Meri Aiya (My Mother)



In terms of citizenship, she is not a Nepali but she still doesn’t like to be called a non-Nepali. She still uses traditional words upar meaning there to Nepal and yipar meaning here to India where she is living currently. It is necessary to reach the place to understand the situation exactly. The love for her words ‘yipar’, ‘upar’, and Tharuwat led me closer to her.

Aged around 70, the old lady has many children. I have met her four daughters and three sons during my stay in her home in India. I was respected as the eldest son in the family. Since I was elder than all of her children, I used to be called badhe and thule meaning the eldest one. Though the cordial attachment between siblings is weakening these days, I received the best possible respect and love from all of them in the family. I found the relationship like an eighth wonder in the world. I was respected as a guardian of all the members in the family including the parents, their sons and daughters, and their grandchildren. The family had helped me forget the predicament caused by the loss of my property and family disintegration. I had won the election sheltering in her house and I had gone to the court having a meal in the same house. I had met all the indigenous leaders and journalists from Nepal who had approached me in the house. Many of the Nepali journalists who had approached me there took my interview in the same house or the sugarcane field.

I was impressed by her words upar, yipar, and Tharuhat. I used to call uncle to her husband but I never called her aunt. I always called her Aiya which means mother in RanaTharu language. Mother is called Aiya. And, for father it is douwa. According to uncle, there were only Tharu villages on both sides of the River Mohana in the past. He realized the River Mohana was a borderline between Nepal and India only after his marriage. Both Tharu communities in Nepal and India share the same clan, dynasty, and similar customs and traditions. The tradition of marriage and other social structures are the same. There was a dense forest on both sides of River Mohana which still exists there. The forest in India is known as the Dudhwa National Park, the largest of its kind in India while the forest in Nepal side is known as BarkaBanwa meaning a large forest. Sometimes BarkaBanwa is also called Spring Forest. The Maoists cadres used this jungle for training and its biological path to transport injured combatants to the various parts in India.

There were no serfs on the Indian side at that time and no hilly people were residing in Nepal side. A Nepali landlord named Kshemananda Mahato used to have control of all the activities including the trains in Chandan Chuki in India. Mahato later became a minister in Panchayat regime. He was not powerful because of his nationality but because he was the landlord of Tharuhat region. The uncle had shared this information with pride. At that time there were only Tharus residing on both sides of the border. The English rulers had introduced rail service for carrying timbers of sal trees which were used in making railway lines. Later, those rails were used to transport human beings as well. We, the Tharus used to load timbers in the rail during the English regime.

There used to be a threat of robbers in railways. Once, dacoits robbed a group of Tharus returning from Baharaich Bichhiya. They had gone there for medication. Only a high class and landlord people could go to a hospital at that time. Noses and ears of Tharu women were chopped off in that incident. In no time this news spread all across the community.

Since then Tharus stopped going to Baharaich and Lucknow for treatment. Kshemananda took the revenge of this humiliation by firing in a train at Chandan Chauki. After the shootout, Tharus became powerful in the trains in Paliya, Chandan Chauki, and Gaurifanta. The Indian police and the dacoits started to fear to mistreat Tharu people traveling by train.

Landlord Kshemananda did the shootout because he also had become the victim in the hands of robbers while making his way on the train. Kshemananda Mahato who had access to Kings and Ranas of that time taught a lesson to the dacoits. Also, he made a mechanism to stop such robbers from entering the western part of Bichhiya. Later, he was nominated as a minister by the then King during the Panchayat Regime.

‘We did not use to talk about this side or that regarding Mohana River. All residing here were relatives and all were Tharus. We had pancha to provide justice and nothing like courts, India, Nepal, SP, and DSP, etc existed at that time. Everything has changed, son. Now here is the trend of DM, CDO, and CM.’

‘Weren’t these pillars here, uncle? What was the situation alike? What did you use to do?’

‘I don’t know about the pillars. I could have missed them if they were there. Maybe my father and grandfather know about it.’

Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, and Kanchanpur were the places returned by East India Company to the then Nepali Prime Minister Jung BahadurRana. The place was given as a gift to him by British rulers for hunting purposes. He distributed the land to his kin. Still, the large area of land in Dang, Banke, Bardiya, and Kailali is under the ownership of Rana, Rathaur, and Shah Families. That is why, its demarcation was made quite later in Nepal’s map.

There were Tharu residents in the dense forest when Jung Bahadur Rana used to go for hunting with English people. Disinterested in politics, Tharus used to live the life of the farmers and herders. Later the place was named as nayamuluk meaning a new country. Then, both countries erected large boundary pillars to mark demarcation. Due to the fear of diseases like malaria, kalaazar, and the violent insects and animals like snake, scorpion, tiger, bear, cheetah, elephant, etc. people from other community couldn’t stay in the place. These areas were in control of the Tharu people. There was a tradition that the family members of the Rana clan who plot against the rulers should be sent far away. The system was known as char bhanjyang kataune literal meaning sending away across four mountain passes. The people sent away from the capital city started to live here. Besides, the Brahmins who were the victim of the superstitious custom after the death of Rana family members also started to live in the region. Gradually, people from hilly areas started to descend to buy salt and other daily used materials. Over time, the people working in India, descended herders in the summer season, and the people who transport the daily used materials to the hilly and mountain region started to make their second residence in western Terai. Those immigrants have swallowed the identity of the indigenous people residing in the region.

Tharus were the only inhabitants in the bordering region of these two South Asian countries. It is obvious to get influenced by the customs of the people living around. These days, Tharus are influenced by other communities as well. Gradually, Tharus in Nepal started to celebrate the festivals like BhaiTika, Teej while Indian Tharus started to observe Rakhi, Holi, and so on.

***

Hearing a call in a microphone to meet somebody outside, I wake up from my bed of Dhangadhi jail. There was no good facility for meeting in the jail as in Dillibazaar jail. I was kept in jail for the first time for the judicial inquiry process. I had consulted with almost all the leaders who were for and against me before surrendering in front of the court. Nepali Congress Vice-Chair and former Home Minister Bimalendra Nidhi suggested me to present in the court as I had won the election with a high margin. On the same way, former Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bijaya Gachhedar suggested me to face the allegations. He had said, ‘Being the supreme leader of Tharus, it is not a good idea to be exiled in India.’ According to him, the time was favorable for me to return to Nepal. Coordinator of RastriyaJanata party Mahanta Thakur said, ‘Like earlier, please come to Kathmandu using an alternative way. We will surely make the arrangements for your oath of office as a Member of Parliament.’

I showed doubt in that alternative way out and became interested to complete the legal process. Mahanta Thakur even managed the fee of the lawyer and showed a green signal to me. Rajendra Mahato told me that there is no danger as he had directly talked to the Prime Minister. Of course, there is a variety of characteristics among leaders but I have observed a trend in Rajendra Mahato. He doesn’t say no and impossible. People take him lightly due to his outspoken and frank behavior. His weakness is the lack of diplomacy. The family where I was residing knew that I was leaving. The mother came to me and started to cry.

‘Why are you leaving, son? Won’t you return?’

‘Why are you worrying, Aiya? I will return to this house after completing the court procedure.’

‘May God bless you, my son’, she said.

During our conversation, I handed her ten thousand Indian rupees. That was the amount remaining with me. She did not accept the money. I left the amount there and went to court. When I returned in the evening, I found the amount below my pillow. The memory of her maternal care touches my heart. I had attended the district court in Dhangadhi for the first time taking chapatti and daal prepared by her.

When I approached the main gate of the jail cell, I wailed to see the uncle and Aiyastood there holding iron bars. Aiya was standing still with tearful eyes. I could notice the watery eyes of the uncle. Chhotu, the youngest son of Aiya was standing in a serious mood. He had a small bag with him. I felt like the sky was spinning. I felt dizziness. The gloomy faces of the couple looked like they were waiting for their child for years after a serious disaster. To control myself from dizziness, I too held the iron railing. Four teardrops spilled out of my eyes, touched my cheeks, and slipped away. The uncle and Chhotu looked sad. Aiya couldn’t control herself. She wailed fondling my cheeks.

She uttered, ‘My son! You didn’t follow my suggestions to stop there. I had told you that policemen are not honest. See, my son is imprisoned.’

‘How are you, son? How long will they keep you in jail?’ The uncle asked in a small voice.

I couldn’t answer amid the cry of Aiya. I looked around. Chhotu was also sobbing.

Aiya was fondling my cheeks wet with my tear. It looked like she was smearing walls during the Dashain festival. I couldn’t realize myself as an elected parliamentarian who received thirty-five thousand votes nor could I realize two dozen short-termed police staring at me. Those short-termed policemen, hired for election purposes, were also alleged in the Tikapur incident. I can still remember the emotional situation. On the side of the railing, I was holding the iron railing while on the other side Aiya, the uncle, and Chhotu were standing. Aiya had held my hands holding the railing. My hands were wrapped by the rough hands of Aiya. The serrated hands were showing great love for me.

Aiya had neither conceived me in her womb nor brought me up. But she hadn’t done any discrimination between her own children and me. The uncle was not my biological father and they weren’t my kin. The intimacy we had during my exile to save myself is probably God’s will. The mother who had conceived and brought up seven children was showing her greatest love for an unknown traveler. What is it if not God’s miracle and mystery?

Aiya returned from Dhangadhi jail crying like a bride. As she sobbed and wiped her tears with her sari, I felt like my heart almost stopped beating. With his gloomy face, the uncle had held Aiya’s hand in case she faints. Chhotu went out along with them carrying the small bag. I was crying in prison as a parrot in the cage. The affection of the family shown to an unknown traveler proved that love, care, and sympathy still exist in the world. I also felt that those unseen forces are the forms of God. The motherly love shown to me by the mother of seven children made me emotional while providing me stuff to contemplate.

None of my family members visited me when I was in exile. Once my father’s eldest sister’s husband had visited me along with my uncle. I didn’t get a chance to telephone my mother while I was outside Nepal. Because of my emotional nature, I used to get anxious that my mother would cry over the telephone. Kalimata was there to think about me. Once she had also taken my father to Lakhimpur to see me. I couldn’t notice any sort of anxiety on him regarding me. I had reserved a vehicle to Gauriphanta for him and handed a few amounts of money when he returned.

I missed my grandmother the most while staying in exile. She used to protect me from my grandfather’s punishment during my childhood. Sometimes we couldn’t go to the kitchen while being late home from school. In such a situation, she used to fetch food to my bed secretly. I lost my loving grandmother during exile. I won the election but the government has convicted me. My mother used to me when she comes for treatment in Kathmandu. Though my father frequently used to visit Kathmandu, he had only visited me once. He might have fear of my inquiry ‘why did you compete with me in the election?’ Besides, he might be scared of sharing the compensation received from the government.

I have got close people outside my house which I think is the result of good deeds in the previous life. I have grievances with nobody these days. I remember a line told by a great literary figure, ‘God! if you are giving torture thinking me your closed one, please give me more torture.’ I feel like I had brought a parcel of sorrows by birth. Born in Jagatpur, an isolated place in the Far West, I am still spending my sorrowful life in the central jail. What else can happen worse than this? Nowadays I have started to take this painful life easily. What else option do I have besides celebrating the present situation?

Maybe because of my good deeds I met friends like Sanjaya, Sandip, and SherBahadur who protected me during my exile. I found Daddu who was like my father. I met the uncle and Aiya who sheltered me during the election and cared for me a lot. I met Guru Damodar who reflected my painful jail life in a book. Due to the influence of good people in my life, I have gained a feeling to do something better for the people who were forcefully victimized. For me, having an attitude to serve people is a great success.

I haven’t met the uncle and Aiya directly since the last meet in Dhangadhi jail. I was not allowed to keep a mobile phone and I had no other option to contact them. I didn’t have their phone number either. There is no system of sending a letter these days. One day, my cadre Ram BahadurKathariya came to see me. He had brought a bag full of peanut, a package of potatoes and bread made of bethe. He said, ‘This is Aiya’s parcel.’

‘When did you meet Aiya?’ I became fresh to talk about her. I was excited to know about her rather than the parcel she sent.

‘I had gone to Paliya the day before yesterday. As I was late I thought it would be better to go to Aiya than to a hotel. I also wanted to know her situation to report to you. So I spent a night over there.’

‘How are the uncle, Chhotu, and Bhunti? Is Aiya good?’ I asked him at once. I always have a fear of disease attack on Aiya who is in her seventies. Chhotu is the youngest son in the family while Bhunti is the daughter of Aiya’s eldest son. Bhunti, the granddaughter of Aiya was only three years old when I stayed at her home.

‘All is well except Aiya. She has trouble due to asthma. She wept for a long time talking about you. She has a fear that she may not be able to meet you again. Stirring ashes she said, ‘Though I didn’t give him birth, I have an immense love for Netaji. Speaking to all in front of the fireplace, her eyes were full of tears. Upon seeing her, the uncle, I, and Chhotu also had tears in our eyes.’

Aiya used to tell me Netaji while talking with others. Hearing these words from Ram Bahadur, my eyes were also full of tears. Looking at me Saroj, the chief of prisoners said, Brother, you too weep? I felt ashamed. He had seen me wiping my tearing eyes.

‘I wanted to come back early in the morning but Aiya and the uncle didn’t allow me to return without having lunch.’

Ram Bahadur is an outspoken person and he is honest in his words and action. He used to come to Aiya’s house early in the morning to report me the information related to the election. He used to bring green vegetables for me every day.

‘Why did you bring this parcel? Do you have a contact number of the uncle?’ I asked him.

‘The Uncle has given a contact number’, he said handing me a small piece of paper with an Indian telephone number.

‘Isn’t this peanut from Aiya’s field?’ I asked him for mixing all the parcels in a bag.

‘Yes. You know it. Aiya knows that you love bethe’s chapatti as well. The potatoes are also from her field. Tharu potatoes’, said Ram Bahadur while putting all the packages closer to me.

A type of small potatoes produced by Tharu people is called the Tharu potatoes. It is tasty indeed. Tharus cook it along with its skin and eat it. I shared the potatoes with many friends in prison. NCP lawmaker Bal Krishna Dhungel loved its taste. I don’t know it is available in the hilly region or not but we can find bethe in the wheat field easily in the Terai region. The green leaf bethe is known as Bethuwa in India while Tharus called bethui. The green leaves are taken as a vegetable while the seeds are collected and fried. The fried seeds are mixed with honey or syrup and given the shape of a chapatti. Children and elderly people from poor families in the Terai region keep those chapattis on sale in bazaars. Since it is rich in protein, taking this chapatti too much can cause health issues. Such chapattis were taken as the food of poor people in the past. Maybe it is because bethe could be found easily in the field. One of my distant relative uncles used to eat a lot of bethe chapatti due to poverty. Later we saw that his legs were curved. People used to say that it was because of high protein. He died a few years back.

Belaparasuwa, where I used to meet my cadres during the election is 45 kilometers far away from Aiya’s house at Bandarbharari. Sometimes I used to reach the place at 5 am and sometimes after lunch. A Tharu businessman brother named Khem Chaudhary had arranged a vehicle for me during the election. It was very risky to drive on the bank of River Mohana through the Dudhwa National Park. Wild animals and robbers were a threat to people. I encountered all types of animals during the drive but never encountered the robbers.

I used to go for a walk at 4 am. The uncle used to prepare warm water from a tubewell for bathing. Almost everyone takes a bath in India before going out. The Tharus of India had the same tradition. Taking food without bathing is taken as an unhygienic habit. After taking a bath, I used to go to the fireplace. Aiya used to welcome me with baked potatoes and peanuts. Until then Chhotu would wash my car and make it shiny. We would discuss over a cup of tea and the baked potatoes in a fireplace at the corner of the yard. Aiya used to put a package of peanuts in my car every day suggesting me to eat in leisure.

I didn’t use to get enough time to take peanuts due to the series of meetings with my cadres. Aiya used to pack quite a lot of peanuts. They used to produce peanuts for themselves. It used to be delicious. She used to pack salt and green pepper along with the peanuts. Despite its delicious taste, I did not use to eat the peanuts. It was because I had no leisure. Either I used to be busy in telephone or discussions with cadres. Sometimes there used to be the collection of four to five peanuts parcels in my vehicle. Then I distributed the peanuts to the children of my cadres.

Despite his old age, the uncle had an active lifestyle. He used to ride a bicycle to Chandan Chauki Bazaar in his elderly age. He used to purchase daily used materials from the market. He used to bring a Bethe chapatti for Bhunti almost regularly. The round chapatti used to attract Bhunti a lot. Once I was playing with her. Suddenly, I ate her chapatti which made her cry. She had refused all the chocolates I gave her in return. Later, I had to go to ChandanChauki to buy such a chapatti for her. Bhunti had become happy when I purchased a dozen such chapatti for her. Since then, the uncle realized that I liked the chapatti. That is why he started to bring another piece of chapatti for me. The chapatti was very lovely food for me while staying at Bandarbharai.

Though Bandarbharari was located in India, only RanaTharus people were residing in the place. As Tharu people, they had bit knowledge of the oppression of Tharus in Nepal. All the members of the family had great respect and love for me. Tharu people still raise animals like cows, goats, and chicken. In the beginning days, Chhotu seemed to prepare chicken regularly. I did not find it ethical to make a loss of Aiya. Later, I did not like to continue it as I had to save some money for the banners and pamphlets. Chhotu killed many rosters at the request of me and Aiya. I also had collected some money by selling land and borrowing from friends for the election.

I stayed as a son in the family in Bandarbharari. I never had to wash my clothes. I don’t have a habit to ask others to wash my clothes but Aiya did not let me wash. The eldest daughter-in-law in the family used to wash my clothes. Only Aiya used to enter into my room. Other may not go because of the unmanaged election materials and clothes. I had no objection to enter into my room. Aiyahad restricted others from entering into my room.

One day I had gone to Belaparsuwa for election campaigning. There was a marriage ceremony in the village and a DJ was called. The settlement of DangauraTharus is dispersed while the settlement of RanaTharus is a compact one. Aiya’s house is also surrounded by many houses. I used to return from Belaparsuwa in the evening or sometimes at night. On that day the Tharu girls from the neighborhood had entered into my room and used my beauty creams and perfume. I had asked the eldest daughter in law if somebody had entered into my room. She reported it to Aiya who later gathered all the girls from the neighboring houses and warned them. I was not so sad but surprised to see their activity. Later one day I bought some beauty items from Paliya Bazaar and distributed them to the girls. Aiya showed her objection to my work.

Other Tharus do not wear jewelry much. But I think RanaTharu is the synonym of jewelry. A RanaTharu girl can wear jewelry of twenty kilograms silver. Make-up and ornaments are the basic requirements for them. Some of them can dance better than a Bollywood actress in DJ music. The girls had demanded a DJ after my victory in the election. I had ordered Chhotu to arrange that but Aiya rejected it. I found the maternal love in her objection as well. I found her more than a mother. She was like a goddess. I had hugged her that day. She had consoled me tapping on my back.

My respect for Aiya had increased since that day. I started to give her my money to keep safely. My watch, purse, and even the keys of my car used to be with her. The neighboring girls had started to tease her as Aiya of Netaji. I didn’t know how she would feel but I used to feel proud.

After the victory in the election, Aiya’s house looked like a bride’s house. There used to be fifty to sixty people in Aiya’s house all the time. The uncle used to take care of the people visiting me. The daughter in law of the house was always as bright as goddess Laxmi. She never complained about the task she had to do. She used to wash utensils for so many visitors. A lot of garlands from my people used to be hanged in the yard. I realized the expense and labor of the family to feed the cadres, journalists, and other visitors visiting me. So one day I collected rice, daal, oil, and vegetables from Chandan Chauki. The uncle showed his sadness over my actions. He used satirical language, Do Tharus in your place buy rice and dal for a living? I understood his feeling. I had no option to come out of the affection of the family. To escape the increasing visitors, I went to visit Mumbai, Pune, and Gujrat. I did so because the border police had suspected my presence over there. Though I won the election, the allegations made by the government against me were still there. I also had to return the car used in the election. My people had welcomed me in grand style in places like Pune, Mumbai, Surat, and Gujrat after my victory.

Nepali city Dhangadhi is about 12 kilometers far from Bandarbharari. In my week-long stay at Dhangadhi prison, Aiya, uncle, and Chhotu hadn’t brought any parcel for me. They were confident that the people’s representative wouldn’t be confined to jail. As they knew about various discussions that took place in India, they did not hope such a result. I also told them that I would return in the evening. Since I had discussed it with all the major leaders, I did not think of staying at the jail. Uncle, Aiya and the whole family were waiting for me to return from the court. They had made food for me and waited till midnight. But their loved one did not return. The court had sent me to Dhangadhi jail for further investigation.

Many people bring me various parcels but the parcel sent by Aiya was special to me. I felt like my mother had sent me something. The Tharu potatoes, Bethe’s chapattis, and the peanuts from her field were the symbol of familial care and motherly care. We talked for a long time about Aiya, uncle, and their family. Ram Bahadur gave me information about the people in my constituency and my people. He left after giving me a lot of information.

Ram Bahadur left for his home but I began to contemplate over the parcel that Aiya had sent and the piece of paper with uncle’s phone number. I looked at the clock on the wall. It was about 2 pm. According to the jail’s schedule, my turn to use the phone would come after three hours. The waiting time was like three eras for me. A few other people had also visited me. But I was waiting for the clock to strike at 5 pm.

I waited until other people finish their conversation because I knew that I won’t be able to stop my tears that day. I could predict the situation based on my emotional status after listening to them. I did not use to call my grandma during my exile in fear of emotional breakdown. I didn’t find it comfortable to talk to my mother as well. I had hoped to meet my grandma again but unfortunately, I lost her.

After the third ring, the uncle answered, Hello!

‘Uncle, I am ReshamChaudhary speaking. I am from Kathmandu.’

‘Are you Netaji?’ he asked.

‘Yea, uncle. I am Netaji.’

‘‘How are you son? (Go and call Aiya. Tell her Netaji has called.) When is your final hearing?’ his sound was louder and clearer than that of our meeting in jail earlier.

‘It will be done gradually, uncle. Where is Aiya?’ I said.

‘She is coming. She always remembers you, son. What to do? We all are characters of a play directed by God. We are mere actors.’ I could notice his painful feeling.

‘How are sister in law, brother Mantrilal, Chhotu, Bhunti, and Karishma?’ I asked him in a single sentence. (Except Bhunti others are his sons and daughters-in-law.)

– ‘Karishma and Mantrilal are in Lakhimpur. Chhotu has gone outside for playing. Your Aiya is here’ he handed the receiver to her.

– Aiya pranam, how are you Aiya? I asked.

– ‘Stay blessed, my son. I am fine now. I had critical asthma a few days back. After treatment in Lakhimpur, I am fine now. How are you there? Do policemen beat you? ‘, she asked.

– Who tells you this nonsense news, mother?, I told her in a complaining tone.

– ‘You claim everything is fine. People from Nepal visit me frequently and tell me about you too. You were tied with a big chain a few days back. Your people from Nepal showed me that photo. I couldn’t sleep for many days,’ Aiya started to sob.

‘My mom, false blame can’t cause harm. It can give us some pain but ultimately truth will win. Don’t cry Aiya, I will be free in a few days.’ I said.

‘If I did not meet you, it would be okay. You approached us in a wondering way. You stayed with us and ate together. You are like my son. God made a traveler my son. I may die before seeing you.’ She spoke while she was wailing.

‘Don’t take stress Aiya. I will return home within one or two months. Shall I send you some gifts? Are you feeling cold, Aiya? I will send you a sweater and a shawl.’ I consoled her like a child consoles a mother.

‘What do they feed you in jail? I have lost my appetite thinking of you. How can you send me a gift? I don’t need any gifts. I have prayed to God for your freedom.’ she again started sobbing.

‘Why do you cry, Aiya? I am added as the eighth child of yours. I haven’t done any mistakes. I will come soon.’ I told her in a consoling tone.

‘Everyone knows you are innocent. But police have kept you in jail. There is God, my son. God is watching the people who have pushed you in jail.’ She said with confidence.

‘Of course Aiya, everyone gets results according to their actions. God will punish them who found me guilty.’ I disconnected the telephone wiping my eyes.

I had fortunately met her while she was in the seventies. I realized that my heart is weaker than her. I didn’t use to eat meat after seeing a cock is being cut in my childhood. I am now facing a trial for the killing of people. There is no record of people who condemned me for killing an innocent child. I feel sad to see the comments made against me. Sometimes I also feel humorous to those thoughts. It may be because of my realization that everyone has God in his soul. It is said that human beings have lied hundreds of times with God but he can never lie to his soul. To be honest, a man can speak lie with the government, court, and even God but not with the soul. Am I a culprit or an innocent? Everyone knows it including the police who filed the case to the parents who lose their child. My soul says even God can’t prove me guilty if he has to decide in witness of his soul.

All my cadres know that I stood up in the election by sheltering at Aiya’s. My people visit her if they go to India for shopping. They share some information about me. It must be them who shared her information about the chain tired on my leg when I was admitted to the hospital. Which mother won’t get hurt to see her son chained like an animal? My well-wishers and Aiya all had similar feelings.

I think of devoting the whole life for the party but I can’t even meet all the presidents of my party let alone the other leaders. To devote the life for the family is another option but the family itself has disintegrated. I think I will not have a private life either. I have a wish to dedicate my life to the people but the government does the conspiracy to put in jail for no reason. To talk about my relatives, their presence is almost rare to meet me. I wish to see a happy life of Aiya. I pray for a cheerful life of Aiya who always suffered in my sufferings. Though she is an Indian citizen, she has a love for Nepali people than Indians. May she get the wishes of all Nepali sons. Aiya doesn’t like to say Nepal or India rather she loves saying yipar (here), upar (there), and Tharuhat.

The countries are geographically separated in the interest of the rulers. Those who know the language of compassion do not care about such demarcation. Authorial emotion let me think that the compassionate mother is far better than the selfish rulers. She doesn’t care about the declaration of the border rather she takes Tharus from both sides as her kin. She feels the pain of Tharus from both sides. Though she can’t act against rulers, she condemns them at least in discussions. Aiya word is great itself. Despite her residency in India, she is the mother of all Tharus living in the Tharuwat region. May God bless me to fulfill my wish to serve you. Hail to you, Aiya.

(This article is taken from Suspended Lawmaker Resham Chaudhary’s upcoming book EXILE TO PRISON. Translated by journalist Hari Prasad Paudel, the book is scheduled to come out by August this year.)

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