Luna miss told me that there is a letter for me. For real!! Who will send me letter in my school address? I went to pick up at the staff room. It was for me, from the boy name Suren Shai and it was from Surkhet. I was surprise and for a while I thought it might be mistake and it’s not for me. But I was wrong, it was for me.
First time I saw you on NTV program, you got first prize on poem competition. I like you and your poem so much. Do not take me wrong, our English teacher is teaching us how to write letter and this time we all have to write a letter to our pen friend. I saw you on TV and want to make you my pen friend.
My name is Suren Shai. I am from Surkhet. I am in grade 8. I go to Sulekha high school. I know you study in Angle Heart School in Kathmandu and you are in grade 7. I do want to know more about you.
If you do not have any problem I want to make you my pen friend. Please write to me.
I will be waiting for your reply.
I was shocked that how someone can send me letter just seeing me on TV. I was happy also to be frank that someone is my fan. I was thinking whether to reply back to him or not. My best friend Lila advises me to write. I wrote him back thanking him for liking me and my poem. I did not write a lot because I was not even sure whether that person exists or not. But I got his reply back. He sound so happy from my letter and he asked me to write more about me. He also mentioned that, he is from a poor family. His father is a farmer at village and mom just look after the cows and goats. He has two elder sisters (Ganga & Jamuna) and one younger sister (Sujata). I reply him back writing about me in detail.
After that we keep on writing to each other. He send me his picture and I send him mine couple of times. We became close; we both started sharing everything with each other, our problem, our feelings, our future dreams and many more.
One time he does mention that, he is scared to lose me, because I am from the wealthy family and he has a lot of responsibility in his life. He is the one who have to take care of his family. I told him there is nothing like that he have to worry because we are just friends and in friendship we do not have to worry about those stuff. He replied saying that he admires me like the way I am. In fact I did admire him too. I don’t know whether it was a love or just connection that I have for him but I liked him.
I decide to open the PO Box because I was at end of the school year. Suren used to send me letter at my school address because I don’t want him to send me letter at my house address. I am sure my parents don’t like me writing to an unknown person. I send him my PO Box number. He wishes me luck for my SLC examination and he said next year he is planning to come to Kathmandu if he passes his SLC. He failed his test last year in Math subject so he has to give this year again. He was worried about his family situation. He was going through a lot of problem. His father was still not able to pay the debt that he took for Gangas’ wedding and now it’s time for Jamuna to get married too. Suren wants to pass the SLC test and come to Kathmandu for further study. I encourage him that he will definitely pass the test this time. I send him small locket from Pasupatinath temple as a good luck charm.
I did not even expect this situation will come. It was like almost a year I haven’t heard back from him. That was the last letter from him mentioning that his test went well, he like the locket that I send. He said it will be in his neck forever. He was helping his father in farming. They are trying to find a nice guy for Jamuna. Mom has asthma, the money she collect form selling the milk and baby goat is not even enough for her medicine. He was the strongest boy I have ever seen in my life, after all that situation he sounds so strong, all he have is faith in his life. He had faith that one day, all his dream will come true. All he wants is to help his father pay their debt. He had given me his symbol number for his SLC test; he wants me to check his symbol number. As soon as the result was out I checked our number. He did it; yes he passed the test this time and so do I. I send him letter very next day mentioning that I am so happy he passed and hoping to see him soon. I don’t know whether he got that letter or not but I did not get any reply after that. I keep on sending him, but after my tenth letter it all came back to me. So I stop writing, hoping he will reply me one day.
I close my PO Box because it was almost two years that I have not received any reply from him. I was done with my grade 12 test. At the same time, we were having all the crises in Nepal. Nothing was going good from the day our entire royal families were shot to death. I can’t believe, it’s been almost two year after that incident. After that Nepal was no more consider as a peace nation. Everywhere there was a war between army and Maoist. I join BBA as soon as I passed my grade 12. Everything was normal with me just college, home and free time with my friends. I still missed him, his letter and his words. I missed writing poem for him. I had a hope one day I will hear back from him. But how? Now I don’t have a PO Box, how will he reach me? But he knows where I live; maybe he will come to see me. But those where just my thought, which I knew never going to happen.
It was a winter time, I left the house for college, and it was dark. I waited for my cousin Dipak who lives just two blocks away from me. We go to same college. I saw two people on the bike coming toward me; I got scared because it was still dark. I quickly get into the tea shop. Kumar dai was inside the shop, I did not say anything, I just said I am waiting for Dipak. Finally Dipak arrived and we both left. Me and Dipak were walking up to the bus stop, I still saw those two on the bike following us. Now that sacred me a lot, I was thinking whether I should tell Dipak or not. But I did not, thinking that he might take it seriously, I don’t want to create any issue over there. We were in the bus stop waiting for bus; I can see those two in the distance. Finally, the bus was there, we were in the line to get into the bus; the bike comes so fast toward me and stopped. The person on the back seat was a girl. The one in the front I did not even notice. She said, you are Rakshya right? This is for you. It was an envelope. I was like yes I am Rakshya but what is this and who are you? She just said, “You don’t know me”. I was about to ask more but they just left and I had to get inside the bus. As soon as I took a seat I open the envelope.
I was speechless. I did not know how I get into the school. Rupak said, “Hay Rakshya you want to stay in bus today, let’s go we are here now”. I didn’t say anything I just cried.
I am so sorry. I know you might be thinking I just disappear without letting you know. But by the time you get this letter I will be no more in this world. Thank you so much for all your support for me. You are the only one who always has faith on my dream.
After I found out about SLC result, I kiss the locket and thought about your beautiful smile. That night I even wrote you saying I am arranging for trip to Kathmandu. Next morning I was supposed to post that letter but I was notable because I have to take my mom to the hospital. But I am glad that I did not, otherwise you would have waited for me. Hospital was like five hrs so we left early, we came late that evening doing some shopping for house. When we enter the house there were like seven strangers. I asked my dad who they are. One of the stranger came near to me and said, do not worry boy, we are just a guest for tonight we will be gone by tomorrow morning. My dad fixed the meal for them and I was scared because I knew they were Maoist. My sisters fix the bed for them and we all went to sleep. I was not able to sleep, and after few hours I heard the firing sound. Army had surrounded my house, they want Maoist to surrender. But Maoist denied and fight went on between them. We try to hide from the bullets, but one bullet hits my dads’ chest. We all ran towards him, one bullet hits me on my leg. I do not remember anything after that. Next day I found me at the health post bed. As soon as I woke up I saw my mom in the next bed with oxygen mask on her. My sisters were crying. They said my dad is death and my mom have asthma attack and I need to take her to the good hospital in Kathmandu as soon as possible. I try to wake up fast though it was hurting. I try to fix the bus but all roads were blocked. No buses were living for next five days. I can still remember my moms’ face before she passed away. Her eyes were telling me “take care of your sisters Suren”.
I did not have any other option rather than joining the Maoist team. My house was on dept. Nobody in the village help me for my dad and moms’ funeral. Me and my two sisters were helpless. We did not have any money to survive. I wanted to join the team alone but my sister said they want to go with me. We all join them.
After joining them I realize we are not fighting for the nation, we were fighting for ourselves. We were fighting for our poverty and weakness. At some point I was selfish too, I just thought for me and my two sisters. I choose the easiest way to survive rather than struggling on my own. Most of them were there for the situation like me. We do not have any option rather than staying there. We all knew we will die one day, but still fighting everyday for our life. Now even if we wish we cannot come out from here.
Sujata once try to contact Ganga, she denied talking with her. She thinks we all are death. In fact everyone in Surket thinks so. She said, she does not want to have any trouble in her family because of us. I guess she is right. We should not contact her; she had her own family so we need to keep her away from us.
We don’t have one place where we leave. We travel here and there. Me and Sujata are in the same team. Jamuna dies last week in a battle on the way to Dang. After her death I realized that poor people like us will die here every day. We haven’t seen our main boss yet. In fact, they are all relaxing somewhere, giving us direction. We are fighting for them; we are dying for their benefits. Everyone over here knows the fact but nobody speaks. We all do not have any other option rather them choosing to die for them.
There was not even single day, that I did not remember you. Your smile was killing me every day. Sometimes I wish to leave everything and run to see you. But I couldn’t. I feel like writing to you but again I didn’t want to put you in trouble. You have a family and your own life, me contacting you might create a big problem.
I know one day I have to die so I am giving this letter to Sujata and asked her to deliver to you. It was my last wish for her. Sujata knows about you from the begging so she was the only one who I can trust for you after my death. I know it was never possible even if I was alive to have you in my life. May be you know about this but still for the last time I want to say “I Love you from the day I saw you on TV. I love you even more when we started writing to each other. I always dream about you.”
Do not feel bad on my death, it is not my death, it’s my freedom. I will be happy that I got out from this hail.
I promise to you that your smiling face will comes in front of me before I close my eyes.
Yours’ and only yours’