writen by: Indra jijibisha
It was heart warming story. a story of which dreams are made frist saw parvati in our night bus for Kathmandu. i commute daily for three hours to and from work. it was a hot April afternoon . I was dozing with a novel in hand my thoughts far away . suddenly i heard the loud notes of a harmonium.
My first reaction was irritation could not want have some peace some where.then my mood changed as i heard the some being belted out quite tunefully . it was from a Nepali move and one of my favorite song . some how i felt emotional and wake up from my slumber to watch the singing women with more care. she had her two little children Regedly dressed, both dancing. the little girl was hardly more then a toddler. the boy slightly older , but they had cheerful expressions which drew sympathy glance from the commuters in the compartment come gave money , some gave them foods to eat.
In my maudlin state i gave a 5 rupees coins. this merited specially grateful smile from her, i continued to see her on and of note singing for money always with her children,s. once, when bus was empty she decided not to sing, but sat near the entrance with her kids.eating some foods given by some one. i started a conversation with her, out of curiosity., and idleness why do you make such little children,s dance ? do they listien to you ? don`t they get tired out ? asked.
what else can i do ? she asked me . the ` sir, surprised me` i have to fill my stomach and theirs too . what about theirs fathers ?
when i was expecting my second baby , she said in a matter of fact tone and we had been married legally too our village temple.
Where has he gone ?
Who knows ?
She said carelessly . anyway it was good riddance. he used to drink and beat me and spend my earnings.
Don`t you went to send your children,s to school ?
Suddenly, her eyes filled with tears.
Yes sir, i went to sent them to school. they must read and write and get jobs. i love them . they ere good children,s they never grumble or cry. how ever tired or hungry.
As if to prove the truth of her words, the boy came to hug her , wiping her tears with dirty little fingers .
why don`t you work as a maid instead of singing like this . it was fetch you more money , i said.
now no sir, i can`t leave the children,s alone in my hut. especially my daughter my son too will learn the bad habits from other boys. i have to take them with me when i work.
She disclosed to me that she had looked after an old beggar for some time and he had given her the harmonium. that had given her the idea of singing for a living .
I have always liked to sing. i used to sing in our village temple, she said. why did she not return. i asked the story was the same.
no food and no work in the village. i was impressed by her dignity she was very young, hardly 20 , and her affection for the children,s was touching.
peoples in Kathmandu have a heart sir, she went on the ladies scold me for making my small children,s work, but when i tell them its papi petko lagi~ they are more sympathy very often give the children,s fruits and food why even the hawkers hand out some thing without being asked ! yes sir, Kathmandu has a heart. that,s why i don`t went to leave this place.
during my second and last bus conversation, she waxed eloquent on the subject of men. she hated men, especially her husband.
what about those in her locality . again her eyes filled of, the women in the neightour hood protected her , she said from the leacherou,s ones. once they saw that she had no decision their man , they had cooperative and the men had left her alone after that , being too busy earning their own living .
it was the long may vacation after this , and when i resumed work in June. there was no sing of her . i soon completely forget about her .
i saw her again two years later, in a very surprising place. she was on TV , singing back stage along with a group of others women,s, giving accompaniment and back ground score to the main singer . it was on of this famous notes
i was astonished and thought that i was mistaken but no , it was she . she had blossomed out looked more confident and was of course well dressed in white and red sari. no one could have guessed that she had once been a singing beggar.
after recounting her story to my family . i once again forget her they, one day . i heart some one calling out to me as i came out of a music shop .
sir! came the voice and i turned it was Parvati , glowing and happy. she insisted on by giving me old cloths , books and shoes for the children,s and my self. they are very nice people. they believe in doings some things for charity , they say .
she wanted her children,s too to join the singing line . they were average in studies, but showed a distinct interest in music, she said. and i can also read and write now. she said proudly my son taught me .
i asked her why she was not getting married again. she was very young still , after all .
he face clouded. that is one mistake i will not make again she said i am happy as i am who needs men ?
on that cynicl not we had parted, after she had. insisted on paying for my coffee i went home with a glow in my heart . there still were some good people left on earth. got was in his heaven and all was well with his world , i thought.
thought and , i am sure Parvati will progress even more. she has that basic honesty that idealism and courage which does not go unrewarded besides her talent, of course.
and when she reaches her pinnacle i think , i can say with pride that it was the city of Kathmandu, my Kathmandu which allowdher to live. with dignity
May 16, 2012