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Regular phone calls were not sufficient for us then, I just wanted to meet him. Because this time if I missed to meet him then I won’t get a chance even to see him at least for 2 years because my best friend, Nripesh was going Canada for his further studies. Travelling to Kathmandu was full of risks but for everything, you have to pay something. So this time I prepared my bag full of risks. In order to reach Kathmandu I have to be at Bardibas first, which seemed nearly impossible due to Madhesh Band for some kind of protest. Somehow, one of my friends agreed to drop me. We were supposed to leave Janakpur at 4:30 AM so that we can travel safely. I did the same and finally, after a ride of 1 hour, I was at Bardibas, where I felt that now I can be at Kathmandu after some hours. My friend returned. We waved goodbye to each other and I did not forget to thank him.

I have been working at Mahottari since a year, so the bus owner recognized me and gave me the ticket for the front seat on A side easily. I asked him about who is sharing the seat with me. He gave a look at ticket book and answered with a smile, “Madam, it’s a girl, nearly 20 years old, she had written her name as Swapna.” I entered the bus, where she was. She was at the window seat, I took the next one beside her.

I was excited. I called Nripesh. He picked. Before he even speaks a single word, I told him”Hey! I am at Bardibas now and I took the bus, so now it’s sure that we are going to meet before you leave Nepal.” He was too happy after hearing that and wished me to have a safe journey. It was one of the happiest moment of my life so I decided to celebrate it with some Cadbury. I picked it up from my purse, and after unwrapping it I asked to have some to Swapna. After all, she was the partner of my journey. She had it with a smile and thanked me. Suddenly she asked me “Are you headed to Kathmandu?”

I answered, “Maybe not today. Actually, I have to meet my sis Pragati at Narayanghat, so after meeting her I will go there tomorrow.” At the instant her face became dark. I couldn’t get it.

I asked her, “Are you okay? “

Politely she answered, “Yeah! I am. “

But her face had a very different expression and I had no idea how to handle the situation. I again gave her a smile but there seemed no change at her facial expression. She asked me for my name. I answered, “Promisha.”

After a while, she told, “Actually I am afraid of men. So I asked you that whether you are travelling with me to Kathmandu or not. I will feel safe if you can travel to Kathmandu.”

I knew that most of the girls feel unsafe when the beside seat is taken by unknown men. But she really seemed frightened. It was not a casual expression for any girl. My curiosity did not let me be silent. I asked her, “Why are you so much afraid of that simple issue? Later we have to work with men at the office. Everywhere in the world, we need to face men. You are afraid for just a single journey of some hours. A girl should not be afraid ever at least of men.”

She answered, “Yeah! I know all these. But I am afraid of men always, either at my home or other places.”

I was shocked. Her part of the sentence “at my home” stroke my mind. I asked her, “Why should you be afraid at your home. I am not getting your point dear. Men are not always bad. I am headed to Kathmandu to meet my friend and he is a boy. So don’t be afraid ever.”

She answered, “I heard you talking on the phone. That sounds good when a girl is not afraid of men and trust them equally. But everyone is not lucky as much as you. Sometimes they have very bitter experience only because they are a girl and I am one of them. So I trust an animal too if it is only female.”

My curiosity aroused with her answer. I asked again, “Hey sis, Can I have a chance to know why are you afraid of males? Your reason cannot be a simple a reason. So, if you allow I want you to share with me your reason. Maybe I can help you and I can introduce you to some males who really respect female more than them and they don’t just show it. They really mean it from their heart.”

She nodded. After a minute, she told me that she will share everything if and only if I will travel to Kathmandu with her. Without a delay of a second, I told her, “Ok, sure. I will meet my sister while returning.”

She started.

My love story started when I was 13 and a student of class 7.He was my crush when I had entered Samprada English Boarding School. You know, the best part of adolescent age is your crush proposing you. Before I could think something I accepted his proposal. Later I realized that I was in love. We started to enjoy our relationship as others do. We used to bring chocolates for each other and shared it while talking. He was a complete science lover and  I had never interest in any topic of science. But we enjoyed our company. The best days continued for a year.

I never told my mom about my relationship. One of our neighbouring aunties complained my mom that she found me at Children park with a boy. My mom inquired me about that either I have been to Children park. I answered her that I have been there with my friend and he was a boy. My mom advised me not to be anywhere with any boy because the society had a problem with it and later it will be a problem for my family when they would search a life partner for me. I did not care her words because if the society has a problem they should search for their solution and I have found my life partner who loved me. So I neither stopped to love him nor having fun with him.

Later my mom had to face a lot of questions from the neighbours. One day my mom asked me, “Is there a guy n your life?” I was confused if I tell them the truth I will be punished and if I cheat them I won’t be able to face myself. So I did the worst decision of my life instantly. I told her the truth. She slapped me. I had no idea how to handle the situation. She asked me about the boy. I told her everything. Mom seemed angrier when I told her about him. With a very loud voice, she scolded me, “I can’t believe this my daughter loves a non-Brahmin boy. You know better than you are born into a Brahmin family and they have to follow the rules of their ancestors. And the most strict rule is that they are neither allowed to love non-Brahmins nor to marry them and the daughters who don’t obey it the family calls them a whore. Either you stop it instantly or I will punish you badly if it is continued.”

I was never interested in the caste system. Neither I had many ideas about it. I just knew that I belonged from a Brahmin family and I was the daughter of a widow of a Brahmin family. My mother herself couldn’t wear any colourful sari or use any cosmetic just because her husband was not alive. I felt tortured with this Brahmanism where a woman had no life without their men. After a while, I realized that my love is non-Brahmin. I was happy.

I stopped meeting him. But I was in contact through phone calls. One day our maternal grandfather came to visit us and he found me chatting with him. He complained my mom and strictly ordered her to take me out of the city so that I won’t be able to contact him. Mom told her that my studies will be disturbed but he advised her that your daughter had committed a crime and that was loving a guy. She couldn’t afford me study in other cities so they decided to take me at either at the maternal or paternal house at the village. Before I could defend they took me to maternal place. Later I realized it was a village where no phone contacts or any kind of contacts with him. I cried a lot but none of them was ready to hear that. My life was bound within the walls of that house.

Mom dropped me there and returned back to her place. My tears did not count anything to her. So, I concluded, “She is a Brahmin woman bound with oaths and bondages who delivered me.” Motherhood was just a single word there. I could see the love for me in my mother’s eyes but her ears had not been able to hear my voice. I wanted to make her understand, “Mom, this is Brahmanism.” I knew she loved me more than herself but she had no choice as me.

It was quite difficult for me to adjust with that family but I had no choice. I just cried for him and my mom. The person who loved me were no more in my life. They were away from me. I kept crying but no solution. After a week, my maternal uncle arrived there during the holiday from his job. He used to visit me in my room when I acted like sleeping. One morning he asked me, “Do you like him so much?” and suddenly he touched my hands. I felt uncomfortable. I tried to pull my hands but couldn’t a success. I asked him to leave my room but his hands were approaching my cheeks. I was not feeling good. I told him, “Uncle! Please leave me.” He replied, “I will love you more than him and buy you more gifts.” I had no idea what was going. He touched on private parts of my body. I was feeling some kind of a pain but I couldn’t do anything. I kept silent.

Later It was regular with me. He used to visit almost all night my room and put his hands inside my t-shirt and played with my breasts and I felt pain then and even now. He tried to kiss me so many times but somehow I have always been able to not let him kiss me. I was abused each night but my mom had the misconception that I was in a safe place. Almost all the time I prayed, “Please! not today, not again with me.” I tried to share it with my aunt but could not. I never had words to share it. I did not know how to share it and what could be the best words to say it properly. I tried so many times to share it with the family but I never been successful. There were so many members of my family who were literally dedicated to caring me but each night I was sexually abused.

The ‘Whys’ of Sexual Harassment

Once having some courage I told part of these things to my grandmother. But the reactions were opposite. She scolded me as much as she can. I still remember her words they were,”I can’t believe you are my daughter’s daughter. Look at her she did not talk with men even she is working in an office. You are a whore. You loved a guy who was not Brahmin and we gave you the place to live and you have started to ruin my family.” She even threatened me that if I tried to share it with someone then I will be punished badly. I was punished each night so I did not have courage for more punishment. I kept silent. My silence and my tears were my best friends these days.

Almost after a month, mom came to meet me. She brought some gifts for me. I did not accept a single gift. Because gifts had the different meaning in my life these days. Gifts meant to me first pain then gift. My uncle too used to bring chocolates for me each night and left it there after his entertainment. Mom was transferred to her central office at Kathmandu for 5 years so she had come to take me there.

Just a month of my life made me understand the relationship between men and pain for girls. So, when I see any men near me I just associate it with pain. I tried so many times to say it to my mom but never been able there too. I always thank god that my father died during an accident when I was developing inside my mother’s uterus and I had no child other than me. Especially she does not have any son. I feel good that there are no men at my home. And I feel better that I am a student of Padma Kanya Campus.

Almost both of us were in tears when she ended her story. I kissed her forehead and travelled to Kathmandu.  

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