This is the winning article of Wordism Competition for the month of Ashoj on theme “Dashain”.
Writer: Saramsh Banskota
11 PM, Somewhere in the Middle East.
Dashain had already begun in Nepal. Celebrations had already started. Happiness and cheers was like an epidemic during the festival.
While somewhere in a foreign land, across the ocean, the story isn’t the same. A dark room, on the 12th floor of an 18 storey building, contained the story of somebody far away from his home, from his family, his roots.
Rohit was 18 when he lost his father-the only earning member of the family. There then remained a mother in her mid fifties, a little sister barely half the age of Rohit, and Rohit himself of course. All the financial responsibilities had shifted to Rohit for obvious reasons. The only option was to get the teenage guy to earn for the family. There was no way Rohit can make enough money in their village, the family decided to send him to the Middle East to earn. Rohit’s family’s situation made playful teenager stricken by fate.
Bulks of loans, ‘not so much’ family savings somehow flew him across the ocean. Along with loans and savings; the tears of the mother and the sister were also spent. Rohit flew away with soft palms soon to turn coarse and hard; fair whitish skin soon to burn to brown in the dreadful sun of Middle East; carefree heart soon to be filled with empathy for self.
The door key clicks. Someone enters the dark room. The light is switched on. There is Rohit, a brownish guy in his late twenties, tiresomely moving towards the washroom. His coarse hand turns on the tap. A jet of cold water runs through. He washes up his drought, dull face and then walks back to the bedroom, the only other room there is.
He checks his voicemail. After a few unnecessary calls, there comes a voice “How are you my son? It’s been months since our last call. I hope you are all fine. Dashain has started here. We need some more money for Dashain. Please, send about 25-30 Thousands more than usual. We miss you here. Hope you are back soon”
Eyes filled with tears of awe. He is overjoyed and overwhelmed at the same time. His brain is confused. He is happy that his mom called yet sad that he hasn’t seen his family in years.
But there is one more thing that clutches his heart. It was not, not being able to see his family in years but
“25-30 thousands more.
They are never satisfied. Send them all your earning and they would still ask for more. Every year she asks a little bit more because it’s Dashain but never does she asks me to keep little money for myself as its Dashain for me too. They will never understand the fire I burn in, the pain I go through, the hardship I have to face. They will never understand how hard is it to earn here, in the heat, in the strangers land away from home. People send their loved ones to foreign land to earn money because they think it is easy here. Irony (he chuckled). They will never know that I had been saving money from last 4 months to pay for the ticket to home. Now they ask me to send them more money. How come am I supposed to satisfy their insatiable needs?”
He slowly walks to his bed and lies down, overwhelmed by his own thoughts and memories.
A series pictures ran across his eyes as soon as he shut them. He saw him and his sister playing in the swing specially made for Dashain. With higher swing the joy becomes even more.
Also, nostalgic voices played through his hollow eardrums. He could hear his mom scolding him for eating the sweets she had kept for the offerings. He could hear his sister sing songs. He could hear them clear and loud.
His memories were more painful than it was soothing. Away from home for a decade now and yet he is still stuck somewhere between his happiness and his family’s. Before he could bear any more he fell asleep for the next day. The next day which just like the day after every day.
This is not the story of just Rohit but every other Nepali who have sacrificed their own will, happiness and career to look after their family from far away. This story is an ode to all those people out there.
Question and Answer with Saramsh
1. Tell us more about you.
I’m a student. I’ve finished my +2 in Biratnagar.
I’m a an ambivert. I love travelling. Photography is an obsession for me. I’m eager to contribute in the field of photography and videography. I love watching movies and TV shows. Reading and writing is kinda seasonal, depends on mood, genre kind of things.
2. What was your thought when you apply to Wordism competition?
The primary reason I applied for the competition was to get genuine feedback about my writing. Other reasons are pretty obvious, for a platform to show my writings.
3. What are your dreams and aspiration?
I wish to travel to places I’ve never been before, within the country and the world. I also aspire to become a photographer and or an independent movie maker.
4. How do you feel being the Wordism Hero for Ashoj?
Well winning this competition was never a thought. I was surprised when I received the mail that I’d win. I really feel a pressure now. The pressure to make my writings of higher class now onwards.
5. Anything you want to say who is reading this!
To everyone who’s reading this ‘never stop exploring’. Do travelling, play sports, try theatre, read books, learn languages, write, sing, and lot more. You might just come across something that might fancy your heart. The world doesn’t only need engineers and doctors or bankers. Explore your inner self.
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