Shatter the Silence

I recently shared a secret that I’ve kept all my life with my father, my brother and few of my loved ones. I was scared to share this with my dad because I have huge respect for him and I didn’t want to shatter that had he asked me to be quiet or forget about it. I feel grateful and very proud that my dad has been understanding and supportive of this. But not many have the same understanding parent that I do.

In choosing to tell my story, I hope to shatter the silence. The paralyzing feelings of guilt and shame that accompany being raped last far longer than the assault itself. I realize that this might come off as a shock to many people here especially my family and relatives but I’m confident that this is the right thing to do. I don’t seek any revenge but an open door for us all to heal.

Few weeks ago a friend of mine shared her rape story, which made me realize so many of us go through the horrific experience in silence. It is not fair. It is not fair that the perpetrator keep doing what they do without fair as if raping someone is their right. It is not fair that women in our society are taught to be tolerant for the sake of false pride of the family and our blinded view of our beloved culture. We are always expected to think about everyone else first. This is probably why I kept this secret for so long from everyone.

My cousin raped me from age 6 up until 12. I was too young to understand what was going on even though I knew it was not right. He made me feel like I had to keep it as a secret and would instill fear in me. I thought it was all happening because I was a girl. So, I would try to disguise myself as a boy, cutting my hair short by myself. But it didn’t stop. I would pray to the god above asking it to stop. But no one came to save me. I had to be my own savior. The perception that I had of the world as a 7 year old was completely different than any of my peers.

His family moved out of the house when I was 12, then it stopped. When I realized what had happened it was too late. I chose not to tell anyone, not even my mom. I thought this was my secret and I shouldn’t create problems in our family. I tried to forget about what happened but then I would have to see his face then and again. And I would again feel paralyzed, hurt, and shameful.

I had created a world of my own to get through all this. I learnt to be self-reliant. Music and art has continuously saved me. I would read about people who went through the same incidents. I always disguised myself as a guy wearing a hoodie and would attend metal concerts. Sometimes I would escape from my balcony and go on walk for hours in the dark streets of Kathmandu; I would feel free, safe and secure outside of my house than inside of it. I would lash out in anger at times and my mom would say “As a human being your first response to anything should be being kind, if you can’t then there’s something inside of you that is bothering you.”

I finished my high school and I couldn’t wait to get out of Kathmandu. I moved to USA as a student in 2009. Even though I had many people who loved me and cared about me, all I wanted was to be free. Just as rapists often tell their victims to shut their mouths, society can do something similar to victims. I hope that by sharing my experiences, I can help others who’ve been raped, as well as their family members, friends, gain a new and better perspective from someone who was there and is now here. The silence does not have to linger forever. I’m fortunate that I was able to utilize many of the skills and traits that I had developed over the years to aid my healing.

We don’t need new laws in Nepal but an understanding that we should not put our false pride of a family or preserving a culture before anyone’s human right. I waited for years in hoping something would change. But nothing changes unless we decide to change ourselves first.

For those who have struggled with adversity, who have experienced things that they wish they could undo or leave behind, those who are haunted by their past, I want to say that there is a way through. We will all face it; we will refuse to allow those feelings of guilt and shame to hold us back or to victimize us again. We can use those experiences, as horrible as they might have been, to make us stronger than we ever dreamed possible. I hope that in reading my story we can all find some keys to unlocking your own strengths and abilities. You may not deal with life the same as I do, but you can begin to move more freely in your world and in your own way.

I was victimized, but I refuse to be called a victim. I’ve been sad, but I won’t let anyone feel sorry for me anymore. I’ve been raped, but I will never let that define who I am.

If you are going through something similar, please reach out. We can share each other’s story and make each other stronger.


Not believing in god has made me a positive person

Every person has reasons why he/she believes in something. Every one has their own set of beliefs that makes them feel better. For me, not believing that there is a god has made me much more positive. Because it’s a relief to think there is no one in the sky who is saying, “Screw this person in particular!” There would be no hope for me when the most powerful entity has decided to do that.

Many people frown upon the fact about my beliefs or my lack of it. They accuse me of forgetting my culture and my roots. Well, that’s not true at all. I’m fully aware of where I come from. I know my roots and that is what keeps me grounded. And I still do follow some of the cultures. But there are good cultures and bad cultures in all societies. And I choose to follow the good cultures like; respecting the elders, listening to people who are older than you, loving your family, respecting your parents, respecting the teachers, loving the younger ones, being kind to others and several other basic values of a harmonious society. That is my culture.

I was raised as a Hindu. My family is religious. But I’m lucky my parents gave me the freedom to choose what I wanted to believe which is rare in the Nepali society. My parents always gave me reasons to be good and kind without relating it to God even though they have their own firm beliefs. It’s a satisfying thing to do something good for people without having the greed of being placed in heaven after you die. It’s a practical thing to do too; you can see the results right away. You don’t have to wait until you die. The genuine smile and happiness that you see after you’ve done something nice for a person is the reward itself.

However, there were times when I was not like this. There are several other positive concepts in Hinduism but as a kid one concept hit me the most. According to Hinduism, whatever you are going through in this life is the price you’re paying for the sins you’ve committed in your previous life. This particular theory doesn’t have any solution to your problem. It’s basically saying things will get shittier and you have no control over what’s going to happen. As a kid who was going through some serious issues (I will post about the issues later), I thought that the god would never listen to my prayers because obviously I was a sinner and a bad person in my previous life. Isn’t that a very disturbing thought for a child who was only 6?

I didn’t open up to my closest ones the slightest. I had made myself an outcast. I thought no one would understand me if I said that because from my eyes all these beliefs were working well for them. I felt like I was a bad person for questioning these beliefs. I wanted to blend in so I just pretended that I do have the same faith.

I still prayed to the god but it was just one-way conversations with no replies from above. After realizing that the god would not be any help for me, I decided to become my own savior. I started to make myself busy by learning new things about people from various cultures and how they deal with various problems in their lives. All cultures had their own views on god, I could not identify with any of the other religions in the world either.

I liked many things that Buddha has said though. His philosophies are practical. Buddha as a person identified himself as an atheist. He was not a god; he was a mere mortal just like us but unlike us he was a genius. His philosophies are more important than the place he was born at. But it remains true that he was in fact born in Nepal that’s the only thing that I have common with Buddha, which is cool. I’m sure he would be disappointed to know now that people have made him a god and there’s a separate religion and sub-religions after him. This is dividing much more people than bringing them together. He never wanted to be a god and never promised heaven or hell. And he sure would not have wanted people to fight over the fact where he was born.

When I decided that I was not going to believe in any kind of god, I started having positive outlook in life. It was a profound realization that anything I wanted in life, I could still work on it and make it happen. That thought motivated me. I started warming up to people and tried to share happiness and my feelings as much as possible. It was working well for me and still does work.

I don’t know if there is a god but I choose not to believe in it. I am just a seeker of truth. Even if there is one, he/she should not punish me for not praying for them or be jealous if people pray for other forms of gods. Who needs a jealous, vain and petty god? If the God is so divine, he should be free of these petty feelings. So, relax the real god will not punish you for your curiosity and doubts.

Therefore, do whatever you think that makes you feel better and believe in whatever you want to believe in. But remember that you don’t have to identify with anything just because you happened to be born in that particular society. We are all different individuals. If something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t do it just for the sake of it or because it has been going on for a long time. Try to share your feelings about the doubts and problems you are having with people you trust, you will be surprised how many people will understand you. Be honest, be kind to your fellow human beings, and don’t do anything bad to other people. And everything’s going to be okay!

P.S. I have attached a quote from a book, The mysterious stranger by Mark Twain which basically changed my life. He has worded it perfectly to portray the hypocrisy of the non-existent god.

“A God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave is angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell — mouths mercy, and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!”

— Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger


Where women are honored, divinity blossoms

Believe it or not, we all are hypocrites. All in all, I think the level and degree of hypocrisy is what’s important. There are certain levels of hypocrisy that one shouldn’t cross to avoid being marked as a hardcore hypocrite.

So ladies and gentlemen! here is a list of groups of people who have successfully crossed the levels and are gold medal winning hypocrites.

  • People who worship statues of a female form as divine. Pray to them for health, wealth and what not. But treat the real ones less than them.
  • People who respect cows more than they respect the females in the society. Those cows are holier than thou.
  • People who think talking about rape is more shameful than the action itself. Because obviously ‘cultured’ girls don’t use bad words like ‘rape’ in a conversation. The words ‘rape’ and ‘rape victim’ are too hardcore for them to hear. I guess ‘rape victims’ should be now called unwilling recipients of sperms (Thanks George Carlin).
  • People who skip over the quotes like “Where women are honored, divinity blossoms”. This quote is written all over your holy books. Yep! simply overlook these quotes and pick on the bullshit ones. If you want to live by the holy books, don’t skip the rational ones.
  • People who donate golden umbrellas to give shade to a statue but ignore the unfortunate ones with no roofs over their head.

Don’t be a hypocrite in the name of culture and religion. At the rate things are going, I guess society progresses one funeral at a time. I am not done talking about this hyporcriticism yet. Stay tuned for more!

I bid you farewell : A tribute to my mom

This was a note I wrote on Facebook on the 13th day of my mom’s passing. I thought I would share this too here.

Today marks the 13th day since my mom became free from the pain and sufferance. According to Hinduism now she has become a free spirit. Although it’s hard for me to pen down how I feel, I want to pour down some of my feelings through words.

The mornings are hard. It takes some time for me to fully realize what has happened but then slowly it comes back again. I lay down still for a moment and find courage to face the day again. Her voices ring in my head. I remember the times when she used to wake me up for school.

The last time I talked to her she was in the hospital. She could barely talk with life support machines surrounding her. She asked me not to come running back leaving behind everything that I’ve worked hard for five and half years. She said she will be okay and asked me not to worry. We both knew it was not true. She was very far from being okay.  I can’t imagine how hard it must’ve been for her to say those words to me. What mother wouldn’t want to see her child who she hasn’t seen in almost six years . No one knows the inner workings of my mother’s mind more than I do. I have been her confidant for many years. I know she always wanted the best for me. During this difficult time some people have called me heartless for not visiting my dying mother. What do they know? I don’t need to prove my love for my mother to anyone.

We say we live in a free world but we are bound by these laws that confine us to a certain place. Being a citizen of this world we have to abide by the rules silently. I constantly asked “why her?”. That question doesn’t help. Cancer doesn’t know how good of a person she was. As they say cancer is a bitch. We have to swallow the truth like a bitter medicine.

Repeatedly listening to her voicemail which she had left on my phone about a year ago is not helping.  I have to find the strength to let her go. For now I have become a daughter to my grandmother who has lost her only daughter, a sister to brothers who have lost their only sister. I have to be strong for my father who sees images of my mom in me and I have a motherly responsibility to my brother. My mom has fulfilled all her duties as a mother. She has raised my brother and me with all her values and morals. We have grown up.  No one will ever love me as much as my mom did. I will always miss her but I will try to make her sacrifices worthwhile.

Thank you everyone for being with me and my family and for listening to my ramblings throughout these months. It has made me feel a lot better. Thirteen days ago she was far away from me but now she is within me.

P.S. I would also like to thank Tool and Maynard James Keenan for the epic that is 10,000 days. It has truly helped me.

An ode to my first best friend

379082_10150998321300112_1467226984_n I had to say goodbye to a family member this week. For a change it wasn’t a human being but a family member nonetheless. She was our dog and my first best friend since I was 8 or 9. She was almost 16. Mom brought her home when she was tired of me and my brother borrowing neighbors’ dogs for a night or two. Her name was puppy. I guess no one was creative enough to name her something else. But she liked it I guess.

The important fact about her history is that she came into our household because she was a girl dog. In Nepal, most people prefer to have male dogs as compared to female dogs so that they won’t have to deal with male dogs hovering around the female dogs. It was our luck that we got to take her home even though she was a female dog. And my mom made the right decision like she always did. Puppy gave birth to 4 generations of puppies. Most of our relatives in Kathmandu have had one of her puppies as pet. Thus, spreading happiness in so many households.

Puppy reminded my mom of me after I moved to US. She used to say, “Well I have another daughter here with me. She is just like you in so many ways”. Oh how I wish! She was a very wonderful dog. If she was a human being she would be a beautiful woman with model-like features. I mean look at that picture! I don’t think I would be wrong if I say dogs are the most genuine and selfless creatures in this world.

Puppy was the first face I saw in the morning. She would be right there wagging her tail knowing that I’m going to be functional again and maybe play with her for a little bit. She always made my mornings better. I used to share secrets with her which now she has taken to her grave like a true best friend. When I left Nepal almost 6 years ago, I gave her a tight hug and waved her goodbye thinking that I might not see her again. Because she was already 10 then. But little did I know that she wouldn’t be the only face that I would never see again.

Thanks for all the wonderful memories and happiness you brought to our home. You will forever be in our hearts and you will be my favorite dog forever. You were a very nice bitch. Farewell my friend!

Guest writer for my blog : My brother

I have decided to include my brother’s writing on my blog. I have not seen him in almost 6 years in real life  but we are still connected. In order for me not to be worried about him, I wanted him to express his thoughts through words.  He expresses it better in words than in speech. It was important for me to know how he is really feeling after what our family went through. Then he sent me this piece of writing. So presenting my brother’s thoughts and writing below y’all:

I am writing and as I write this, a lot of thoughts are running through my head, a lot of people in my setting that matter, a lot of things i need to attend to, a lot of things I think I need and want to attend to and the things that surround me like thorns, lovely lights, hateful scars and the unseen.

Memories and pain of the losses on the back of my mind reminding me of just how painful things can get. And also the strength in us that arise in turmoil. Even with relatively little experience than that of those who have been through rougher times, more times than one could count or even imagine. 

I am aware of something inside me that I can’t really describe in words accurately. A cruel presence, a ticking bomb waiting to explode, an undefined energy within me. It’s good as I optimistically hope. 

It just might be the mess of thoughts that’s bursting loud to be arranged, fragmented, or cleared up in some kind of systematic fashion. I am writing in hope of this unseen and heavy cruel presence that I’m feeling to take some kind of form and a pattern clear enough to be read. It’s neither physical nor emotional. It’s just present….in an unexplainable frustration, a hint of some grand event yet to be witnessed, a storm yet to pass, like an illness yet to be cured. Realizing it being a “change” in broader perspective that I need to make in a lot of levels in myself.

Change – a shifting of perspective                                                 

Change – breaking the shame

Change – the unexpected

Change – the permanent

Change – the process of nature

Change – the cycle

Change – the necessary 

Change – the unavoidable

Maybe all I need to do is expect, embrace and empathize to quantify the internal potential changes for a better version of myself for others, for a better setting, for a better season, for a better weather, for a better year,…for better life for myself and of those who love me. Maybe all these “perceived frustrations” is a realization of what the people who genuinely love us have to offer for a better versions of ourselves. As we are running through our individual matters, submerged in our own world of thoughts and rigid beliefs. 

As I’m turning grateful of having such loving presence in my life and the unlimited offers of changes. I feel lucky and ready to be accepting them. And for this I send my love and positive energy to the ones I have lost as it is all I can do in hopes of them smiling somewhere in a bright place as I’d like to imagine. Although, I can never be sure if this is a one way conversation or two. Because they might be replying me in some other forms we don’t really understand. Because I cannot feel them in this life..well not anymore.

Change – A process of perceived cruel frustration turning into a recipe of a better version of oneself and  to those that matter in one simple writing. 

– Aasutosh Dhoj Karki

I hate a lot of people. And it’s okay!

I hate a lot of people but I have reasons. I hate the fact that I’m going to write this article or whatever the hell this is and people will overlook the things I’m trying to say by judging the way I write, my word choices, my sentence structure and paragraph breaks. But I don’t care! I’m just going to speak my mind however the fuck I want to. Because I have to let this out. And I’m just going to use simple words so that people won’t have to google the meaning of a word or have to look for a dictionary to actually know what I mean. Life has to be simple and it is. Be considerate to people who might not actually have rich vocabulary but deserve to know what an article is trying to say. I’m writing this because many people need to know this.
I hate the fact that I felt like shit for many years and it’s because of the people who made me feel like that. Nepal! you’re a beautiful country but some people there and the government there are horrible. I hate the fact that people have to leave their own country and the people who they love for better opportunities abroad because you left them no choice. I hate the fact that they have to go be a slave in an arab country to build stadiums for entertainment. I hate the fact that you made me choose between my future and seeing my mom for the last time. I wanted to tell her how much she has inspired me in every way possible but I couldn’t do it. She didn’t know that. I hate the fact that I am questioning my atheism in hopes to see my mom again and tell her how important she was to me in after life where I might meet her. But I don’t believe that, I wish I did. And it’s okay! She is alive inside me forever.
I hate the fact that some people made me feel like I was some kind of devil and a nuisance for not believing that there’s an invisible person in the sky. Those are the same people who made me feel like an outcast in my own country where we speak the same language. You left me no choice than to flee to a foreign land alone. I hate those people who made me feel ugly my whole childhood just because I had slightly darker skin and wore glasses. You people are horrible!
I hate the fact and actually amazed by the fact that people can kill innocent children to make their invisible god happy. You people are crazy! You had no right to do that. They didn’t do anyone any harm. You killed million hopes and ideas with those children which could some day benefit this world. I don’t consider you people human beings. Same goes to the group of people who recently killed a guy who wanted to make others laugh.
Let’s talk about my motherland again. I hate those people in my culture who tell my dad that in order to be happy, his daughter needs to get married and be settled with a guy from the same culture by now and make him worry about his daughter. I am happy dad! There’s nothing to worry about. You know why? Along with the assholes and horrible people in this world, there are people who are wonderful and are making your daughter happy in this foreign land where I speak different language than I speak to you. I’m sorry! in fact there also are people here with whom I speak the same language and are actually awesome.
Talking about America, I hate the corporate culture here that allows their employees to be treated as a commodity rather than a human being just because they signed or did not sign a piece of paper. You people are horrible!
Yeah! I hate a lot of people and it’s okay. All that matters is happiness. And everyone deserves to be happy. Just don’t surround yourself with assholes who make you feel like shit. Do whatever that makes you happy but yeah don’t do drugs. It’s bad.