Strange loveWhat started out as a friendship between Raman and Nita quickly turned into love.
For 20-year-old Raman, Pokhara wasn't a new place. But this time, he was visiting Pokhara for a different purpose. Raman was from Syangja, and his father, Prem, was a subordinate staff in a government office. Prem's dream was to make Raman, who had recently passed his high school with good marks, a doctor.
Prem decided to send Raman to Pokhara to enrol in a coaching centre to help him prepare for the MBBS entrance exam. Raman was the only child, and to make him a doctor, Prem and his wife, Matrika, had been saving every possible penny for a long time.
"Wake up, Raman," Prem said as he approached his son's bed.
"Good morning, baba," Raman greeted
"Get ready soon. You have to reach Pokhara early today as you also have to find a room for yourself there," said Prem.
After hearing the father and son converse, Matrika entered Raman's room.
"What will this young boy do in the big city?" Matrika said, filled with motherly concern.
"Your son is a grown-up man, Matrika. You don't have to worry about him. He will make us proud now," Prem exclaimed.
For the first time in his life, Raman sensed that he now had a responsibility to fulfil.
"Don't worry, mom. I will be okay in Pokhara. The city is not far from our village. I will visit you guys every weekend," said Raman, trying to console his mother.
By then, Matrika's eyes had already welled up with tears. After Raman was done with his packing, Matrika secretly gave him a thousand rupee note. The three then started walking towards the highway to wait for the bus to Pokhara. Apart from a backpack, Raman had a protruded briefcase stuffed with clothes and books. It was Prem's turn to give his son some money. He gave Raman Rs 7,000 and asked if that's enough. Raman nodded his head in affirmation. After waiting for around 30 minutes, the bus arrived. When Raman bade his parents goodbye, he could not look into his mother's teary eyes.
On his first day in Pokhara, Raman searched for a room around Chipledhunga as his coaching centre was in that locality. But rent in the area was too high for him, so he decided to look for accommodation elsewhere.
At the end of the day, he found a single room well within his budget at Alu Maila Chowk and decided to settle there. That night, his landlord offered him food. It was his first time spending a night alone and far from his home.
The very next day, he went to look for household items he needed for his six months stay in Pokhara. On his fifth day in Pokhara, his coaching classes began.
The coaching centre offered tuition in two shifts: day and morning. Raman chose the morning shift, thinking that he would get time to revise chapters discussed in the class during day time. On his first day of class, Raman got up early and walked towards the coaching centre, a 15-minute walk from his room. He was the first to reach the classroom. The classroom was spacious with fancy furniture. The walls were painted in blue and also had quotes by famous people. Raman chose to sit in the last row so as not to get too close to the tutors. He had just put his bag on the chair when a skimpy girl with a fair complexion and almond-shaped eyes entered the classroom. He felt like the Cupid had struck one of his arrows. It was love at first sight for him.
Realising that there were the only two people in the classroom, Raman felt a different level of confidence floating through his spine. The girl was seated in the first-row seat and started taking out her stationery and other things. Raman was the kind of guy who would talk to girls only if they approached him first. But that morning, he felt a strong urge to go talk to the girl. Raman initiated a conversation with her, and he felt like he had found his soul mate. He learned that her name was Nita.
As their friendship deepened, Raman ceased missing his parents. The two started dating, and soon, they were skipping classes to hang out together. They spent whole days by the banks of Phewa Lake. And sometimes they would even study together. Raman started spending all his waking hours with Nita. When he wasn't with her, she was all he thought of. Raman and Nita were head over heels in love with each other. As the entrance exam neared, the couple started studying together. A week before the entrance exam, Nita stopped coming to the coaching class. Raman tried to get in touch with her but was unable to. Thinking that something urgent might have come up, Raman decided to wait for Nita's call and started focusing on his exam. A few days after the exam, which Raman managed to pass, Nita called him and explained that her father had passed away and that she had gotten caught up with her familial duties.
Much to the surprise of Raman, Nita told him that she was now going to Australia for her higher studies instead of pursuing MBBS in Nepal. She explained that this was what her mother wanted, and as the only daughter, she was in no position to go against her mother's wishes. Nita even told him that she was in no state to continue their relationship.
A shocked Raman professed his love for her and begged her not to leave him.
"It's not like I don't want to be with you. I have to do this for my family's sake. Please forgive me if you can," Nita said and hung up the phone.
Back in Raman's village, his parents were elated that he passed the exam. Even though Raman failed to get a scholarship to study MBBS, his father was willing to pay for his tuition fees by selling his ancestral property.
And now that his entrance exams were over, Matrika and Prem started asking Raman to return to the village instead of staying in Pokhara. But returning to the village was the last thing a heartbroken Raman wanted to do. Soon, he stopped answering his parents' calls and locked himself in his room. One day he received a message from Nita stating that he should forget her and move on with life.
After reading the message, Raman went to the fifth-floor roof of the building he was staying in and jumped to his death.
The next day, a police officer from Pokhara called Prem and delivered the news, and a day later, the couple went to Pokhara to get their son's deceased body. Ever since Raman was a little boy, Prem had wanted him to become a doctor. Prem and Matrika had loved their only child beyond words, and now all their love and dedication had gone to vain. How strange this love is.