‘Hello nanu, how was he, did you like him?’
‘Mom! why you always ask me this nonsense question?’, Exactly I have not thought to marry me right now, in this condition! you and my father have done too much sacrifice for me. Your hard earning money, if you had invested that in any plot of land, it would have already increased the value more than 10 times. Mom! why you don’t understand me? If you wanted me to marry, why you didn’t do that 5 years ago when I had completed my bachelor’s degree, what is the difference between me of that time and me of now? Although I have completed my master’s degree in English literature, but have not achieved my goal of getting any permanent job! Yes, I know I’m a daughter, not a son, but a daughter also can play a vital role in a family, can contribute economically. Why you don’t understand me, my dear mom ?’
Sunita was expressing her discontent or let’s say, she was seeking her role of a responsible daughter. She was diverted by the noise.
‘Tak, tak, tak, tak.’, someone was hitting in her plywood door of the rented room, ‘Hello Sunita? Sunita ke gardai 6au (what are you doing Sunita ?)
She thought it was Muna aunty of the other room and she told to her mom over the phone, ok mom I will call you later, and cut the line with her mom opened her door for Muna aunty!
Sunita was the elder daughter of her parents Shivaram and Chitra. Sunita’s sister Sarasota could not pass the bachelor’s degree so she was married to Jeevan one year ago. After 3 months of their marriage, Jeevan went to Dubai for work, because after the marriage he had the responsibility of his wife, as he did not have any permanent source of income. He had chosen this option like his other friend in his neighborhood. Although Sarasota had got vocational education of lab assistance after when she could not pass her bachelor’s degree in the university. Her mother in law did not allow her to work, as she used to think women are for to work only at their home and only for their family, but she thought really affecting her also because if Sarasota was working as a lab assistant, obviously she would do some economic contribution for her in-law also.
Muna aunty was fat and short lady in her mid 40. Previously she was very slim, it was okay up to when she gave birth to her second daughter, but after that, she started to use contraceptive pills, her two daughters had only 15 months of difference of age. So to make sure that the child (she wanted to have a baby boy but wanted to have at least 5 years of the gap with the younger daughter) would come according to her wish she started the pills but it had not happened according to her plan. She had not been able to give birth to a boy. After consumption of the pills, she started to put on her weight and became so fat that she could merely pass through the door of Sunita.
Muna aunty used to think of her incomplete woman for not becoming a mom of a son, although she had witnessed bad health consequences after two cesarean delivery.
‘With whom were you talking Sunita? It was really a long call’, Muna aunty asks with her curious eyes as something important is going to happen in the life of Sunita. Although it had become only 1 year when the family of Muna aunty came in that rented room at the opposite side of Sunita’s room. Sunita and Muna aunty had a very good and friendly relationship so Muna aunty used to think that she deserves to know each moment of joy and sorrow of Sunita’s life.
Sunita had come to Kathmandu from her home at Jhapa. She had studied up to a bachelor’s degree at her home town and for higher education, she had come to Kathmandu. Although there was a chance to get a job as a school teacher near to her home at Jhapa. She thought it would be better, first complete the master’s degree that could open the door for her to become a permanent lecturer at public college, so opted for the. 2nd option and was there in that room at Kathmandu near to her university.
She had completed her education and working as a part-time teacher in private +2 college for the last two years! Although she was not doing the permanent job. It was really helping her parents also. She was continuously sending money to them. Her parents were also very happy. As her sister was married to a man of a conservative family (although Jeevan, Sunita’s brother in law was not too conservative like his parents, was abroad for work) Sarasota, could not manage her time frequently to come to her maternal home and assist the parents, and Sunita’s brother was smaller.
It was only Sunita who could contribute to her parents. Sunita had known this, so she wanted to be unmarried at least for a couple of more years so that within this time she could be able to get a permanent job and could make her parents somehow strong economically! but Sunita’s mother was worried about the growing age of her daughter so she wanted her to tie nod with a man from a decent family.
Ajaya and his sister had come to the room of Sunita, as they had met previously at the premises of Tribhuvan University (TU). This meeting was fixed in her room, to make the concrete decision. Ajaya was really a handsome man of early 30 and was working at An INGO. At their first meeting, they had very short talking, as Sarita had managed that meeting after her class at college and she was returning to rented room, had not done any sort of makeup, and was seen tired, but still was with confidence but she thought that because of her appearance, Ajay was really reluctant to talk for a long. So had just an appointment to see each other, exchange greetings and to say bye, that much!
But after few days Ajaya had called her, after the marriage, Ajaya had said to her that it was Ajay’s cousin sister who made Ajaya call and made connected to Sunita. So after the call, they had a sort of connection and because of that Ajaya and her sister were there in Sunita’s room! After the second meeting and a series of continuous phone conversations with him, Sunita had figured out his personality. The most important aspect of his personality was, he was proud of being able to be a son of his mother, that heroic personality of her, her story of struggles, and many more were really helping Sunita to boost her attraction with Mr. Ajaya Khanal. So she had made a sort of proclamative decision to marry Ajaya and to continue her legacy of feminism!
She had only one doubt of not being able to get a permanent job and would lose her decision-making ability, but these doubts were also over clearly because of the pro-feminist attitude of her fiancee!
So Sunita did Marry him, finding him to suit her and to make her mom happier. But right after that turn and twist started to appear her mom-in-law to whom she had judged as an iron lady and iconic figure converted to an ultra-conservative and rude woman with total apathy to her. Sunita’s mother didn’t want to let Sunita’s family spoil, so she suggested her to start a family with babies. Although Sunita was not willing that unless getting a permanent job, she did according to the suggestion of her mom. But things did not happen accordingly. Sunita got many health complications, because of that she left her job as a lecturer at a private college.
Although it was not a permanent job, was her backbone to make her self-reliant. And she totally became dependent on Ajaya. And after many problems many sufferings, finally, she became the mother of a boy. Although she used to think boy and girl equal parameters, now she realized to be the mom of a baby boy would be more prestigious than of baby girl.
So all the characters here, through which the writer intended to say, is women’s patriarchal mindset prevailing in our community. Although the issue of feminism is emerging stronger than previous, patriarchal thought is still a real taboo for all of us to make our family more friendly to women!