Living in sin cityComing from one of the remote parts in the southern belt of Nepal, I always measured Kathmandu to be huge and overwhelming entity.
My life was going well. I had been enrolled into one of the best schools in the country. My uncle had just gotten a diversity visa and was on the path to becoming financially adept abroad. He had even volunteered to financially support me and my brother’s education. My father—who worked in Qatar—spoke with great excitement on the rare occasions he got to call. Although he was in his 50s, there was always a soothing calmness in his voice that made me feel as if everything was under control.
My life soon spiraled.
The boys, with whom I shared my room in the hostel, turned out to be ill-behaved and they also did drugs. They didn’t have a care in the world for their futures. Their behaviour was very elusive during the first three months. My worry and doubt towards their lifestyle and attitude increased with the number of alcohol bottles stacked under their beds.
One day I decided to return back to my room from the school library instead of studying chemistry there. As I latched open the door, I encountered a whole group of them spread across my room. Some were crouched up in the corner whereas others laid sprawled across the floor. They were all blowing out thick fumes of marijuana smoke from their cigarettes sticks. My room was an utter mess and reeked of smoke.
Undoubtedly, I had grabbed their attention; everybody looked at me with threatening eyes. I was glued to where I stood, paralysed by fear. Suddenly, one of them approached me and flew a punch at my nose. He lifted me by my collar and warned to harm me if I complained about any of their activities to the house-warden. They then took their turns to threaten and hurt me.
The city that I had once looked up to and dreamt of nurturing myself in had now become alien to me. I was growing afraid of what lurked beyond my school compound as much as I was afraid of their tormenting presence. Bullying me had become their daily routine and they mercilessly continued doing so. I waited for months thinking that they’d finally stop, but it continued until I grew accustomed to what I had to deal with. I would weep at my fate. And while my classmates enjoyed their days at school, I struggled to adjust myself with the environment I was exposed to. Things then took a turn for the worst.
My uncle, who was supporting me financially, could no longer afford to. My father lost his job and had to return to the country and was in search of employment.
During this struggle, my father supported and motivated me with his life changing advices.
He said: “Son, when I was your age, I had to look after my family. We had a very hard time even managing two square meals a day. I had to quit my education to earn a living. I never thought of the consequences that it would lead me to in the long-run. Don’t quit your studies. You will soar.”
Those were the words that liberated me from all of my problems.
Gupta is an A-level graduate