आजकल मैले फेरि सपना देख्न थालेको छु

आफूले जन्माएर
आफैँले मारेँ भनेका सपनाहरू
चिच्याइरहन्थे,
“लाग्यो होला तँलाई हामी मर्यौँ
तर हामी त तँ भित्रै छौँ
हामी तेरै अंश त हौँ !
जबसम्म तँ जिउँदो छ्स्,
हाम्रो अन्त्य हुनेछैन ।

“तेरो मनले बनाएको पिँजडामा
हामी बसेका छौँ
तैले वास्तै नगरे पनि
झक्झकाएका छौँ
भनिरहेका छौँ,
ब्युँता फेरि हामीलाई
खुसी हुन्छस्, सुखी हुन्छस् ।
कति रोक्छस् अन्तरात्माको आवाज ?
तोड पिँजडा, मुक्त गर,
अनि हुर्का हामीलाई ।”

डरको झ्यालखाना तोडेर
बचेखुचेका रहर जोडेर
सपनाको लिलाम गर्नेहरूसँग जोगिएर
आजकल मैले फेरि सपना देख्न थालेको छु !
नीदमा र जागामा
आशाका मसिना धागामा
सपनाको माला उन्न थालेको छु !

(२०७५/०४/१९)

आजकल म सपना देख्दिनँ

आफ्नो नाफा हुन्जेल
बोलाउँछन्, उचाल्छन्
यो छ, त्यो छ
यो गर्छु, त्यो गर्छु
यस्तो हुन्छ, उस्तो हुन्छ
भन्दै, फकाउँदै, झुक्याउँदै
सपना देखाउँछन् ।

जब सत्यको पर्दा खुल्छ,
तब थाहा हुन्छ,
यहाँ त सपना देख्नै पाइन्न ।
यहाँ सपनाको कुनै अर्थ नै छैन
जति नै राम्रो भए पनि !
यहाँ सपनालाई रेटेर, अँठ्याएर मार्छन्
सपनाकै अभिभावकहरू ।

त्यसैले,
न त नीदमा हुँदा न त जागा
अचेल म सपना देख्दिनँ
आफूले जन्माएर, हुर्काएर
आफैँले सपनाको हत्या गर्न चाहन्नँ ।

(२०७५/०४/१९)

Leave Me Alone-6

Previously on Leave Me Alone:

Ajay and Sasha go Sasha’s house to celebrate her birthday. Ajay sees a portrait of a woman on red saree. Coincidentally, a woman similar to that on the portrait attacks him and he runs to the police station. There he meets Dr. Shrestha, who tells him something about Sasha’s past. Ajay does not believe him. So he calls Parmila, Sasha’s maid to confirm his story.

In this last chapter of the story, we explore through the dreams of Sasha and find out the one responsible for everything the couple has faced.

Sasha was in a dream. She was in the study of Dr. Shrestha looking for something when she saw a small brown notebook with a leather jacket on his table. She thought she had seen it earlier but could not say where. ‘I am sure this is not uncle’s notebook. Whose is it?’ she said to herself and lifted it up. She turned on the first page and saw the name of the owner written in bold capital letters: RESHMA.

Sasha was shocked. ‘What’s my mom’s diary doing in uncle’s office? He had said that this diary was taken up by the court as an evidence of her insanity. Has he been hiding things from me?’ As she was busy contemplating, she heard someone coming into the study. She immediately managed to hide the diary. Dr. Shrestha came in and looked around. He looked confused. Sasha asked, “What are you searching, uncle?”

The doctor hesitated at first, but when Sasha asked again, he replied, “Have you seen a diary? It has brown-leather jacket. I thought I had taken it to my bedroom. I couldn’t find it there. I must have left it here.”

“No, I haven’t seen such a diary,” Sasha said calmly. The doctor was an expert in catching lies. She felt he had caught her. However, she was relieved when he said, “It’s all right, Sasha. I must have kept it somewhere else.”

Dr. Shrestha’s office faded. She was now in her hostel reading the notebook. As she read the accounts of her mother’s life, she felt she was getting closer with her mother. She came to know the details of her life Dr. Shrestha could never have given her. She was shocked the most when she read that Reshma had been sexually assaulted. She developed hatred against the manager and the lawyer when she knew that their acts had changed the fate of her mother and her own.

The girl had a feeling that the distance with her mother was decreasing. She could feel her mother’s presence around her. One evening before she went to sleep, she actually saw her mother. Sasha looked at her with awe and despair. She wanted to cry in her mother arms but she could not touch her. The woman told, “You can’t touch me because of those evil men. Avenge me, my child.”

“I will, Mom,” Sasha said though she was not sure how.

“Find them out and destroy their lives,” Reshma said.

Sasha knew the stories but she had not seen the manager and the lawyer. As she thought so, Reshma said, “You must find a clue that helps you find them.”

“Where is the clue?” Sasha asked but her mother had gone. She wiped the tears in her eyes, washed her face and came back to her room. She thought she had understood the clue. She picked up the diary and turned its pages. On the bottom of the pages in which Reshma’s tormentors were mentioned, Sasha noticed that Reshma had repeatedly written these words: ‘One stitch in time saves nine.’

Sasha had thought Reshma had written that because she had failed to understand the true nature of the manager and his lawyer. That she had to be cautious when her boss was offering her own auctioned house; that she had to understand the ploy he had made during the pay rise. This time Sasha had discovered the pattern of the appearance of the proverb. She took the words literally and looked at the jacket of the diary. She looked at the odd stitch which she had previously thought was a production defect. She looked at it carefully. ‘It must be a manual work.’ She took a blade and cut the stitch. She ripped the jacket to discover an old picnic photo encircling two faces at the centre.

On a closer inspection, she saw that Reshma had written an ‘M’ above the head of the one on the right and an ‘L’ above that on the left. She saw her mother on the extreme right. She also noticed a bespectacled man. ‘Dr. Shrestha,’ she smiled. Sasha looked at the man marked L again. She thought she had seen him somewhere, though she could not place exactly where. As she kept staring at the photo, her phone beeped. As she looked at the face of the caller, she remembered where she had seen him. ‘Ajay?’ she thought. ‘How is that possible?’

***

Sasha leaped space and time in her dream. She was at the hospital in Dr. Shrestha’s cabin a few days later. He was in his desk writing something while she said, “I have a problem, uncle.”

The old doctor stopped writing and gestured at her to sit down. Then he looked curiously at her. After a moment of hesitation, Sasha said, “I’ve been seeing my mom recently.”

“In your dreams?”

“I see her ghost.”

“Ghost?” Dr. Shrestha stroked his chin and said, “Tell me more about your mother’s ghost.”

“She comes in a red sari and looks like that on the portrait. She wants me to avenge her death.”

“Do you want to do it?”

“No.”

“You’ve lied.”

Sasha’s mind raced back to the incident a few days ago when she had lied that she had not seen the diary. ‘How could he not catch that?’

“Do you want to avenge your mother?” the doctor asked again.

“Yes,” Sasha replied in an angrier tone. “Those who killed her must be punished. I can’t let them roam around.”

“Do you know who they are? How do you find them?”

“Yes uncle. I know about the two that are directly involved. The bank manager has disappeared. So I don’t need to look for him.” Sasha clenched her fist as she said, “The other is a lawyer. I know him.”

“Where did you get all these information?”

“I used different sources.” Sasha did not want to tell him about the diary.

“Alright,” the doctor said. “I think I know your sources.”

‘He knows.’ Sasha’s heart paced. She said to herself. ‘He knows I have read that diary.’

Dr. Shrestha, however said, “You got that information from Parmila, didn’t you?”

Sasha was relieved but she could not convince herself that the old doctor had not caught her lies. The doctor thought for a while and scribbled something on his prescription form. He stood up and walked towards Sasha. Handling the paper, he said, “I think you’re getting hallucinations again. I don’t know what triggered it. But I guess it’s your source of information. I’ve written some medicines. They’ll help you get rid of your hallucinations.”

Sasha nodded, thanked him and went towards the door. The doctor called out, “Sasha.” As she turned towards him, he said, “Don’t tell anyone that you’re experiencing hallucinations. And don’t tell anyone about the medicines I have given you.”

Sasha nodded again and walked out.

***

Sasha was in her room. She saw two coffee mugs on the table. ‘I am not alone,’ she thought in her dream.

She heard a clatter in the bathroom attached to her room. She was scared. She slowly walked towards the bathroom. All of a sudden, someone came out. She looked like her mother on the portrait. But she was puzzled. She had said that her mother was a ghost. ‘Ghosts don’t use bathrooms.’

For a moment, Sasha looked puzzled at the woman who had gone her. The woman did not see her. Sasha cried out, “Hey …”

Before she said anything else she realized that the woman would not listen to her either.  Sasha’s courage increased. She then went closer to examine. She looked at her for a moment and then looked back at her reflection on the wardrobe mirror. A young lady stood on a red sari.

In a flash, Sasha realized in her dream that the woman on the red sari was not her mother’s ghost but herself. “Stop,” she shouted as her other self walked to the door. “Don’t go. You can’t kill Ajay. He has not done anything wrong.”

The woman turned back. Sasha thought that her other self had listened but she picked up the coffee mug and went away. She ran downstairs. She looked for Ajay in the living room. He was staring at her mother’s portrait.

Her other self was in the kitchen. She put down the coffee mugs and looked at her own reflection in the mirror. She ordered herself to kill Ajay. “I won’t,” Sasha shouted. The other self seemed to listen. She got furious. Sasha saw a steel rod in the kitchen she had brought for some purpose she did not remember. She picked up the rod and smashed hard into the mirror. She fell down. She had won. The other self remained no more.

But she was wrong. Her aggressive self woke up and attacked Ajay with a broken piece of mirror. Ajay ran away. Sasha ran after him for a while and collapsed on the road.

***

An hour later, her dream took her to the police station. She was walking towards Ajay and Dr. Shrestha. The old doctor looked at her as if he had never seen her before. She was about to ask why he was doing so when he walked up to her. The doctor produced a syringe and in a flash it penetrated her skin. At that small moment before she passed out, she realized that the doctor was not as good as he seemed. She shouted in her dream, “Leave me alone.”

Sasha woke up on a bed. The brightness of the room dazzled her for a while. A machine beeped on her right. On her left was a boy with a familiar smile. “Ajay?”

Ajay helped her sit. He looked at her with compassion and said, “You’ve been asleep here for months. Our lives have changed so much, Sasha.”

“What happened?”

He told her about his meeting with Dr. Shrestha and Parmila, his annoyance with his father and his father’s suicide. “Dr. Shrestha turned out to be your biological father.”

Sasha was shocked. She had always felt orphaned after the death of her parents. Ajay continued, “He was your father’s friend. He had seen your mother once when he had gone to their house. The doctor liked your mother, so much that it turned into an obsession. In his madness, he went to his friend’s one evening, put sleeping pills on his friend’s drink and assaulted your mother. You were born as a result.”

Sasha bowed her head. She could not look at Ajay. He put his hand on hers and said, “You don’t need to be ashamed. You’ve done nothing wrong. No one will judge you for your birth.”

“But why didn’t my mother write anything about your birth in her diary?”

“The diary you read was not your mother’s. It was the doctor’s doing. He said he copied your mother’s handwriting and produced another diary. He then gave it to you. He made you think you had hidden it from him. The doctor also confessed that he had killed the bank manager. He had pushed him over a cliff one day. His body has not been found, however. He also killed your father when he knew what the doctor had done.”

“But he said I had killed my father.”

Tears fell down Sasha’s eyes. Ajay consoled her saying, “No, you did not. The doctor killed him and fed into your mind that you had done it. That way he could give you medicines for mental disorder you never had. He kept track of everything you did. The medicines he gave you enforced hallucinations. Your mother’s ghost turned into your alternate personality and it attacked me. It’s amazing how he could have guessed you would attack me that night. He was an evil wizard.”

Sasha cried harder. “I can’t believe how anyone can be such an evil.”

“He was evil but he did one thing right. He kept his word by treating you before the police took him in their custody.”

Sasha wondered about the changes she had gone through in her life. But Ajay was beside her. There was nothing to worry about.

THE END

← Read Chapter 5

A Conversation

Location : Between Jamal to Chandol, Kathmandu on a Micro(bus).

Time : About 2 to 2 : 30 PM

(The following is a real conversation I overheard during my trip back to home from College on Thursday. I recalled each and every words and then translated them. It’s a random conversation between a girl and a boy.)

A: I don’t get time to do read. There are too many homeworks to do.

B: It’s more important to read than doing homework. Board exams are not conducted on that basis.

A: What to do? They (teachers) threat that they will not give marks. Today, one said that he will give 0 in class activity.

B: They won’t do that. They can’t. While providing marks to the board, they have to say that everyone had done at their best. It’s a matter of reputation for the teachers and the college. (That’s true!)

A: May be. By the way, why are you absent most of the times? Do you roam around often?

B: Yeah.

A: Alone?

B: Do I need three, four (girls) to roam with, then?

A: No, but I have heard that you have a girlfriend.

B: Now, who is that back-biting me?

A: I just heard it, alright.

B: Who said that?

A: No one in particular. I just heard it.

B: Actually I go around alone. I don’t have a girlfriend.

A: Most (boys) do. But I don’t have (a boyfriend).

B: Most don’t (have boyfriends or girlfriends). It’s difficult to stay in a “relationship”.

A: I don’t think I will ever stay in a relationship. I can’t.

B: Don’t lie.

A: No, it’s true. I can’t think of it.

B: I don’t like to walk alone carrying a heavy bag.

A: I used to walk a lot with my friends when I used to study at…

B: It’s a different thing to walk with a friend. I can’t dare to walk alone for long on this scorching sun carrying this load… By the way, I don’t know your name.

A: What? We have talked so many times and you don’t know my name.

B: I forget names, what is it?

A: …

B: I keep forgetting people’s names. I will write it down…(takes a copy and writes) You know my name already, don’t you?

A: Yeah. I know you are … but I don’t know your last name.

B: Rai. And yours?

A: … Pulami(Oh, Magar!). What’s yours? (Didn’t she listen?)

B: Rai… I have heard Pulami for the first time.

A: Can you guess what Pulami is? (Magar, Magar!)

B: What? (Magar!)

A: Like Bahun, Chettri, Newar. Can you guess what Pulami is?

B: Hmm… Chhetri. (Don’t you follow Nepali cricket? There is Rajesh Pulami Magar in the team. You should have known that.)

A: No, Pulami is Magar.

B: Magar? You don’t look like a Magarni, though you are a little chhuchi (while speaking, of course!).

A: My mother is Chhetri.

B: Oh.

A: Yeah, usually Magarnis are nakkali. They don’t study much, but I am not like that. I used to be first in my class and one teacher used to say the same. I had been asked if I was a Bahun. I said that my mother is Chhetri.

B: Love marriage, hmm?

A: But most people say that I look like a Newar.

B: Oh, you do look like Newar.

A: Even the pure Newars are confused at times and call me a Newar.

A: You lied. (While saying that you don’t have girlfriend.) I don’t like people who lie.

B: You have to lie sometimes.

A: I can’t lie. Today in class, most of them were lying, one was showing the others’ copy. I stood up and said I had forgot to bring my copy and I was punished. (The teacher had threatened to give 0 because of that. Why do those who speak the truth are always punished?)

B: I don’t give a damn about lying.

A: My mom says to speak the truth always. I think I should also lie sometimes, if I can benefit from it. (Oh no, end of innocence! Never do that.)… I’ll try speaking lies from now on. (Never do that. You can never succeed in it.)

B: Which subject you like the most?

A: Bio(logy). I don’t like Physics.

B: What will you do after reading Science (taking Science in Plus 2)?

A: I want to become a doctor. That’s why I am reading Science. (Your interest in Biology is justified.)

B: Specialization?

A: I want to become a surgeon. (Another good student getting off the competition. Wanting does not work. You have to be desperate. I know that.) But I am scared of doing operations. (That’s really bad! You might have to change your aim of becoming a doctor.) We have to cut (dissect) frog in (Grade) 11. (It might go well after that. You never know.)

B: What interest you have besides studying?

A: I don’t have much interest in anything. But I like dancing.

B: What do you do?

A: I watch reality shows a lot. I like dancing a lot.

B: I mean what dance form you like to do.

A: Hip-hop, Locking and popping. Those sorts.

B: Don’t you like classical?

A: I like it but I find it boring most of the times.

B: Oh.

A: I like Salsa also. I wanted to join dance classes after SLC but my mom did not approve of it.(Damn!) She thought that I would be more involved in dancing than studying. (Why parents do that?) I don’t think I will ever. There is no time now. (You’ll have missed a lot.)

B: What will do after taking science? (Iteration of a previous question)

A: I’ve already said. (She remembers!) What about you?

B: I’ll take Law in the Bachelor’s level. (Oh, a lawyer!)

A: I don’t understand Law. Not at all. It’s too complex. You have to rote a lot of things.

B: I don’t think so. There are many interesting things. It’s all about knowing and practising. And there will be interesting cases (to deal with). It’s not like Science, where you have to rote something because you can’t understand. It’s not always possible to understand everything. (Point!)

A: Anyway, I have to do my homework and take them everyday. I don’t want to be punished always.

(I had to get off within the next thirty seconds. I couldn’t listen anything else. As soon as I reached home, I wrote them down, trying to keep it as accurate as possible.)

Note

  1. The … denotes time interval, which ranged usually between one second to less than 30 seconds.
  2. I neither know nor remember the girl (A) and the boy (B). If you ever came across  this, I apologize that I overheard your conversation. Not only that, I converted into a writing. If I have hurt you somehow, please forgive me (again).
  3. The letters, words, terms or sentences within (brackets) are for explanatory purposes.
  4. The italicized words within (brackets) were my spontaneous responses. In my mind, of course!
  5. This post does not intend to hurt the ethnicity of people. It was a light-hearted conversation and I hope everyone can understand that.

Some typical Nepali words used in the conversation:

  • chhuchi (also chhuchchi) : a girl who speaks in a rude manner. (Used as a joke, here.) To describe a rude-mannered boy, chhucho or chhuchcho would be used.
  • nakkali : a girl who is inclined to do a lot of make-ups or facial expressions. (I don’t know a single word in English for that!) A boy inclined to doing make-ups would be a nakkale.
  • Magar : an ethnic group of Nepal especially in the Western and Eastern Hilly regions of Nepal. A Magar lady is called Magarni.
  • Rai : a major ethnic group in the Eastern Hills of Nepal. Both Magars and Rais are Mongolian in appearance. A Rai girl would be called Raini.
  • Bahun : a colloquial term for Brahmans in Nepal. A lady would be Bahuni.
  • Chhetri : also known as Kshetri. A colloquial term for Kshyatriya. Ladies are known as Chhetrinis. They are the most populated caste according to the census.
  • Newars : a major ethnic group of Kathmandu. A lady Newar would be Newarni.
  • All the caste names used in common are masculine. Adding ‘ni’ as suffix makes it feminine. (You must have noticed that above. I hadn’t thought it was so before I had written this post.)