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Kamala Sarup: HIV Engulfs The Life of My Dear Friend

HIV Engulfs The Life of My Dear Friend

by Kamala Sarup

She was an intelligent and emotional individual. Last night, she called me on the phone and said, "I have now learnt to live with HIV". She has declared herself HIV positive and I cried all night.

I remember she told me last year. "Kam, I like an ideal husband, the one who makes a good husband, quiet and loyal".

She was a very beautiful woman. Therefore, the person she should marry is either supposed to be a leading personality that can absolutely take command in her life.

I told her, "I want you to become happy and successful and if there is anything that I could do, I would be happy. Anyway, your trust considering me capable enough of giving suggestions in your personal decisions, this truly means a lot to me". And then we became very good friends.

Last year, I had celebrated her birthday by eating dinner. I told her, "I understand family pressure, especially regarding the wedding issue and your family have their rights to dictate upon you. However, you decide for your life. Therefore, it is your decision whom you will marry."

I further added, "I suggest that you find someone who is willing to accept the way you are."

I know finding love in marriage is hard for female in Nepal. Once again I know it shouldn't be, but we grew up with this kind of society.

She told me that she wants to see me. I mean after all I know I was her good friend. She was tested positive for HIV in 2006. She did not receive any medical help. I really wanted to help her. She got the HIV from her husband. Her husband did not informed her about the HIV infections prior to their marriage.

I went out the house. I put on my shoes and hurriedly reached the street. I even didn't inform my mother about my departure. Today, I went out hurriedly when my mother was busy to prepare tea and breakfast in the kitchen.

I have to meet her. She is a lady who was born in my village. She reached Kathmandu with a Nepali young husband. She really seems like the moon. Her big almond eyes stroked his heart like an arrow. A real beautiful lady whom there is no need of money to get. Thinking of her, I was lured to her on the way. The betel nut inside her small mouth and the red flower on her plait defeated every beauty in front of her. I am proud of her. While enjoying friendship with her, I do not wish even to imagine my other friends. Scented oil on her hair and expensive scent on her dress always make her look like a bride .

When I was pushing myself through a busy street, an office co-worker, disturbed me. I escaped.

I told myself my life would be incomplete in the absence of her friendship. I was eager to meet her. I have forgotten my family at this time. I wished to pass the whole day with her. I kept my way to her. I had drawn my salary the day before. I had some money to buy sugar and kerosene oil. I decided to buy scent for her. I would like to buy her a lot of things at a time but my income does not allow me to do so.

If I had a lot of money , I would take out her from the rented house and build a beautiful house of her own. I would buy a small motor bike for her pleasure. I would buy all the up to date and fashionable clothes for her. My heart filled with the love and tears for her. I was fully sunk into the depth of her life. I went to market and bought a bottle of scent for her. I wanted to keep her happy. The people on the way seemed to disturb me. The way to her house was quite long today. I was eager to meet her.

When I neared to the room of her, I fixed my hair style and dress unconsciously. After a while, the door was opened. It was her husband standing at the door. Her husband welcomed me. My eyes were searching for my friend . "Where is my friend?" I asked.

He said, "She has disappeared since last night. Either she died or returned back to her village. I informed the police. I searched for her everywhere but she is nowhere," he said.

I couldn't decide what to do. I remained standing with scent bottle, looking at her husband.

*************

Kamala Sarup is an editor for mediaforfreedom.com. Kamala is a regular contributor to UPI- Asia News. Kamala specialties are in-depth reporting and writing stories on peace and anti-war issues, philosophy, literature, women, terrorism, democracy and development. Some of her publications include Women's Empowerment in South Asia, Nepal: Prevention of Trafficking in Women Through Media, Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in Media Activism. She has also written two collections of stories.

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