There are many memories which are prone to be forgotten easily, but some remain as deep memories that never go away. I can still remember, with so much clarity, how I was beaten almost to death in Biratnagar, the second biggest city of Nepal that simply makes my nerves rack. It was my first time there after I took my School Leaving certificate (SLC) exam I was there to spend my summer time with my cousins during the break. My cousins planned to go to Jogbani, the border town of India, shopping for goods at a cheaper price. I had only heard of the town before, but never been there, the place where many people go to shop, the place where druggists and addicts buy different narcotic drugs and cross the border through a different route that the cops hardly guard, the town where sex workers are waving their hands in the red light area, the town where the train keeps honking its horn every now and then, the town where people sell their items on the street, the town where people are doing illegal deeds that the cops are oblivious of, the town where goons can beat and kill you. I was enamored by the idea whether or not I should join my cousins to go to Jogbani. I had the mixed feelings of the excitement of joining them and the fear of a new border town that I had never been to before. Finally, I joined them. My cousins were locals of Biratnagar and Jogbani was 6 miles away from there. Finally, I went with them. I was young, a teenager, and I thought acting tough would make me look smarter and I could scare people away.
In retrospect, I still remember how badly I got beaten when I acted smart in front of the bus staff on the way back from Jogbani. They asked me for the bus fair and I found I did not have enough money to pay them. They continued asking for it, and I started acting tough.
“Don’t you know who I am,” I said. I had my cousins with me who bolstered my confidence and courage.
“Who the hell are you?” they said. Finally, I swore on them and they shut their mouths up. I felt so powerful. When the bus’s last station came and it halted to a complete stop, all passengers got off, we also got off from the bus only to discover someone from behind hit me so hard on my head that the whole town whirled around my head. My cousins started banging and kicking them, but their staff multiplied in numbers, and a few of them came with heavy iron rods, which they used to unscrew the bus’ wheels, to slam upon me, to break my head, to crush my back, to play tough and perhaps kill me right there. My cousins ran away and I was the one somebody was holding me from the back so the other person could rain that iron rod upon me. Squirming for God’s sake, I escaped their grasp and ran away to catch the moving bus. I made it and saved my life. Yes, I nearly died. (To be continued in my memoir…)