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From: “Ajima,” a short story by Laxmi Prasad Devkota.

From: “Ajima,” a short story by Laxmi Prasad Devkota.
(Translated by Padma Devkota)

Indeed, nothing troubles women like the Rahu of barrenness. It is this that eclipses their life. A woman’s life, life’s self-support itself, lies in giving life to earth. Her sole supremacy over man lies in her ability to become a mother. Women find no other plant worse than the fern. Moreover, the world always despises the desert. Were the earth barren, even the gods would not protect her. Respect for motherhood depends on the ability to give life to the world. After first bestowing the competence of motherhood with the ornamentation of youth and earning for her victory over man, it is more agonizing than death for a woman’s soul to be made a defective coin. When she suspects sterility, a woman will unite heaven and earth to get rid of this blemish. She feels as if her breasts are hollow; her laps empty; her life dark! Her heart understands that only her glow will not remain. Something to love and nurse, an apple of the eye, a tiny smiling Krishna, a bit energetic, mischievous, like Makhanchor; a bit like a single bloom, a complete living weight that sticks to the bosom, that rejecting all the others attempts to attach itself to one, looks one at the face and smiles; something which, when placed on the laps of a man, he is infatuated with it and wears his peacock plumes of victory over the whole world; some solid right that others cannot snatch away; a golden glow of ones’ life; a lisping god who comes to the earth to learn the language; some such living thing, a creation achieved from one’s whole resource, the joy of which having conquered a near death pang of delivery attempts to conquer death itself; such a thing is the precious and mysterious wealth of women. Without this, life is impoverished; sterilized; weeps; is nipped. Even at the deathbed, the corners [of the eyes] are wet with pain in the heart.

Source: Laxmi Katha Sangraha. 2nd. ed. Lalitpur: Sajha Prakashan, 1982 (2039 bs).