Kathmandu, Nepal, a true story.
In March, I remember Mina telling me, “Kamala, I want an ideal husband, quiet and loyal.” She was a nice woman. Therefore, a good person for her to marry would be someone with a leading personality.
I told her, “I want you to be happy. Anyway, your trust in me, considering me capable of giving suggestions for your personal decisions, this truly means a lot to me. Thanks indeed.” And then we became very good friends.
Last year, we celebrated Mina’s birthday by eating dinner together, and I told her, “I understand, especially regarding the wedding issue and your family having the right to pressure you. However, life is all your decision. Therefore, it’s you who should know what kind of person you would want your husband to be, for the rest of your life.”
I further added, “I suggest that you find someone who is willing to accept the way you are and who respects you. I know these are all great things to consider, but finding a whole package with all this is equally challenging. I am sure you will agree that men and women are just two different genders, but have no differences in terms of love and career.” By speaking with her, I was able to give my suggestions to her on marriage.
I know finding a love marriage is hard for a female in Nepal; once again, I know it shouldn’t be, but we grew up with this society.
She really seemed like the moon. Her husband was attracted by Mina’s beautiful face. Her big, almond eyes struck his heart like an arrow. She was a really beautiful lady who didn’t need to be attained through having money.
My friend Mina was an emotional woman. One day, she called me on the phone and said, “I have HIV.” Mina had tested positive for HIV this past May. She did not receive medical help. Her husband had given her HIV. Prior to marriage, he did not even tell her what he had.
I put on my shoes, left the house and hurried into the street. I didn’t even inform my mother about my departure. I left in a hurry while she was busy preparing tea and breakfast in the kitchen. I felt the urgent need to go to Mina.
As I pushed myself through a busy street in Ranipokari, Mahendranath, one of my office co-workers saw and approached me. I escaped, saying, “I have urgent business.”
I told myself my life would be incomplete in the absence of Mina’s friendship, coming to the verge of tears. Eager to meet Mina, I forgot about my family. I wished to pass the whole day with her. So, I kept on my way to her. I had received my salary the day before and, even though my money was for purchasing sugar and kerosene oil for the month, I went to the market and bought a bottle of perfume for her. I wanted to keep her happy.
I would like to buy her a lot of things, but my income does not allow me to do so. If I had a lot of money, I would take Mina out from the house where she rents and build her a beautiful house of her own. I would buy a small motorbike for her pleasure. I would buy all the latest fashionable clothes for her. My heart was filled with the love and tears for Mina. The people on the way seemed to irritate me. The way to her house seemed quite long.
As I neared Mina’s room, I fixed my hair and dress unconsciously. After a while, the door was opened. It was her husband standing at the door. He invited me to come in. As my eyes searched for his wife, I asked, “Where is Mina?”
He told me, “She has HIV and she disappeared last night. Either she died or returned to her village. I’ve informed the police. I searched for her everywhere, but she is nowhere and I think she may have died.”
I remained standing there with the perfume bottle, looking at Mina’s selfish husband.