This is a story about discrimination against women and deeply rooted superstitions in Nepali culture.
Today was the 8th day of Nava Ratri (Asthami). As per the prevalent trend, it is the day when people take animals and sacrifice them to Devi so that Devi in return bestows her goodwill onto them.
It was the same usual day for me, I was doing my daily chore. Usually, I’m not bothered by outside noises when I’m doing my work but today for some not-so-specific reason I peeped through my window and the scenario outside my window was something attention-seeking.
I saw a congregation of people enchanting songs, playing drums, dancing, and dragging buffaloes and goats towards the temple. The first irony of the day was all the so considered sane people, who always displayed themselves as the most cautious in the society and trivialized others for their slightest carelessness were enjoying the gathering regardless of the widespread coronavirus.
The presence of these people accentuated my attention. I thought to myself that I should speak up against it but I instantly realized about the defamation that follows and backed out.
Except for the morning part, the day went normal like all other days while in the late afternoon somebody dropped ‘Prasad’ (tangible blessing from God) of Devimata which was meat from the goat that was slaughtered before her.
My mom asked the Prasad deliverer ‘Shall I add onions while cooking it or not?’. I interposed with why should we not add the onions while the guy replied saying it is pure Prasad and adding onion to it is considered as impure.
The second irony of the day was onion was considered to be impure while the meat was considered pure. Third and the heaviest irony that I felt today was when Aama said I cannot even touch that Prasad cause I was bleeding, meanwhile, the blood outside the meat was cursing humanity.
If only, for one time, Devi Mata could really speak her wants, the world will hopefully be a good place to live in. There are good cultures that need to be preserved and promoted while there are other cultures that are just dragging us back towards an uncivilized world. It’s our take which path to rely on.