. I phoned him several times.
How fast time was going by. My youngest brother’s birthday was approaching. I had to keep home clean, cook food for those who had come to see my grandmother. On the one hand, my grandmother was sick, but on the other hand, my youngest brother’s birthday had to be celebrated. New Year 2065 started. I was still in Pathari. It is believed that becoming sad on the first day of a new month or a New Year is a bad omen. I was not happy on the very day, though. A host of things were growing in my mind. The results of my exam came out. I passed the exam. Hard work resulted in happiness. My happiness knew no bound. I was elated at the result. I was promoted to class nine. Baisakh 19 is my youngest brother’s birthday. My grandmother was brought home on the same day. I had never been that devastated.
My grandmother met her maker on the morning of Baisakh 24, 2065 at half past two. My nini wailed a lot. My grandmother was being survived by four offspring and ten grandchildren. Whenever I feel lonely or sad, I miss her. Whenever I remember her, tears stream down my face. My dear and near one, Amar met me on Ashoj 7, 2065. He spoke well. My nine talked to him. My parents used to have tussles. My father was unable to keep a family consisting of five members happy. A father always loves his children, but my father……..I wept all days and nights. I thought I was the unluckiest person in the world. Recalling the bygone days makes me cry.
It is Asar 12, 2066. It had been raining since early morning. I had to take Nepali exam. The exam timing was 6 to 8:30. So, I had to be at school by around 6 a.m. I was petrified of constant lightning and occasional claps of thunder. I thought I would die on that day. I safely reached school. I was completely drenched. My friends were drenched, too. I did well in Nepali. Though I went to school alone, yet I came home with my friends. We use to ride cycles to our home.
It is Asoj 08, 2066. Nepal’s greatest festival is starting from tomorrow. My brother, Shakti, too, came home; but there is no happiness in my family. Everyone’s face has lit up except ours. This is due to my father. What I want is a happy, prosperous family. I wish no one would be in distress and agony. Nonetheless, I am a little happy because there is someone to console me. It’s Amar. My father mistreats us during festivities. The hatred between my papa and mama has been festering since Fulpati. He is often at loggerhead with my mother over trivial issues. What should I do? How can I cool my irate father down? During Dashain and Tihar, Nepalese get their homes festooned, but I always have a bad time.
So I feel better when I see my nini or go to her home. I share my sorrows with nini and Amar. Peradventure, I love my nini and him very much. It is Asar 04, 2067. Time has passed unnoticed. The results of the SLC 2066 are likely to come out. The SLC had started from Chaitra 12, 2067. We five friends stayed in my big father’s home and prepared for the exam. His home is in Urlabari. Those days still spring to my mind. I don’t know where those friends of mine are now. I came to Kathmandu on Baisakh 2, 2067 with a lot of promises and commitment.
It is very difficult to be away from a family. I had never been away from my family before. I feel homesick. The nearer results day is coming, the more nervous I am getting. If I fail the SLC exam, my parents’ dream will be shattered. I love my family more than myself. I am still afraid of maths.
If I sail through the exam, I will work hard right from the beginning of grade 11. Nowadays I am very concerned about my future. I have a lot of challenges ahead to cope with. I have to prove to be a good daughter. Why? I have been restless. This is not the first time I am going to meet up with him, yet I do not know why scores of questions are rising in my mind. My attempts to share feelings go in vain. I love him more than before since I came to Kathmandu. I go to meet him, but he looks upset. And I think he is physically with me, but mentally somewhere. I do not know how to put him out of his misery. Everyone has a problem, don’t they?
Today, I felt like weeping. I had never been sad before in his presence. But he doesn’t know when I get angry. We have been in a relationship for the past three years; however, he doesn’t know what angers me.
When? From where? I do not know how to narrate how I have been spending my mundane, miserable life. Today, My SLC results came as a shock to me. I failed a subject—maths. At the moment I remember Amar the most. He will be livid. I couldn’t believe it first, therefore, I went to a cyber café to check my result. I sank into despair. My expectation was only the second division. He wants to see me as a staff nurse. To fail the exam was not a wish of mine. He does not understand it.
The next day, I broke my failure to every relative. They scolded me. I showed great patience with them. What else could I do? It was my fault. Of them, my dear Amar was most saddened because I did not tell him I failed only one subject. He did not ask me this either. A misunderstanding between us has a negative impact on our blossoming relationship. Our relationship fell apart. He first told me I could have at least passed the exam in the third division. I thought he had already been informed of my result. The SLC results had come out on Saturday. After a couple of days, it was Monday; yet I was in deep distress. I desired to live alone in my room. My relatives tried to put me out of my misery. They insisted on going out to ease my mounting tension. We went to Balaju Fun Park. I remember only seeing some fish there. In the passing of time, hope was restored. A week later, I was cooking; my mobile phone was on the table. Amar sent ansms, but I did not know it. After a while, my aunt picked it up and read the sms. She read the sms out loud. The sms read:
“If what Ramesh told me is true, do not call me for a month. I am really angry at you. You have not told me anything about your results yet.”
Just ahead of cooking, I was happy. That sms brought tears to the eyes of mine. My aunt and a sister were beside me, so I had to fight back tears. Not to let them see my tearful eyes, I ran to the washroom. And I stayed in the washroom for nearly an hour. I went to my bubu (brother—my big daddy’s second son) who was living in Saatdobato. I did not tell Amar that I was with him. I wanted to call him but did not have guts. I did not think he would send me that type of hurting sms even in my dream.
I have just completed my computer course. My computer class was started on Baisakh 27. I am preparing to go home. I do not know whether I come back to Kathmandu or not. He may change his mind. This torments me. I do not know why I love him so much. He lives alone in the valley. I fear anything may happen to him. Since I couldn’t pass the SLC, I feel he has been a little cold and distant. I do not want to see him miserable and distraught. I am will to venture into anything for his sake. I do not want to lose touch with him. I ask myself why I love him so much though he disappoints me. I am on the lookout for the answer. He may leave me, but I never leave him. He is a boy I have ever loved. Whenever I try my hard to please him, which have completely the opposite effect. My happiness depends on his.
I feel good when he discusses our futures, what if the future doesn’t live up to all our expectations. Now I am more anxious about our future than mine. I will try my best not to let him down. I wish a misunderstanding between us would let up forever.
I left Kathmandu for my hometown, Urlabari on Asar 27, 2067. I wished to meet him and tell everything but couldn’t pluck up the courage to phone him. When we all passengers were bussed to a highway hotel, it was late night. Every passenger got off the bus and so did I. I phoned Amar, but he did not receive it. He received my call in the fifth attempt. I was in an awkward situation. I could not say a word at first. I was really nervous.
I consoled myself thinking that it is natural to get angry because he had been boosting morale. We talked to each other on the mobile phone but a little bit differently. I reached Pathari where my nini lives. I was lying on bed, Amar called me. I was astounded. He asked me if I reached home he said he had little balance left on his mobile. He ended the call. He talked less angrily. Then, I slept.
I reached home and met mama (mother). I felt like crying. She had also encouraged me to study. I shattered her dream. She again made me feel how great a mother is in the world! She excused all my mistakes and inspired me to do well in the supplementary exam. Then I put enthusiasm into study.
Unlike my mama, papa (father) slapped me a couple of times. I never forget that moment. Not only was my Amar angry at me but also my relatives. Aside from my mama and the aunt who I lived with in Kathmandu, nini consoled me and told me to obtain good marks in the supplementary exam.
I had a sense of relief. I joined tuition class. It was monsoon. Each farmer was busy in planting the seeds of paddy. It is the time for planting. I was needed to help my parents, nevertheless, my mother told me to prepare for the exam. I remembered Amar and started working hard. A question still haunted me. What if I fail the exam again?
Why can’t I share my feelings with him? At times I am angry at him. But I can’t express wrath. When I am near him, I try to tell him off but I get very nervous. How I can tell him that I love him the most. It has been only 3 or 4 years that I am in touch with him. I have known my parents since my birth. They nurtured me in an overprotective environment. Despite all this, I wonder why I love someone more than my family who I just met yesterday.
My parents as well as nini know about our relationship. My mother, too, has liked the boy I love. After I came to Kathmandu, I have changed drastically. When I was in my village, he used to tell me about his bygone days such as school village, friends, girlfriends and so on. These did not have any effect on me at all. He is my five years senior. He could have had many girlfriends.
But, now if he talks about his past, I feel hurt. I cannot stop him from sharing his past. I want to learn, understand every moment—happiness and sorrow he had. I think a lot about him. Even if I wake up suddenly at midnight, I remember him. Even at the time of worshipping, the first word I utter is his name—Amar. When I run my eyes, every boy I see looks like Amar.
Life is a long way to walk down,
Where an individual has to feel both happiness and sorrow,
Life is a struggle,
Where an individual has to struggle for an achievement,
Life is a war,
Where an individual has the taste of both win and loss,
Life is satisfaction,
Where an individual should learn to derive satisfaction from what they learn
Then only an individual grasps the right meaning of life….
I myself do not know where my life is leading me. At times I express anger to my fate. Now I study in grade 11. I am the only, eldest daughter, and probably understanding. In spite of this, I have not succeeded in reconciling my parents. When I endeavor to patch up their differences, my papa abuses me. He fathers only three children. Regardless of this, we are not happy. My father alone is accountable for unhappiness. He is vain, egocentric, insistent, and quick-tempered. I have been scare of him since childhood. I cannot approach him to talk about my personal needs. On account of him, I and my brother have not enjoyed our life. I feel bad to think about my fate and birth. I think I am ill-fated to live such a miserable life. I must have been cursed with misery when my mother passed away in my babyhood.
Shakti, the eldest brother, lives in a maternal uncle’s home. Sandesh, the youngest brother, is with parents. We are yet to be united. Our presence at home triggers off violence. The youngest brother studies at Sishu Sikshya Sadan English School. This is the school where I got primary education. It is my mother who dares to talk back to my father.
When I was a child, my papa’s beating, scolding, abusing—nothing moved me. I could win everyone’s heart but not papa’s. When there is a rife between my papa and mama, he threatens to divorce. He picks a quarrel over trivial matters. He does not have a little time to talk problems out. I ask myself why this cannot be sorted. I always pray to God for his happiness.
On the one hand, my papa is growing older and becoming physically weaker, but on the other hand, he demands divorce. I know how sad my mama is! Mama is helpful, caring and understanding. I never tried to learn about my own mother. My papa, who is fastidious, insists that I not see his face after I get married. He still snaps at us. I cannot pluck up courage to tell him my feelings.
If my husband and his family are kind; caring, and understanding, I think I will yearn to be away from my papa. I have suffered much at his hand. He walked all over me. I am afraid even at the sight of him. Life is not in the hands of human beings. I have not seen anyone’s father like mine. You may think what I have written is a gross exaggeration. It is a true picture of my father’s atrocities. My writing does not aim at tarnishing my papa’s image.
CREATION ALWAYS REMAINS IMMORTAL.
Nowadays, I feel lonely. Why? I am far away from my home. Why everyone I know seems to be distant. I can pin my hopes on Amar only. In addition to being a lover, Amar is a source of courage, a good educated person, and the best friend. I will feel defeated by my life if you do not help me. If I lose the courage, I will prove to be unsuccessful. I will be a loner. On occasions I want to be alone and cry in a corner. I was hardly hurt by my mama. When I was stepping out of my home to go to a bus stop, I became too sentimental as I bowed to my papa and mama to receive their blessings and best wishes.
It was not feasible to live at home without my mama. She was my mother as well as a friend. When she was with me, I did not think of anyone else. In other words, I would not need anyone in my life. I easily get hurt. I try to stop myself from crying, but I cannot do so. I am very touchy.
I have immense excruciating pain and sorrow to share, but there is none to listen to. I conceal my pain and pretend to be smiling. It has been more than 3 weeks I am in Kathmandu. I still miss my village. I came here with an eye to pursuing higher studies. How I can return unless I achieve my aim! It is better to be hurt rather than to fall victim to my papa’s atrocities. There is still not peace at my home. Notwithstanding this, I miss my family. Whenever I am alone, I ask myself why God gives us only one heart. Maybe it is because we have to seek another matching heart that meets all our expectations.
I chose him among thousands of boys. He has all those qualities that I want. I love him more than I do myself. I make all possible efforts to be good. I want to fulfill his wants, but some wants are impossible to be fulfilled in spite of my willingness. He, too, seems to love me. It is not easy to read someone’s mind. Since I met him, I have never treated other boys the way I treat him. He is a kind of boy that I have ever dreamed of. There are many similarities between us in terms of thought, attitude, likings, plans, etc.—we are on the same wavelength. God must have been elated at our pair. We were born only for each other. It was pre-determined. We are paired off on grounds of Kantipur FM 96.1. Thanks to KFM. If I hadn’t listened to KFM, we would not have come in contact with each other. I will be an ecstatic woman if I get married to him. People say every act of human beings is directed by God.
Nobody has foreseen life. People can just predict their futures. I cannot be sure that he will marry me. He can find anyone who is more beautiful, educated, dressier, etc. than me. I have studied his behavior. He is different from other guys. If there is one thing I dislike about him he still does not know when I get angry. I never tried to be close to other boys. I want to love only one. I cannot love anyone else as much as I love him.
I find every word uttered by him reasonable, logical, and justifiable. I will broken-hearted when he makes me feel he is distant. I cannot give anyone my heart. Apart from him, nobody can understand me. Sometimes I receive his phone a little late, he loses his temper. When he tells me about other girls, I go mad and feel I would slap him if he were in front of me. He frankly shares everything. When he receives new job offers, or he has to do something new, he doesn’t hesitate to share with me. I share my feelings, too. He is really very understanding. He appears to be negligent sometimes.
I have never tried to know his wealth but his selfless love. I am blessed with him. I do not know where my life is heading. I don’t know our relationship will change into a marriage or not. But I have nourished a wish to write my memoirs. Life is a struggle. No pain, no gain.
Love you so much.
Writer: Amar Bahadur Sherma
Editor-in-chief, Writers' Diary
Vice-President, Sustainable Education Group-Nepal
English Teacher, GEMS
Please do send your feedback to email@example.com
Writer: Amar Bahadur Sherma
Editor-in-chief, Writers' Diary
Vice-President, Sustainable Education Group-Nepal
English Teacher, GEMS
Please do send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org