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“The Drunkard’s Wife”

December 14, 2016 by admin

“Hey, did u know that his wife gave birth to a daughter?”

“Really? What a shame. Better luck next time!”

“Look at Harke’s daughter, hasn’t even hit puberty and is going out with guys. Man, girls are born just to ruin the prestige of the family.”

“Your daughter has reached 20 now, you should consider about getting her married. Young girls living in their maternal homes for long time are just going to spread useless rumors in the society. It’s time to think about it”

“After she joined their family as their daughter-in-law, there has always been quarrel going on in the house. The girl’s filled with bad luck.”

“She got all her flirts and disguise from her mother. What do you expect the daughter to be like from such upbringing?”

“This family got ruined because the daughter-in-law was a trouble maker.”

Damn! Aren’t you tired of listening to comments like these in our society? These kinds of comments are not something new in our Nepalese society. This shows how women are humiliated, pushed back and miss-treated in our society.

Our society does mention that women are strong, filled with passion and beauty and are the wealth of the family. But these comments are just to sugarcoat and make the system look civilized. In reality, women get burnt alive for not brining enough dowries after the marriage or husbands bring in another wife just because she couldn’t bear a son for the family and so on. Let’s talk about an incident that is very common and represents many lives of women in our society. This story might give a clearer picture of real life situations, broken homes and families in Nepal.

Once upon a time, a daughter was born in the rural village of Nepal. Even though they lived in the rural area, since the father of the child was a Gorkha Officer in the British army, they were financially sound. Since her father was mostly serving in foreign lands, her mother left her and her family because of constant pressure from the in-laws when she was just 2 years old. Later, her father married another woman.

She never got the parental care from her family and later she was brought up by her relatives. When she reached 11 years of age she left for Kathmandu, the city of dreams. She came to Kathmandu bare footed with only a pair of cloths to cover her.

A shopkeeper found her wondering around in the streets, so he kept her to work in the shop. The shopkeeper did treat the girl nicely till when she was young. Lets just say, she got proper food and a place to stay. But when she reached her teens her pretty looks turned back on her own. The shopkeeper who raised her tried to molest her, so she ran away.

Then she started to work in a carpet factory where she met a young man and fell in love with him. They soon got married and bared a daughter. The young man must have panicked after their first child, so he left her and the baby and ran away. Poor girl, she was broken hearted with the responsibility of a new born child and herself at such a fragile stage. Just think what went on her at that point in her life. However, with the help and support from her few friends, she managed to move on. After a couple of years, people in the community started to gossip about her for being single with a child. They started blaming her with other men and gave her bad names. So she decided to get married again.

She got married to a friend whom she had known for some time. After the marriage life was starting to get better. Father, mother and a daughter, a complete family what she had always dreamed of. Unfortunately, the new husband turned out to be a drunkard. He used to come home late, drunk and beat her. Now the situation just got more hazardous. She now had to take the responsibility of the entire family by herself and at the end of the day all her earnings were spent on cheap wine by her husband. Now she was given a new title in the society, “The Drunkard’s Wife”.

I was really touched after hearing her story. I guess every reader would get carried away by a story like this. Every Nepalese woman has faced problems similar to the story mentioned above. May be Nepal is still underdeveloped, since half of the population who are women have been facing difficulties and problems like these. It is not necessary that there aren’t any successful women in our country but the majority is living in shade.

I believe that the government should take responsibility along with NGOs and INGOs in order to uplift the situation of women in our country.

-Rama Khadka
-Rama Khadka
Translation Aarati Gurung

When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.