Photo Courtesy: Neesha Dhungana
It was a cold winter night and I could see nothing but dark sky through my window. I felt my wet pillow beneath my cheek as I turned away from the window. I was forcing myself to sleep but every time I closed my eyes, his face would appear right in front of me and all I could do was shade tears.
It was last summer when I first met him. I still remember the day vividly, that turned my life to a new direction. It was Tuesday and as like every other Tuesday, I got up early, took a quick shower, dressed up and hurried my way to Ganesh Temple. I am not a religious person, but I visit Ganesh Temple every Tuesday as a habit. I was born in a family with strong faith in Hindu gods and goddesses and as a family culture, I am obliged to follow all the traditions of my family.
“Excuse me, can you show me the way to this address?” – Asked a bold voice. I turned around to the sight of the person. He was there standing holding a paper in his hands. I looked up and saw the beautiful blue eyes filled with curiosity and confusion gazing right into mine. “Wow”, I thought when he tried to smile at me but could not, maybe because of nervousness or maybe because of fear, I could not figure out but I certainly was moved and my consciousness did fade away a little. I had never been influenced by the image of a person but what happened to me at the moment was undeniable, I was attracted to the stranger and the feeling was strong. I moved my hands to receive the piece of paper he was holding. I unfolded the paper and saw the address written in bold letters. I was so familiar with the address because it was of my own college. “Oh, it’s my college, I am heading the same way, and I can lead you to the place.” I replied so hastily without taking a second to breathe. “Oh! Thank god, such a relief”. – he exclaimed.
We started walking. It was about 10 minutes distance from temple to college. I was so charmed by his presence that I could not even utter a word. I looked at him and noticed the same awkwardness revealed in his perfect face. I wanted to know why he was headed for my college. Is he a student, or is he a teacher? Not a word escaped my mouth even though I tried. After a certain time we were right outside the college and finally, he said something. “Oh, I finally reached, thank you so much.” He might have been here before but was confused on how to get here. He went right straight through the gate towards the entrance as if he knew about the place.
I was sad, my heart ached a little when he did not turn back. I stayed there watching him walk away from me. I tried to call him but I didn’t know his name. I cursed myself for not asking him his name, his identity, his likes, dislikes and everything when I had a chance to do so. I walked straight to my class and sat on my desk as usual. After about 3-4 minutes a voice called –“Can I sit here?” and to my surprise, it was him. He was from another country and did not know the language. He was in Nepal as a refugee when his own country abandoned him and his family.
It was the beginning of our friendship. I already was attracted to him. The attraction turned to love and it grew stronger every day. Even though we did not share the common tongue but we shared our tears and laughter, jokes and humor, story and songs. We sang together, danced together and dreamed of us together. We knew the society would never accept us as love has terms and conditions applied in our culture. We ignored what might be the consequences and enjoyed the moment we get to spend with each other.
It was a month ago when the incident happened. We were the subject of talk among the people around us. They knew that we were close, that we were not just friends but are actually more than that. The rumors were flying around college and slowly spreading wider. It was nothing we cared until my father discovered about our relationship.
I tried to lock the door but my father pushed it harder until it was wide open, he entered my room, visibly angry. He grabbed me by my hair and pulled me out. I could not even shout for help when the stout leather belt of his hit my chest, hands, and legs and everywhere it could possibly reach. “If you meet him again, then you will find either me or both of you dead. I swear to god, I would do that.” – yelled my father. I cried. I cried louder than I remember me crying. I was locked inside my room. I was like in prison. I only got outside of the room when I needed to go the bathroom. I spent my days worrying about him, thinking how he is handling the situation, what my family might have done to him and his family. I tried to escape and run back to him but all my attempts went in vain as every time I was caught and was hit hard by whatever my father gets hold of, be it his belt, be it his slippers or be it the metal rod. I had bruises all over my body but still my spirit was not broken. I knew I loved him and he loved me.
Mothers are made of golden heart and so was mine. After 6 days of my imprisonment, my mother came running to meet me. “Your father is out to find your lover. I heard him speak over the phone, he is planning something bad to do with him. He is out for the same reason. Get out and find him before your father does.” I was terrified to death when my mother whispered these words to me but was a little happy to know at least one person supports my love. I hurried as quickly as possible. I turned around to hug my mother but she already was in tears and gestured me to hurry. I ran towards his place. The thoughts of all the moments we spent together and what my father might do to him surrounded me as I hasted my way to the place he lived. I saw no traces of any violence when I reached outside his home. I had to see him, therefore, I ran straight to his room. I could hear some voices when I climbed upstairs. I recognized the voice of my father, the other voice I never heard before. I slowed down my pace and stepped up.
I could see the love of my life surrounded by his own blood lifeless, lying on the ground. The knife with blood was held by my own father. Everything around me faded away, all the time we spent together, all the love we made and all the happiness we laughed flashed around me when I opened my eyes in my own bed. I cried in the grief of my loss. I lost the love that made me complete. I felt lifeless all of sudden. My father sat right next to my bed laughing at his achievement. He threw the smile of satisfaction when he said-“What’s gone is gone, that was the crime you made and don’t worry I will find a beautiful girl for you and marry you with her. After all male should be married with a female, not with a male.”