To the “WONDER WOMEN” of Kalikot


May 29th, 2018

 

In one of the parched hills of Kalikot District that lies in remote Karnali Region of Nepal, there is a small village called Tilagufa. The Tilagufa dwellers who live at edge of poverty are eagerly counting days to welcome a pulley system that runs through gravity. In absence of motorable roads, people are forced to walk up and down the steep hills with heavy loads in their back. Women are mostly victimised to such drudgery with only a handful of men left in the village as most of them opt for labour jobs in India and gulf nations to make ends meet. Not only women rear children alongside goats and sheep, they are also the heavily worked domestic labours. In absence of men, they solely hold the baton to grow and process food for the family.

The face of feminisation of poverty looks scary and dark. Women ascending vertical hills to collect firewood, climbing tall trees leaning towards cliffs to collect fodder, walking barefoot to the scariest woods to graze cattle and carrying loads heavier than themselves on their back, not to mention with infants in the front; these sights are not uncommon. Drudgery of various kinds have led to many miscarriages and even uterine prolapse in worst cases with stories of many giving birth to lifeless child while on field all by themselves to come back home with empty hands and empty hearts. Stories like these are common for the women of high hills of Nepal yet their valour remain unsung and undiscovered. With a hope that the gravity goods ropeway that will soon function there will make lives much better, here’s a tribute with a fringe attempt to sign their glory.

 

Who could sail in the lost sea

The Wonder Women of Kalikot, Photo: G Archana

full of sunken boats of hopes and dream

on an ancient canoe of courage

in search of shore though full of debris?

 

Who would make way for sun ray  

in darkest room of locked up speech

drilling the walls of sorrow

to let the dim light say hello?

 

Who would endure the pain

giving birth to the child

full of everything but life

not once, but time and again?

 

Who would have buried new born faith

digging two feet deep and two feet wide

telling herself a lie

in her, there never grew a life?

 

Who would understand lifelessness better

yet standing tall and spirited

doing everything to survive  

as if nothing can upset her?

 

Her bruises blue and unmeasurable

Her creases rare yet youthful

Her body lean yet musical

Makes her nothing but so beautiful

 

So beautiful her smile

like sunshine on the Nile

May be she has borrowed

Colour from marigold for a while

 

And look at her fixing dear life

With nuts and bolts of undaunted valour

No complain, without any grumble

She makes an exceptional archetype

 

Everything that she can resist

She makes the happiest minimalist

Makes world’s pleasure look so foolish

And urban choices so childish

 

If you wanted to know who she is

She is the brightest star of universe

Guard of the mountains that’s adverse  

Trained by the nocturnal birds

 

You might need to travel back a thousand years

Crossing the seas and oceans of tears

To meet her, you’d need to ride on a horseback

May be enduring some nightmares

 

There lies her little hamlet

Which smells like her sweat

Glowing under a zillion stars

In the woods that screams her scars

 

That’s where you’ll find her gleaming  

Being so strong and beaming  

Captivating you in her story’s hymn

She is nothing but so sublime

 

If her stories were ever to be told

And her songs that are so bold

Full of dignity and solemn  

She is the unsung wonder women!

She is the unsung wonder women!!

 

 

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