For within each of us lies a tale, some tell of fairies and headless horsemen and others scream of injustice and oppression.
There had been one consideration that had prevented me from making any plans that cold Saturday evening, as I walked up towards the receptionist armed with a flurry of questions I was sure he was asked on a regular basis I stopped short for just in my line of sight was what I was looking for alllong. Across from my hotel stood a small shop with a sign outside that made even the most disinterested traveler’s eyes widen ‘Buff Momo’s – Kathmandu’s Finest ‘. As I walked in and found a corner table I waited impatiently from my order to be taken. It was then that a small book that looked like a pamphlet at first caught my attention unsure of whether that was left there intentionally to help customers past the time or someone left it there inadvertently I made sure that I could see one on every other table.
Content that there was in fact one sitting proudly on every table and convinced it would be another 15 minutes before I could enjoy ‘Kathmandu’s Finest’, I picked up the small book and opened the first page. As I began to read I soon got lost in the literature that lay in front of me and began to devour chapter after chapter, this book didn’t tell stories of undercover spies and superheroes but it was a brilliant representation of a women’s struggle in Nepal. It told of a woman who was forced to leave India at the age of 12 with her parents and settle in Kathmandu, unhappy to be growing up in a country she didn’t consider her own, she soon became a rebel. It was only as she began to grow older and her eyes opened to the atrocities the Nepalese people were burdened with as a result of India’s wielding power over the country did she begin to write for the freedom of her country. However merely a school level education and no experience whatsoever as a writer prevented any publishing house from taking her seriously. It wasn’t the love for her country but rather the hatred for the place she long considered as her own that propelled her to write to begin with.
Just as I reached the last page I happen to overhear a conversation from the table by the side of me they too were discussing the book and the sad tale that this woman had to encounter. However what struck me about the conversation was something that wasn’t mentioned anywhere the book, these two men spoke about large amounts of charity that the women from the novel had being doing over the last five years. From providing shelter and clothing to homeless people that had settled in front of her house to being the campaign manager behind her husband’s run for office she seemed to have left no stone unturned in her ultimate goal to ensure freedom for her people and country.
Convinced that till now these stories were a work of fiction I was eager to meet the woman in all the stories so I walked up and enquired from the men sitting at the side of me as to where I could arrange a meeting with this women, they’re reply came as a pleasant shock to me. For the lady I so earned to talk to was now walking up to me with a pen and paper in hand and an apologetic look for keeping me waiting.
The buff momo’s that evening were delightful but Kathmandu’s Finest didn’t come in a plate, it was instead standing behind a counter the entire time.