Jane Wilson-Howarth

Blog

 
 

My life

Sunday, 20 January 2019
Sometimes I wonder how different my life would be if we hadn’t done that thing. We knew nothing then. I was beautiful – I still am – and I teased him. Made him notice me. I loved the power it gave me over him. Drove him mad. He was tall, and handsome – he still is – and we were very, very young.
Was it so strange that we should lie together, enjoy each other not fully understanding the power of love, and lust?
But after we had done that thing, I felt changes in my body and realised there was a baby growing inside me. I was too scared to tell anyone at first. Then when I did tell him, he was useless. He said it was my fault. We argued. He shouted. He hit me. It turned out that he wasn’t as clever as I’d thought, or as kind.
He drank a lot the month he found out, but finally he said we should marry. Things were all right between us after that, mostly. Secretly I think he was proud when our daughter was born. He loves her.
My husband does building work. There is plenty to do here in the Valley but he is lazy. He would rather stay inside the house and play with our daughter. Not that we have a house.
At first we were living in my father’s house but it was difficult. He is also very much in love with our daughter; when they are together she laughs endlessly but there was no room for all of us in his house.
My father is not very clever but he is a good plumber and he makes good money. No-one minds about his caste here. There is so much building work going on in Kathmandu they can’t mind. That is something good about living in the city. In the village everyone knows.
Through his work he met Uncle who owns houses that he rents to foreigners for a lot of money. My father and Uncle spoke together and arranged that I should open the gate for the foreigners in one of his big houses. My father rearranged the plumbing inside a small house in the garden of the big house so we could stay there. It is a good-sized room – enough for a bed, a stove and a chair and there is a bathroom too. Water doesn’t come inside during the Rains. I open the big gate for the foreigners and they pay me 10,000 rupees a month.
Sometimes when the foreign woman goes out, I also go out but a few times the Madam has come back and found I was not there to open the gate. Madam seemed angry. The didi who works inside the house won’t lie for me. I do not understand why there is a problem.
Madam is stupid. She can hardly speak a work of Nepali and when she speaks I do not understand her. She talks about bicycles and thieves a lot. But I don’t care. Maybe she is a bit soft in the head. It is good for the three of us to have our own place and the money the foreigners give me means I can buy nice clothes. They even gave me a Desain bonus of a whole month’s pay but I didn’t tell my husband. It is easy to keep things from him.
The foreigners who pay me are very rich. They wear beautiful clothes bought overseas. At first Madam gave me money to go out and by vegetables and small things for her. I kept some of the money for myself. The woman seemed stupid but she was clever about money and she stopped sending me shopping.
Some days my sister-in-law brings her daughter who stays while my sister-in-law works. My daughter and her cousin have fun together but they are very naughty and I shout at them a lot. Sometimes I have to hit them. They make me so angry.
I spend a lot of time alone. It is boring having no adults to talk to but such is life in the city. Maybe we’ll go back to the village one day when we have enough money.
The inside-house-didi and Madam tried to make me work. They said that if I learned how to clean windows nicely and understand how to clean the homes of important people I could get a well-paid job. And Madam would pay me more money. But why should I work? We have enough money as long as my husband don’t stop looking for work like he did a few months ago.
He’d bought a TV and wanted to stay watching it all day. That was until Uncle told him to get out and look for work. ‘Otherwise you will starve,’ he said. Uncle is always busy; maybe that is why he is rich.
Sometimes I am frustrated by my husband’s stupidity. I often wonder what my life would have been like now if I had attracted a cleverer richer man, and of a higher caste than ours: a man who could afford a big apartment with hot running water and I could wear a lot of gold and fine clothes. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if we hadn’t done that thing when I was 15. Maybe by now I would be like Madam with someone to open the gate of my big house. Maybe I would be living in America with my own car and driver.
Sometimes I wonder.
Posted: 20/01/2019 11:39:22 by cmsadmin | with 0 comments
Filed under: caste, early marriage, fiction, Kathmandu, Nepal, unplanned pregnancy, urban life, young mother, young motherhood



    Pontifications
    Travel
    Wildlife
    Writing
    July 2020(1)
    June 2020(1)
    May 2020(1)
    April 2020(4)
    March 2020(4)
    January 2020(1)
    October 2019(2)
    June 2019(2)
    April 2019(2)
    March 2019(9)
    January 2019(2)
    October 2018(3)
    August 2018(3)
    June 2018(4)
    May 2018(5)
    April 2018(3)
    March 2018(1)
    January 2018(4)
    October 2017(4)
    August 2017(3)
    July 2017(2)
    June 2017(2)
    May 2017(1)
    April 2017(1)
    March 2017(4)
    January 2017(1)
    October 2016(7)
    August 2016(2)
    July 2016(1)
    June 2016(1)
    January 2016(3)
    October 2015(1)
    August 2015(1)
    July 2015(1)
    May 2015(2)
    April 2015(2)
    March 2015(2)
    January 2015(3)
    October 2014(4)
    July 2014(1)
    June 2014(4)
    May 2014(1)
    April 2014(1)
    January 2014(4)
    October 2013(1)
#righttobreathe / 100 word story / 100-word story / 50 Camels / 50 Camels and She's Yours / A Glimpse of Eternal Snows / A Wide Woman on a Narrow Boat / Aberdeen / Abuja / Active Fairness System / adventure stories / advertising / affairs / age concern / air pollution / air quality / Akwanga / alcoholism / Alicia Ostriker / Americanisms / animal reservoirs / ANM / Annapurna / antelope / anthology / Asad / author / Author from Hull / author interview / author-to-author / Auxiliary Nurse Midwife / Baglung / Bagmati / Bajaj / Bajaj Pulsar / Bajura / banknotes / BBC Radio Cambridgeshire / bear precautions / Benjamin Langley / Bertrand Russell / Bhotang / bicycle / bike trip / birdlife / birds / black bear / black kites / black pine forest / Blitz / Bloodshot Books / Blue sheep / book launch / border guards / Boreal Wildlife Centre / Bradt / Bradt Travel Guides / Brahmin / breakfast / bridge / brown bear / buckwheat / buckwheat bird / buffalo cart / bulbul / camaraderie / Cambridge / Cambridge writers / Cambridgeshire / camping hazards / canals / carcinogens / caste / catastrophe / cave diving / celtic / chaite-dhan / Chandragiri / Chele / childbirth / children's books / Chirang / Chisapaani / Chisapani / Chobhar / Chobhar Hill / Chough / city cycling / civet / climate change / clinics / cold desert / colourful hat / comfort / coronavirus / Covid / Covid-19 / cows / creating characters / cycling / cyclist / daisy chain / dal bhat / dangerous wildlife / dawn chorus / Dead Branches / demonstration / Department of Roads / desert / development / development work / Devon / Dhading / Dhading besi / Dhangadhi airport / Dhaulagiri / Dhee / dhulomandu / Dolpa / Dolpo / domestic violence / Dr. Katrina Butterworth / dragon / dragons / Drakmar / droppings / Dunai / dust / early marriage / earthquake / earthquake alarm / earthquake damage / earthquake today / East Anglia / eco-resort / eco-tourism / Edinburgh / elbow sneezing / embankments / emergency / English journey / English language / environmental crisis / Eräkeskus / eternal snows / evacuation / Ewell / expat / exploitation / Fagu Purnima / Falgun / feelgood read / Fens / festival / festival of colour / festivals in March / fiction / Finland / fire-tailed sunbird / fishing / fishtail / flash fiction / flash literature / flash prose / flood protection / floods / football / footbridge / footpath / forest / forest fires / friends / Gai Tihar / gaming / Ganesh himal / Gangetic Plain / garment / Ghami / Ghemi / ghoral / giant crab spider / giving birth / global warming / goodread / goral / gorge / Gorkha / gossip / GP writer / Greece / grey-headed canary-flycatcher / handwashing / hangry / happiness / happyness / hare / Hatibhan / health assistant / Heffers / Heffers bookshop / Hell's Grannies / himal / Himalaya / Himalayan Black Bear / Himalayan Goral / Himalayan griffon vulture / Himalayan Hostages / Himalayan Kidnap / Himalayan serow / Himalayan Sunrise / Himalayan woolly hare / Himalayas / himals / Hindu festival / Hindu kingdom / Holi / Holi Purnima / holocaust / home delivery / honey buzzard / hoopoe / horror / hot springs / Hotel Deep of Worldtop / Hotel Peace Palace / house crows / how long to write a book? / human kind / human spirit / idyllic childhood / Indonesia / Indra Jatra / infidelity / inspiration / inspiring fiction for children / Ireland / irrigation / Is She Dead in Your Dreams? / jackal / Janajibika Hotel / Jane Wilson-Howarth / Jews / Joe Wilson / Jomosom / Jomsom / jungle / Jungle book / Juphal / Kaag Beni / Kag Beni / Kali Gandaki / Kali Gandaki gorge / Kalopani / Kalunki / Karnali River / Kashigaon / Kashigoan / Kathmandu / Kathmandu Valley / Katrina Butterworth / kestrel / khana / Khartoum / kickstart / kidnap / kindness / Kipling / Kipling's jungle / kites / Kolkata / Krishna / Kumari / Kurds / Kurentar / Kusma / labour / ladoos / lama / Lamjung himal / lammergeier / lammergeyer / landscape / landslide / landslides / Large Indian civet / largest tribuary of the Ganges / Laxmi Puja / leave no one behind / leave no-one behind / letter-writing / life lessons / living goddess / lockdown / LoMantang / Lombok / London pigeon / loneliness / Lord Ganesh / Lord Krishna / loss and recovery / love / Lukhu river / Machhapuchare / Makwanpur / Manbu / mani wall / married life / Martinselkosen / Mary Kingsley / masala tea / maskmandu / masks / maternal mortality / Maya and the Dragon / medical emergency / medical evacuation / medical Students / Melamchi / memoir / Michael Rosenberg / microfiction / middle grade readers / Middle Hills / mineral water bottles / Monsoon / morning mist / Moth Snowstorm / motorbike / motorbike trip / motorbikes / motorcycle / mountain medicine / mountains / mouse hare / mouse-hare / Muktinath / Mukwanpur / mulberries / Mustang / nag puja / narrow boat / nature / Naubisi / neighbours / Nepal / Nepal Communitere / Nepal road trip / Nepal roadtrip / Nepal Valley / Nepal wildlife / Nepali / Nepali food / Nepali tea / Nepali Times / Nepali topi / Nepali wildlife / Nigeria / Nigiri himal / nilgai / Nilgiri / Nilgiri South / non-fiction / Nonsuch Palace / Nonsuch Park / Northumberland / novel / nuthatch / Nuwakot / obstetrics / orb spider / ox-cart / pangolin / parenting / Passer montanus / passing places / passive pleasure / Patan / Patan Durbar / Patan Durbar Square / payer / People in Need charity / percussion / PHASE / PHASE Nepal / PHASENepal / Phewa Tal / Philippines / Phoksundo / phonetics / photoktm2016 / pigeons / pika / pike / pilgrims / plastic waste / pleasure / PM 2.5 / Pokhara / Police My Friend / pollution / polytunnel / pony trekking / post earthquake recovery / powder / pregnancy / Pridhamsleigh Cavern / puja / Pul Chowk / Pulsar / Pungmo / Purnima programme / Pyncnonotus cafer / rabies / Rajapur / Rajapur bazaar / Rajapur Island / Rajapur market / Rajapur town / rat snake / reading / Real Fairness for Real men / reconstructed dialogue / Red Dawn Rising / red-vented bulbul / refugees / relief work / Remover of obstacles / rhododendron / rice / ricefields / Richard Mabey / Ringmo / risk takers / river crossing / river island / river-crossing / road trip / roadtrip / Rock Doves / rock shelters / Roe Deer / Royal Enfield Riders Club / Royle's pika / rubbish / Rufus-breasted Niltava / rupees / Russian border / Sally Haiselden / samosa / Sarengkot / sarus cranes / scorpion / screening / Second World War / Seeta Siriwardena / self-harm / serow / Shangri La / Shangri-la / Shanti bazaar / Shey-Phoksundo National Park / Shivapuri / Shivapuri Nagajung National Park / Shivapuri National Park / Shivapuri Village / Shivapuri Village Resort / short fiction / short story / shrikes / silk / Simon Howarth / Sindhupalchowk / Sinhala / Sinhalese / Six degrees of Separation / skipper butterflies / skippers / snow leopard / Snowfed Waters / solid waste / solid waste disposal / Soti / South Sudan / sparrows / Speaking Tiger / species leap / spider venom / Spiny babblers / spotted owlet / squirrel / Sri Lanka / Sri Lankan author / Stephanie Green / stink bug / street art / street dogs / Subsistence agriculture / Sudan / Suli Gad Khola / Suli Gad river / Summit Air / sunbird / sunrise / Surrey / suspended bridge / Sussex / Suttee / Tahr / tar tattoo / tato pani / Tatopani / TBS Kathmandu / tea / tea shop / teacher / teashop / Teku / Teku Hospital / Teku infectious diseases hospital / terai / Thamel / Thankot / Tharu / Tharu people / The Book Warren / The British School Kathmandu / The Lonely Cat / Thessaloniki / time / To be blessed / totobobo / traffic / traffic jam / traffic rules / traffic uncles / transHimalaya / transHimalayan / travel anthology / travel narrative / travel writing / traveling with children / travelling with children / tree sparrows / trekking / trust / Tsirang / Twin Otter / Uganda / unplanned pregnancy / Upper Mustang / urban cycling / urban life / urban pollution / urban water supply / Valley / vampires / vegetarian / velvet-fronted nuthatch / Viiksimontie / Village dogs / village life / vulture / Wai / Wanderlust / water supplies / water tankers / West Sussex / western Nepal / white lies / WHO / widower / wild goat / wild places / wildlife / wildlife stories / winter madness / winter Wheat / women of a certain age / Women Travellers / words / wordsmith / World Book Day / World Book Day 2020 / World Cup 1990 / World Environment Day / world's deepest gorge / writers group / writer's life / writing / writing about writing / writing characters / writing exercise / writing for children / writing group / writing habits / writing prompts / year fives / yeti / young mother / young motherhood / Your Child Abroad / zoonoses