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From The Battlefield After She was Raped

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From The Battlefield After She was Raped
Kamala Sarup

According to my interest to contribute for women's cause, which means for a just and equitable social structure, I was eager to o write about my social worker friend, Suchitra. She was a very genuine and decisive personality played precious role to enable our society. Recently, she was brutally gang-raped. She was working and living in the village during the Civil War and she was raped. She was a woman on the war front. Anyhow, after she was raped , In a letter she sent to me she said the country's long civil war and bad leadership had left women raped.

I am going through the letter that my friend Suchitra had posted to me. I am sad to read this letter. She is my friend and the tears come out the eyes while remembering her. We were introduced past three years in Kathmandu. What I have learnt from Suchitra is that friendship keeps meaning in compassion to heart. In fact, the social values towards raped women of our society are discouraging.

The open minded family background and every encouraging support to my guardians provided me the opportunity independent in the path of life. I think, the defective social values are the real and deep rooted factors which are responsible for the decrease of number of women social workers.

Remembering past time, my thoughts go out to her. "You just don't be unhappy for this moment. I will bring books for you, while I will be back at Dashain," My friend Suchitra, assured me. She was wedded with Kumar only last year. Although they were married only last year, it had been some seven or eight years that they are people who loved each other. Suchitra's husband had said around among the villagers, "If I should marry, I will marry no other than the only daughter of Karki of the upper house otherwise I will stay unmarried forever," and my friends and neighbors used to tease her with it.

How is this, Suchitra? If your boy friend says if he don't get married with you, he will kill himself by jumping over the River, my toothless uncle, used to tease her and she used to be dead ashamed with his kidding. My uncle was known as radio in our village for he would have every information of everyone around the world.

"Who can take the responsibility of other's daughter's and son while no one can take even of oneself, who will make a headache for other's children"? I used to give bluff. Naturally my attraction was different than the others, for my friend Suchitra was a bit more beautiful among friends and also her father had registered a land in her name of two hundred muri production capacity. Being only daughter of her father and being able to have rice grain food at the both times without even working, no one could exceed her in the village.

"Kam, don't you get married with me and go to visit city around?" the number one bad guy of the village Arjun used to ask me who had kept a vulture's eye on me. "What is the use of only good appearance ? Rather it be better to die drowning in the dried river than to become a wife of such a person," this way I had boasted with others. "We will see with whom you will get married?" Elder mother used to grouse at. Though our home was at hillside, my father and granny would come down in the terrain annually for once, because my uncles all had made a substantial money by doing some business. My Aunti had died before I reached one year. But my uncle never agreed for the second marriage, just because of the affectation he had upon me. Now granny also had stopped to insist for. Uncle's line and mother's line both being rich, I had always walked on the air.

"Kam, you really made the home's grace even greater with such a beautiful flowers and vessels around the home. You really have been born as Kamala.," My friend Suchitra used to say caressing the beautifully blooming flowers of Sayapatris and Jais around the house. "Why you should thank her, your friend has done nothing good except planting these unnecessary flowers on the small piece of field where vegetables should have been grown. Don't make too much fond of her. One day you may have to count stars laying fingers on the forehead." The eighty years granny always used to tell off to Suchitra.

"Don't take her on the top of head for being only daughter", this very my toothless uncle also would support in the talk of granny. Uncle's habit was to jumping straight for tea towards our home after he finished listening radio. He would say, 'Sugar's price has risen, tea also has to be bought. Who can make tea as our Kam? Our Kamala has got really a gifted hand." Hence uncle would make me happy with exaggeration and take tea for free. I, too, like a butterfly, would make tea, and also sweep floor and fetch water etc. "Who will make the tasteful cucumber pickle after I go to work in the Bayarbung. (Maoists area in Nepal) ?" My friend Suchitra would say with tearful eyes.

She would bring some sweets and others from market whenever she went. She had so tender a soul and body. She never had meal without being me in front of her. I, too, would start to weep setting my eyes in her. I had tried to console her holding her hands.

"I am not coward, but can this life itself have any meaning before your friendship? My love may make you struggling and self esteemed one," I had comforted her.

"Let's pray for both of our lives." And she said holding my hands on her, "Now, our friendship shall not be separated. However trouble it may be let's pray for the promise that our friendship shall ever be one." She looked more sentimental than before.

Only last year, she joined the Nepal Nursing hospital, to provide emergency medical services. An estimated thausends of people were affected by the war. Women and children are worst affected by the situation. She has been in real absent mindedness. After leaving father's home. Though, she left home but she was happy to get such a good job. I remained quiet without giving response because my heart had been heavy in the thought of her departure. In thinking that, my friend is leaving me, I broke into flood of tear.

I have spent many nights on the top of house just counting stars. But, I could not say anything since she has gone for work in different district, who knows? Friend like me born in such remote village might she be remembering? I was fearing that whether Suchitra may betray my friendship. On the day of departure, she had arrived late in the airport saying good bye.

"We must keep our friendship to survive ourselves.' After reading the second paragraph of her second letter I determined to keep the bond with her living, accepting the down and full of life. Her letter was carrying the flower of faith and confidence.

My reply to her letter was briefer. At one point I told her that, "You are not alone. Rape is never a woman's fault. Women don't "make it happen" . Only social work and humanatarian work is not only a kind of carrier which supports you for livelihood, rather you should think social work as a way to contribute for enhancing the development. You should carry on this carrier where atleast you can contribute for such humanatarian cause. Education is a vital force in empowering women. Considering all these I have ventured to understand this uphill social task of joining social work and I am confident you will fare excellent".

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Journalist, poet and editor Kamala Sarup specializes in reporting news and writing stories covering Freedom, Peace, Public health, Democracy, Women/Children, development, justice and advocacy from her location inside the United States. Human (more...)

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