Last month I was in Nepal. I had a chance to read a novel by Jhamak Ghimire in Nepali language. The book was Jeevan Kada ki ful, Life: thorn or flower. This novel has an English translation with a different name.
Before I tell you about the author, I like to share an epitaph of the story. In a remote village in Southern Nepal, lived a farmer. He was once a post master and later a farmer. The family had a mix up of strict feudalist clans. In 1980, lady gave birth. The man’s mother said to her son, who was becoming a father, “don’t be too excited, it’s a daughter”. Arrival of a daughter as the first child wasn’t a celebrated event. A daughter meant a lot of investment that goes to some one’s else family. The child grew up but abnormally. Neither could she walk, nor talk nor move her hands. She could laugh at times or cried other times. Later she was diagnosed of cerebral palsy. That means an un-curable paralysis. She was vegetated for rest of her life. He had 2 sisters and a brother below her. When her sister and brother learned alphabets, this girl was not allowed to come around to disturb her. Her grandmother took her care. The day grandma left the earth for good, she put grains of rice into her mouth using her 2 legs. Then she ate that way for the rest of her life. She would pick up charcoal with legs and rub against the wall. It is a strong belief, writing black letters on wall meant ill omen incurring debt to the family. The only way the parents and relatives communicated with her was by means of sticks. Whatever she did she received sticks, hard enough to teach her lessons.
Dear reader, You all are highly literate by your academic excellence. If you were to write about the feelings of this paralyzed girl who cannot move her body parts except her legs, cannot speak, cannot use her fingers, how long will your writing be? 5 pages, 10 pages or 50 pages?
This girl could hear very clearly and see with some difficulties. She learnt the alphabets by listening to her father and her sibling’s home classes. With years of self practice with constant beating urging her to stop, she learnt to write alphabets, make words, read sentences, read and make poems and at last became a writer. Today she is one of the finest writers in Nepal. She has been conferred numerous heavy weight literary honors. Should you like to help her, please buy her books and learn about the world of disabled people and their emotions? I won’t be surprised if in near future she is h0nored with Nobel Prize on literature.
From her struggle I like to share that, any physical disabilities in a person can be corrected and completed with letters, alphabets and education. Should you have any limitations or disabilities complete them with letters. Letters fill all voids.
Sir Francis Bacon is remembered for his quote “Reading makes a full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man”.