Dashain Blues

Sunita Giri 11:07 PM |

To every Nepali who is also a Hindu, Dashain sure is a biggest days of our calendar and the best part of Dashain is that it comes with so many holidays with it. When I was young child I like all enjoyed every bit of it. Do I have to say what I loved most as a child ? undoubtedly  it was long school holidays, the lovely beautiful sunny days were the bonus that came with it and school off not only for couple of days but for almost fifteen days sure added our fun moment. At this point I really want to forget the homework parts which were loaded to us.

But one of the biggest minus point of Dashain is its a family festival and you must have your family members around you to celebrate this festival to the fullest. With its all good good sides, its biggest flaw is that it reminds people like me, who you have and who you don't have. Where you can go to celebrate it, in this day and how to spend it with them. All the excitement of it used to vanished when the plan for the big day came close, its like a someone pouring a cold water on your face. Especially, when the truth was that we were living in Bal Mandir. Good news is not having any relatives were not much of the problems except only when there were festivals like dashian came close by.  

Normally, during dashain or Tihar some of the girls and boys used to get a chance to visit their close relatives and stay  with them for more than a week during dashain. Bal Mandir also used to look like the streets of Kathmandu which wore a thin look. But the fun part was   I never paid much attention to the fact that who left and who did not. I was not in that list of people who ever got opportunity to leave Bal Mandir to spend festival time with close relatives.

Usually the big gate of Bal Mandir used to remain closed tightly for all the children who lived inside it, but during big day of dashain it remained open for all those who came in and who wanted to go out to spend the day. This is one day the management used to let us go out from the Bal Mandir, without fearing that we might runway on that day. But the problem was where to go and how to spend that - almost - whole day. Children whose relatives could not keep their child for a week long also used to welcome them for a day, but not all the one who were in Bal Mandir used to have relatives in  town.

Junkiri one of my class mate always used to plan for a movie every year and the movie hall used to be Jai Nepal mostly and if not it used to be Kumari hall that was so close by the Bal Mandir. It was surprising that she always used to manage to have the news on the new movie that was running and be on the hall to watch a movie on the Day of Dashian. It was her way of treating herself with not having the close one around. As I told you before also, with so many people around it was not the problem but on the big day the feeling of not having loved ones just crept in without even feeling so. However, I  was not that much fan of movie not that strong smelly toilet which used to make it unbearable even during  watching movie, it  still have power to haunt me even today, when the hall has got the new face lift long time back.

There used to be some boys who used to go out on the off day and return back with lots of kites. I have not read that book yet. You can use your wild imagination to guess the outsiders used to watch them and figure it out so easily that they were from Bal Mandir. Some children do have the habit of leaving their blueprints wherever they go. The book which has the name of kite runner always reminds of of those boys from my childhood memories. One day I might read this book to see whether their story is any different that those kite runners who were part of my childhood life.

As for me, most of the time I used to go to one of the staff’s home. But there was also times I used to got to movie also despite my lack of taste in movies. However it really took me long time to realize that dashain is all about spending time with family members. I know her for really long time but one truth can never be changed she is not my family member. So suddenly one day I stopped visiting her [ anyone even to take Tika] during dashain.

I stay home and then watch all the good movies that comes on my TV screen with the delicacies I make fro me which really makes my mood.
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Me as Sexual assault Victim

Sunita Giri 11:12 PM |

Gopal and an another guy whose name I don't even know was having a minor dispute. They were in bit lower part of the area than me and I was standing in upper row of the land. Gopal was maintaining his ‘cool’ but it was obvious that the other guy was having hard time to remain polite. No doubt, he was so unnerved by what he just had seen.

Up from my place I could not hear what they were discussing and why one was so agitated   and why Gopal was so calm and composed even hearing his young friend’s in angry tone. Up from there watching both of them, I was thinking the guy who was angry was on the wrong side and Gopal was just being polite. Later on I checked with Gopal what they were discussing and why the other guy was so angry with him ?  Then it hit me that Gopal was trying to escape from the unwanted situation and the younger guy wanted him to stand for  one a girl in the picnic team, who was handled with  wrong intention badly by the bad guy and that to he was not the stranger in the group.
I get really mix kind of feelings to see the two side of a man, at the same time; when one man assaults or rapes and at times kills a girl/woman and the other other man feels more angry than the women who are victim of the rapist sick mentality. Ok leave the big picture now; as I am going to focus on the guy who was assaulting a girl in the picnic team.

Here I have to admit it now I still have not talk about this issue until  now to anyone. Knowing me being so strong yet not having the courage to talk about it even to my closest friends until now.

It was that guy vary guy who used to sexually abuse me when I was younger than 10 years, perhaps I would have been eight or nine years old.  This did not happened in Bal Mandir but it happened in the School. I see me in my memory lane today; me crying and trying to run away from him and he corning me with an ugly look on his face and a stone on one of his hand to throw at me any time if I tried to escape from the direction he wanted me to run and hide. I think that stone was his tool to scare me, not to really use. The place where he used to corner me was one of the most quiet place in Bal Mandir.  

This, in fact; used to be the place where we used to hide ourselves behind the trees, if we have to hide ourselves from the adult. This place was outside wall that separated the big lawn in front of our school. There is one small place that is behind the wall, covered with tall grass and trees. Its shape is triangular, thus we used to call it teenkune for our easiness.  This used to happen almost at the same time when the bell used to ring to announce the start of the class. Once we were there, he used to put me on his lap. He used to put his spit on his finger and then he used to touch my private parts and then maybe he used to insert his fingers. It was so hard for me to open my eyes and look into his face;  I hated every minute of it. I hated this guy and I really wanted to run away from him. He was not much older than me may be about 5 -6 years more than me but even today I really don't know that exact difference. I must have missed many of my classes due to his abuse and ill-intention but today its bit blurred in my mind that how much all this affected my study but that deep seated hatred has not gone yet.

I was never a crybaby or the the kind of girl anyone could bully me or intimidated me under his/her influence regardless of their age.  Yet, the truth was not the same. Worse this was something I could never ever talk to anyone, not even with my best friend. I was not the kind of introvert and tolerated people for their bullshit either yet I just could not talk about this with anyone. It sure has to do with our society's way of viewing sex as taboo and the one who is involved in it has to have a character issue.  No wonder, I used to get irritated in front of him and I used to blabber in a way it was not easy for other girls to understand me why I was so uneasy and uncomfortable around him. I once remember I was blabbering seeing him in dance room and I was so agitated in front of all my friends that he hit me  on my face with his fist. The force of it was so hard  that it pilled my soft skin from the face. It sure was so not easy for other girls to understand my behavior, who viewed this guy as a normal guy and just like other guys who were in Bal Mandir. I really have not spoken about it and this is first time I am talking about.

For some reason once I was in dance group when I was around ten years old all this suddenly stopped. However, that was the face I hated most, not only in Bal Mandir but in my life also. Even today after all this years I hate to take his name and not just that name as his this name; but all the guy who shares this name lacks my unconscious respect which I can't control even if I really want not to see them as the guy who sexually abused me when I was so young. I mean to say that hatred has not faded out even the time has passed by so much.

Even if I myself have been the victim of sexual abuse and rape later on I still strongly believe, rapist should not be punished hang to death; its only the short term solution and the angry decision not the justice. We women have to decide we want sympathy or the long term decision. Agreed, I want to kill my rapist but I don't want to spend rest of my life behind the bar after that because he is not worth it. Fine, I can't trust him that he will not do it again with another woman but still the death penalty is not the lasting solution. Here I am talking about justice not the angry decision or individual decision on this matter. To be honest they should be faced boldly and we must gather enough confidence to look into their eyes and say that, “you can't control me” or “even if you want to I will not allow you to do so.” Trust me it kills men more than the death sentence itself. There are kind of men in our society,  the abuser and the rapist falls in this category hate the confidence we women exude in us. Lets face them !
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Emotional Violence

Sunita Giri 11:50 PM |

It seems I am a kind of nagger when I remember the harsh behavior I had faced during my time in Bal Mandir. They used to use very demeaning words to scold us, respect was the unheard word and dignity ? what it is which birds name it was ? They took pride in degrading us using derogatory language most of the time. even the calling was not so good experience and tell me tell you even the children used to use almost the same tone to each other not just adults. At times it was as close as treating like dogs. No, No not the dog owners who treated them with respect like the PETA members. When I look back and try to understand, sometimes, I think maybe I am just too sensitive or touchy to feel that way but the harsh truth cant be changed just because it was painful for us to experience it like that.

In recent years, I started watching some crime shows, to study human behavior and to understand why some people behave the way they do and why do they commit crime ? Most of the crimes takes place in family members and the victim are dear ones. When police try to connect all the dots during investigation it reveals that some crime was the result of   emotional violence which they face years and one day it burst up in such a way that it sheds blood like anything. It shocks the town and then is the time when people stops believing even in the blood relationship.

Recently, I was watching the webbed a program that comes in MTV there was a brother who stole the girlfriends of his younger brother for very short time; so that he can hurt him. Instead he wanted to hurt his father but to him if he hurts his brother it will indirectly hurt his father who was dotted in his younger son compared to his older one. The oldest one thought he had tormented his life when he was young. His father had kept his brother with him but sent him to the boarding school because in his own word his father wanted him to fulfill his ‘second hand dream’ which he never wanted to live.

With his one act he broke the heart of his younger brother, the girl got killed when they took the wrong medicine from the internet to abort the pregnancy that was caused by the older brother. All this brother wanted to do was to take a revenge with his father and not even his younger brother. This shows the  dark side of inferiority complex which the oldest brother had been living for so long. At this moment, I must tell you that the youngest brother was loved and liked by his father and was much successful in his career than his oldest brother.

In our society its also called act of jealousy. But the root of it has in home and the father had cultivated that in the young mind ever since he was very young. And the result was very scary and an innocent girl had to sacrifice her life.

It is natural not everyone is equally bright and smart and not all can't do good like their siblings and then they suffer long or commit suicide due to excessive comparing; or live life under the shadow of his/her bright and smart sibling, which again is not good for anyone who is not smart enough for the world. The movie Tare Jamin Par sheds some light on this matter how parents discriminates among their own child and how it impart on the young mind; especially when they don't know how to say it. We need to do something on this matter rather than saying he is so jealous or envious of his.

Last year, I saw one more such real life crime case which shook my soul and made me ponder why some young people commits crime ?  In a remote village of India there was a girl of 16 years, who fell in love with a guy who were not from her own caste. The villager were against it and worse than that, her own family members were against it. She belonged to a very small town where the thinking pattern of the people were even narrower than the town itself. To keep her away from the boy, her parents  sent her to the other town to stay with her relatives; presuming out of sight and out of mind would work on this matter. But she was young and the boy was not out of mind, indeed it works as reverse psychology. More she was told to stay away from him, more she wanted to be with him. What is even more hard to swallow that she was not trusted to go out from her new place even to take a fresh breath of air and she was given her meal in her room which was locked when no one was around.

Having been grown up in Bal Mandir my personal experience says that, if you treat people like an animal, they will surprise you acting like one. This is a human tendency. So, one day she felt she must escape from the caged life. But she was locked in her room and the key of the outside gate was with the relative of her - aunt - who was alone at that time. Her uncle and cousin had gone out of home for for about a couple of days. She had to do something to got out and take the key. It so happened that in her desperation and anger she ended up killing her.

See, I am not trying to justify her criminal behavior but it was because of emotional violence she had to face for so long and ultimately one day she turned out to be the criminal at the young age of 16. Why because she was in love and wanted to be her boyfriend for the rest of her life and which was denied. Can we blame it entirely to her for the tragic ending of a live and her own life ending up in jail ?

There was another girl who committed suicide [again in India ] because she could not meet the expectation of her fathers demand to bring 98% in her final school exam. Do not presume she was a bad student, she was third in her class and her passing percentage was 89% but her father wanted it to be 98%. When the final exam came closer she felt the tremendous pressure and realized that she cannot make it even if she put all her might and knowledge so one day she took a bottle of poison and emptied it on her mouth. Before they   rushed her to the hospital she was dead.  When police wanted to file the case or give them clean chit, even then the father was in denial that he had anything to do in her death because he stressed that all he wanted was best for her daughter and good marks meant good education for her and good life. But what education if she had no life at all ? But the sad news is that the father will live on guilt all his life whether he admits it or not.

I know one thing for sure I am lucky in this matter, I was not raised in family and  the one who brought me up did not expected anything from me to be this or that in my life so there was no pressure me[us] to that extent that broke me like that. Oh  yes, they were paranoid about having a boyfriend and getting close with them. It really took me long time to understand that I was not that much violated to that extent in Bal Mandir during my childhood. Had I not seen those Indian shows and movies and real crime cases I would never ever have understood my own condition or be thankful to the condition that was a gift in disguise.  Emotional violence do have power to impact people for long time to come and the result at times is bit scary than we think it may bring.
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