Have you ever felt discrimination… the way I have felt it??? Do you know how it feels when somebody treats you as the citizen of a different country?? Yes, we exist …the community that has been neglected. Neglected because of their origin.
The clock ticked five and she had no idea about it. But she didn’t pause. The story I was dying to listen began ……
“It was the third day of my office and I was so excited.” She added, “I reached my office on time, greeted all the seniors.”
“*Aarti, come here,” One woman called me, and handed ten files. “Do this and send it to me soon. The door closed. I was not expecting ‘Aarti jee’ of course, but not that as well.
It was lunch time. She called me again, “You are from Mahottari, am I right? Hope it won’t matter if I called you an Indian.” She laughed …….. and that was…..that was …. beyond my tolerance. Should I reply her saying if it bothers her in being called a Chinese???? …. She continued, “Your dark complexion is the reflection of your origin, and the tone, it’s so different, you speak so loud. It depicts you belong to a far village area.” I don’t remember what she said after that. I really can’t remember. I decided to ignore. I decided to remain quiet. The woman is arrogant I thought. I didn’t argue with her. I left ……..
Days passed. It was again time to welcome a new intern at the office came. The intern belonged to exactly the same community of the woman. The woman shocked me again. “*Sumitra jee”, she called the new intern in her room. I saw her guiding Sumitra in every way possible. And I realized ‘I have been judged by my origin, not by my skill’. The feeling shattered my heart. I decided to talk to my boss. I had to speak then.
Don’t expect me to remain quiet if somebody is doing something wrong intentionally…And I am human …………… I will react…… I should, shouldn’t I?
I rushed to my boss and shared my experiences. The situation worsened. I was just fired just within a month of my internship.
“You are a brave girl, Aarti,” I said. “You will be offered a new job soon. I will pray for you…….”
“Here, I am without my identity,” she replied.
[A real story]
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.
By Ritika Prasai
The writer is final year B.Sc. Forestry Science student at Institute of Forestry, Pokhara. She is also a program-coordinator at Nepal Youth Council-Environment section.