It has been eight years since the story of my relationship with Birkaji was first told to the public. It seems, through the past eight years, you the public has grown to totally hate me for rejecting Birkaji! Somehow, I have become a villain for doing nothing more than making my own life’s choices.
Whatever happened to the right to freedom? Today, I have had enough. Hello, I am Maiya from Kabaddi, and this is my side of the story!
As far back as I can remember, I have wanted nothing more than to live my life on my own terms. It seems that is simply impossible when you’re born as a girl in a remote part of Nepal. Before I was even of age, I was promised to my solta, my cousin Birkaji. Did I ever ask for this match to be made? Did anyone ever ask whether I’m interested in this relationship? No.
It was so difficult to find happiness or fulfilment living in this tiny village, but I tried. I wanted to be happy. But it seems my entire life was written out for me, and I had no choice on the matter. My father was never in my life; I lived hiding under my mother’s protection, always worried about others’ judgements.
Even when I tried to do something for myself, I was always worried that someone might say something. I wanted to study. I enjoyed dancing. But I was always scared to speak out my dreams and desires out loud.
And let me tell you — Birkaji was the worst of the bunch! You are angry at me still for not choosing him. But how would I be happy with marrying a self-important brat who couldn’t even be bothered to properly charm me with a few sweet words?
At his worst, he even tried to kidnap me to assert his ‘right’ over me. I had had enough!
So, why wouldn’t I have chosen Bomkaji? He was sweet, considerate, and gave me tender attention. He actually heard what I had to say, for a change. And most importantly, he was there for me when I was at my most helpless. He was even willing to elope with me so that I could escape my forceful marriage with Birkaji.
You may have thought that, just because I spoke a few harsh words to Birkaji, that I must be a terrible person. In fact, I don’t hate Birkaji at all! I never have. I would even have found his petty self-importance adorable if he only respected me. But he never did. Am I not even allowed to scold someone who wanted to marry me forcefully? I think I am. I think I am.
To be honest, I don’t even regret how things ended between me and Bomkaji. He gave me something that I always wanted all my life — he gave me a chance to escape my village life, and continue my studies in the city. And no matter what happened between me and him, I am always grateful to him for it!
Tell me — do you think Birkaji could have given that to me? I don’t think so.