The Miner

There is no day that I question my being here; by “here” I refer the village where I work, the word “teach” would be more appropriate cause I don’t refer what I am doing as work or any job whatsoever. I applied,I gave series of interviews,I got selected, I spent six weeks in learning institute (again that was not a training centre) and then I was placed here in Giranchaur gabisa(now its nagarpalika)in melamchi.I started this chapter of my life with a bitter note, complaining,regretting over my decision, worrying, crying,thinking way too much.

The first fact that consoled my scared heart and terrorized mind was the simple realization that I could always come back home.I didn’t have to be trapped there for eternity; there would always be “ama hyolmo” or “helambu” to carry me back to ktm nomatter if I had to stand all the way or get so little space to even stand and the smell(well, the smell doesn’t even bother me anymore).

My students have been counting the number of Saturdays I spent here in village (the numbers fit right in your one hand I suppose). My dears even have a pet name for me, “jani, jailey ni ktm janey”(btw nija ko ulto is jani). They would be surprised if I am not seen with my big black bag on Fridays and red jacket on.

I signed in to this with a plan, a hope, a dream that I would make a difference.I believed in me, more I believed in my soul that trusted what I was about to do would bring peace to me but that rarely happened to me after I came here. My sweet scented dreams that guided me turned into sour and dark nightmares that haunted me and crushed my heart.

Now that I think of, all these months I have been teaching in school, nothing much has really happened; then there are some moments, few minutes of time that I have experienced pure joy that I would have never seen if I was not here doing what I do. What I am doing is much similar to a miner digging mines endlessly just to come across finding his treasure in rare occasions. Yes, I am pretty much like the digger, I stand between the blackboard and my students every day, I teach, I shout at top of my lungs, I hurt my throat ,I cover my jacket with white fine layer of chalk powder, I stand and stare at the busy talkers hoping they see I got their attention, I narrow my eyebrows-disappointed.(Well, the digger obviously does none of the above mentioned acts but you know what I am trying to tell here).I do all these every single day just for the greed of that pure joy.

If I am lucky I get that joy the next day as well but sometimes it takes week and sometimes even months to get that lucky. He calls me every two minutes to make sure he is going on right getting his numeric problem’s answer right, he shows up in class regularly for three days after missing four classes in a row, she says “I didn’t cheat this time, just want to see how much I can do on my own”, six girls and a boy of grade nine show up in grade seven class as a mentor and teach, two out of those seven is still stubborn and hoping these juniors learn to find “chetrafal and ayatan”, he comes in proper school pants after months of nagging, she says she wants to study more and discusses future, she says “you must be tired of teaching all time, you should rest.”, they murmur “chitra banauna khatra hunuhuncha” when I turn my back to draw figures in board, he calls “nija miss”,their eyes show that it matters me being there, they love me and more they trust me. These are my fragments of tiny gold, my treasure.

I don’t know if I will be able to feel this feeling of being here later in my life but I am sure I will never come across any feeling as strong as of here even though I am keeping the number of months left, desperately wanting to be in city all days of weeks for whole year.

I see myself in one of the girls in grade nine. She is similar to me in so many ways. I want to see her chasing after her dreams and be there to witness her conquering it. Not just she but I want that for every other student of mine. I know they are no less than any other person and deserve so much more. I am sure even after I leave from here; I will always remember every face, worrying about them.

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