The Fate Derived by The Caste System (Last Part)

Sangita Karki By Sangita Karki, 10th Sep 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Its a short fiction story. Actually I would like to define it as non-fiction though I have added something myself to the story for making it interesting. The main story (suffering of the main character) is real in my story. It is the academic work produced in the summer of 2010 for my summer project. The character in this story is real and I composed the story after taking interview with him.

Last part

“We, my mother, father and I, had a small hut on the village. It had straws' thatched roof and was made up of red mud. It did not have much space inside, but was enough for three of us. In a rainy season, we had to search a place inside our old hut to take shelter from rain.”

“By caste, we are Damai, whose job is to sew clothes. We fall in the lowest level in the caste hierarchy of the Hindu society and our traditional work is tailoring. In that time, there was a system to hire different people from different lower caste level having different occupation by the higher caste people to accomplish their jobs easily, such as in a village one certain clan (from higher caste) used to have their own Damai, Kami (who makes weapons or other stuffs from iron), Sarki (does work of leather). Our family was hired by the Ksyatrias of fifty houses, who falls in the second level of the caste hierarchy. Therefore, my parents had a duty to present on their home whenever they have clothes to sew or sometimes when they had a work on their fields, because only tailoring did not used to derive sufficient foods in our home. In a return, my parents used to get approximately 11 kilograms of food grains, either of rice, maize or wheat (what is available on our customers home), of each person in a home. There was no system of payment through money and we used to be paid once a year mainly during our greatest festival Dashain. We used to store the amount of food grains that we needed and sell extra amounts. But we had to face difficulties while selling those food grains also. Considering us untouchables, high caste people compelled us to sell them our food grains in a very low price.”

“To be born in a low caste family was like to be cursed in those days. We were not allowed to touch any high caste people (people from Brahmin, Ksytrias, Vaisyas and upper level Shudras). We had to go to their homes to do their work but we were prohibited to enter inside their homes. We had to stay outside whole day though the sun glowed brightly in the summer season or wind blew very coldly in the winter season. Moreover, we were required to clean the dishes we touched in their homes. Their dogs used to be welcomed into their homes but we human beings had to spend days on their yards. Our life had less value than that of animals.”

“Not only in our customers’ home, we used to be inhumanly behaved in hotels, tap and schools too. We had to clean the glasses or plates we used in the hotels by ourselves though we paid money same as the high caste people. In the tap or well, we were forbidden to touch the water tap or the well and had to wait other high caste people to give us water. In schools, we used to have separate place in the classrooms because we were untouchables. The high caste children even teachers used to hesitate to talk with us. We were not considered as the students in the schools.”

“This was the life style of us in those days, Sangita.”

“My family was very poor. Except that hut, we did not have any other forms of assets. We had to depend on the food grains we used to get once a year.

If it got finished then we had to take loans from our customers, and if we could not pay them back money we had to do free labor in their fields or had to sew their clothes freely until the time we could not return their money. Our life was miserable Sangita. To meet hands and mouth, we had to do very hard labor on those days.”

“I never got the easy life neither in my childhood days nor in my adulthood days nor today. I am the eldest son of my parents among two. Therefore, since a very small age, I got the full responsibility of my house. When my mother gave birth to my next brother, I had to stop going school. May be I was 7 years. I got the responsibility to care my brother while the parents are out on the work during days. In addition, I got the work of searching firewood, taking water from the tap, cleaning house and the dishes as well as cooking foods. I used to tied my brother on my back and do all the assigned works. Sometimes I had to help them in their works also. I had a dream to become an officer completing higher education but the poverty crashes my dream. Since my 11th year, I had to start my traditional occupation with my parents. The mouth to eat increased in my home, but the hands to earn was only two, so I also started working. Ans slowly I handle my father’s occupation.”

“It has already been 25 years I engaged in this field. In these 25 years, many things got changed in the society. Government declared it as a crime to discriminate human based on their caste and enact some laws to ensure our rights in 2046 B.S. Further, education as well as the means of globalization helps a lot in the eradication of caste system from our society. Now, I am free. No one forbids me to enter his or her homes. I do not need to clean glass when I drink tea in the hotels. Moreover, I am allowed to touch all people. I am enjoying the rights of human beings. Now, I am free from the title of the low caste people but the impact of being born in a low caste family is still going on in my life. POVERTY.”

“If I was born in high caste family, I would have gotten out of this poverty in some level by now, because I could have choices for my career from the beginning. I could have worked as a laborer where I would get more money, or I could have learnt any other skills without any barrier and could have started my own business. But this caste system did not give me that freedom earlier. Now, I have started my own tailoring shop but also the level of poverty is increasing in my house because I have left behind by the new comers of this field. New comers have their new skills and new technology and do not have all those things. I only have skills that I learnt from my parents and own sewing machine that I posses. Therefore, though the people do not hesitate to come to my tailoring shop because of my caste nowadays, they prefer going to the skilled tailors. I am left in the middle. Neither can I leave my traditional work nor do I have money to learn new skills and buy new technology in my shop.”

I stop because my words finish. I look at Sangita’s image. Her face looks pale and slowly the paleness increases on her face and in the next moment, the image disappears. I become surprise. I open my eyes. It is very dark in our room.

“Where is my wife?”

I change my position and find my wife lying on the bed next to me. When did she come to the bed I even did not know that. She is sleeping calmly.

I remember the passed situation. The whole thing was my imagination or dream I become unable to identify. I feel so strange but some satisfaction on my heart for pouring my feelings with her.

What to do tomorrow? Should I give her interview or not? I am still in doubt.

“I should because I am going to ask money to buy my son’s book with Rajesh Dai. If I do not help her daughter for her project then I will not get money.”

Therefore, I make myself ready to share my past with Sangita though I am not willing only because I am in need of money.

“Poverty is cruel in nature and the god has written in my luck to bear its cruelty, so I should face it.” I sympathize myself and close the eyes.

Tags

Caste System, Society

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Comments

author avatar Sweata
11th Sep 2012 (#)

Long but still heart touching writing. Good work

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author avatar Binod
11th Sep 2012 (#)

"Poverty is cruel in nature and the god has written in my luck to bear its cruelty"

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author avatar Nirma
11th Sep 2012 (#)

Good creation.

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author avatar Jenny
11th Sep 2012 (#)

Lovely and beautiful

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author avatar Retired
11th Sep 2012 (#)

shaking the heart,great article

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author avatar Sangita Karki
11th Sep 2012 (#)

Thank you

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author avatar Retired
11th Sep 2012 (#)

I am so sorry that you have endured all this(or most of it as in summery.Story is very interesting, and I want to skip to the end, hoping things have improved.Your like would be so different in the usa.

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author avatar Retired
11th Sep 2012 (#)

I just realized that I already read the first part. I still hope your situation improves.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
13th Sep 2012 (#)

Caste system is not relevant now though some practises endure like vegetarianism; but understandable. But politics is the most rewarding and no wonder politicians' children follow their parents! Also businessmen are the richest. And none wants to become priests considered at the apex earlier! siva

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author avatar Sangita Karki
14th Sep 2012 (#)

I don't think it is not relevant to the today's context sir. Once leave your home and dwell around the remote part of your country you will see its sever effects and practices. I am sure of it.

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author avatar Pabitra
16th Sep 2012 (#)

little long but impressive

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author avatar Shrijana
16th Sep 2012 (#)

Poverty is cruel in nature. Really it is.

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author avatar Sabita
4th Oct 2012 (#)

great post

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author avatar Lovelythoughts
4th Oct 2012 (#)

We don't need a caste system here... It's not right.

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author avatar Sweetgirl
4th Oct 2012 (#)

Beautiful creative post

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author avatar Sanu Shrestha
6th Oct 2012 (#)

Beautiful post Sangita!

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author avatar Maharjan.S
6th Oct 2012 (#)

Touching story and beautifully composed.

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author avatar Ms. Christina
6th Oct 2012 (#)

simple and touchingly told.

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