|Published on: May 10, 2007|
|After He Was Killed
Ritakumari was a woman like any other in the village, who goes talking with anyone and singing around the fields and forest. Though beautiful in appearance, she kept intact her good behavior. 'A son of a brave man either should do or die,' Ritakumari would say.
Ritakumari's husband, Bambahadur is the most frank person in our village, so it can also be said that there is no one against him. Though, however he had been exhausted, Bambahadur would come to wake up all early in the morning before the cock crows, but today nobody is happy looking at his cheerless mood. 'Why you do worry? Now you will go to Rita's house and get married there with Rita. More you worry, just thinner you become, so if you spend days cheerfully, you will neither look old nor get creased on the face.' I gave a boost, He was like my older brother.
'If anyone pronounces a word to Ritakumari, my temple gets burning, gets burning as though I would drink blood. It makes no difference if anyone tells me off however, but if a single word falls on my life, I lose my consciousness.' While speaking these words to us, he, leaving us, went to his room. We guessed he had not liked our satire and our satire had made his heart ache bitterly.
The house of Ritakumari is not more than fifteen-sixteen minutes walk form mine. Though, Ritakumari was the third born daughter among the seven sisters, she was more than the eldest one in terms of household work and in addition she was the most beautiful girl at the village, so all the village boys liked her. Of course, thre were some rumors about Ritakumari's marriage when I was at the village. Though economic conditions were extremely weak, Ritakumari was rich in physique, a number of people would come daily at her house to persuade her to marry and her mother would harass others telling their number counting on her figures.
I'm remembering that how Bambahadur had given a nose ring of four ana to Rita just two years before. Before me in the Kali temple at the village they had promised to live and die together for life long. My heart becomes so full just by remembering it. 'I don't want to see Ritakumari to spread hands before the world to satisfy stomach and to wrap up the body, so if you can find a soldier.' Once Ritakumari's mother had said on Tuesday evening while nurturing corn plants in Kholshebari. 'If Ritakumari gets married on her own choice I would not see her face for seven births,' she added. 'Whoever Ritakumari desires to get married with we should let her do.' I had spoken crossing her talk. Ritakumari's mother had not accorded with my view.
'If Bambahadur deviated his mind, I will hang myself to death. What shall I do if he gets used to these in the amusement of city?' Ritakumari had spoken while she put a garland around our neck in the yard of our house at the time of his departure. 'One needs to have faith in love otherwise the meaning of love becomes like pouring water in the sand!' Bambahadur who was standing beside me, had said with satire to Ritakumari. 'Don't worry Rita, I'm with you.' I also had spoken in an arrogant manner.
I have bought four pair of saris, two pair of Dhotis, wrist rings, power, and hair band (ribbon) and scented hair oil for Ritakumari. As Rita is already beautiful, how she would look with these cosmetics of Kathmandu?' Bambahadur had spoken with a boast without taking a breath.
"Ritakumari, Bam has come back". After returning from training Bambahadur had straightly come to see me. He was smartened up with nice clothes and talked with my father of big things about the nation and international. After training, Bambahadur has become a well learned, my father had commented.
The red nose pin in a case which Bambahadur had given me, I have kept it still very carefully, in the small box on the floor. Cream powder, hair oil and scent all I have kept in the same place. This time even to remember of those things makes me stir up tears in my eyes, I wish to cry my heart out.
Yes, Bambahadur joined the Nepal army, for his father, uncles all are in the same line. He was a handsome guy; a well rounded body and a all-time bright face like a shining moon. He alone can work ten times as much as any other man, in fact Bambahadur is really a diamond.
After returning from training, probably by learning more about the capital city, Bambahadur had talked about many big things, more than the political leaders on the stage. Then we had gone to market for the day long and then we had some camy of channa and tea and talked about the village, about his wife Ritakumari.
Really I had no fear of the world. I was thoughtless and free in the world. I was in a passionate hurry to exchange my feelings with him and had wished to tell, Bambahadur, You are the best.
Then, after Bambahadur started sending letters twice a day, I would wait for the postman everyday. I would give him two rupees as tips to make him happy so he also would come first to my house. I used to be greatly pained If I didn't see the postman even for a day, and I used to go and sit under the shade of a bonyami's tree which was over my house facing South.
"Did he send any messages? Why to do such a life-sacrificing job? Soldiers and policemen are being killed daily. I have heard in these days such killers are increasing in Kathmandu." This lawless Sanakman uncle signaled me at the master Baje's house by telephone. Being the most well-informed man in the whole village, this uncle always would come up at the first if there was any need. He knew me from my childhood so I sensed that he seemed to help me. "Nothing would happen to Rita's husband." I told my uncle with trembling voice.
I had nearly been fainted and hardly could speak. "OK, now I drop the phone. I can't pay the bill any more" uncle dropped the phone without completing the talk.
"Bambahadur is said to be in hospital. Ritakumari, get ready. We should be leave right away by the 2 o'clock bus". I told her hurriedly. Bambahadur who had gone after just two days of marriage day, now it had been seven months he had not come back home.
"At least we should have four children, got it? If one can not help, there will be another. There is a saying, brave has twelve." Only the last month, Bambahadur had written a long letter to my friend Ritakumari.
"Kamala sister always I see only your face in front of me. I have been so much restless to meet you. There is a big risk of losing life. There are many killers everywhere around. No one knows where and how we get killed by ambush or bullet? At all times, I have been living with your love". I repeat his last letter again.
"My husband loves me so much. I love him too, so passionately as though life itself comes with it. Since marriage we even have not talked with full satisfactions". Rita said. He should stay at home doing farming. Otherwise he should go Lahur. We should dis join him from such a life consuming job. Rita's mother said with great pain.
Bambahadur left the world forever at 1.30. Last night he was caught in an ambush while in charge of duty.' Before finishing reply to Ritakumari's question, a colleague of our group, Bhim Raj Shrestha informed the others. 'The top most heads of Nepal have compelled the young people of Nepal to die, like Bambahadur who are in the age with the desire to eat and wear for their political interests.' I cried and I became stunned, I felt suffocated as though the earth crumbled.
"Though I lost my Husband for saving the country." Say Ritakumari.
You are the person to die and live for the country.
Says Ritakumari "Kamala, I will show to the world that my husband has been a martyr for the land of our birth. He has been a martyr defeating enemies of the people. Because that I know he has already left this world, he has been a martyr for the nation and people. And he has become a brave soldier.
In the dark seen through the window I'm asking for a distinct figure of Bambahadur and the justice of his body.
Nepali Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is an editor of peacejournalism.com. She is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism, Democracy, and Development. Some of her publications are: Women's Empowerment (Booklet). Prevention of trafficking in women through media,(Book) Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism (Media research). Two Stories collections. Her interests include international conflict resolution, cross-cultural communication, philosophy, feminism, political, socio-economic and literature. Her current plans are to move on to humanitarian work in conflict areas in the near future. She also is experienced in organizational and community development.