यहाँको केटीहरुलाई बाहिरको संसार कस्तो हुन्छ थाहै छैन

जीवनमा दुःखहरु धेरै आईरहन्छ तर यो पल्टको दुःख अति नै ठूलो छ । कहाँबाट यो कोरोना भाईरस आयो थाहा नै पाएन ।

कोरोना आएपछि हामी गाउँ आयौं । सबै घरमा बसीरहेका छन् तर मेरो बुबा त घुम्न मात्र जानु हुन्छ । बिहान ८ बजे तिर नल तान्न जान्छु । खै किन हो ? जहिले म उठ्दा ममी र बुबाको झगडा भएको हुन्छ । म बाबाले ममीलाई गाली गरेको सुनेर उठ्छु । अनि चिया खान्छु । पहिला पहिला त इन्डियन सिम कार्ड पनि थिएन । पुरा बेकारमा आएँ झै लाग्थ्यो । त्यसमा यहाँको मानिसहरुको सोच नै फरक छ मलाई यहाँको मान्छेसँग घुलमिल हुन एकदम गाह्रो भईरा’छ । यहाँ आएपछि त VOW MEDIA को कुरा सोच्दै त्यहाँका दिदीहरुले भनेको याद आउँछ । कहिले सम्म यसरी बस्न पर्ने हो ? अत्यास लागेर आईरा’छ । बाहिर कतै जाउँ भने पनि निस्कन दिँदैन । बोर लाग्दो छ यहाँको जिन्दगी ।

यहाँको केटीहरुलाई त बाहिरको संसार कस्तो हुन्छ थाहा नै छैन । बिहान उठ्छन्, खाना पकाउँछन खान्छन्, सुत्छन् । फेरी उठछन् खाना पकाउछन्, केही बोल्यो भने पनि यो केटी कति बोल्छ ? केटी भएर यसरी बोल्ने भन्छन् । यसरी नै बिहान सुरु हुन्छ, अनि रात पनि बित्छ । म बिहान उठ्छु, खाना खान्छु, मोवाईल चलाउँछु सुत्छु ।

यहाँ मेरो कोही साथिहरु पनि छैन । जे गरे पनि एक्लै हुन्छ कति दिन यसरी बस्ने होला ?

कक्षा ९
श्री कान्तिईश्वरी मा.वि.


The girls here don’t know what the outside world is like


We face a lot of ups and downs in our lives, but what we are facing right now is a big issue. Where did this coronavirus come from, none of us know.

We came to our village, which is in India right after a corona outburst. Everyone stays home except for my father. He keeps going out. Every morning I wake up around 8 am and I go fetch water. I don’t know why but my parents have been fighting. I wake up to the sound of my father yelling at my mother.

Initially, we didn’t even have an Indian sim card. We felt bored and regretted coming here. Additionally, I am having issues getting along with the people here. They are much more orthodox out here. Being here reminds me of VOW Media and what we spoke about there. I don’t know for how long do we have to live like this and I panic thinking about it. We aren’t allowed to go outside, and it’s really boring here.

Girls here have no idea what life is like outside of this place. All they do is get up, cook food, eat, and sleep. They have the same routine every day and if they speak, they get yelled at for speaking. No one here likes girls speaking. This is how their day begins and night falls. I get up in the morning, eat my food, and use my mobile phone and sleep.

I don’t even have any friends here. I am always alone and how long will I be like this, I wonder?


Photo Credit: Simone Wenth

Happiness lies in little things

By Aparna Singh


It all started with an announcement on March 24 at around 8pm that there was going to be a nationwide lockdown. No one knew what it was going to look like and how long it would go on for. The first few days felt good. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a long weekend?

I binge watched pretty much all the pandemic movies in the beginning like Contagion and Outbreak. I started to get too consumed with the news, both local and global. CNN showed COVID-19 numbers rapidly increasing around the world. There were recoveries but what I only saw was deaths. Then Nepal started reporting infections too. The news drained me. I was scared and anxious. It was time to shut off the news. I also found myself comparing this pandemic to the devastating Nepal Earthquake that occurred exactly 5 years ago. I remembered the life we had back then post earthquake. Living in tents, not going to work, feeling anxious of the future. This felt like another painful reminder of the horrific incident.


While I was at a privileged position to be working from home, I knew that there were many who did not have a roof under their heads, who could not afford three meals a day, and the essential workers for whom staying home was not an option. I felt blessed. I had a clean blue sky to look at that gave me fresh air, I had a supportive family because of whom I always had food on the table, I could listen to birds all day, play with my puppies and basically do whatever I wanted to. I was inside a perfectly safe bubble.

The first few days of the lockdown, I was determined to bring structure into my life. I tried to make my life as normal as possible. At 10 o’clock, I would dress up, do my hair and sit by my front porch with my laptop ready for work. Now that a few months have gone by, I no longer have the energy to dress up and do my hair. It’s also hard when you know that tomorrow is going to be exactly the same as today. There was no light at the end of the tunnel.


There were days when I felt anxious about the future. So I started working out. Of course there are days when I do not feel like working out at all. But I loved doing yoga, meditation and jumping rope. I baked, cooked, made dalgona coffee and what not. Someday I felt angry, sometimes I gained a new perspective on life. I pondered if this is the new normal. I realized that I was spending unnecessarily and that I was fine not shopping for two months.

Then, we started baking our own bread, made our very first seasonal fruit jam from scratch, and ate picked vegetables from my garden. I felt independent and alive. I also grew my very first watermelon plant. For the very first time, I learned that I did not need to achieve big things to be happy. I understood that happiness lies in little things, like watching my plant thrive every day, the cool evening breeze, the rain after a hot summer day, and warm sunshine after days of heavy rain. I learned to live in the moment and realized that happiness is in the now.


कहिले पो रोकथाम हुने हो यो भाईरस?

देशभरी फैलँदै गएको महामारी कोभिड—१९ कोरोना भाईरसले गर्दा हाम्रो समाज र जीवनमा धेरै असर पारेको छ । यो कोरोना भाईरस सरुवा रोग हो । यो रोग एक व्यक्तिबाट अर्कोमा सजिलै सर्न सक्छ ।

यो रोगबाट धेरै मानिसहरुले आफ्ना आफन्त परिवारजन गुमाएका छन् । यो रोगका कारण धेरैको घरमा चुलो निभेको छ । मानिसहरु आफ्नै घर भित्र कैदी जस्तै थुनिएर बस्नु परेको छ । बाहिरको स्वच्छ वातावरणको हावा नपाएका कारणले दिमागी रोगले सताएका छन् र यसले गर्दा हामी जस्ता साना बालबालिकाहरुको पढाई छुटेको छ । धेरैजना मोबाईल, टि.भी., ईन्टरनेट जस्ता साधनमा ध्यान दिन थालेकाले पछि गएर अनेक रोग जस्तै टाउको दुख्ने, आँखामा समस्या आउने जस्ता समस्या आउन सक्छ ।

स—साना बालबालिकामा मात्र नभएर ठूला मानिसहरु पनि अहिले यसमा नै रमाउन थालेका छन् । कतिपय मानिसहरु गाउँ फर्कन वाध्य भएका छन् । यो कोरोना भाईरसको कारणले धेरै मानिसहरु मृत्युको मुखमा पुगेका छन् ।

अस्मिता भुजेल
कक्षा ९
श्री कन्या माध्यमिक विद्यालय, यट्खा


When will this virus be prevented?


Everyone’s life has been greatly affected due to this COVID -19 coronavirus. This virus is communicable. It can easily be transferred from one person to another.
Because of this virus, many people have lost their loved ones. Many are unable to feed themselves. People are forced to live inside their own houses like prisoners. Many are facing mental issues because they cannot go outside and children like us cannot study since all the schools are closed. Most of the people are over-utilizing their mobile phones, laptops, the internet, etc which can lead to various problems like headaches, eye strain, dry eyes, etc.

It’s not just the children, even adults have begun to overindulge themselves in internet. Many are forced to go back to their villages. A lot of people are at death’s door because of the coronavirus.


Musings of a tired soul

By Deepa Rai


My nephew was born on 22 March 2020, just two days before the lockdown. The news of newly set up ‘fever clinic’ in Patan hospital was enough to give its patients and their families- chills. Rumor of a recently admitted COVID-19 patient was also doing rounds in the maternity ward. Contrary to our expectations, we were happy that the newest member of our family didn’t get the usual welcome visits by family and friends. Amidst the fear of pandemic, indifferent hospital staff and a pediatrician who didn’t know how to unzip onesie (commented that the baby should be wearing ‘easy’ outfit so that he could check the baby more quickly and disappear just as fast as he had come in), my brother and sister-in-law waited patiently to return home.

25 March arrived but the ambulance they had booked in advance, didn’t. Their wait was little over three hours on the day they were discharged from hospital. They finally made it home in a taxi that was dropping off an emergency patient. Sheer luck that they found one.

1While I was posting this incident on twitter (image on the right), I was thinking of those in similar situations in far-flung districts. How would new mothers fare in such situations? Lack of vehicle coordination in one hospital had already seen several patients stranded in its premises. This was only the beginning of lockdown effects that the country was to face. It was a grim realization of what was yet to come.

For the next two months, grocery shopping, buying essentials for newborn, cooking,  all of these chores got shared among the big family of 11. Attending virtual meetings with toddlers constantly knocking on the door became a new normal. I became an accidental chef to my own surprise (and that of my family). ‘Extremely busy’ became the new normal too. Juggling house chores with professional work had a different meaning. ‘How can I be fully productive when I have to shift from one role to the next without a break?’ This question kept hitting me but then I surprised myself, yet again. It could be done. It needed to be done.

The news of people on their long march home having lost their jobs due to lockdown made me realize the state of vulnerability that our state was in. No, I couldn’t be moaning about having a busy worklife. I trudged on, though frustrated, insecure, agitated and at times, angry – much to the dismay of my family who had to bear the brunt of my behavior. That makes me come to yet another revelation of the lockdown, of how lucky I was to be with my family –  children’s constant shouting, and crying for attention included.

‘What are we doing’ as a nation to help them?
The desperation is real but limitations, even more so.
I shut down the news for a week.

A close friend reminisced about the humble lives she had met in the past in a short memoir, wondering how they are surviving during lockdown. The heart-felt piece left me feeling guilty of the privilege that I was in. It brought up the same question of ‘what are we doing’ as a nation to help them? The desperation is real but limitations, even more so. I shut down the news for a week.

Other friends are busy posting photos on social media of their new found passion for baking, mithai-making and tiktok-ing, a cool respite from the burning issues of hunger, hysteria and the helplessness that pandemic has brought in. This goes on to show that despite of frustration and agitation, we are surviving and slowly conquering the pandemic, by staying home, by staying sane and by spreading love albeit in distance.

A quote shared by another close friend hits home for all of us.



Respect, indeed!


चीन र भारत मिलेर नेपाललाई खोक्रो बनाउन लागे झैं लाग्छ

लकडाउनको ५४औं दिनमा मैले ४ वटा पुस्तकहरु पढिसकें । लकडाउन नभएको भए हामी सबै साथीहरु जगिङ्ग जाने, घुम्ने योजना बनाएका थियौं । कोरोना भाईरसबाट बच्न लकडाउनमा बस्नु ठिक हो तर यो समयमा मलाई केही गर्न मन नलागेको जस्तो भएको थियो तर बीचमा फेरी केही गर्नुपर्छ जस्तो लागेर आयो । अनि चित्रहरु बनाउन थालें । त्यसपछि अलि जाँगर चल्न थाल्यो मैले डायरीहरु लेख्न थालें ।

07c8642c-75d9-4917-bf08-78f82128f837मामाघरको हजुरबुबा बिरामी हुनु भएको कारण हामी लकडाउन सुरु हुनु भन्दा पहिला नै मामा घरमा जाने कुरा थियो । जाने भन्दाभन्दै लकडाउन भयो । यहि बीचमा हजुर बुबाको निधन भएको खबर आयो । लकडाउनको कारण हजुरबुबाको अन्तिम मुख र्हेर्न पनि पाएनौं । केही गरि हामी मामाघर गए पनि १४ दिन क्वारेन्टाईनमा बस्नु पर्ने भएकोले नजाने निर्णय ग¥यौं । ममीले हामी कसैलाई नछोई जुठो बार्नु भयो । त्यति बेला असाध्यै नरमाईलो लागेको थियो । यसो सोचें, क्वारेन्टाईन बस्नेहरु र उनीहरुको परिवारजनको हालत कस्तो हुँदो होला?

दिनभरी बस्दा धेरै काम गरे पनि हरेक दिन एकै खालको क्रियाकलाप हुन्थ्यो । जस्तै बिहान ढिला उठ्ने, पानी थाप्ने, खाना पकाउने १२ बजे तिर खाना खाने, लुडो खेल्ने, फिल्म हेर्ने अनि फेरी खाजा खाने, पढ्ने मोवाईल चलाउने आदी ।

अहिले मैले दिमागमा केही कुरा आयो कि लेखि हाल्ने गरेकी छु । मैले अहिलेसम्म एउटा कथा लेखें अनि मैले पढेका उपन्यासहरुबाट आफूले पनि नयाँ कथाको कल्पना गरेर उपन्यास लेख्ने कोशिस गरेकी छु ।

3886f1c6-dee0-40db-bf99-22e95da7efb4यस्तो अवस्थामा नेपालको सिमा मिचेको समाचारहरु पढें । सिमाना मिचिनु जस्तो घटना निकै नरमाईलो लागेको छ । लिपुलेक, कालापानी र सगरमाथा हाम्रो हो जस्ता कुराहरुले मेरो दिमाग घुमाउन थालेको छ । चीन र भारत दुवै मिलेर नेपाललाई खोक्रो बनाउन लागेको झैं लागी रहेको छ तर ३ जेठ २०७७ बिहानको समाचारले मलाई धेरै राम्रो लाग्यो । नेपालको राष्ट्रपतिले भने अनुसार अब नेपालको नयाँ नक्सा निर्माण हुने छ । नेपालको आफ्नै उपग्रह हेर्न पाउने कुराले निकै राम्रो लाग्यो । समाचार पढेपछि मेरो चिन्ता अलि कम भएको छ । के साँच्चै मेरो चिन्ता कम होला त?


धारणा श्रेष्ठ
कक्षा ९
कान्ति ईश्वरी रा.ल.मा.वि., प्याफल

३ जेठ २०७७


Today is the 54th day of the lockdown, and I have finished reading my 4th book.  If there was no lockdown, my friends and I had plans of going for a jog and hanging out. It is wise to stay inside during the pandemic. For a while, I didn’t feel like doing anything but again, I realized that I should something creative. I started drawing and writing a diary.

My maternal grandfather was not keeping well even before the lockdown so we had plans of visiting him. Before we knew, there was a lockdown, and one day we were informed that he was no more. We weren’t even able to bid a final goodbye to him because of the lockdown. Even if we had gone, we would have had to stay in quarantine for 14 days then after. So, we decided not to go. My mother decided to mourn and she did without touching anyone of us. That time, I felt really bad.

Even though there was a lot to do in a day, it was very monotonous. We had the same routine every day. Like for example: wake up late, fetch water, cook food, eat lunch around 12 in the afternoon, play ludo, watch movies, eat, study, etc.

These days I have developed a habit of writing. I write it down if anything crosses my mind. After reading all those novels, it has really helped me to imagine. I began to picture my own story and now I am trying to write a story of my own.

Talks regarding Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Sagarmatha have really begun to bother me. I think that China and India together are trying to overpower Nepal but the news on Jestha 3, 2077 made me happy. According to our President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Nepal will now have a new map. After this news update, I feel very good and less worried. Will it really help?


Menu @COVID19 times

By Pranika Koyu


She, my grand aunt, is in her mid seventies.  I do not know her exact age.  I can always ask her but she will not answer.

She got stuck in Nepal government’s out of blue and ill prepared whimsical imposition of lockdown to prevent COVID-19 transmission.  Since early January, her children in Australia and USA had been asking her to return to Australia where her husband and families of three sons live.  She turned deaf ears.  I, the grand niece in Kathmandu, volunteered to be a go-between to try and convince her to hop on the plane and return.  She was adamant.  She has a long standing issue to resolve in Nepal and she is pretty clear that she will not return until this gets resolved.

3748610She holds a provisional Australian PR which requires her to be in Australia for a substantive time of the year.  This year, she has been in Nepal longer than planned and if she does not enter Australia by mid April, there are nominal chance of she getting a PR.  This is one of the reason why her family wanted her to return to Australia by March end.  However, on each reminder, she told us off with ‘I know all of that. I have it all scheduled.’  I am a non-interfering ‘it’s your choice’ and ‘don’t come to me later’ individual, therefore, I just watched on. Besides, if her family’s emphasis, and mercurial change in Australian government’s lockdown plan would not prompt her, my attempts to inform her would also not be listened to.  It is not that I did not try. I did and I failed.

Since her return from Australia to Nepal, she had been staying as a paying guest with one family who none of us knew anything of.  Therefore, seeing how her disinterest to return to Australia, I proposed that she stay with me for her remaining days in Nepal.  It was a family’s understanding that this way, at least we will know her whereabouts.  All sides were glad that she moved in two weeks prior to lock down.  However, little did we all know that our grand aunt-niece relationship would be tested and that also in hot waters in a slow and steady temperature of COVID-19 lockdown.

Prior to lockdown, she would leave home early and come back in the evening.  She would have eaten her breakfast and lunch outside.  In the evening, she would eat whatever I would have prepared for all of us. Every evening, she would come back with a bagful of food.  Initially, I politely told her that there is enough food already at home and it would be wise to eat them first.  She ignored.  The food supply continued.

2508186Things got worse when the lockdown happened, and major part of it was set in the kitchen.  My cooking cannot appeal everyone. My food easily tastes bland to many of us who like to use generous amount of spices, condiments and oil.  Therefore, my grand aunt began to cook and though I had no problems with it, slowly issues around rationing, portion, sourcing of food – be it fresh or dried, or packed – began to emerge.  I have always been viewed as the ‘frugal’ one by my family whenever I have stretched use of every substance that is in my possession, including food.  Soon, I started to eat leftovers from each meal, silently fume over the rationing, and get appalled at she going out every morning to buy ‘fresh’ vegetables and meat.  This was also amplified by the fact that another adult living with us – father of my child – has his own taste and was no better than my grand aunt.  In the first week of lockdown, I witnessed polite struggle of these two with one other, in the kitchen.  Interestingly, both of them had agreed (no words spoken here) that it should be these two who should cook.

By the second week of lock down, these two adults have come into terms with each other’s preference.  It is only me who has not come into these terms.  I, the one who has been eating leftovers of their large portions of each meal in the morning and evening.  Till date, I have cooked only thrice, and I alone ate all of that over a course of three to four days.  They did not even taste it.  I cook only for my 45-month-old child who of course loves my plain cooking.

They must be happy with their power to be able to shop, cook and eat what they want.

My efforts for judicious use of every food in the kitchen has gone down the drain, and my meticulously packed plastic packages are vanishing fast because they use it as a garbage bin.  My attempts to compost fruit peels, egg shells, vegetable peels, etc. have been completely ignored and messed up.  In all of this, I stand helpless while I seethe.  I tried raising this with them only to meet dead pan expressions, be ignored or unpleasant shouting match at times.  Then I decided not to raise this anymore because these are adults who are as opinionated as I am, and in a time where anything can trigger a range of emotions, I have chosen to ‘tolerate’.  I eat whatever they cook, and make silent note of their rationing comparing them with how it would have been different in my handling.

So, while I am in this dejected kitchen mood, how do you think they fare?  They must be happy with their power to be able to shop, cook and eat what they want. One would like to think.  Maybe they are. Or maybe they are not.  I have refused to eat by their side in fear that I might snap.  So, my silence amplifies to them as scorn, a rebuke.  My singular eating of meals is offensive to them.  They would rather have me voice it out which I have stopped doing.  So, are they enjoying their meal? I don’t know.