Pain of Being a Woman

The raging fire: Fire, one of the five universal elements in Hindu world view symbolizes, desire and anger.
The raging fire: Fire, one of the five universal elements in Hindu world view symbolizes, desire and anger. | Source

And a woman must find a man to continue to exist in the world.

Gauri was born in a village, almost three hundred miles away from Kathmandu. Her parents, one would not consider rich people, but they had enough to feed nine children. She was married at the age of eighteen. The groom, raised by a single mother, had a respectable landholding. It was a sort of proposal a village girl would die for.

She understood die was the perfect word when she reached her spouse's house. Something was terribly wrong in the family. Her mother-in-law was a psychopath. Now and then she was pulled by her hair, burnt by firewood, scratched on face. Her diligence never paid, her tolerance never imbibed, her pacifism never reciprocated.

“I can show you the signs of cruelty I suffered at the hands of that woman," she says pulling up her sleeves. Deep scars are visible on her both arms. Though she doesn't want to cast aspersions on the dead woman she admits, "The woman was a slander to the entire womankind that has been glorified as Mother." The word mother reminds her of a perforation, the pain that she tries to hide behind her façade.

The Psychopath

She is not much educated, not even graduated from High School. She cannot fathom complexities of human psychology. All her life she did not wished for big things to happen, ephemeral pleasure was what she expectantly looked for. How could Gauri, who has not heard of Freud, understand behaviour and the mental state of her mother-in-law whose husband died too early? Sexual deprivation is inherently dangerous. The woman envied private moments shared by her son and daughter-in-law, searching for every pretext to separate the couple not only in the light of day but also at night.

She made her son and Gauri sleep in different rooms. Sometimes the sick woman was dubious about her arrangements, and hence she spread her mattress next to her son's divan while her daughter-in-law had to sleep in the room next door. Her hubby was pliant, never argued with his mother and slightly indifferent towards his spouse.

"He was foolish, actually," she says of her former hubby. Presumably, oedipal thing was at work.

It is a warm winter morning. Gauri is basking in a delightful languor, life is reasonably happy at the moment, however, she shivers at her past. "Sometimes, the woman entered our room at night and slept between me and my husband,” she says looking away. Her eyes are brimming with tears, but suddenly there is a twinkle. "And when she was dead I tried to make up everything I had missed."

Interestingly, her mother-in-law's apparition appeared when she shared the bed with her husband. “It was a spooky feeling, you know."

Source

Struggle for Consolidation

After tolerating the brutalities for couple of years, she left her in law's house and went to stay with her mother. She tried to occupy herself most of the time being a Communist cadre. She studied political papers, learn how to make speech, and arrange a mass meeting. Hoping for emancipation, she became political activist. But then, she never climbed up from the basics. She was a discarded 'object' for the society. Nonetheless, she was not a kind of a woman who would be easily intimidated. After her political debacle, she opened a small shop, selling groceries and women’s accessories such as bangles and beads. Her siblings and mother particularly, had been very encouraging. At first, she felt awkward to sit all day long, but then slowly she began to take it easy, even when men flirted. Some males, who had been aware of her conditions, advanced amorously.

In this part of the world, body is everything for a woman. She has to have fair complexion, beautiful face, curvaceous torso, and most importantly, she must practice celibacy until marriage or after the loss or separation with husband.

"How long could I stand coquetry and save my body," she asks sharply. She knows something about the women movements, not a staunch feminist though. She gave up her shop kipping. Times seemed to change for better reasons. When her mother-in-law died she went to live with her spouse, her life took a steady course. At 41 she begot a boy child. "I was never so happy," she muses. However, fate had stored something poignant for her. Her child died. “I was a cursed woman actually." Her wrinkles grow deeper.

Gauri had never read 'do it yourself' books but she decided to carve her own path. She left her husband and married a widower. He was a respectable man, people fussed less about him and disgraced the wretched woman. Some crazy people wanted to storm into the couple's house and flog them. Others, though no sensible themselves, said they would be spared only if the new husband paid thirty thousand rupees to the old one. It was agreed. "After all we have to survive this society," she frowns.

Source

Struggle for Existence

Something seems to be patching up and something not. Her step-son living in Australia cut ties with his father. "How could you forget mother by marrying again," she enumerates his words. Another son stays in Kathmandu and communicates very often. The only thing that's working is with her stepdaughter. Yes, off course her brothers and sisters are also happy for her.

"After all, only a woman can understand another woman," she says while praising her married step-daughter. In fact, it is not about understanding another woman. Daughter is happy for her father who had become lonely after her mother died. The three children were married and away, and the father was living in abject pain threshold.

Gauri’s step-daughter is married few miles away in a nearby village. Very often she comes to visit her father. During the meeting she expresses her love hugging her father, kissing him, sitting on his lap. Gauri stares at the bonding of father and daughter, she is envious, but cannot deride them. She throws things and slams the door or speaks arrogantly.

Her husband cannot understand what’s going in her mind. The woman who was denied everything in her prime age thinks that is unnatural way of conveying love for father. She cannot go into direct confrontation with her stepdaughter, though. She must not shoo the people who accepted her marrying the widower. In Nepal, a woman must do without a man when hubby dies or abandons her, but a single man has to find another wife whatever his age might be.

One Wish

If her wish would be granted what is it that she yearns for? “The only wish I have is may the Almighty make me a man in another life cycle.” Her face is drawn as if she tasted a bitter gourd. From the earliest time, the thinkers have talked about the issue of man and woman. Even Plato said: I thank God for I’m not a slave or a woman.

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Comments 67 comments

Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal Author

Hi Nithya,

I believe in egalitarian society. Thanks for your inputs.

Cheers


Nithya44 3 years ago

Wonderful hub..There are many Gauris in our continent. Woman have all rights to hate her birth, but she is created with a good heart to burry the hatred and plant love. For a woman every day is new, hoping to be happy in some way. This kind of writings will support a lot of woman emotionally..

Thank you


Nithya Shine 3 years ago

Wonderful hub..There are many Gauri in our continent. Woman have all rights to hate her birth, but she is created with a good heart to bury the hatred and plant love. For a woman every day is new, hoping to be happy in some way. This kind of writings will support a lot of woman emotionally..

Thank you


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal Author

Hi livingsta,

Women in my part of the world are continued to be berated even in 21st century. Laws have been formulated for women emancipation, but the male dominated society remains same.

Thanks for relating this story with your own experience.


livingsta profile image

livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

This is a beautifully written hub, expressing how a woman feels. I understand the feelings of Gauri completely. Most women including myself have been there, in a few situations like these. It is so sad to see that women are women's worst enemies as far as I have experienced. This has to change. The day when a mother-in-law looks at her daughter-in-law as her own child, things will change for the better.

Thank you for sharing this hub. Voted up and sharing!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hi midget,

thanks for reading, commenting and sharing. I'm honored by your presence.

Cheers


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Thanks for taking a compassionate view of the pain of a woman from a man's perspective. It brings about so much understanding. I share this, Vinaya.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hi lovedoctor,thanks for reading this story very closely and coming up with psychological interpretation.

I appreciate your view.


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

Voted up awesome! I really enjoyed this story.

The complexities of the human mind. A very well-written and interesting story about struggle and pain. Her husband will never understand what's going on through her mind because men are not supposed to understand women, but I will tell you one thing: deep down inside Gauri craves that love and bond, which perhaps she was deprived of as a little girl. Her inner child is wounded and is reacting to her pain.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hi acaetnna, thanks for your compliments.

Cheers


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 4 years ago from Guildford

This was so completely awesome and touched my heart completely.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello Sunnie, thanks for reading and leaving a nice comment.


Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Thank you for telling your aunts story Vinaya, may it inspire others who find themselves in the same conditions.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Rahul, this story was inspired by a true account. Thanks for reading and leaving valuable comment.

Cheers


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

An enrapturing story Vinaya... It also outlays the existing conditions many women face in both Nepal and India...


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

@Cathleena, women In my country are also protected by the law, but the traditional patriarchal concept is still present in the societry. Thanks for reading and leaving comment.

@billdo, thanks for reading and commenting.


billd01603 profile image

billd01603 4 years ago from Worcester

Very interesting Hub. Voted up and interesting


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

Wow - How sad that life is so hard on women in many countries. I am lucky to live in the USA where our society protects women and it is not acceptable for them to be treated unkindly or abused. I think in many of these countries the couples live with extended family members in the same home, but in the United States most married couples do not live with their parents. I wonder if the result would have been better for Gauri if they had been able to live in a home alone without his mother's presence.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Dear Angel, thank you very much for your in depth comment.

Cheers


Angelme566 profile image

Angelme566 4 years ago

Story like this must never happen in the present.. women today are empowered.. no more room for being abused and for being discriminated . Women knows all her rights in the community. Women are cultured and socially involve now.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

I recommend these wonderful hub authors to the hub community.

http://hubpages.com/@onlooker

http://hubpages.com/@audreyhowitt

http://hubpages.com/@deborahneyens

Thank you all for your wonderful comments.

Cheers


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

This is a sad story but beautifully told.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Such a sad write--but Vinaya--you create such art with it!


onlooker 4 years ago

Vinaya, thank you for sharing this story with us. Women in our part of the world still have so much to conquer and wish otherwise.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

I recommend these wonderful hub authors to the hub community.

http://hubpages.com/@sam209

http://hubpages.com/@jirel

Thank you very much for your wonderful comments.

Cheers


jirel profile image

jirel 4 years ago from Philippines

Hello Vinaya dai.Thank you for sharing the story.I hope God will help her to overcome it and bless her.Voted up!!


sam209 profile image

sam209 4 years ago

I knew there was a reason I stopped by your profile today! A story like this awaited me! Definitely gotta save this one because it's something I would like to read again! Awesome work as usual Vinaya!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

I recommend these hub authors to the hub community!

http://hubpages.com/@sallystrove

http://hubpages.com/@iamaudraleigh

Thanks for your comments.

Cheers


iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

Vinaya, I think Ardie said it best..."Because she still has the ability to wish."

Sad and beautiful...voted up!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

A haunting story, one that will stay with me for a long time. I see parallels to someone I know. Perhaps some day I'll muster up the courage to write her story.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello shimmering Dawn,

Thank you very much for closely reading this story. I appreciate your inputs.

Cheers


shimmering Dawn profile image

shimmering Dawn 4 years ago

This is a touching story Vinaya, I guess being a woman, poor and illiterate is a curse in itself if you are in the Asian subcontinent. Very well told.. I am sure this voice you have raised for Gauri would bring some awareness. Have a blessed day.Peace.


Your Admirer 4 years ago

I think Gauri's life is lived by many women in Nepal


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello Just_Rodney, thanks for taking time to read and comment. I appreciate your inputs. Perhaps developing world is the right word for that what you called third world. After USSR collasped, the second world vanished. Today we have developed world (Europe and America) and developing world,(Asia and Africa).

And in developing societies women are usually maltreated.


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 4 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

An insiteful read. Living in 1st world society, one often forgets the mores and ways of others, so called 3rd world, especially as far as the various mal treatment of woman.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello SanneL, I always aim to give voice to voiceless. Women are very subjugated in my part of the world. Thanks for reading and commenting.


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

What a distressing story. So sad! So many women are suffering in this world, just because they are women. Your writing are always very absorbing and you narrated it so well. Thank you for sharing this emotional story with us.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello Sheila

Thanks for reading and taking time to comment. Thanks for appreciating my work.


sheilanewton profile image

sheilanewton 4 years ago from North Shields, UK

Oh, this is so well-written - and I cried, actually CRIED, reading this. Fantastic.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Frank, thanks for coming back. I'm working on couple of hubs, and I'll be posting a series next week.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

re-read this hub again VG because I don't see anything new..:) Great Hub my friend...


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Ruchi

Thanks for coming back. I appreciate your interpretations. Thanks for adding valuable inputs.

Regards


Ruchi Urvashi profile image

Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

Hi Vinaya, I think what is most important is what each woman thinks in her own mind. What we perceive is what happens to us. We need to see ourselves equal and rest will follow.

About property rights, my opinion is that let each person be giver than taker. We don't need to expect anything as Buddhism says.

If women follow a simple strategy of no expectations, financially, emotionally independent, they can live a happy life with or without marriage.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello Ruchi,

I agree that many women are discriminated because they are financially depended to men. But then since ages women were denied of property rights. Even in the west, women were not treated as equals until, the 1920s.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Thanks for stopping by.


Ruchi Urvashi profile image

Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

Yes, I agree there is lot of discrimination that women have to face in developing countries. I also had a difficult childhood being a girl. However, I was very strong in belief to stand on my own feet and become financially independent. Once I started earning my own money, same people who were rude became very nice to me. So, I would say that instead of women thinking to be man, they might think of being financially wise. Based on my experience, I could resolve all the discrimination using this strategy.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

@Sueswan, this is (fictionalized) account of just one woman, there are many such women waiting for their stories to be told. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@Ardie, yes she struggled throughout her life always hoping for the best. Thanks for your inputs.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 5 years ago from Neverland

Such a sad story and such a strong woman. She did not let all the bad things in her life keep her down. How do I know? Because she still has the ability to wish.


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Vinaya

My heart goes out to these women. To me this would be a life of hell.

Voted up and awesome.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

Dear makusr, you are so true, for I know conditions of general women in Nepal and India are similar.


makusr profile image

makusr 5 years ago from India

Vinaya, Powerful hub. The story could easily have been of any girl in any place in the whole world. Such is the plight. Girl child is welcome, but in neighbor's house. I think saving tigers is good but who will save the girls. The statistics are loaded against her everywhere. Do take care.

With warm wishes,

MAKUSR


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

b. Malin, yes our cultures and religions have always been harsh for women. Thanks for your comment.


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Even in the "Hasidic Bible" The first page says "Thank God I wasn't Born a Woman"...that is so sad to think... Your story was Wonderful Vinaya, narrated so well by you. Lots of feelings and Truths, sad, Truths. Voted Up!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

Hello rlaha, yes, I have read about media reports. Thanks for coming back.


rlaha profile image

rlaha 5 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

Yes they do. I think they endure a lot of pain in most parts of the world. Even in the USA, many of the top jobs that women are the most qualified for are taken by men. Sad.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

@Dear snakeslane, I'm publishing three hubs today. I'll come to your new poem a while later.

@rlaha, women endure so much pain in our part of the world. Thanks for reading.


rlaha profile image

rlaha 5 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

Wow. I cried after reading this story.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

Hi Vinaya Ghimire, how are you doing today?


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

@Dear Flora, thanks for sharing your family story with me.

@jenubouka, thanks for your compliments


jenubouka 5 years ago

Very compelling story, sorrow and great in the spirit of the a woman's struggles.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Mothers are not always happy to see their sons get married as they see daughters-in-law as threats. And this can happen with second spouses too. Until I was born, Grandma Nancy took great delight in pointing out to Mom that Dad's first wife was the mother of my brother even though Dad was a single father when Mom met him. It was rather nasty, but Mom put up with it for me. I would not have done, myself.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal Author

@snakeslane, actually she did not tell me her stories, she will never tell her stories, she hates being sympathized. She is my distant aunt and I know her since I was a little boy.

@Hypenbird, actually my father said me not to publish this story for it is too real. I published because I want the world to know Gauri's story.

@arusho, thanks for reading

@Frank, thanks for your another wonderful compliment.

@Radha, this kind of story is quite common in South Asia. Thanks for reading and commenting.

@mckbirdbks, thanks for your inputs.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Vinaya, this is a wll told story. There is such hardship to overcome in life. To build in extra unnecessary hardships in such a fools hardy undertaking of mankind in general.


radhapriestess 5 years ago

Very sad indeed that she lived in such a society. She cannot be very own person. Unfortunately, her story is too common in a number of other countries, too.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

like I said before you have the ability to stir emotions you write well!


arusho profile image

arusho 5 years ago from University Place, Wa.

That is a sad story for women.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

What a sad story. So many women are defined by their circumstances and not by their inner self. Then I suppose one's inner self is shaped by circumstances until one learns to overcome. Through the grace of God, I am authentic and pray for all women to become so. Vinaya, your story is heartbreaking and even more so because I know it is real for so many people.


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 5 years ago from Canada

This is another great piece Vinaya Ghimire. This woman must have trusted you very much to tell this story. Regards snakeslane

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