Immigrants And Continue Struggle To Survive

Published: Thu 16 Nov 2006 11:40 AM
Immigrants And Continue Struggle To Survive
By Kamala Sarup
This is the real story from my diary.
Though he worked morning to evening , he was 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 death news of his beloved sister. 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 salary and food on time. His tears fell down the cheeks .
'If your sister has mercy, she shouldn't say that the brother danced in the dancing hall'. That was the song sung in the radio of Birkha Bahadur at the regular weekly Friday market. He was wearing white pants , check shirt , necktie , wrist watch and colorful goggles. Listening to the requested Hindi songs on All India Radio, he was purchasing essential goods in the market. He has been working in the Indian army for 10 years.
The young girls of 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 with me will be lucky one.' Birkha 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 Lahur as if they were going to be exhibited in the yard. Birkha Bahadur was speaking proudly to the villagers: ' The villagers are dull both in speaking and walking. In Lahur, people take a bath twice a day and they look smart . The Nepalese hill people seldom take a bath especially in Aumsii (the last day of the dark half of the lunar month )'.
Birkha Bahadur continued his gossip, turning to his mother. He asked, ' Please boil water for me . In Lahur, I didn't drink water before taking a bath'. ' He spit betel (paan).
Jhalaknath Khatiwoda , an old man of almost 65, asked him, ' Are the people in Lahur similar to us in walking, speaking and eating?' The old man added, ' Our Birkhe has changed himself into a funnyman of film .' The amused kids chuckled at him . The mother complained at her son saying , 'What a mystery it is. He says that he has earned a lot but the amount counts only about seven thousand and those secondhand goods [incomplete sentence. what do you mean?] . Birkha Bahadur acted differently and began to put forward his clarification . ' The lifestyle in Lahur is quite different ; there is no system to save whatever one earns. The income is to spent to satisfy immediate wants. The train runs underground , the doors of the shop open automatically and there are no restriction 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 made an impossible gossip.' Have you brought any presents to respectful neighbors or only making useless statements ?' , said uncle Premnath who could not bear all these 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 marry also .
You needn't to return Lahur ' the 75 years old asthmatic father patiently told him .
Though it was cold winter, Birkha Bahadur had decorated himself in a half-shirt and colorful goggles . Looking at him , the uncle began to speak .' Your parents are old now You are the single son of theirs to support them . If you forget how your parents brought up you in poverty , that would be the worst .'
Birkhe answered in no time : ' What is here to stay ? Who would like to live such slum life ? There is neither good food nor a chance to chat with young girls .' He added , If need be I would marry myself in Lahur . I am expecting to get a post of watchman in a reputed company, for the people like me. Nepal is like well of frogs . What is there in Nepal ? Because of its leaders it is now going to lose its sovereignty.'
Uncle Premnath didn't agree with him and told,'but Birkhe ! Homeland is homeland : you can't get the original love in Lahur, Whenever you get sick or hungry the neighbors, attend with medicines and food. Do you get such facilities there ? 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 own land and appreciate others . Whatever you say I can't believe that the peace exists there than here.' listening to his uncle he hesitated .He remembered the painful days of Lahur .
He spoke to himself , 'how unlucky I am . In ten years period of immigration, what I earned ? I could not even repair the leaking roof of house. I failed to do any good work . I spent the valuable period of my life uselessly '. He remembered his friends of childhood , his teachers at school and the places where he used to play. Now, he can realize that he has spent the ten years period of his life uselessly . Birkha Bahadur felt depressed heartedly.
Nepali Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is an editor of 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.

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