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Looking at the Motherland from the Land of Dreams

This is the city with the slogan "New York City never sleeps". Even the city that never sleeps was stopped for a while because of Covid-19. The busy road became empty and the crowded place became vacant like a place only a ghost can travel. Similar changes came up in life because of no need to walk for work. There is no rush to go to the office even after starting to work from home.
(Times Square is eerily empty as most New Yorkers are teleworking these days. Photo: Celia Mendoza-VOA)

When I was young, I heard from everyone’s mouth that America is the land of dreams. Everyone wishes they could go to America once in a lifetime before they die. One day, I arrived in this land carrying many dreams over my shoulder. I had planned to pursue higher education here but, I started getting lost in this world with many other kinds of stuff. So many things came up along my way and primary objective turned into secondary and vice versa. Even though the physical body is in this city across seven seas, when I sleep, I return to my hometown.  I always see going to school, playing with my childhood friends, and walking around the ups and downs streets of my village. When I wake up, I am shocked and feel that no matter how far the body is, the mind and the brain are always moving in their own place. Many people call America a swampy land as well because everyone comes here with a purpose, but after coming here, their priority, thinking, and needs keep on changing. The time flies so fast, but they don’t reach the exact time to go back to Nepal leaving this land permanently. They keep on thinking about going back to the motherland after this time or after that but, it keeps on changing frequently.
I have also stuck in this swamp. I came here with the intention of having a foreign degree but, started a family here. More than a decade has passed in this land but, it seems like yesterday and only two or three years have passed. In New York City, life runs like a machine, looking at every minute and second of the clock and getting things done for daily schedule. I wake up in the morning, get ready for work, prepare the child for school, then return from work in the evening. Again, I prepare dinner, feed them, bath them, help for the child’s homework, and go to bed. The rhythm of such a busy day, night, week, month, and year continues to pass.
This is the city with the slogan “New York City never sleeps”. Even the city that never sleeps was stopped for a while because of Covid-19. The busy road became empty and the crowded place became vacant like a place only a ghost can travel. Similar changes came up in life because of no need to walk for work. There is no rush to go to the office even after starting to work from home. However, as a mother of two young children, it is difficult to find such leisure time. I miss my mother very much after having these two children in my life. The saying, “You only know when it rains” seems to be true. The happiness and sorrow of being a mother will be known only after she has experienced everything. It seems that there is sorrow, there is life, and there is fun in it, otherwise how much fun would there be only the time of happiness? In any case, time is constantly flowing at its own pace.
In this dreamland, everything is available; sorrow, happiness, pain, laughter, crying. Despite all these things, life remains incomplete because of the memory of one’s family, relatives, and motherland. Even with all the material facilities, there is no complete peace of mind because it is difficult to be one’s own place and environment. Only the physical body is here, but the mind is always roaming around the birthplace. We work, earn money, and enjoy life here but it is very tough to have a sense of belonging. As soon as we wake up in the morning, our minds rush to see the news of what is happening in Nepal. It is not possible to change one’s mind just by carrying the citizenship of another country, nor is it possible to make a foreign country one’s own from one’s heart. We watch the news of what is happening in the United States only after Nepal because the distance does not matter where we are, but the belongingness matters the most in our life. We are more concerned about what is happening in Nepal than American politics. People like us should be the ones who are most saddened and worried when the country’s borders were encroached by the neighboring country. More than one hundred thousand have lost their lives due to Covid-19 in the United States but, even a few numbers of dead in Nepal suffer us a lot. We keep on worrying about what will happen in Nepal regardless of the situation that we have. Either in good time or bad time, our mind and thoughts keep on pondering towards our soil and motherland. If there were no problems for employment due to development like here, we would not have to mourn getting away from their own place.
While flying in the imagination of motherland this way, the horrible murder caused by the interracial love affair in Rukum starts dancing in front of the eyes. Even in the 21st century, you Dalit the lower caste and we are a higher caste kind of mentality make me feel sorry for the cowardly people who think that they belong to a higher caste and kill someone’s beautiful life. The victim of caste discrimination is spreading not only in Nepal but also in the world in a very painful and violent manner. Even in one of the world’s most human rights countries, like the United States, blacks have been killed by white police officers from time to time. Eric Garner, a black man, was strangled to death by a white police officer on Staten Island in New York in 2014, and another black police officer, George Floyd, was strangled to death in Minneapolis in 2020 by another white police officer. Various protests are taking place here against this. Although such demonstrations have taken place at different times, there is little evidence of such violent protests in this history.
The world is being attacked by the Corona epidemic on one hand, on the other hand, the ethnic riots in our motherland Nepal and the color differences in the dreamland give the pain on both sides. The violent activities that have started in this place of dreamland are giving some psychological torture to all the immigrants. Therefore, it is difficult to stay away from the motherland in every moment of life whether it is a dream or a nightmare. No matter how comfortable the environment is, it will be haunted by the memory of its own soil. We can just hope our motherland will turn into a place where none will be deprived of the loved of belongingness and stay happily together in one’s own nation forever. Let us hope that one day the ghost of America will not haunt us again while returning to their own land permanently. I pray for peace in the world and may the equality prevail everywhere so no one should die due to the discriminations and hater crime.

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