Stories of Nepal: Mothers
Thursday, August 23, 2018
We have partnered with our brilliant friend Jay from Stories of Nepal to tell the stories of individuals at Kopila Valley and in the surrounding communities. As part of our series, Jay is highlighting the strength and perseverance of women and girls in Nepal. In case you missed any of his earlier posts, you can find them here.
"I will let her marry when she wants to. If she wants to stay alone and single, that is fine with me too. But that is too far. She has to start going to school first. At home, I will tell her about women who have triumphed over men in life. I hope the teachers also show her those examples and tell her about how boys and girls are equal. Women cannot just rely on empowerment programs by NGOs. What is the worth if they come back home to then continue with only the kitchen and the dirty dishes." (Bimala Kumari Acharya, Paletada, Chamunda Bindabasini NP 7, Dailekh)
“I was the happiest in the family when my youngest son brought home a wife. Good or bad, she was now my own daughter. Most of the times we did the home chores together. We shared our duty. She would cook while I looked after the animals. By late afternoon we took turns napping. Sometimes we had a misunderstanding but it did not take us long to resolve it. When she was pregnant, I took care of her. Sometimes, I made chicken broth and sometimes sweet pudding. My son was very happy that he was going to be a father. But our happiness also became our sorrow. My daughter-in-law died while giving birth. My heartache was boundless but my son’s hurt was bigger than mine. I swallowed my tears and took the newborn in my lap. My daughter-in-law had left the new life to me and I was not to break her trust.
I fed him, bathed him, put him to bed and played with him. He became the purpose of my life. The poor kid never could see his mother and sometimes I cry for him. Sometimes in my dreams, I see his mother return home. I see the son and the mother hug each other and run around the house. The house fills with laughter and everyone is happy. But I wake up and it is only a dream. Today, my grandson has become a healthy toddler. He must be somewhere with his friend running around. He will return soon and I will hug him like his mother would. I will run around the house chasing him and he will laugh. And for some time as I fulfill his childish demands, I will forget our loss." (Hoijali Majhi, Rakam, Dailekh)
"He was only one when his father left home, never to return. After a few years of waiting, I got news that he had settled in another city and started a family with another woman. It was difficult living with his mother in his rented place when he had already abandoned me and his only son. How can you abandon your own son? His mother did not treat us well either. My brothers would come to visit me and lend me money and ration. That is how I was able to raise my son. Today, it is only after a lot of struggle that I am able to send my son to school. I cannot ruin his life because of my misery. It has already been nine years and I do not expect my husband to return home to me. But at least he could be a man and come explain to his son the reasons he had to leave. The kid comes home from school and talks about how his friends' fathers come to pick them up at school. He asks me about his father and I am tired of making things up. I am tired of ignoring his questions. I am tired of giving him false hope." (Hastana Majhi, Rakam, Dailekh)