Kirshna Maya

“I think I’m currently the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve faced a lot of adversities in life, and they all start the day my mother died. I was very young and my father decided he couldn’t stay in the village anymore. We moved to Kalikhola. I was just 13 years old when a family asked for my hand in marriage. The man I was to marry was 5 years older than me. I had no choice but to marry him and go to his house once my father accepted the proposal.

I didn’t like living with my husband’s family but it wasn’t because they weren’t good to me. I simply wasn’t at home. It didn’t help that I got sick with Tuberculosis. There were no hospitals around, so I didn’t get proper treatment for a while. I was sick for almost 3 years. Only after 3 months at the Thimphu hospital and months of medication and injections did I recover. Then came the responsibility of childbirth. While pregnancy at 16 is already tragic, I had to suffer the additional loss of my babies. Two of them died within 2 months of birth. The third died in my womb. There was no good healthcare in the village.

My husband is mentally challenged. He doesn’t really know what goes on around him and doesn’t care for anything. He has a job but his earnings are used for his diabetes and hypertension medicines. We had nothing in common but I never looked for anyone else. I think stuff like that ends up in bad karma. We moved to Thimphu to be at a good hospital when I got pregnant a 4th time. I was 30 – older and ready for a baby. Our son is now in class 10. I remember I was told I’d die a lot of times. But I guess no matter how bad it gets, we don’t die until our day comes.

I now work as a sweeper in Thimphu Thromde. The pay is not much but they give us free housing which solves a lot of our problems. We are paid on time during lockdowns- this is a blessing for people like me. There were no schools in my village, I’m illiterate. My salary as a sweeper is only enough to buy food and I clean buildings at night for my kid’s expenses. But I’m happy. My child is grown up and I can take care of my family. We’d be better off at the village but I’m glad I came to Thimphu. My kid is my greatest wealth.”

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