“While other children got clothes regularly, we got them only once or twice in a year. We were poor but we were happy. Sometimes, when kind-hearted neighbours gave us their used clothes, I’d be thrilled as if they were new. It didn’t matter even if they weren’t our size.

Once, while shopping for school shoes, the shopkeeper insisted I buy kicker’s brand which cost Nu. 500 instead of the liberty which cost Nu 150. She was astonished when I chose the latter, and told my father that he was lucky to have a daughter like me.

When other kids enjoyed their winter vacation, I’d be selling momo on the roadside in the cold or help my father collect stones and carry mud. But selling momo was what I enjoyed the most. I’d even borrow money from my late grandpa to buy litchi juice, waiwai and supari and sell them to make some more cash. He’d agree under the condition that I pay him back with interest. By the end of vacation, I’d make a profit of nu.1000 and buy school stationery. With remaining cash, I’d buy hair bands, hair clips and perfume.

In college too, I struggled to make ends meet. During my first year, I hardly had any kira and sandals. It was even hard to afford face cream. As a self-catering student, there were instances where I went hungry for days because the rice had run out and father was out of reach as he went hiking with tourists. At that moment, I realised how dependent I was on my poor parents.

I started selling short stories for nu.10 on my Facebook page during winter breaks to make some college expenses and pocket money. This led to me getting noticed by a travel agent, and landing an offer to write travel content. At first, I was scared as I’ve never written for a website before. This could be the first step towards making a living out of my passion for writing.

Life became easier after I started working as a freelance writer. I made enough money to buy things that I wanted. Looking back, being poor was not bad at all. In fact, it helped me value my parents’ hardship in bringing us up, and working my way towards independence. I often share about my adversity with my students with hopes to encourage them to work harder and be independent.”


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