Two Different Critiques

This post presents two pieces of critical reading of a single text, a short unpublished story. The first was written in the Fall of 2020 and the second in the Fall of 2022. The purpose of including these texts is (i) to show how different readers respond to a text differently, and (ii) to explicate the polysemic nature of a narrative representation.

“Deconstruction of Male-Female Binary”

– Gunaraj Nepal

Take a moment to think about your child who was born as a girl and is now grown with an unusual genital. What would you do? You would do all the usual things to keep her female, right? And you would keep all the unusual things about her secret. The story “The Prize for Unbecoming” deals with the rupture in the concept of gender defined by patriarchy as physical and cultural reality and takes physical union beyond the dichotomy of ‘male’ and ‘female’.

The story is set in a traditional, patriarchal society. The writer seems to be well-informed about the roles for men and women defined by patriarchy. It revolves around Rita turned into Ram Prasad later by her parents. As presented in the story, she was a girl child at her birth but grew with unusual features identical to those of a boy. It can be argued that society wants to see people with fixed gender, so Rita’s unusual growth into ‘boy-like’ was unacceptable. This led her parents to change her name. The change in the name gave Ram Prasad the privilege of being absent from the village until he passed the secondary exams and later. This was a voluntary exile for five years which he would not be able to do as Rita. And again it is “he” who wished to marry the girl he loved. The parents agreed to allow him to marry a girl though the people continued to talk about the biological relevance of their marriage.

Though the story is very brief, it has the power to evoke a lot of responses all at once. A colleague from my department said that this is a story about transgender’s thirst for love. Another colleague said it is all about the cursed family where only the male can bring happiness. And yet another colleague said that this is a surrealist story about genetic or gender change. Still another colleague added that this is deconstruction of males’ genitals that are no longer needed to make a female happy. I think that it is possible for any individual to have some of the markers for one sex and some of their markers for the other sex, thus deconstructing the binary opposition of male/female on which patriarchal constructions of sex and gender identity rely.

Two things kept me wondering about this story: first, its ending with no supporting clues or context; and second, its title which deconstructs itself. Any reader can notice it. Its abrupt ending offers a great deal of scope for the reader to think and reflect. The story shows that Ram Prasad remained in exile for five years, which raises a lot of questions in the reader’s mind.  Where did he go? What did he do? Did he undergo any surgery to make himself “smart to manage” life with his girlfriend Laxmi? Secondly, it is not clear to me why the writer has this title because it tends to support the notion of “becoming”, not ‘unbecoming’ as the title stands. I see a move to the ‘becoming of a male’, who goes to live in exile, falls in love, and marries a girl of his choice. So, it is “becoming” because traditional gender constitutions have been broken to allow Ram Prasad to live smartly with his wife, in a society that does nothing but live in wonder looking for the biological relevance of such a relationship.

The story begins with Rita’s unusual growth as a girl and ends with her role as Ram Prasad who knows how to smartly live with the bride. It has a stylish end: “It’s all about being smart. It’s about being smart to manage,” which keeps the reader in speculation. This leads critics to interpret the story in multiple ways: a story about transgender’s thirst for love, about the cursed family seeking happiness, about genetic or gender change, and about deconstruction of males’ genitals. However, I see it as a deconstruction of the binary opposition of male/ female on which patriarchal constructions of sex and gender identity rely.

[Mr. Nepal is pursuing MPhil at KUSOED]

“Gender Transitioning Should No Longer Be a Taboo”

– Bhaskar Subba

Gender transitioning, an idea originated in the West and now a fundamental right, is a current popular buzz phrase. A Canadian actor Ellen Page, who had a whirlwind Hollywood ride from ‘her’ – excuse my using a feminine pronoun – breakout role in Juno, rather unexpectedly made the headlines when she shared a post on Instagram saying that she was a transgender. Many were struck dumb by this sudden announcement while there were some who simply stood by her, feeling proud. Now, she goes by the name Elliot Page. At least in terms of their gender discovery, I see no difference between Ellen and Rita. Assumed to be a girl child by her parents, Rita, all of a sudden, metamorphoses into a boy, following her unusual genital growth. GENITAL GROWTH, which, if I might say so, is A NON-EXISTENT MEDICAL CONDITION. It is hard to believe, but I am taking this medical condition with a grain of salt.

Actually, the story of Rita is common, not unusual in any sense. She was born as a girl, but unlike Ellen, who needed much courage and time to reveal her sexual identity, dismantles her false sexual identity at an early age after an unusual genital growth. However, it was not easy for her parents to accept the fact that their girl was actually a boy.

As time goes by, some weird things start to happen to Rita’s body: a mustache and a beard grow, her voice breaks up and a menstrual cycle stops. When she is in sixth grade, she makes her first strong demand to her parents, asking them to either take her out of the school that she was going to or send her to a distant school. However, in the story nothing has been mentioned as to why she makes this demand. Perhaps, it could be due to her feelings of embarrassment over her physical change that was taking place. Whatever the reason is, her parents agree to fulfill her wish. The new school gives her a new identity: Rita becomes Ram Prasad, a resounding triumph for him, if you will.

Another turning point comes into Ram’s life when he finds his soulmate, Laxmi. To get married to her was not an easy affair for him, a daunting task, I would rather say. However, with his parents’ approval, he ties the knot with her. But what follows after his marriage is a self-imposed banishment. For some reasons, the couple had to stay away from their home. After five years of staying away from his home, Ram along with his wife Laxmi returns to his village, strong and impervious. His relationship with his wife, one that deviates from the conventional social norms, begins to circulate and a climate of malicious gossip takes root. But such gossip miserably fails to bother them, being completely unsusceptible. Both put up a strong fight against those who spite and hate them and eventually emerge victorious.

Would Rita be able to assert her sexual identity if she was in a completely different situation? According to the story, Rita’s parents have three children including her. She is the only child who is born healthy while her two sibling brothers are deaf and dumb. By an odd quirk of fate, her siblings being unable to hear and speak turns out to be a blessing in disguise. One might wonder how it is so. Imagine if all three children were healthy, would Rita be treated any differently by her parents? That would not have, you might disagree with me, given Rita an advantage that she had. With two healthy boy children, her parents’ behaviour towards her would certainly have been different, making her feel unacceptable. She would have suffered total neglect. It is plain that her parents listen to her and readily honour her wishes because she, although being out of ordinary, is better than her two sibling brothers because she is in full possession of her faculties. That, I think, is the reason why in spite of all odds she is able to be herself.

While the story may possess a simple plot, its narrative lacks a multitude of crucial components. One of them is that we are not told where and when the story takes place. As we know that in any story a setting is extremely important as it provides the reader with context on the time, place, and environment that the story takes place in. Without a context a meaningful interpretation is not possible so that is why I am uncomfortably compelled to say how I actually feel about the story is purely based on assumption. Considering the two names of the antagonist − Rita and Ram Prasad – the story might well have taken place either in countries like Nepal or Bharat. If so, then it is necessary to look at historical context of gender issues, which include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.

In the beginning, you might have noticed that I have described the idea of gender transitioning as Western origin. Upon witnessing the Western world’s exhortation for individuals, especially those residing in countries like Nepal and Bharat, to combat gender discrimination, I am struck with the realization that both the residents of these nations, who may have unwittingly neglected their rich cultural heritage, and the Western proponents of gender equality are in need of enlightenment and education. Homosexuality and transgenderism had been completely acceptable for thousands of years in ancient Bharat Barsha until the invasion of Bharat by the Mughals and the Britishers. For example, Shikhandi, who was born as a daughter to Drupada, the king of Southern Panchala, became a biological male after agreeing to a sex exchange with a Yaksha. Similarly, had the act of transitioning one’s gender been considered a social taboo, Arjun, who underwent a transformation from male to female following the curse imposed by Urvashi, may have been hesitant to pursue such a course of action, fearing ostracization or being labelled as deviant. Numerous additional instances serve to exemplify the fact that Sanathan Dharma instructs its followers to display reverence towards all, regardless of their individual sexual orientations.

To the best of my knowledge, any matters pertaining to gender that may be deemed problematic are a direct result of the influence exerted by Abrahamic religions. The holy scripture Bible openly denounces homosexuality, and if you read Leviticus 20:13, which says “If a man lies with a male as with women, both of them have committed an abomination,” then it will not take long for you to realize where these problems have come from. Likewise, in the Quran the prophet lord rebukes the people of Sodom and Gomorrah saying, “Do you commit abomination such as no people in creation ever committed before? You practice your lusts in preference to women, you are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.” Most conservative followers of Abrahamic religions still have complete contempt for those people who do not fit into a biological definition of male and female. Some are very discreet – they simply do not want to run into trouble − while others are openly against LGBTQ. For example, the richest state in the world, Qatar, which held the greatest event FIFA World Cup 2022, was in the headlines for its stance on homosexuality. According to their Sharia Law, homosexuality is haram.

I am not saying that a person like Rita is not subject to discrimination and hatred in countries like Nepal and Bharat, where Sanathan Dharma is still widely practiced. What I am trying to get across is that we are the ones who are asked to see beyond sexuality, color of skin and caste. Our Sahastras proclaim Aham Brahmasmi, which literally means I am Brahman. The sole purpose of life is to realize that we are not just a heap of flesh and bones, but soul, according to Sanathan Dharma.

The unfavorable perception that is held regarding sexuality is not inherently ours, but rather a construct that has been imposed upon us. Abiding by the principle of “Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma,” which espouses the belief that everything in existence is a manifestation of the divine, we strive to recognize the presence of God within all beings, thereby rendering all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, inherently worthy of acceptance. As a result of this outlook, it becomes apparent that Rita’s gender transition should not to be viewed as a noteworthy topic of discussion, particularly by those who belong to Bharata Barsha, the light of the world.

[Mr. Subba is pursuing Master’s studies at KUSOED.]


A Letter to James Dewey Watson

– Bharat Sigdel

Dear Watson,

I am writing to you today to tighten some bonds of our relation. Yes friend, being two humans from a seemingly vast different professional life, I find too many common grounds between you, a scientist, and me, an academic writer. I always get confused whether you are a scientist or an academic writer. Similarly, in my case as well, I inquire with myself whether I am an academic writer or a scientist. In this letter today, I will be focusing on our common grounds.

Writing is a common activity in every dimension of life. In formal as well as informal settings, we regularly write. We write in different contexts, for different purposes, for different target readers, through different mediums and with different messages. But obviously, writing of daily use is different from what students and academicians write in schools, colleges and universities. The special variety of writing which is called academic writing goes commonly in schools, colleges and universities. As academic writing, in many ways, is what science is and is not what science is not, we can take it as science. As I have already mentioned, to some extent, you are an academic writer and I am a scientist.

Academic writing is a skill-based writing in academia which ranges from assignment of students to expert works of researchers and professors. In the beginning, academic writing may be so frightening and disgusting to the learners, it “may turn your stomach or turn your nose.” Difficulties come when we cannot reach to a particular context. As L. Lennie Irvin says, “Writing resembles having our eyes blindfolded and our hands tied behind our backs: we can’t see whom we’re talking to or where we are. Separated from our audience in place and time, we imaginatively have to create this context.” Yes, we imagine and create a context. Through writing we try to establish a rhetoric that creates a common ground to writer and readers to meet and communicate.

Academic writing is such a vast skill that it can be taken as and compared to many dimensions of philosophy of life. Therefore, we say academic writing is discourse, politics, pedagogy, network, scholarship, science, and many more. It carries its dominant features from all these various fields. As we create the context of communication through our writing, all academic writings are discourses. The writer openly argues on the raised issue. The entire project of writing from selection of the topics to publication or even to the point of readers’ response/criticism is engulfed with politics. Academic writing is solely a skill and artifact of academia. It is deeply rooted in pedagogy. Similarly, academic writing is considered to be enriched by network and scholarship. It helps to form a network of scholars and their profound scholarly knowledge. And can academic writing be taken as science, too?

Yes, of course. The enterprise of writing can be said to be similar to that of science. As defined by Wilson, E. O.  (1999) “Science is the organized, systematic enterprise that gathers knowledge about the world and condenses the knowledge into testable laws and principles” (58). So is academic writing.  Academic writing has its own norms, rules, regulations or format specified by concerned university or constructs of long practices. Academic writing follows the format which has been in long practice and has universality in its pattern. For example, a five paragraph essay format is universally accepted. The University of Sydney has introduced academic writing thus: “Academic writing is generally quite formal, objective (impersonal), and technical. It is formal by avoiding casual or conversational language, such as contractions or informal vocabulary. It is impersonal and objective by avoiding direct reference to people or feelings, and instead of emphasizing objects, facts and ideas. It is technical by using vocabulary specific to the discipline.”

Dear Watson, normally, science is understood as a discipline in which they first find an issue or problem, then they go through careful and systematic observation based on any suitable method and finally they reach an answer or a solution. We can take example of your discovery of the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Though the discovery was announced in 1953, you had started your study and observation from your virus research at Indiana University in 1950. I have come to know that you became convinced that the gene could be understood only after something was known about nucleic acid molecules. Study was also focused on protein molecules with the help of scientists working in the Cavendish Laboratory at the University of Cambridge.

After working on research at the Cavendish Laboratory continuously for two years (1951–53), yes, the discovery was made to be possible, in the spring of 1953. Certainly, academic writing also has some similar traits. Academic writing, specially research work, takes its journey to one or multiple conclusions started from and across statement of problem, finding a research question, setting hypothesis, going through data collection and data analysis. To quote Anne Whitaker (2009) here: “In an academic writing assignment, you will start by asking a good question, then find and analyze answers to it, and choose your own best answer (s) to discuss in your paper. Your paper will share your thoughts and findings and justify your answer with logic and evidence” (2).

Science has reliability, validity and credibility because conclusion it draws is tested. The discovery of DNA is universally accepted without single question. Similarly, academic writings, except some, have all these qualities. As Gina L. Vallis says, “Academic writing uses a style that tends to offer a question, in an implicit or explicit manner, and then to move, step-by-step, to a conclusion, through reasoned argumentation” (20). So, they have wide acceptability.

Science finds new avenues for further study. In academic writing, too, we can find curiosity, knowledge gap and new concepts that trigger readers to go with further research or further writing. That is what we mean by writing inspires writing. The references mentioned create a network creating connection with almost unlimited link of the readers to the world of academic writing.

Academic writing is similar to science not only with what science is but also with what science is not. First of all, science is not just accumulation of facts. Nor is academic writing. Academic writing is not pile of data or crowd of corpus only, it is entire task of mining out valuables through analysis of variables.

Science does not try to forcefully claim something to be true. Rather it establishes truth through its own way of observation and testing. similarly, in academic writing we derive answer/solution/conclusion based on analysis of the variables and related data.

Science does not deal with supernatural, magical elements or occultism. Nor does academic writing. Supernatural, magical elements or occultism can certainly be subjects of writing, but not evidences of supporting details.

Academic writing follows an established format, goes across a reliable procedure, uses observation, analysis and logical reasoning to reach to one or multiple answers. It can be compared to science. Also, it does not believe in untested matters and supernatural as well as occult power as science. So, by now we come to the point that academic writing is science.

Dear Watson, many congratulations once again to you on your discovery of DNA for which you were awarded with the Nobel prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1962. I like to conclude my letter here today but please do not forget to reply. I am looking forward to hearing your response on my analogy and any of your recent discovery.

With best regards,



[Mr. Sigdel is pursuing M.Phil. in English Education in Kathmandu University]

When Reetu Returns

– Kashiraj Pandey 
“There is a new face in the village.”
 The headman is informed by one of the village women.
“Yeah, he must be a tourist who might want to stay here for a couple of nights and might leave.” Says Jimuwal, the headman.
“Jimuwaal Baa, Jimuwaal Baa
Shouts another Youngman from the distance – a clear voice some two kilometers away, very audible, very familiar.
“Oh, Hello? Who is that?” replies the headman.
“This is Ramesh, Jimuwaal Baa. I just wanted to make sure you are home.” As he adds, “I am coming to you with guests, a couple from Amrika.”
“Oh yes, come on by”, says Jimuwaal Baa.
“Namaste Jimuwaal Baa”
Ramesh greets the headman and both the Amrikans also exchange greetings with him.
“I heard about you.” Says Jimuwal Baa.
 There had come a woman that morning who had told him that she had noticed a new person in the village.
“Where have you come from?”—
“England, do you know?” The couple spoke in unison.
“Oh yes, yes, Amrika”, replied the headman.
“Amrikans come and visit our village. Some years ago, many Amrikans would come and stay here almost every day, but for the last couple of years I have not noticed any. Amrikans favor this village very much. You see, tourists can see the mountains from here so clearly. They give money, stationery and sweets to our children. Last year, one Amrikan even brought books, a bagful of books, from London where she came from. She worked in our village primary school for a month. She lived in that shed, down there, above the cow shed. Downstairs we keep cows and upstairs a room to live. We have even constructed a toilet for that Amrikan. She was so shy to go to the toilet in public, or even in an open space. And, she was the one who persuaded us to construct more toilets in our village. Now, each household has at least one toilet in the village. So, we value Amrikans very much.”
“Ramesh, what a beautiful scene, especially when the first rays of sunlight reach the mountain peak; so vibrant, so enchanting”, observes Mike, the male tourist.
“Yeah, beautiful for you but our people do not have time to regard the beauty of nature like this. Their days come and go routinely. They are more worried about earning their bread, even without butter! They take nature for granted, expecting it to readily support their needs. Tourists view it as an opportunity of a lifetime to experience the ecstasy and the bliss of nature; they feel as if they are in heaven whenever or however they visit this place.”
 Mike interrupts, “Ramesh, Look! What a nice baby goat, we never see them in our country. Right, Isabelle?”
Isabelle smiles and says, “Yeah- amazing! How lovely are these goats, buffaloes, and the vegetables in the kitchen garden, so lively, so fresh.”
Visiting the remote village as a tourist was nostalgic; totally lost was Isabelle, now a young woman. They had just arrived the previous week, had been in Kathmandu for three days, taken a mountain flight, and come directly to the village.
For a long time she had carefully kept her identity card with an old photograph glued to it. She now removed it from her purse. The card read, “Reetu Nepal, Grade Two, Roll no. one.” The name of the school- Shree Pancha Kumari Primary School, Dhading, formed the background.
Isabelle showed the card to Ramesh. Ramesh, a guide belonging to a trekking company had not realized the tourists’ motive in visiting the village. Ramesh too had attended Pancha Kumari School. He studied and took his SLC at the same school, some nine or ten years ago and knew everything about it.
Ramesh, who had never met his parents, had left the village on passing his SLC. It was also his first visit to this place since he had left. Although he lost his parents at an early age, the people in the village remembered how they loved and cared Ramesh over all those years. Ramesh also remembers his people telling him the story of his parents who had died right after he was born, one after the other, within a year’s time. The villagers a long time ago had also told him about his sister who was ten years older than him. That’s all he knew about his family. He is so indebted to the villagers for they all were compassionate to him which was more of an incentive to return than the orders his company had given.
Ramesh, looking at the card more seriously, reads aloud—Reetu Nepal, a card of a student who went to Pancha Kumari school years back in history for him. The date read as “Expiry: 1981 January 14”, 21 years ago from February 20, 2005 – the present date. Ramesh, also with his family name “Nepal”, recalls the story of the girl Reetu, doubting whether this Reetu was his own sister who he remembers the villagers telling him of who was sent to the city after their parents died.
An old woman from the village appeared and he showed her the picture. Sitting next to the tourists, “Aren’t you Ramesh, how can I forget you my love?” the old woman says, “oh, yeah! This picture – I remember.”
“Baboo! This seems like your sister, Reetu. She was both a brilliant and beautiful girl. We could not keep her with us. Some twenty to twenty two years ago, before you were born, there lived a fine family of three; a young couple with a daughter. They were your father, mother, and sister, Reetu. After your birth the couple died. Your father had a serious disease, HIV, which he caught from Bombay, the colorful city of India where he had gone to work for some years. And your mother followed the same fate. The man died almost five or six months before the woman, and before you were born. After the man’s death, the woman, who was also pregnant, gave birth to a boy. That’s you, Ramesh. She died some two months after your arrival.”
“ Reetu, your sister”—looking at the picture the old lady unravels, “so cute but little mischievous, I still remember had a hard time to live a life here in the village so we sent her to the city with Kainla, who had a mason’s job in Kathmandu. Kainla later told us that a kind gentleman took Reetu to a charity that accepted orphans for foreigners to adopt. A year later, when my husband went to Kathmandu, I asked him to find her and bring her back to the village, to our home if she wished. He said he could not trace her, a story from some 20 years ago. Who gave you this card, Ramesh?”
Ramesh replied, “The Amrikans.” This young couple have come from London to see our village. The company I work for asked me if I could be their guide. I accepted the deal and I am with them. The card belongs to this lady. The old woman looking at Isabelle, was puzzled for some time and tells Ramesh in Nepali to ask the young lady how she got that card. Ramesh, translating repeats, “Where did you get the card from?”
“This is my card. My own card”, Isabelle replies. “This is all I have since I was taken away from my birthplace, nothing more, and nothing I remember more than this except some shallow images of the hills, the mountains, and the clearing nearby. I was given everything; a new name, food, shelter, and support. I have been treasuring this card as though it were a part of my body and the same card has brought me back to this village now.

Dolmia’s Different Direction

 – Kashiraj Pandey
A middle-aged woman, tall and tired, accompanied by a charming child steps down from an airliner that brings the majority of workers back home and some tourists to Kathmandu from the Middle East everyday around lunch time.
Everybody was in a hurry to reach their destination, some to their long missed family members and others to a hotel, most probably.  Dolmia, a village lady, who had left home some ten years ago, now with her baby appeared so lonely and confused. The beautifying new set of garments and high-heeled shoes she wore made her look younger than her actual age. She was sitting with a boy in one of the far off rows of chairs that otherwise would be occupied only during the rush hour. She neither talked to anyone nor moved ahead towards immigration.
People came and went, passengers from around the globe, some from Bangkok, some from Beijing, and others from Delhi or Doha. Nothing touched her. Everyone looked at her and passed by. 
“Mamma, Lit’s go”, says Mohammed who is visiting Nepal for the first time. 
“See mamma… there”. The boy poking his mother points in the direction of all the other passengers waiting for their turn to be cleared by immigration.
“Wait for some time. I am wondering where to go”.
“Everyone has gone over there. I am hungry.”
“Okay. Here you go.”
Dolmia unzips her hand bag, takes out a packet of biscuits, and gives them to Mohammed. “Great”, expressed with a sense of happiness on finding some water saved from the flight, and a muffin.  She gives them to her boy. 
She stares at everyone who passes the arrival desk when everything around seems so alien to her.
“Dolmia Lama from Qatar” shouts the airline staff. Full of mirage, she wakes up. 

“Yes, Yes. I am here.” 
“Oh you have unclaimed baggage. Yours is the only one left from Flight 354. We were wondering what had happened to you. Please come and take your stuff. Two pieces, right?”
Dolmia proceeds further, fills in the form, and passes through immigration. The man at the counter stares at them, verifying their documents; Mohammed, a very unlikely name to suit this Family of Dolmia. After official procedures, they walk down to the baggage claim, then to the customs counter, and then outside.
Fresh air and a natural life with all her people, people all alike, her own type. 
Dolmia is very nostalgic. It’s a cool and chilly afternoon. 
Dolmia and Mohammad on one side and a whole lot of people gazing at them on the other. Some were waiting to receive their own friends and relatives and others for the tourists. No one knew about Dolmia’s arrival today. Today, she is with Mohammad, her 6 year old child.
“Mohammed, your name is Mohan from today. You can call me by the same name, “mamma” but you will be addressed as Mohan. No one ever from now onwards will call you Mohammed.
“And Papa?”
“No. We will not meet him again and you will never remember that man. He will be forgotten.”
Dolmia was alone when she left Nepal. She had promised with Karma and two grown up girls that she would return soon with much affluence. She left this fantastic family with hope that one day she would return and pay off their loans and buy their own piece of land to build a home of their own. Her mission was to work in Qatar for three years as a caregiver. 
All her life in Nepal, she was a good wife, a mother of two girls, and an honest member of the society. The poor economic condition of the family was responsible for sending her abroad. It was against her interest but the very usual trend of people in her village forced her to think of foreign employment.
After long and deep consideration, the family together took the decision that Dolmia would go to Qatar for three years while Karma would take care of the two girls in her absence. Karma, though he had never gone to school himself, was very devotional and dedicated to the prosperity of their children’s future. He raised the girls with full care — fed them well and sent them to school with appropriate amenities. Dolmia too would send money to the family, until she experienced a twist in her life. 
Waiting outside the airport, where many taxi drivers ask her destination at minute intervals, Dolmia is speechless. 
She talks to herself, “should I go to my own family, to relatives, or towards an unknown place to other people?” 
Seeing his mother in a very confused state, Mohan speaks.
“Mamma, what are we waiting here for? Let’s go to meet my sisters. You said I have two lovely sisters waiting to see me, didn’t you?”
“Darling! Hold on. Let me think.”
“What mamma? What has happened to you today? I am so excited to meet and play with my sisters.”
“Mohan, my dear son, as I changed your name today, everything has changed. We are neither seeing Karma, nor your sisters. We should go to a hotel, to a place where no one knows us. A place where we two can have our own world, my space and Mohan’s space. A new place where you will play with me, and I with you. Something that we never had. ”
“Taxi…. taxi…. !” Shouts Dolmia. 
“Take us to a moderate hotel, will you?”
“Rupees 1000, for the ride. I will drop you at a nice hotel with a very reasonable tariff.”
“Okay, let’s go.”
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