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Immigrant's Story

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Immigrant's Story
Kamala Sarup

"If your sister has mercy, she shouldn't say that the brother danced in the dancing hall." That was the song sung on Bahadur's radio. He was wearing white pants, checked shirt, necktie, wrist watch and colorful sunglasses. Listening to the requested Hindi songs on All India Radio, he was purchasing essential goods in the market.  He has been working in  the army for 10 years.

The young girls of the village teased him singing, "What a handsome
youth!"  "Since I bought a bungalow in India, I am not going to marry a girl of simple status. As I am great and extraordinary, the girl who gets the chance to become engaged to me will be the lucky one," he said. 

Bahadur was gossiping to the toothless old people and the kids
gathering in front of his house. The old father was carrying the goods
that his son brought from market as if they were going to be exhibited
in the yard. Bahadur was speaking proudly to the villagers, "the villagers are dull both in speaking and walking. In a foreign country, people take a bath twice a day and they look smart."

Bahadur continued his gossip, turning to his mother.  He asked,
"Please boil water for me.  In the foreign country, I didn't drink water
before taking a bath," he added.

Jhalaknath Khatiwoda, an old man of almost 65, asked him, "Are the
people in foreign lands similar to us in walking, speaking and eating?" The
old man added,  "Our Bahadur has changed himself into a funnyman of
film."  The amused  kids chuckled at him.  The mother complained about
her son saying, "What a mystery it is. He says that he has earned a
lot but the amount of money is only about seven thousand and those
second hand goods."
Bahadur acted differently and began to put forward his clarification.
"The lifestyle in a foreign country is quite different; there is no system to
save whatever one earns. The income is to be spent to satisfy immediate
wants. The train runs underground, the doors of the shop open
automatically and  there are no restrictions at all to enjoy young
girls, like the heroine of a film. I was bound to act according to culture. So, I could not save whatever I earned," he said.

"Have you brought any presents  to respectful neighbors or only making
useless statements?" said uncle Premnath who could not bear all
the gossip and added, "you could make no progress in 10 years. It is better to stay here with  reliable  jobs like business and agriculture. It is time to also marry," the 75 years old asthmatic father patiently told him .

Though it was a cold winter, Bahadur had decorated himself in a half-shirt and colorful sunglasses.  Looking at him, the uncle began to speak, "Your parents are old now.  You are the single son of theirs and are to support them.  If you forget how your parents brought you up in poverty, that would be the worst scenario."

Bahadur answered in no time.  "What is here to make me want to stay? Who would like to live such a slum life?  There is neither good food nor a chance to meet and talk with young girls."  He added, "If need be I would marry myself in a foreign country.  I am expecting to get a post of watchman in a reputed company, for people like me.  Nepal is like well of frogs. Because of its leaders it is now going to lose its respect.'

Uncle Premnath didn't agree with him and toldhim, "but Bahadur! Homeland
is homeland -- you can't get the original, true love outside of your homeland.  Whenever you get sick or hungry, the neighbors will attend with medicines and food. Do you get such facilities there in your foreign country? See! Your contemporaries are happy and healthy. They are well-fed and clothed. They too celebrate festivals with sweets and meat.  It is not good to hate your own land."
Listening to his uncle he hesitated. He remembered the painful days being in a foreign country, where he went to make money.  Though he worked morning to evening, he was always being scolded by his master.  At such times, he used to remember his home and homeland.
He remembered the shock that he got at listening to the marriage news of his beloved Kumari. He recalled the voice of his master who usually said, "If you don't know how to perform your duty or if you feel laziness to do it, go back home."  Sometimes he didn't get his salary and food on time.  His tears fell down his cheeks.

He spoke to himself, "how unlucky I am.  In a ten year period, just what have I earned? I could not even repair the leaking roof of house. I
failed to do any good work.  I spent the most valuable period of my life
He remembered his friends of childhood, his teachers at school and the places where he used to play.  Now, and for the first time, he realized that he had perhaps wasted the last ten years of his life.  This realization left Bahadur deeply depressed and disheartened.  
Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is associated and writes for She is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism, Democracy,and Development. Some of her publicationsare:Empowerment in South Asia, Nepal. 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,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 community development.A meeting of jury members held in Geneva attributed Kamala Sarup,with an Honurable Mention of International Award for Women"s Issues.
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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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