I arranged my hair, and I looked at myself in front of the mirror. I lit the stove and boiled tea in a kettle. My heart began to boil like the tea in the pot.
My women rights activist friend and I had been good friends in school when she was in 9th grade and I was in 10th grade. I used to help her in many ways.
To reach school, it was necessary to walk up a foot walk. On the way, there were raspberries and peaches. She was short and could not reach the fruits, so I helped her pick them. I protected her from the raspberry thorns, as I collected the raspberries, which I gave to her on a leaf plate I brought from home.
We often walked together hand in hand. Oh, how we used to enjoy watching movies and drinking milk together. We used to sing and dance on the way home. I canít remember more than that. Iíve tried to remember.
In December, she said to me and my brother, "If you study hard, we will go to the city. We will share our joys and sorrows in a small rented room
there. We may get good jobs also. A teaching job might be easy to get. My brother had said, "Studying in a city is not as easy as you
think. It is very hard to lead a life. It takes a lot of money. Studying
without money is impossible. It is better to search for a job first.
Money does not grow on trees. Money will do everything.Ē To which she replied, "Donít you understand? I will be happy if I join the police!"
She used to make such jokes to keep me happy. I poured the boiling tea
in a cup and entered the room. I stood in front of the mirror and
sipped my tea, awaiting my friend eagerly.
It is ten minutes to four. I adjusted the window screen and lay on my bed.
"Which one is Kamala's home?" I heard the voice of one of my school friends, Kumar, from the yard. I stood up, went to the mirror, adjusted my eyeliner, put the red spot on my forehead, rosy lipstick on my lips and went down to welcome Kumar.
He was standing in the yard. I said, "We are meeting after a long time. Thank God for reuniting us." Kumar just stared at me. I just smiled at him, thinking this was one of his usual jokes. We entered my house together. "When did you come?" Kumar asked without hesitation, which I didn't anticipate. "I am still searching for my future," I said.
I went into the kitchen and started frying meat and preparing tea.
After a time, I gave Kumar meat, fried beaten rice, and a cup of tea. Placing the things on the table, I told him, "I am still waiting for my friend. Why is she late today?"
While saying so, my heart trembled and I wanted to weep and embraced him at that moment.
"Why do you weep? I know you love your friend. After two long years, not only is your heart pious, but also it loves her. She also wept for you.
You would be surprised to read the note in her diary.
Did you know her parents tried to force her to marry, but she didn't listen to them? Her mother perhaps died from grief and father has been a heart patient for four years. It was her who wanted you to come to her marriage. She did not want to get married without your approval of the man. She could not trust her parents." Saying so, Kumar also wept. "Please eat first. The tea is getting cold. Eat everything now; we will continue our conversation after breakfast."
I tried to change the matter from the serious to the simple. Within a minute, he expressed the bad news. "Your friend struggled with life in many ways."
She was raped and killed. Only the day before yesterday, she was engaged and then today she died in the hospital."
There is no security and no rights for women.
These days, there is no security for women even in their homes, work
places and public places. My eyes were full of tears.
Journalist and editor Kamala Budhathoki Sarup specializes in reporting news and writing stories covering Freedom, Peace, Public health, Democracy, Women/Children, development, justice and advocacy from her location inside the United States. Human rights, anti-terrorism, and economic development are also part of the work. She is an editor for mediaforfreedom.com. (To promote freedom, democracy, anti-terrorism, Literature, women rights, public health, peace and empowerment (http://mediaforfreedom.com) has a strong role to play). Its activities support in societies undergoing crisis and changes. Ms. Kamala Budhathoki Sarup has also written numerous reports which includes "Women's Empowerment", Prevention of Trafficking in Women Through Media," and "Efforts to Prevent Trafficking for Media Activism." You can see her work online now via her website http://mediaforfreedom.com/. Kamala is a regular contributor to Cape May County Herald. Kamala also was a regular contributor to UPI- Asia News. She also published two Stories collections and several poems. Her interests include philosophy, feminism, political, socio-economic and literature. She also is experienced in organizational and community development. http://mediaforfreedom.com