Raping Animals, Butchering Women

“Eating animals acts as mirror and representation of patriarchal values. Meat eating is the re-inscription of male power at every meal. The patriarchal gaze sees not the fragmented flesh of dead animals but appetizing food. If our appetites re-inscribe patriarchy, our actions regarding eating animals will either reify or challenge this received culture. If meat is a symbol of male dominance then the presence of meat proclaims the dis-empowering of women.” 

Let me begin with the raping incidents, for instance, that took place upon/against female bodies of different ages at different locations in Nepal in the last two months. A thirty-one year young woman was gang raped at Bishnupur VDC in Ithari, followed by another eighteen year girl being gang raped at Sambhunath Municipality-3 the following day. Similarly, an eighteen years young man named Rajdev Mandal raped and killed his own uncle’s daughter at Khadga municipality-9. Furthermore, 3 and 11 year old young girls, children to put it bluntly, residents of krishnasabaran village-6 were raped. Another incident in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, details how a seventeen year old young girl was gang raped by a vehicle driver and his staff for a week in a locked room. The list of these raping incidents goes on and on.

These incidents bemoan the lack of regard, some men in our society have for women as human beings, it also demonstrates a lack of sensitivity and seriousness on effecting and implementing policies that prevent young women, children or women from being men’s prey. A literal meaning of prey as a noun is an “animal that is hunted and killed by another for food.” The verb will be to “hunt or kill for food.” Food satiates hunger.

In Nepal, animals are killed for various purposes. Animal sacrifice is a ritual in Nepali Hindu culture to appease Hindu Gods and Goddesses. In Nepal’s gadimai mela, Gadimai fare, around fifty thousands animals are butchered in the name of pleasing deities.

This, metaphorically and symbolically speaking, allows me to switch an animal to a woman and vice versa that will help me make the topic of my article clear. Even the decision to phase out slaughter places has not changed the way animals are killed inhumanly across the country. Each day, according to Kathmandu metropolitan city, more than 500 buffaloes, 1,500 goats, 7,000 chicken, 150 pigs and 7,000 kg of fish are reportedly consumed in Kathmandu. Animals are brought to Kathmandu inhumanely through an often tortuous journey. In the meat eating population, men seem to be consuming more meat than women.

Even the research by Donya S. Madjdian and Hilde A. J. Bras shows gender bias and cultural power differences that affect women’s food and nutrition, reflecting on food allocation preferences for adult males over those of adult females, resulting in that women were less likely to meet their nutrient requirements as compared to men. Another report by Clinical Infectious Disease shows that Men consume more meat than women. A higher portion of men reported eating more meat and certain types of poultry than women who proportionally consumed more fruits and vegetables than meat. This meat eating habit of men more than women can be linked to the idea of men’s masculinity, virility, and muscle’ building that reinforce the patriarchal ethos.

In her book The sexual politics of meat: A feminist-vegetarian critical theory, relating meat eating to women’s oppression, Carol Adams writes: “Eating animals acts as mirror and representation of patriarchal values. Meat eating is the re-inscription of male power at every meal. The patriarchal gaze sees not the fragmented flesh of dead animals but appetizing food. If our appetites re-inscribe patriarchy, our actions regarding eating animals will either reify or challenge this received culture. If meat is a symbol of male dominance then the presence of meat proclaims the dis-empowering of women.”

These ideas evoke the cases of women being raped. In a society where women are considered as members of the helping professions or nurturing skills, such as nurses, social workers, and child care workers; as targets of sexual harassment; as low-wage, low-skilled, low-status workers in sex- segregated occupations; as part-time workers; as workers who work both unpaid domestic labor and paid labor; as working wives and working mothers. , These ideas reinforce the absence of women’s status in a patriarchal society, and in a way eating meat reinforces the absence of animals’ rights.

Cognitive dissonance occurs to placate and justify what we do Animals become absent in the meat eating society as it permits us to forget about the animal as an independent entity; it also enables us to resist efforts to make animals present. This helps us to understand segregation and discrimination, which is otherwise invisible, against animals and, symbolically speaking, women, poor, and other marginalized communities.

This violence against women and animals is rampant, literally, symbolically, and metaphorically.

These ideas in general may correlate to how Nepali women are depicted in architecture and wooden scriptures in and across religious buildings where women seemed to be tamed in a way the animals are tamed and sexually exploited. If one goes to Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva on the occasion of Shiva Ratri (the night of Shiva when thousands of saints and sages and Hindu devotees gather there to celebrate the night of Shiva), one witnesses many individuals thronged around fires, which symbolically represent Shiva’s sexual energy. During the Shiva’s night, some sages and saints smear their faces and bodies with ashes and perform feats of stretching and enlarging their penises in the hope of making them harder and stronger thus defining their virility, their sexual power, and their energy to emulate the sexual energy of Lord Shiva, who is often depicted with an erect lingam denoting his sexual prowess. This elevates the discourse of male’s sexual power, sexual freedom, and sexual energy.

The Nepali social structure that emphasizes patriarchal culture strengthens an individual male. This can be applied to all races, colors, and marginalized people.

Social consideration, intentionally or unintentionally, of women as a child producing machine in the context of Nepal portrays woman as an object rather than a sexual being with human emotions. In this sense, allegorically speaking, raping women is no more than being butchered like animals because a woman becomes a man’s prey. The raping incidents for last two months tell that.

In a nutshell, theNepali laws and policies made against rapists are blatantly ineffective and are also not strictly implemented. The raping incidents that occurred in various parts of Nepal for last two months struck a jarring note, reawakening us to reconsider if we are living in a civilized society. What can one expect from such a society of democratic republic Nepal where women should live in fear of being raped? Why is a woman taught early to ‘behave’ be it from wearing dresses to being cautious out there and a man is never taught to respect a woman? Why is it acceptable that a woman is raped like an animal is butchered or vice-versa?

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Just be with me!

I had never felt the absence of the dearest one before

Because I never knew who the dearest one would be.

You stopped by me and offered me the generous heart,

So lovely, so kindly, so tenderly.

You touched my heart in such a way that

I started feeling the rhythm of your heart in my heart,

Started overhearing the music of your musing,

So calm, so soothing, so appeasing.

My body and soul yoked together in your name.

You were looking for the kind of person I was looking for,

Upright, benevolent, trustworthy.

You doubted what I doubted

Adultery, hypocrite, snobbery.

There you go—the same feeling, same dreams, same desire,

We wanted to spread together.

So intimacy grew like the rushing of a mountainous river

Which never dries until the mountain exists,

Or the stars, or the moon, or the sun exists.

When I remember you I do not see the smoke hovering over the sky,

Nor I see the bad wind blowing outside.

What I see is birds are free, pets are unfettered,

Prisoners are unchained. Day follows by the night

Silently, stealthily, playfully, for a wonderful daybreak.

I wish you could be sitting next to me right now

So I could touch your hands and play with the lines on your palm,

Fixing the fate and future of our life.

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So lovely, so kindly, so tenderly.
You touched my heart in such a way that
I started feeling the rhythm of your heart in my heart,

My culture is my language

My culture is my language

My language is my culture, Yaar!

Yaar means “man.”

Yaar means “dude.”

Yaar means “sir.”

The brevity of my language!

My language

Lacks grammar not cohesion,

Lacks prose not poems,

Lacks composition not rhythm,

Lacks syntax not semantics.

Though the lyre of my language is broken,

The lyrics it leaves are everlasting.

My images are my culture.

My culture is my language.

I know about the knowledge of Fruit

Which Eve and Adam ate.

Do you know about Vang[i]and Daturo[ii]

Which Siva[iii] ate?

The math of my language is not a myth.

Two minus two equals four, yaar,

Unlike what Devkota [iv]said

One minus one equals one

Because it’s my time, not Devkota’s.

I can grow roses on rocks,

Mosses on mud through my language.

You poked fun at me

When I made mud a beautiful image.

Did you forget what Keats said

The truth is beauty and the beauty is truth?

I feel the fragrance of flowers,

Smell the scent of soil,

Sniff the gas emitted by dilapidated automobiles.

Shit is not beautiful if it smells good.

My language is not beautiful if it smells your culture.

Culture is my language, yaar!

I am Tulasi, an incarnation of Bishnu[v],

Another creator of the Universe.

Tulasi is a plant of basil,

A religious plant in my culture.

We put its leaves in our foods to be sanctified,

Though I am not one hundred percent pure.

To tell you the truth,

I have not lost my virginity,

Nor dared to woo someone’s virginity.

I think, therefore, I am.[vi]

My culture, therefore, is my language,

Which rises like the phoenix from its ashes.

  1. It’s like marijuana that creates hallucination when eaten.
  2. It is also like marijuana that creates hallucination when eaten.
  3. A Hindu God (it is believed that there are thirty-three million gods and goddesses in Hindu religion) who is the creator of the universe, lives a nomadic life, wearing the garland of serpents and clothes made of tiger-skin.
  4. A great Nepali poet who wrote a poem Lunatic to impugn those who could not understand him.
  5. Bishnu is one of the concepts of trinity (Brama, Bisnu, Mahes) in Hindu religion. He is the universe. However, He has also a stigma of disgrace because he raped Brinda, the wife of Jalandar, a God of destructive force, so he could kill Jalandar only after wooing her virginity. After knowing her virginity and fidelity towards her husband was lost, she imprecated him to live the life of a plant named Tulasi.
  6. A sixteenth century rationalist thinker, Rene Descartes, writes “Cogito Ergo Sum.”

A beguiling smile

Your smile,

Silently seethes into my veins,

Oozes out into my verses,

And spills over the pages.

Your smile,

Your smile,

Rides the horse of Neptune,

And controls my verses.

And your smile,

Disappears like a morning frost.

Illuminates the dark into a day break,

Twinkles like the Dog Star,

And soothes my soul.

Eventually,

Your smile,

Rides the horse of Neptune,

And controls my verses.

And your smile,

Disappears like a morning frost.

Unrequited love

No sooner did he listen to a song and hummed
Over an early morning cup of coffee
Than it brought the flood of the beloved’s love.
And the song lost its charm,
Abandoning him to despair.
His tears rolled down into the cup.
From which he drank his unrequited love.

झ्यालको सिशा उही छ

कहिलेकाहिँ चराको बिष्टा खस्छ

र बनाउछ धर्सो

आँखाको डिल हुँदै बग्ने आँसुले जस्तै

म हेरिरहन्छु ड्याफोडिल्सहरु बगैचामा

उसै गरि गुलाफका फूलहरु, चमेली र मखमलीपनी

अहो कति सुन्दर जीवन!

हर्षले उम्रिन्छ्न मन भित्र सपनाका टुसाहरु

सगरमाथालाई नै उछिन्ने गरि

साँझ पर्छ, म सुत्छु

भोलि झ्यालको सिशा उही छ

हर्षले उम्रिन्छ्न मन भित्र सपनाका टुसाहरु

सगरमाथालाई नै उछिन्ने गरि

साँझ पर्छ, म सुत्छु

भोलि झ्यालको सिशा उही छ

अहो कति निरर्थक छ जीवन

निमेष भरमै फूल जस्तै झर्छ

साँझ पर्छ

हिजो झरेको चराको बिष्टा सुकेर खंग्रंग छ

फक्रक्क फुलेको गुलाफ लत्रक्क छ

आँखाको डिल हुँदै आँसु बग्न थाल्छ

र बनाउछ धर्सो

चराको बिष्टा झ्यालको सिशामा खसे जस्तै

अहो कति निरर्थक छ जीवन

निमेष भरमै फूल जस्तै झर्छ

साँझ पर्छ

आँखाहरु थाक्छन र बिछ्यौनामा गएर पल्टिनछन्

भोलि झ्यालको सिशा उही हुन्छ

झ्यालको बिष्टा रातभरको झरीले पखाल्छ

डुबेका हुन्छन फूलहरु सबै जमिनमा

बिष्टा छोड्दै उड्ने चरो त्यहाँ हुन्न

पर छितिज़मा इन्द्रेणी लाग्छ

र यो मन भुर्र्र्र्र उडेर त्यहाँ पुग्छ

झ्यालको शिसा उही छ

मान्छेको मन

काँच भन्दा कमजोर

फूलभन्दा सुन्दर

घामभन्दा घमाइलो

एउटै त रहेछ यहाँ

मान्छेको मन !!!

यहाँ स्पर्श बेगरै

मान्छेको मन

काँचजस्तै टुक्रिन्छ छरपष्ट

तिम्रो मनको निश्वार्थ मायाले

फूलभन्दा सुन्दर हुन्छ मान्छेको जीवन

मगमगाउन थाल्छन् तिमीले रोपेका प्रेम फूलहरु

मायाको रापिलो घाम यसरी फैलिन्छ

जहाँ सूर्य स्वयं बन्दी बन्छ,

रातभरी लत्रक्क परेका

मान्छेका मनजस्तै वृक्षका पातहरु

जसरी निमेषभरमै चम्किन्छन् घामको एक चुम्बन पाएर

त्यसरी नै चम्किन्छन्, मान्छेका मनहरु

तिम्रो निश्वार्थ प्रेममा

यही मन हो ,

जसले युद्ध जित्छ, संसार हाँक्छ,

यही मन हो

आखाँभरी टिलपिल आँशु पारेर रोइदिन्छ !!!

Ramala, a movie script

ACT-1
SCENE-I
EXT- A MAOIST-AFFECTED VILLAGE IN RUKUM, NEPAL- EVENING
The movie camera moves pan right to pan left, showing the
breathtaking landscape; tilts up and tilts down, showing the
scary twin helicopters’ flight and the innocent eyes of
children, women, and men while walking down the street. The
Maoists’ war is changing things in Rukum. The women are
carrying loads of fodder, wood or water along the windy
roads, sweating and panting.
INT- BHOLA’S BEDROOM- NIGHT
Bhola, 28, is recently married to Ramala, 19. It is the
seventh night of their marriage. Bhola plants a kiss on her
lips and sits next to her on the bed. Ramala is afraid of the
sound she hears.
RAMALA
What’s that? Again, the Maoists are
firing, huh?
BHOLA
It’s not a time to think about
firing, Ramala. Think about love
and life. Today is the seventh day
of our marriage, what do you think?
RAMALA
I am happy with you, but the guns
and bullets scare me.
BHOLA
I don’t like to think about this
fucking firing. One day, the army
men came to my house at four in the
morning. When my father opened the
door, they dragged him outside and
started kicking him like an animal.
RAMALA
Why didn’t you protest?
BHOLA
(sad and sombre)
How could I? The army men were so
vicious that they even manhandled
my mother.
(MORE)
My mother held onto the leg of the
main army personnel and pled, but
he just kicked her, saying, “fuck
you.”
RAMALA
(Shocked)
Why the hell did they do so?
BHOLA
They suspected us as Maoists.
RAMALA
And what about yourself? Didn’t
they do any injury to you?
BHOLA
They kicked me too. Oh, God! I
nearly died.
Bhola stretches his hand and turns on the radio.
THE RADIO’S VOICE
40 army men and 30 Maoist guerillas
were killed when the latter started
firing at police headquarters today
at 9 in the morning. The firing
continued for three hours. Now, the
curfew has been imposed, and the
situation has worsened.
Amid the horror, they sleep.
SCENE-II
EXT- OUTSIDE BHOLA’S HOME- MORNING
The day breaks, showing the sky yellowish in color. Women
wearing gunyu-choli(Nepali female dress) are walking down the
street to the jungle, carrying doko (bamboo-made object), to
fetch firewood. Children are with their mothers, wearing
ragged clothes. A cock cackles, reminding the daybreak. The
camera slowly moves to Bhola’s bedroom.
RAMALA
(To Bhola)
It’s time to get up.
(looking out through the
window)
See, the sun is already above us.
It’s time to go to the jungle and
fetch fodder and firewood.
2.
BHOLA (CONT’D)
BHOLA
Baby, Don’t disturb me. I am
dreaming of our honeymoon. You
don’t think of our honeymoon, do
you?
RAMALA
Food is more important than the
honeymoon. What are you talking
about? No more wood is left to cook
food, nor any fodder for cattle. Go
and get them first.
BHOLA
(Getting up from the bed
and stretching his body
and yawning )
I got it. I got it.
Bhola gets ready. He wears a lungi (a cloth for a male) and a
shirt, takes a doko, kisses Ramala, waves his hands, and goes
to the jungle.
RAMALA
(Waving her hand )
You take care. Get back
home soon.
Ramala starts cleaning house: removing cobwebs, sweeping the
floor, washing dishes, and making tea for her old parents-inlaw.
It’s already 1 o’clock in the evening, but Bhola does
not return. She turns on the radio.
RADIO’S VOICE
5 women and 10 men were kidnapped
by Maoist guerillas in the jungle,
20 kilometers far away from
Musikot, the headquarters of Rukum.
They had gone to the jungle for
firewood this morning. Also a dozen
children are missing. Their
whereabouts are still unknown.
Ramala is shocked after she hears the news. Bhola’s old
parents panic.
BHOLA’S MOTHER
What in the hell do my ears hear?
Is our Bhola one of them?
Ramala collapses into tears. Old parents blame her for her
husband’s misfortune.
3.
BHOLA’S MOTHER (CONT’D)
Don’t show your crocodile’s tears.
You sent my son to the jungle early
in the morning, didn’t you? Bring
my son here, or I will knock your
teeth out.
RAMALA
(Crying in pain, sobbing
her heart out )
For god’s sake, I am not to be
blamed. He is my husband and I love
him. I told him ‘to return home
soon.’ I’m shocked by the news. We
can do nothing except wait for him,
hopefully.
She goes to the bedroom, covers her mouth and cries in pain a
lot, but Bhola does not return home until midnight. During
nightime, the rattling sound of bullets is heard. The sound
of twin helicopters’ flight is apparent, mixed with the
sobbing and crying of Ramala and Bhola’s parents.
SCENE-III
EXT-BHOLA’S HOUSE-COURTYARD-MORNING
Bhola’s parents’ eyes are red and swollen,looking sad and
frail. A few army men pass by their house marching to the
jungle with rifles slung over their shoulders. They are
bewailing the loss of their son. Ramala is squatting next to
them with her unkempt hair, placing her forehead on her left
hand, almost bowing down her head, and silently sobbing.
BHOLA’S MOTHER
(to Ramala)
Did you hear what we are talking
about? You gotta bring my son.
RAMALA
(sobbing and pausing)
Why do you insult my injury? What
mistake did I make? Your son is my
husband. I love him as much as you
love him.
BHOLA’S MOTHER
(yelling)
Kiss my ass, you daughter of a
bitch. By hook or by crook, I need
my son soon.
4.
RAMALA
(being bold and
outrageous, and shouting)
Do you think I have hidden your
son? Tell me. What do you want?
Tell the one who kidnapped your
son.
(sobbing)
I lost my husband as soon as seven
days after I married. Have you ever
thought of the landslides in my
life? Who can I live with the rest
of my life?
(being determined)
If you help me, I am gonna fight to
find my husband, your son.
One by one villagers gather at Bhola’s house, and start
suspecting Bhola’s kidnapping.
ONE OF THE VILLAGERS
Maoist guerillas must have
kidnapped Bhola.
THE NEXT VILLAGER
Or they must be the army men
because they suspected Bhola as a
Maoist.
BHOLA’S PARENTS
(with tearful eyes)
But my son Bhola was not a Maoist
THE NEXT VILLAGER
Yes, we know. But, they might have
kidnapped Bhola just for
interrogation.
SOME VILLAGERS
Your son might have been kidnapped.
He will return home soon. Don’t cry
in panic. Wait for him, for God’s
sake.
A RADIO’S VOICE
As army men began their operation
through the jungle, they found the
corpses of two men in the jungle
upside down today in the morning.
One was found to be Ramhari Sharma
of Musikot, who got a bullet injury
into his heart; the other one had
got bullet through his head.
5.
(MORE)
His face could not be recognized.
Both of them are brought to Rolpa
Hospital for their postmortem.
SCENE-IV
EXT- A PUBLIC TAP IN THE VILLAGE- DAY
Ramala is at the public tap, filling her pitchers with water.
There are a few women, washing clothes and filling their jars
with water, who torture Ramala mentally, asking her many
questions about her husband.
ONE OF THE WOMEN
Hey, Ramala, how is your husband?
They giggle.
THE OTHER WOMAN
Did you find your husband?
Ramala does not speak a word to them. She fills her pitcher
and carries it at her waist.
THE NEXT WOMAN
Maoists must have killed your
husband. Now, you are not gonna get
him.
Shocked, she cannot hold the pitcher tightly and it drops,
breaking into many pieces. All of them laugh at her.
RAMALA
Stop giggling you stupid fool. Do
your business.
They stop giggling. Ramala goes home. On her way home, she
meets a boy, 17, with a slim body and a gun in his hand.
BOY
We are coming to your home tonight.
RAMALA
Who are you?
BOY
We are Maoist guerillas. Don’t tell
army men that we are gonna be at
your home tonight.
RAMALA
Why do you wanna come to my home?
6.
A RADIO’S VOICE (CONT’D)
BOY
We are wanderers. We cannot live
in the same place. We have to keep
on moving. We have a plan to go to
one place one day and another place
another day. Keep it secret about
us.
(brandishing gun in the
air)
If you let cops know about us, we
will shoot you. We are fighting for
the freedom of the nation.
RAMALA
(startled and stammered)
Yes, yes, I got it. I won’t tell
anybody.
They depart. Again she meets a few policemen with their
rifles slung across their shoulders on her way home.
A POLICEMAN
What’s your name?
RAMALA
Ramala
A POLICEMAN
Did you see any boy passing this
way?
RAMALA
(remembering what the boy
had told her, and almost
scared and stammered)
No, sir, no. I didn’t see anybody.
A POLICEMAN
If you suspect anyone as a Maiost,
let us know.
RAMALA
Yes, sir. I do. I also have a
question, sir.
A POLICEMAN
What’s that?
RAMALA
I lost my husband one week before.
I don’t know his whereabouts. Would
you give me a favor, sir, to find
my husband?
7.
A POLICEMAN
We don’t have enough time now. Come
to our headquarters tomorrow.
SCENE- V
INT- POLICE HEADQUARTERS- DAY
The camera focuses outside of the police headquarters and
slowly moves into it. One of the police officers is sitting
on a chair, smoking a cigarette, while the other two officers
next to him are laughing.
ONE POLICE OFFICER
(smoking)
I hate this fucking job.
THE OTHER POLICE OFFICER
Why in the hell are you talking
like this, man?
ONE POLICE OFFICER
We are not sure what time the
bullets blow our head off.
Tired and exhausted, Ramala enters. Police officers look at
each other and smile.
ONE POLICE OFFICER (CONT’D)
(blinking his eyes at the
other officers)
So beautiful, man.
(to Ramala)
Yes, madam, Can I help you?
RAMALA
(almost lachrymose in
voice)
My husband had gone to the jungle
to fetch firewood a week ago, but
he didn’t return. Would you please
help me find my husband?
ONE POLICE OFFICER
Madam, every day, a man or two like
your husband are kidnapped or
killed. How can we find your
husband while we ourselves are at
risk?
RAMALA
If you are a man for the nation’s
security, why can’t you?
8.
(MORE)
You cannot escape from your
responsibilty just saying something
like that, sir. I have lost my
sleep, appetite, and everything
since my husband lost. Why do you
turn your deaf ears to my sorrow?
ONE POLICE OFFICER
I understand your words, but we can
do nothing. We appreciate your
beauty and your beautiful voice.
(pausing for a while after
his last inhale from the
cigarette)
What happens if you lost your
husband, can’t you marry another
one?
RAMALA
(almost angry and
irritated)
Hold your tongue, sir. I am not
here to listen to your fucking
stupid freaks. I am here to get
your help to find my husband.
ONE POLICE OFFICER
Hey, lady, control your mouth.
(taking a gun out from a
stripe)
Do you know how this gun works?
RAMALA
I am not afraid of this gun, sir. I
am now turned into an iron. This
bullet and gun are gonna do nothing
to me.
(shouting at them)
You are a coward. Fucking coward.
You are the ass-hole of the nation.
Bullshit.
The police officer gets up from the chair on the spur of the
moment and tries to choke her, but she slaps him very quickly
and runs away. They chase her through the jungle. She pants,
and she hides in a bush. They cannot find her. One of them
says, “Hey, Maoists, Maoists.” They run away again back to
the headquarters.
SCENE-VI
9.
RAMALA (CONT’D)
EXT- BHOLA’S HOUSE- DAY
Helicopters are flying through the sky. Bhola’s parents are
sitting on the porch listening to a radio broadcasting news.
Ramala drops her doko filled with firewood, and wipes sweat
from her brow.
RADIO’S VOICE
3 women were kidnapped and one 12
year old child was killed as
policemen confronted Maoist in the
jungle today in the morning.
Tears fill Ramala’s eyes. Bhola’s father takes his Nepali cap
off his head.
BHOLA’S FATHER
This house is not like a house
since my son was lost.
BHOLA’S MOTHER
Hey god, why are we given such
torture for the sin we do not know
we committed?
RAMALA
(trying to pacify her)
Mom, don’t cry in panic. Things
once done can never be undone. For
God’s sake, we can wait because he
will come home one day.
BHOLA’S MOTHER
Stop preaching. I don’t like to
hear your voice. It is because of
you my son is lost. If my son did
not marry you, we would not lose
our son. You are an unlucky woman.
BHOLA’S FATHER
Leave it. Let bygones be bygones.
Don’t try to fuel the flame. She is
not to be blamed. Think about the
days ahead, hope for something
positive.
RAMALA
Mom?
BHOLA’S MOTHER
Don’t tell me mom.
10.
BHOLA’S FATHER
Don’t fool around. Stop, stop.
BHOLA’S MOTHER
Why should I stop? She is an asshole,
ass-hole.
RAMALA
Mom? Don’t kill me time and again.
You are my mom. You are my parents.
I have nowhere to go. The son who
is growing up in my womb is going
to be your other son.
BHOLA’S MOTHER
I don’t care. And I am not happy
with your stay at my home. Until
you leave in this house, we are not
gonna have good days.
RAMALA
Mom?
BHOLA’S MOTHER
No, mom. You get out of my house
right now. I don’t wanna see your
bastard face.
BHOLA’S FATHER
What the hell are you doing? She
won’t leave this house.
(to Ramala)
Ramala, you are not leaving this
house. I am sorry for what she
said. She said that because of the
pain that still she has in her
heart since she lost the son.
RAMALA
(with tears in her eyes)
It’s okay, dad. I am gonna leave
this house for the sake of mom’s
happiness and pleasure.
She goes inside the house, collects her cloths, slams the
door, and leaves home. Bhola’s father is calling, begging her
not to leave, but she does not give even a single look back
to the house.

The death of a poor man, a story

All of a sudden, he shouted in a shrill sound and woke up at 4 in the morning. It was still a black-pitched night, and there was no sign of a daybreak. He heard owls hooting from the nearby bushes. It was a monotonous hooting. He was panting. His heart was pounding like the hammer of a goldsmith. One, two, three… Faster. Onetwothreefourfive.. His head whirled like a spinning wheel. He coughed. It was like a whooping cough. He coughed a fistful of blood mixed with saliva. His eyes became ruddy and teary due to the unceasing cough. As he coughed, his heart killed him. “Someone strangled me,” he said.
Hearing some disturbances in the room, his roommate asked him, “What’s matter with you?” walking into his room him and touching his shoulders, shaking him. “Are you okay?”
“Very bad dream! Yes, very bad dream!” he said, panting and coughing.
“What’s that?” he asked, curious and surprised.
“My mother who passed away two months after I got here had told me not to talk to anybody about the bad dream I have,” he said. He coughed five times in-between before he finished the sentence. His roommate walked into the kitchen and brought a glass of water for him to drink. He held the glass of water with his trembling hands and put it near his mouth. Before he touched it with his lips, he coughed beyond his control so that the glass escaped from his hand, and the water spilled all over his bed.
“Sorry!” he said with his trembling voice.
“It’s okay,” his roommate told him, patting him on his back. “Chill out.”
He had a very bad dream last night.
It had been a long time since he was in contact with his family back home. He had been saving money rather than buying calling cards and contact his family frequently. It had been a year after he left his home country for a gulf country to earn money and to support his family back home. Although he was a permanent teacher at a public school in his country, the money he earned from the job was not enough to run his family, educate his children, and fulfill the demands and desires of his wife. He had not finished even paying the loans he had taken from his friends while leaving his country.
He was a man in his forties. He had two kids and a wife. His height was diminutive. He had a grisly countenance; sunken eyes, unsaved beard like pollen fallen on the floor disheveled, and in one word an emaciated look. These all could reflect the stigma of his poverty. He remembered what his 8-year-old son said while he was leaving, “Daddy, bring me a beautiful t-shirt and chocolates while you return home.” He also remembered what his 5-year-old daughter said, “Daddy, bring me a doll with you while you return home.” He remembered his wife who had a lachrymose tone while waving her hands in farewell. She also had told him not to go abroad but to live with his family, no matter what they had to face. Once she had told him, “It’s better to live together by sharing sorrow and happiness rather than to live apart.” However, it was easier said than done, he realized. Everything came into his mind like a flood gushing from the steep mountain. He remembered the kisses they exchanged before he left his family. He overheard the tender voices of his kids and also saw his daughter playing with dolls in the courtyard in front of his eyes. The beautiful garden his wife had made appeared in front of him. He smelled its fragrance. He could not help but cry. Tears rolled down his cheeks. He continuously hiccupped.
“Be like a man,” his roommate told him. “Only women cry.”
“I am a human being. I have a heart. It has pain. How can I stay without crying?”
“Need to be bold.”
“I can’t. I need to talk to my family,” he said, sobbing and trembling. “Yes, I need to talk to my family. I had a bad dream.”
“Why in hell don’t you tell me about the dream you had?” he insisted on him.
“My mother had told me to keep it secret because if I tell you about it, the dream will come true,” he said with trepidation.
“No, nothing is gonna happen,” the roommate assured him. “It is the fear of your mind. Remove it.”
“Just in case!” he slurred. His voice seemed like the sound that comes while the fountain falls into the gorge and fades away.
“Dream is dream and reality is reality,” he said. “I have a recurring dream in almost every alternate day. When I dream, I see myself being a multimillionaire, providing a lot of money in charity to the destitute. Have you ever seen my economic status better than ten years before from now?” The roommate was just curious to know about his dream. He kept on obliging him to tell about his bad dream. “It is funny, friend. You believe in dreams even in the twenty-first century.”
“I am not gonna say any more about the dream, please,” he said very sadly. “The only urgent thing I need to do is to call my family back home. I can’t help talking to them.”
“You need not to be serious. Everything will be all right,” he said. “It’s okay even if you don’t want to tell me about the dream. But trust me, nothing is gonna happen.” The roommate comforted him.
Slowly, he felt relaxed. The panting of his heart was abated. The coughing minimized. He walked into the bathroom and sprinkled water on his face and came back to his room. It was almost 6 in the morning. It was almost daybreak. The horizon in the east slowly glazed with ripe mango -ike color, showing the patches of nimbus. The birds in their nests twittered welcoming the dawn and preparing to rummage for foods. The young ones remained in the nests, and the old ones left for tid-bits. He breathed very deeply and said, “all right, I will tell you about my dream.”
“Now, you seem like a man,” he said, smiling.
“Some burglars broke into my house, kidnapped my kids, and ravished my wife. When I tried to fight them, they choked me nearly to death.”
“Yes, it’s a bad dream!”
“That’s why I didn’t want to tell you about it.”
“See, it is a dream. Dreams can never be true. Come on. Cheer up!” he said, shaking his body.
“No, I need to talk to my family,” he said. He grabbed his cell phone from the tea table next to him, unplugged it from the power plug, and dialed the number. He dialed, but the connection failed. “What the hell?” he said, furious and irritated. He dialed a second time, but the system said, “The number you are trying to reach cannot be connected at this moment.” He tried a third time. It said, “The mobile you are trying to reach is switched off.” “Bull shit!” he said in anger and threw the mobile set to the floor under him. He could not wait for a second. His body became sweaty. He wiped the sweats from his forehead, and again picked up the phone to dial the number. He dialed. It ringed. He was impatient to listen to his wife’s voice, his kids’ tender voice, and to tell them about how he had a bad dream that night. He would tell them that he would meet them soon and bring clothes, chocolates, dolls, money, and a lot of happiness with him soon. Someone picked up the phone, but not his wife. It was a very hoarse voice he had never seen before in his life. The voice said, “Your wife has, all of a sudden, gone mad. She lost her mind never to be recovered. Your kids are panicking. Come home soon.”
The phone dropped from his hands. He lost his voice and left unconscious. The roommate called the doctor. The doctor said, “Sorry, he is no more.”