To those who can’t find a meaning
To everyone fighting their own battles.
After a hectic day at work I went to Ratnapark Buspark to catch the bus.
“Can I sit here “a voice stroked my ear on the bus.
As I spun behind I was frightened when i saw a tall man with
burned face, marks in the forehead and even his nose was a bit twisted.
I just moved my head to agree in fear and then he grabbed a seat
“Sorry to scare you” he said sitting next to me
I think he realized my odd behavior towards him in guilt I said “Even I’m sorry I didn’t mean to hurt you but how did this happen?”
“Do you want to hear my full story or just the cause of the burn” he replied
The route to Kirtipur was long and boring so a story would be nice.
I told him to continue with the story.
He started with “I’m an acid attacker”.
I accidently said, “Karma is a bitch”.
He gazed at me gave me a smile and continued:
I’m an acid attacker because I accidently attacked myself with acid while playing with dad stuffs. He was a chemistry teacher at the Tribhuwan University.
Since small age my face burned out, all the skin in my face were contracted.
It was during the summer break and I was at 5th standard.
The problem started when I started going to school, nobody talked to me, some didn’t even look at me, some of the girls cried when I came ahead of them. The backbenchers bullied me and teased me.
I hated myself and used to be alone every time.
The kids used to play musical chair, basketball but I was avoided every time.
Even the teachers whom I esteemed were avoiding me.
The school received complaints from the parents of other kids that they didn’t want to go to school because of me.
My parents and teacher had a dispute because they rusticated me because of my face.
That is when I realized “not having a good face would lead me to face different difficulties in my life. “
I cried at home everyday, I wanted to go to school.
I wanted to be a face surgeon to save people from rejecting themselves
My parents cut off their expenses to pay for my boarding school.
Nayantara boarding high school.
The school was big and fancy but it generated more difficulty for me
The big kids used to punch me, kick me
And after every punch they said,” I punched the monster”.
Yes, I was a monster to them.
I wanted to have friends to have a normal life, to laugh even just for a minute neglecting all my problem.
I always went to the corner of the ground to eat my tiffin where nobody came around.
One day a girl showed up to me
Two side hair tied with a red ribbon.
She was wearing a white skirt, yellow dress the typical school uniform
She was the most good-looking in the whole school.
She barged in my tiffin and took a bite of the sandwich which my mom cooked.
“These are tasty” she said
“you don’t even speak “she asked
“I’m Shruti “she added
“I’m Prashant “I replied slowly
“Why are you so silent? “, she asked
“aren’t you afraid of me?” I questioned
“Afraid of you? no, you always get beaten up by those guys “she grinned
I remained silent
“Now they are rusticated, I complained about them yesterday don’t worry” she said calmly
I came to know she was the topper of the class and she was such a badass, I always listened to her during lunch time.
We always grabbed our lunch together in that corner.
Students mocked her because she was walking with me.
Seeing her not care made me realize how much I was worried about other’s opinion which were completely pointless.
She was like a burning spark which can do wonders.
She was every teacher’s favorite, I like how she talked about changing the world and making it a better place.
Time went like the wind, we passed our SEE
She was my only friend, soon we were in our high school
Now I didn’t care much what others talked about me.
I had grown myself for progress.
The only reason for my happiness was Shruti, she supported me for everything, taught me new things, gave me new perspectives.
For her I was her best friend but for me she was the love of my life.
Everyday, I saw in myself in the mirror I couldn’t get the courage to say it to her.
I was always a setback for me.
The whole high school boys were crazy for her.
She was tall with sparkling eyes, she kept her long hair open and a small black tika in the forehead which made her more stunning than ever.
She always wore oversized dresses, she was obsessed with black dresses and oversized hoodies.
While I always tucked in a simple shirt and combed my hair.
Even though I was a loser in my prospect, she brought out the best version of me.
I effortlessly sang and danced while with her.
We would just walk the streets talking for hours.
Her parents were horrified of me and she always got scolding for walking out with me.
We had collected so much of memories, she shared everything with me.
We were like lifelines to each others
During the 12th
She fell in love with a boy from her class, I was heartbroken but still giving advices
It was her choice; she didn’t have much time for me after that
Her parents were the happiest.
I wasn’t much sure in life, I heard my own family talk shit about me.
I was again an introvert who never got out of his room.
Shruti met me once or twice a week but she had a different vibe.
We weren’t like before.
Time changes, people leave was the most important lesson for me.
After my high school the anxiety hit me on different level.
I didn’t know what to do where to go, I was puzzled.
The life really begins after high school.
I found out about the scholarship for acid attack victims in London.
I applied there for my further studies and surprisingly I was chosen for it.
My dad gave me the proudest smile ever.
It was 3 months since I met Shruti, I wanted to call her to the airport but I didn’t.
I didn’t feel homesick out there because there was nothing I could remember except Shruti
After a year
She texted me, “happy birthday” at midnight on Instagram
I replied, “thank you”
“Couldn’t you say a goodbye”, she replied
I didn’t reply
She texted,” I miss you”
I typed,” I miss you too”
And checked her profile, she had thousands of followers on Instagram. She was a social influencer.
Shruti was working for rape awareness in Kathmandu
It was a thing she would do, I was low-key proud of her, while I scrolled down a boy was kissing her and the caption stated, “forever mine”
“Best birthday gift”, I said to myself and deleted Instagram.
I was studying psychology and human behavior, working part time.
I barely got time to chill
In this rush 4 years passed
Time never stays
After my graduation I took flight back to Nepal.
I reached home
Our parents are so proud when we return from or go to abroad.
I wanted to meet Shruti I asked my mom about her, she became still and didn’t talk.
I was surprised and went towards her home.
This time her parents didn’t get nervous or acted uncomfortable after seeing me.
Her father got big dark circles.
I asked, “where is Shruti “
“she is no more”, he replied in a weak voice.
Her dad narrated:
My girl was the best, she just wanted to do good but people took her pride.
During the rape awareness a girl came to Shruti and told her that a politician raped her. Shruti assisted her to file the case and was there in every ups and down but later the girl denied of the rape.
Shruti was accused for forcing to file wrong case.
She fought and found some proof against that politician.
You know politician they can do anything for their self image.
She brought all the youths together to stand against the politician but some dirty pictures of her were released in the internet.
She filed a police case, I even expressed her not to. Her reputation would be destroyed.
“we should fight the wrong papa”, she said
You know she was a fighter, she was all over the news, Dirty cheap comment was found in every pictures of her on Instagram.
After investigation, it was known that Shruti’s boyfriend made the pictures viral.
The politician bribed him a lot of money.
She fought with every breath and finally made them go to jail.
But soon the politician was bailed out.
But the society didn’t accept her, she was removed from the awareness program because her videos went on the porn platform.
She was judged by every eyes on the streets, she couldn’t take it, she used to shout and throw things in her room.
We sat with her for weeks, cried with her.
But she didn’t realize what would happen to us after she is gone.
Every day she said,” I wish Prashant was here.”
My blood tempted
I wanted to burn the whole society, I was feeling helpless, I was broken
My heart shattered and tears were rolling over.
Shruti’s dad hugged me all the tears fell out.
With tears in my eyes I went home and installed Instagram.
I saw her text it stated:
I’ll be nothing more than a fleeting memory that invades your mind in the dead of night- a passive thought you reminisce back on years from now.
Maybe with sorrow
Hopefully with a smile
Don’t worry, I’ll still be here-existing forever within the memories and experiences we once shared.
It was in those moment I found life.
You are not here when I’m needing you the most.
I have no right to complain
I guess I’m just not as strong as you are.
I know I’m asking for a lot but I have a final wish.
I wish you keep living for both of us.
I wish you continue this life and don’t stop to the circumstances of it.
Love and give infinitely
Chase after your dreams and wishes.
It’ll be hard but you’re strong.
At last, I love you Prashant
I really love you.
The conductor came for the bus fare, he was amazed by seeing me full of tears we had reached kirtipur and I was still crying.
I came out of the bus and hugged Prashant.
“I can’t be Shruti but sure can be a good friend”, I said
“okay”, he said and smiled
“I’m Maksud”, I said and passed him my card.
Then he gave me his card and we did a handshake and went our way.
I saw his card; he was currently working for rape awareness.