Damini Bhir, Me and the Jaand Wali

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It’s been a while since I finished reading Rajan Mukarung’s Damini Bhir. But I had not been able to write about it, though I intended to. While sipping the subtle yet terse jaandh at Lahana today, I saw a woman, whose facial hard lines and the small discussion reminded of the two dominant women characters in Damini Bhir: Lacchi & Hangdima. 
Before getting deeper let me tell what I think about the title of this novel: Damini Bheer. Damini Bheer is the name given to the steep rocky mountain in memory of a tailor’s wife (Damini) who had jumped off from it after being raped by a village elite- whom she owed a loan. The rock mountain never spoke of the pain that the Damini had in her while she jumped off the cliff, it remained there mute, standing tall and hard as rock, bearing all the pain of the damini in itself. I wonder how much hard it is for the rock to observe the pain of all those living at its base and yet to remain mute without sharing those recordings to any one. 
Lachhi is groomed and brought up in the village that is at the very bottom of this cliff. In her teens she is carried away and has romantic relationship with a heir of the village elite- Hemanta. The boy flees away following Maoist threats but she is left behind with his embryo in her womb. When she realizes the causes of her dizziness, she is unwilling to abort the unborn child. She has hopes and determination to up-bring the child on her own, though she does harbors good faith in humanity and thereby in Hemanth of not deserting her to her dalit fate.
Time passes away, the embryo grows up in a fine child and though she has been proposed numerous times by Kaancha, whom she adores, for marriage, she keeps rejecting it. A rejection triggered by the hope that one day she will get her beu back and a sense of determination that she cannot let Hemanta get off so easily without even making him realize his sin. Some years later, she does meets this guy and realizes that she had been  harboring a false hope of getting the love back from him. 
Damini Bhir by Nepali Novelist Rajan Mukarung

Dont speak and 
dont expect to be understood. 
Even if you speak. 
Its just like that. 
Do your work and get your tankha.
Have it and be happy. 
–The Sane 

But her second ambition of making him realize his grave mistake, is actualized. He comes down on his knees, but Lachhi upholds her pride and forgives this man while accepting Kaancha’s love as her future. Though she has never reciprocated Kaancha’s feelings, this time she breaks down and says how much she had loved him but could not express it in the hope that one day she will settle her score with his betrayer. It is evident that she wanted to be with Kanchaa, only after completely settling her score with the dejection-filled past. 
Next in line, is Haangdima. Raped by his husband while still a child and abandoned by his own brothers, she finds refuge and solace in the  home of her foster parents and love in the never-yielding intellectuality of Namdeng. Though Namdeng never forgets his eloped-away wife, Haangdima exhibits all the strength to reject marriage proposals from all her suitors, for she loves Namdeng too much. Though she never receives any glimmer of hope to be the apple of his eye, deep inside – like the rocky reef of Damini Bhir- she is resolute to bring Namdeng back to her from his dream of the lost-paradise.

She is a character who waits at the cross-roads even in chilling cold in a hope to be with her love of life. Namdeng is her ideal. And she bargains her otherwise-romantic and youthful life for his return to him. At one time in the story, while drunk, she entangles with him. His alcohol breath and his despair-hit smile, rejuvenates her otherwise fading strength to stand the ground in his wait. And she does succeeds in the end to be part of the half-heartened Namdeng. But she is happy and confident that one day she will get the whole of Namdeng.

Solitude and that too while you are drinking is a blessing. While this woman was pouring drink to me, the hardened lines on her face and the mature smile on her lips, complimented with enlightened glow of her eyes, were asking me why I was sitting there in solitude and smiling at those who were in front of me. Her smile was evident of her appreciation for my desire of standing away from the crowd and to observe the circus like Neitzshe’s super hero.  

She was serving me the jaandh, but I guess that was not enough to bring me with the crowd. Her intellectualism did not had the philosophy that would could heal the nihilism engrained in my very existence. Her hospitality could not hide the deep rooted defeat of an seasoned women. Her smile could not cover up the scars of her existence. She stood tall and she did understood my conditions. But she was another Damini Bheer, who all could do was to be a mute witness. Her jaandh did not have the heat to melt down the Damini Bhir inside me, also. 

People come and people go. phenomenons happen and are forgotten. But some sink deep into the crest, and remain there forever. Producing more Damini Bheers around us. 

Lets be friends
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