A Recurrent Drama that Ended Soon

aasha-story-art

Good Day!

This is Asha! I study at a school in Kathmandu in the seventh grade. My school is a nice place. There are flowers of different colours in the garden. My teachers love me very much. All friends in the class are quite amiable and smart. But everyday, as I walk to school, I don’t feel relaxed until I have entered the gate. I have some fear on the way. After reaching the school, I am comfortable and happy too.

Why am I always nervous while leaving home for school? Why am I afraid? You would certainly want to know, won’t you?

Come; I will tell you a true story today. Just pay me your ear!

Every morning, I hurry up at 9 come to the way that leads to my school. After a walk of twenty-five minutes, I reach the school. There are trees along the way. There is a thicket of bamboo grove too. It’s a downhill trail. The small trees and bushes give it the look of a jungle.

Everyday, as I walk to school, I see a band of boys with spiky, and oddly trimmed hair. Some of them are seen smoking, while some sipping Frooty even in cold mornings. As soon as they see me come, they bar my way and say many a naughty things with remarks: “this lass is cute!” I am scared to see their red eyes. I pay no heed to them, and run towards the school in fright. By the time I reach, I am frantically sweating. My heart pounds quite frantically.

At the school, the company of my friends makes me forget the horror, though for a short duration. After the school, I have the same tension on my way back to home. It has been four or five days since it started. My head goes round. How could I tell it to my father? About Mom, she left me alone when I was five, and went to a different world. Daddy always remains busy in his works. We have everything at ours: TV, Mobile Phone, Laptop, MP3, Games, Films and many other things. But they cannot make me happy, for my sorrow is different. We also have the old matron who prepares meals for me. But I don’t think she understands my predicaments, either.

I don’t know why, my mind is getting even more restless now. At times, I think I should tell it all to Daddy and stay at the hostel. But I can’t, for that shall made Daddy alone at home. I therefore, cannot tell anything to him.

Today as well, rather tensed and a little frightened, I was walking to school along the same path. Today, the band of boys had more members; they were around five, all of whom were playing guitar, producing some out-of tune music. I was walking fast, trying to move out of their sight early. All of a sudden, the same boy with long hair, who used to trouble me in the past days, ran and got hold of my hand. I jerked my hand out of his hold and shouted, “What’s this? Why does this drama repeat everyday at this place? Who are you, and why do you hold my hand like that?”

They were surprised to see me talk, because on other days, I used to be dumb. They looked at one another’s face, and then started gawking at me with wide, open eyes. Thereafter I forced my way out of them and walked towards the school. I took a long breath of relief only after reaching the school gate. My body shook frantically. Tears appeared in my eyes. God knows why, I wanted to cry out in the loudest of my voice.

But, since a lot of friends and sisters sat nearby, I could not show them my tears. I hurriedly placed my bag on my bench, and rushed into the bathroom. I opened the tap that spewed a big flow of water, and cried to the highest of my voice knowing that the sound of the tap would outdo my wailing. It lasted for ten minutes. When the friends waiting outside knocked on the bathroom door, I washed my face quickly and walked out. For strange reasons, I could not concentrate on my study. My mind had been swept away from books. In fact, I was worried considering how I could walk home in the afternoon.

I was in the class, lost in certain thoughts. Meanwhile my teacher said, “Asha! Tell me where Phewatal is!” I woke up with a start. I could not answer. When the teacher called me a ‘stupid girl’ I started weeping all of a sudden. Only then, the teacher happened to look on my red eyes, wary of crying. Then, she escorted me to the staff room and asked what was wrong with me. She asked me with such a profound love that I remembered my mother. I told her everything. Then, she reported it to the headmaster. Then, the headmaster, the teacher and I together walked to the nearest police post. I took courage and told everything to the inspector there.

At 1 p.m., my teacher served me snacks, breaking the news that the rogues had all been taken in custody. Smiles spilled all over my lips. Joyously, I declared in the class: Hurray! Today, I can walk home safe, happily. Every friend was looking at me in surprise. My heart, on the other hand, was leaping up with joy.

                    (Author Kartikeya, Translated by Mahesh Paudyal, Art by Roshan Dangol)

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