musings of a Nepali girl

By Pratiksha

Wash day

for a family that lives in our neighbourhood. Call it resource management because they are using that water or feel sorry for them because they are taking the opportunity to use the dirty 'free' water. I will agree!

Many families in the valley come from the villages near and far. There are always hopes for better income, better lifestyle, better education for their children, etc. For some, it works out. For many, every day becomes a struggle.

This picture took me two decades back to my own family.

Many years ago (while I was still a toddler), my dad chose to come to Kathmandu for his studies, and perhaps to find better livelihood options for our family. I don't remember all our struggles but surely do recall some. A packet of colour pens was a luxury item for me, I travelled to school on my own from the age of seven and my dad told me to stick by an adult so that I was not asked for the transport fare (they wouldn't ask a child to pay anyway!), thankfully my dad made it to school just in time to pay for my school fees (my teachers made me stand outside the halls while exams were about to start!), we moved house every year or two, my parents worked so hard for me and my sisters, my dad used to cycle to everywhere and anywhere, many more to name it. The other month my dad told us a story that brought tears to my eyes (and my sisters I think). My amazing dad cycled to his examination centre (which was 10 km away) in the chilly winter with no gloves. Half of the time he spent rubbing his hands so that they got warm and he was able to write. Had it been his choice and he had the money, he would have taken the bus for 2 rupees!

All struggles to see his daughters go to school, earn their education, be independent and have a good life! This is what most Nepali family is about: seeing their children, particularly their boys, become successful. Yes, boys only. 20 years ago families yearned for sons. My parent sometimes ignored and many times convinced the son dominant society that his daughters were and could be as strong as the sons! This longing for son has changed in today’s modern societies in the cities but we still hear news of women forced to divorce their husband for not giving them sons, or abused by their husband and in laws...

I am ever so grateful to my sacrificial parents who chose to struggle in their presents looking ahead for a better future for all of us! Thank you!

I hope all families, like my own family, in Kathmandu, raise their children to live with hope for the future, to never give up, to love others and give even at times they don't seem to have any, to pursue their dreams and build their country.

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