Something strange happened while I was getting back to Kathmandu from Hetauda. I don’t know if I should call it a beautiful moment or a disturbing reality. I don’t know if I should draw a lesson here or should draw a philosophy. Thoughts are zooming in my head like shooting stars in the Universe to all directions. Because what had happened was amazingly terrifying and overtly bitter sweet.
” “Ouch!“herera dhoka lagaunu parxa ni (be careful while closing doors)” my elbow was almost crushed in a door, as Sumo guy who was in rush to get me in and lock the door – so that other agents would not pull me to their sumo – typical scene in Sumo stands. I turned around while taking my seat and there was a kid looking at me, lying on a lap of a mother. Mom looked like a girl from a Tamang community, as if in her 19-20 age. Kid was like 1-2 year old.
It was so darn humid that I was drenching in sweat. Sumo was showing no sign of moving anytime soon, as it needed to fill the vacant seats. The kid got up from her month’s lap and came to me. She seemed slightly undernourished but was cute. She was trying to play with me and I was giving her a playful gesture. I looked at the mom and she too seemed kind of undernourished and a bit disheveled to me. “Must be from the working class” I assumed. Out of curiosity I asked if they are from Hetauda itself and if they are going to Kathmandu for work. She ignored my questions as if was annoyed. I didn’t feel like asking anything further.
Finally after almost 45 mins, sumo showed a sign to move. The mother offered me water that she had just purchased and I took a sip. While offering water, she smiled at me and that made me feel like “well, maybe she was not annoyed.” So I asked her about the kid’s dad and if he is working in Kathmandu.
“utai ghar tirai chha. Teslie chodera hideko ma Kathmandu tira chori liyera (is back at home. I am running away to Kathmandu with my daughter, leaving him)”
Then she went on saying about her life and what’s going on. She is 22 years old and her daughter is one and half years old. She seemed to be a victim of domestic violence. She was showing a wound mark on her head stating she was hit by her husband and had 5 stitches placed. She went on saying how she is hated and neglected at home by her husband and his parents. Since she had enough of all that abuse and neglect, she left the home with her one and half year old daughter and is leaving for Kathmandu.
I asked, “ani ko chha Kathmandu ma (so who is there in Kathmandu)?“
She didn’t answer at first, but her silence gave me a wild clue and I asked again, “koi pani chaina ki kya ho?”
She claimed that she has some friends in Kathmandu, whom she had visited 3 years back and is trying to go there hoping they are still there. However, she does not have their number, nor do they know about her coming.
There in the mirror, I saw nature. I saw homo sapiens migrating from Africa. I saw nomads. I saw life. The world beyond idealism, beyond philosophy. I saw reality.
We were leaving for Kathmandu from Hetauda at around 4, which means it would be at least 8 PM or 9 by the time we reached Kathmandu. There was one more passenger in the same row and we were quite concerned but speechless on what to say.
Our vehicle had already begun moving. I looked at the kid. I found her more adorable and cute; more empathic and caring. I tried playing with her for some time. Then she went to her mom’s lap again to breastfeed. I turned my head to the windows…lost in thinking, while observing the scenery outside. Soon I slept off, and woke up to the mom falling asleep on my shoulder.
She nervously got back to her position. I said, “it’s okay” and she leaned back on my shoulder with her baby on her lap. For the next 1 hour, she took a good nap lying on my shoulder. The vehicle then stopped for a tea break. I bought juice for the kid and took some photos of her. By this time, everyone in the vehicle knew about her story and everyone was asking something and all. She was very determined to work hard for her daughter. “maile jati sukai dukha paye ni yeslie khusi sanga rakhchu (i will keep my daughter happy regardless of hardship I may have to go through)“
We were halfway to Kathmandu. It was getting dark. In between, she got motion sickness and was vomiting from the window holding her baby sleeping on her nap. I took the baby and kept on my lap. I looked at the baby. She was sleeping quietly. I felt like being a father for a while. After some time, the mother leaned on my shoulder as well without hesitation.
I was looking at the rear mirror of the vehicle. I saw a man holding a baby and a woman sleeping comfortably on his shoulder. There in the mirror, I saw nature. I saw homo sapiens migrating from Africa. I saw nomads. I saw life. The world beyond idealism, beyond philosophy. I saw reality.
I got lost in thoughts and mind talks. My head was going cosmo. The baby in my lap is probably not going to have a father figure for quite some time. The woman on my shoulder is going to miss warmth and comfort and unconditional love of a man for quite some time. A 20 something young girl, ran away from home, with her barely 1 and half year old daughter, clueless about where she gonna end up, but yet determined to survive and give better life to her daughter, in a vehicle with a stranger, holding her baby and letting her lean on like as if a father, as if a husband, as if a brother, as if a friend. My head was going haywire, thinking about life, thinking about this country, thinking about women’s life, thinking about being a child, thinking about many thing…thinking about gender equality I write on, thinking about woman empowerment I get to hear on, thinking about rights, thinking about freedom, thinking about anything and everything. I was imagining a woman’s life with a toddler but without a responsible man in life that too with no financial security.
In a while, we will be reaching our destination. The baby will be back to her single mother, and the mother to strangers in an unknown city, and survive.
Reached Balkhu. It was 8 PM already. I was worried and concerned about where she would go that night time with the baby in this city of strangers. I offered to let her stay at my office for the night and leave in the morning. She refused. She was adamant to find the friend’s place. I didn’t know what to say. I asked her one last time and she again said no and instead was asking the driver to drop her to the location. I asked the driver to do the needful and I left from there.
On the way back home, I could feel the kid’s smell. Her face, her smile was flashing in my eyes. I thought of the young mother, her undernourished looks, and struggle ahead. I was thinking of that rear mirror view, as if the Universe was showing me the kind of man I should be.
Life is strange. I wish they find a roof in Kathmandu, may she find a job to earn them a good life, and may they find a shoulder to lean on and lap to sleep unconditionally.
JPT story: Marry me because I am rich
“I have a boyfriend.”
“I can’t. I love him.”
“Love is just a feeling. Leave him and that lovely-dovely feeling will be gone as well.”
“I don’t want the feeling to go away. I am happy this way.”
“I can keep you much happier.”
“Oh really? How?”
“I will get you a mansion with everything in it that you ever dreamt of; will have a swimming pool to the theatre, servants to caretakers. Give you the best car available. Invest in your passion and help you establish yourself as a successful businesswoman. Let you buy anything you want to have. Just imagine a life that you have everything and you can do anything before you die, would not have a perfect life? That’s your happiness I am guaranteeing you if you marry me.”
“WOW! So you are actually buying happiness for me! All this time, I was thinking one can’t buy happiness, but you just claimed that you actually can.
“Yes, I believe happiness can be bought. You just have to be rich enough.”
“Are you happy, since you are quite rich?
“Then why are you forcing me to marry you as if you are so desperate and in need of someone in life to fill your empty unhappy life?”
“I am happy already. Just that now I want a wife to complete my life.”
“You don’t know anything about me but you are so obsessed to marry me. It can only mean you are attracted to me and basically, you want to marry my outlook, and in return you want me to marry your money, isn’t it? And you want me to carry your babies and raise them up, that your parents and relatives be happy and proud of your life. You actually want a machine that can produce babies and you are here to buy the machine at any cost since you have money. OR, you want to marry a girl that you can flash around saying “look what a hot and beautiful woman I found.” It’s all your ego and your life, isn’t it?”
“You are overreacting to my simple interest in marrying you.”
“Wow! so marriage is just that “simple interest” for you?”
“You are blind in love so you are not understanding how lucky you are that I am showing interest – the richest guy in town – that many girls would die to marry. Don’t be stupid. Once all this love crap is gone, you will realize what a mistake you did by rejecting my proposal.
“Let me explain to you my love life. Every morning I wake up with his good morning message and that lightens up my day. You see? I start my every day with a smile. Then I go to the gym. He is my motivation to stay young, stay healthy. I probably would not hit the gym and jog every day, if he was not in my life. I would just be lazy most of the day. My career, my study, it all revolves around our future life and dreams and desires. We dream to buy our house in some place, we dream to buy a car and go around touring the country. We have lots of plans and dreams. All those plans and dreams keep me moving, keep me focused, and it is the same for him. Now, let’s assume, I just leave him and marry you right away. I wake up with no good morning message and that would feel horrible. You may try to take his place but I don’t have that feeling and connection with you, so I will never feel that exact oxytocin rush. You will give me the house but it won’t be the same as the house I had dreamt to share with the man I love. You will give me the best car but the man sitting next to me would not be the man I love and I would feel empty. Servants would serve us dinner but I will be always missing the life where I would serve food for the man I love. Marrying you is like marrying Mr. Trump. I will have everything but not joy and happiness. And with this empty soul walking around your house and life, you too will feel sad and angry and guilty. Then our kids will suffer. That will make us more sad and depressed. You see, Mr. Richie? you can’t really buy happiness.
“But once married, you have no choice than to accept me and you will learn to love me and all these filmy notions of romance will be back to cheer you up, darling. What’s your problem?”
“Oh poor boy, you don’t even know how love works.”
“Ugh! Love, love love!! isn’t there anything in life that will compensate romance and love and still keep people happy together?”
“Okay listen. I have a friend who I am sure would love to marry you. Wanna meet her?”
“I don’t want to meet anyone. I just want you.”
“Why is that?”
“Because I like you more than anyone else.”
“There you go. You see? That “I like you” feeling matters more than anything. I like my boyfriend. I don’t like you. Find somebody that you can like, and you be liked back for what you are to each other in wild. That’s what marriage is all about. If you look for a breeding machine or look for a woman that can be bought, you will invite nothing but misery and sadness in your life. The Sooner you understand it, the better your life will be. Decades of togetherness defying the biology and nature won’t work, Mr. Money guy.”
Living is enough
Father: “Bachnu matra thulo kura ho? Bachna ta kukur pani bachirako chha” Is life all about living? What about achievement in life?
Son: Tell that to a wife whose husband is suffering from cancer and going to die soon. Ask her if she wants her husband lying and breathing and nothing much or she wishes him dead. Tell that to a mother who lost her son over a suicide that if doing-nothing-but-only-alive son would be enough for her or not. Tell that to a child who lost one of the parents who anyway wasn’t doing anything in life.
Dad, you haven’t lost anyone in life, so you can tell staying alive is nothing. When you lose someone then you will know staying alive itself is an achievement when millions die everyday prematurely.
I am alive, and that’s an achievement itself. Greater achievement is to be successful, rich, popular, etc, I understand, but you know what is the greatest achievement? It is to stay alive happily and independently. All the success, money, popularity, this and that only falls in between the achievement and the greatest achievement.
Dad, I am alive, I am happy, and I am independent. Maybe, per your definition and perception, I am not achieving anything. But to me, this version of me is the highest form of achievement. Don’t worry.
Hey KMAG Readers,
Glad to see you here. Since you are here, don’t forget to drop your email address. We want to surprise you.
Much love and regards,
A BREAK-UP LETTER
Let me tell you this again and again. I love you, loud and proud; deeply, madly, truly. Never thought, I would be loving anyone this much. You know, I used to find it funny when people say “I would die for you” but now I know such feeling is real, because I can relate. Damn! you got me.
Spending rest of my life with you was my biggest dream and I would want nothing more. Serving you, caring for you, growing old with you, they are the desires I long for every day, every second. Despite, I am calling off this relationship because it hurts to be an option. This may look harsh and hasty decision but trust me, I am saying this to you for the first time, but it has been in my head for many months now. So please take this as my final decision.
I know you have always tried your best to make me feel loved and cared, but even in those moments of love and care, I could sense you were only trying to be nice and babe, that hurts like hell. Every time when we were together in cafe, in street, in house party at friends place, I could see your mind and eyes were constantly searching for better one that you wish were with you instead of me. I pretended to never felt that way but deep inside, I always could feel “I am just an option” and it feels like shi*t to be “just an option.”
I tried fooling myself zillions times “hey stop overthinking” but how can I convince myself with those arrhythmic steps, wandering eyes, lost and zoned out you even in my presence? You can pretend but not your nerves, not your lips, not your touch. I appreciate your attempt of trying out so hard to synchronise your verbal and non-verbal gesture but your biology just can’t lie. Sorry babe, I have mastered over you. I wish I could never read those non-verbal gestures.
I know I am the one you would be happily settling with if you could not find someone better than me, and I know you would love me and care for me but again only if you couldn’t find someone better. Yes, Yes! That I have been saying. That “being option” is killing me, my love. I don’t want to be an option and live insecure forever fearing when you will find your ideal partner and me being dumped. I want to be The One, like the way you are to me, but you are not. And hey! it’s okay, you don’t have to be. When you find your ideal one, you will definitely be The One.
So love of my life, I am calling this off with heavy heart, drowning in the pool of tears but I know, it is still a better option than to be in somebody’s life as an option, especially when that somebody is world to you.
Please don’t try to find me to console me. I will find the solace in the agony because I know whatever the hell I will be going through for now will still be a temporary which is still better than the temporary feeling of being loved and cared just to fall in the same loop of “just an option,” after some days.
I am giving up on you. Sorry!
Hey KMAG Readers,
Glad to see you here. Since you are here, don’t forget to drop your email address. We want to surprise you.
Much love and regards,