Thu, 29 Feb, 2024

A Farmer's Story

By Sunil Shrestha

"I am a sheep because I never use my mind. I work and work and work even more, but I do not know why I am working. I am innocent and others feel very proud of me. I was born to work in the field and it is my duty to work there all my life. I have no right to raise any question to anybody and the motto of my life is to work in the field. I am utterly disappointed that I am a farmer."

This is what I will write if someone asks me to write something about a farmer and it is simply because I am a son of farmer and this is what I feel.

This is not the first time I have heard some well-learned and famous person saying that they are proud to be a son of a farmer. I doubt that they really mean it. Personally, my father works in the field and I know how much he suffers physically, and maybe, mentally as well. I have never liked working in the field for I see no profit , more accurately, I see no life in it. My father is a farmer who has spent all his life working in the field. Generations have passed by and yet we still remain the same farmer as my ancestors used to be. I represent a part of the 90% of Nepalese people deal with agriculture.

Every single day I ask myself “Why can't a farmer live a prosperous life?”

Till now I understand only the scarcities that a farmer face because my father is a farmer and I am a son of a farmer. This is not the first time I have heard someone feel really proud to be a son of a farmer and every day I try to seek that pride with a hope that one day I will be able to find that pride. But I don't know why I am the only one who cannot find a pride being a son of a farmer. I wonder if a doctor wants his son to follow his path, a pilot also wants his son to fly high, but my father does not want me to follow his path and there are well-learned people who still feel proud that they are a son of a farmer.

I respect the poets for their deeds. They play with words and make us happy. Reading their notorious poems makes me feel a bit happy. A scent of a soil is compared to one of the rarest perfume. A farmer is praised as if s/he is a god who keeps others alive. Lines on the forehead of a farmer are compared with one of the finest arts. With use of decorative word, everything is made a fantasy, but it leaves me with pain when there is no one to acknowledge that so-called god is dying. Many farmers commit suicide. Again, I wonder why someone feels proud to be a son of farmer and everyday you are losing your pride.

Last season my father got Rs 17 per kilo of potato which he sold out. My friend who is also a son of a farmer purchased the same potato with a cost of Rs 40 per kilo. Oh god, what a huge gap! A question always haunts my mind, "Is this justice? Why do farmers do this to each other?" I can clearly see someone playing a game. That is why my pride is lost. I am sure one day I will find that pride and that day I can see no one can play such a game, and no one will ever hear the news of farmers committing suicide. Finally, I will say this out loud, "I am really proud that I am a son of a farmer".