15 August 2019, Kathmandu
I feel myself overwhelmed to write the struggling story of the homosexual lesbian couple- Subhasna Gurung and Shradha Gurung from Pokhara, western Nepal. It is quite astonishing to listen that homosexual woman can also be emotionally, physically and spiritually attracted to one another. It was proved absolutely wrong when I first met the two souls Subhasna and Shradha with a sort of glittering charm on their faces having all due respect, love and care for each other.
This couple first meeting at Wayu Fitness Studio, Pokhara five years back became the lifelong turning point. Shradha, born in Hongkong was the loving child of her family having one younger brother. Though she was interested in management and sports, her father dreamed to make a career in renowned stream either doctor or engineering. Then, she was taken to the Wayu Fitness Studio by her mother as she was putting her weight. There, Shradha was trained by Subhasna, born in Ghandruk , and a zumba instructor. Subhasna, the youngest among ten siblings in her family has been looking for the fitness studio and particularly working as a licensed zumba instructor since 2014. Since then, both became the intimate soul passing time mostly being together.
At first, even they thought that they were being closed as good sisters. Gradually, along with the running time, they commenced to make their meeting all possible in any way they could. Having breakfast together in different restaurants in pokhara after the zumba class, visiting parlours and then again meeting in the same fitness studio at evening has become the daily routine for them. Every night they used to sleep with the same dream to meet again with the first dawn of the sun. Then after they begin to share even nights turn by turn being at ones another home.
As said life is full of beautiful moments and miserable moment too, same thing happened in this couple life as well. People from their own families and society started to strongly criticize their relationship as a social stigma. Till Subhasna and Shradha have not reveal their desire to their family to be together forever, the situation was under control. However, their unlimited meetings and wants to see each other even for a single moment made other specially Shradha father to take strong action.
Their life completely got ‘U’ turned when Shradha was taken to U.K. by her family on April, 2019. While talking about those miserable days being separated from Subhasna, the latent pain in the eyes of Shradha was apparenty visible even to my eyes. Shradha spent around two months in U.K. but could not enjoy her stay any more and returned back to Nepal soon. This lesbian couple finally decided to reveal their only desire being together to their families and did the same. In the contrary, they could not get support from their families as each moment at that time become even more challenging.
Though Shradha was proud to be the only daughter of her family, she was quite surprised at her father for not understanding her so far. She was even charged by her father for loosing mental condition and unknowingly compelled her to join Naulo Ghumti at Pokhara. It is the rehabilitation center working to help a person recover from drug or alcohol addictions, injuries and even physical or mental illnesses. The rehab staffs were also made to be unheard to Shradha by her father. Each day and night became unbearable to her while she was told that she is there not for so long. Shradha spent five days in the rehab, where no one was permitted to meet her. In between, Subhasna frequently used to visit the rehab to have a look for Shradha particularly during the lunch time at two afternoons. On the third day, one client of the rehab Sandhya Rana helped Shradha to free her.
Finally, Shradha convinced her father to get released from the rehab. Then after, she was taken to Kuvhende of Shyanja for her treatment traditionally known as ‘jharfhuk’ in Nepali. Actually, not even trying to be listened by her family made her sick indeed. Back to pokhara from kuvhende also, Shradha was completely observed by her family members for residing at home only as if she was an escaped criminal from the prison. Days were being passed as usual when one trick knocked at Shradha mind which lead her to write a letter to Subhasna. Then, she left the letter in the parlour where they used to go before so that it could reach to Subhasna.
It was the time when both experienced entirely helpless as everything became peculiar for them. In spite of all these difficulties, they tried hard for the meeting. One morning, Shradha locked her father in the bathroom as she was thinking for this from some days and the helper in the kitchen. Her mother and younger brother still had not arrived from U.K. at that time. This time she was succeeded to release herself and then rushed to Subhasna. That night they spent in a hotel where Subhasna came to know about Mitini Nepal through a video regarding one lesbian couple. From the very next day, they headed toward Kathmandu in one pair clothe on July 12.
Unfortunately, Laxmi Ghalan, president of Mitini Nepal along with the executive director Sarita K.C. was in South Africa participating for Global Feminist LBQ Women’s Conference 2019.
However, finally Subhasna and Shradha now are under the support of Mitini Nepal which has been working and advocating for the LBT rights fostering on lesbian women equal rights. They are now happily living together pursuing their career ahead as zumba instructor. This is only the beginning of their struggling life and they are ready to fight with all hurdles in future.
However, though the government of Nepal has granted permission for living together but the same sex marriage yet to be legalized. In addition to this, each individual from LGBTI community should confront breaking the stereotypical thinking of the Nepali society so that they can live a dignified life in society. So far government must introduce a concrete policy to end all forms of discrimination and violence against LGBT community and guarantee their equal participation in different social, cultural and political arena.