Yesterday, I was lining up for petrol in a petrol pump run by Nepal Police in Naxal. Petrol price has hit Rs. 102. In this slowing economy, that 5 rupees hike means a lot to me. As I was standing, I saw a government-plate Scorpio coming to fill the petrol with an officer inside. “He does not feel the heat, how lucky he is.” I said to myself. Somewhere nearby, I could see some well-groomed police officers off the uniform walking around. “At least, these guys have a job that they don’t have to worry to lose. How lucky they too are.” I remembered a traffic police telling me, “we barely get 25K. What is 25K in Kathmandu?” I now think of all the teachers, journalists, bank employees, and many other people who would barely get 15-20K salary and that too is gone as they have lost job. At least, the traffic dai is lucky. He does not lose the job.
I left from the petrol pump but throughout, I was keeping my eyes on road like a hungry man starring at restaurants. When I see private cars, I would think who are these lucky people, what work they do, how they get money. I look around the buildings which would earn the owners lakhs in rent. “WOW! How lucky they are.” An army vehicle just passed by me. “Another lucky people whose life is set.” The army vehicle was actually escorting minister’s vehicle followed by few other vehicles. I could see some happy face inside the vehicle. There were a guy of my age, and a woman of my mother’s age. I don’t know who they are but I just could not stop thinking of my mom and her worries. “Damn! what did this guy do to get to that seat and that woman, that I and my mom failed to.”
In the pavement, there were people walking with raincoat or umbrella on. In those buildings, there were shop keepers and proprietors waiting for the customers to come in a grim face, and I could feel the financial stress that they are grappled in. In some corners, there were cigarette shops and even a woman as a street vendor selling corn under her umbrella and many other bikers and pillion riders like me, half drenched in raincoat. I know many people are still missed to be seen, because there are no public vehicles yet in operation and they are probably stuck in their home or hometown with zero earning.
To put it in a social class — the ruling class, the upper class, the middle class, the working class, I could witness while riding by bike that I am not able to give for servicing for so long.
This kind of social hierarchy isn’t new and not something only to exist in our country. India has, US has, Australia has, any human society has. My concern is not about how some of us are more privileged and having more secured and comfortable life. My concern is how small fraction of people are only having the comfort and living a financially secured life in this country while rests are suffering. And what bothers me the most is that no one is bothered, as if everyone is settled with “this is how it is.”
More I think, more I feel like this country belongs to.
- Government employees and state-funded individuals and groups.
- People with good enough inherited properties in Nepal.
- Those with well paying jobs in financial institutions, NGO/INGOs.
- Good political networks.
- Too smart to build a good rapport with all 4 above and find a way to leech on.
I wonder what percentage of Nepal’s population fall in that Lucky 5. Maybe, 1%.
I don’t belong to any of them. I belong to the rests who need to pay taxes from bike to recharge cards to anything I consume and use, so that those 5 above and their children and dependents can have a comfortable life. Fundamentally, it’s pretty much the king’s era, where you work hard to enrich your king and his kins and clans. You can never dream to be as privileged as king and his kins and clans, as rich as king and his kins and clans. You are peasants, born to breed, raise kids, serve kings, and if you are lucky enough, kings will build something in your town, or else you die just like every other peasants without experiencing anything beyond your peasant standard.
If you belong to any of the 5 above, it’s very hard for you to relate what his post is saying. You may feel, I am envious, jealous. You may even quick to say “go work hard, study hard instead of complaining.” No darling, you can’t understand me. Only the rests that don’t belong to the above 5 know, we have been working very hard for so long, studied hard, been doing everything hoping to have a comfortable life where we could grant a comfortable life for our parents, for our children and for ourselves. Go ask all the shopkeepers and small business runners who have been running their business for 20+ years, if their hard work has given them the comfort and privilege of those 5. Go ask all the working people who has to jump from one private job to another, what fortune and career growth did their study granted them? No I am not envious or jealous. How can I be? I am half dead. All I could do is wish i was not born in this country and instead born somewhere that even being in the 99%, I still could dream big, plan big, think big; plan a vacation, buy a nice pair of clothes, add some gadgets in home even with my regular job, regular work. And in worst time, I have the support network. But no, that does not happen here because as said above, you gotta be King or his kins and clans to grant a cushion.
I seriously thought this country would be better after the new constitution, hoping that would bring an inclusive growth; thought we would progress more, modernize more, where we all would be equal with equal access to resource, same level of opportunity, same amount of protection and what not all. But now I feel, we only have changed the constitution, replaced the kings and their kins and clans but have not changed anything. Fundamentally, we are still the same.
This country’s message is more louder and clearer everyday — If you want to have a better life, either be one of us or submit yourself to one of us.
If you can’t, get lost!!
“By the way, you got a bike. What are you complaining?” Yea right, middle class can’t complain here as I am supposed to satisfy seeing at poor people’s sufferings.
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,