Fri, 24 May, 2024

Dashain for Me: Words of a Street Child

By Dipesh Poudel

Picture Courtesy: Sneha Parajuli

What's this fuss about early in the morning? I asked to myself, waking up at the corner of a street due to noise. Oh it's people who are going home for Dashain from this bus-park. Who am I and what am I doing sleeping at the corner of street? Well, literally correct word for me would be ‘street child’, but people call me 'khate' with love. I would love to go home like these people; however, I do not have a place to call home. Why don't I have home? Well it's simple, same old typical story father died, mother ran off with another guy and I came to this place with rule of wild called city.

My Dashain? Don't joke around; festivals like Dashain are not for people like me. No money to buy new clothes or buy good foods, and no one to go to for tika. I just wander in the city like dogs and get treated like less than one. I always ask to myself, “Why do these festivals come around every year?” Every year on the day of tika, I cry with an empty forehead and with a promise that next year, I won't cry. Sadly, I end up breaking the promise every time.

There are some bright sides of Dashain. I get sleep in the street without much disturbance because city is pretty much empty during Dashain. Sometimes, the butchers allow me to help them and in return I get some money and meat. I also get to play swing at the parks after everyone leaves for home in the evening. Why don't I go in the day time like everyone else? Are you kidding me? Do you want me to get beaten to death?

Even with many problems in life, people enjoy Dashain forgetting all about their problems. I would also love to celebrate, but Dashain just does not come for me!