Kabir still visits her every Thursday, but stays a little longer
When her neighbors had introduced Annapurna to Republica five months ago, she 'was a woman who had not smiled for over a decade.' The neighbors told us that Annapurna's husband, Kabir, needs to be held responsible for her situation and that action must be taken against him. To the volley of charges against her man, the old fragile-looking lady only gave a mute response. When asked if she wanted him to realize his mistake, she said in a faint voice, “He has sugar, pressure”. It was heart wrenching that Annapurna Rijal, 66, was concerned about Kabir's health. Republica then ran her story in January 2020.
Kabir Bajracharya, 70, used to visit Annapurna in her single rented room in Sanepa, Lalitpur every Thursday. They wouldn’t talk much. Their only son committed suicide in 1999, at 27 and this left an uncomfortable void in their relationship. Talking to Annapurna is not easy, 'she's not very warm in her words', according to Kabir. But still, 'he loves her and cannot do without meeting her once a week.'
Kabir lives with his other wife. They have been married for five decades. He met Annapurna the same time around and they secretly got married a few years later. Things didn't work out, the blame game continued and Annapurna was robbed of her rights and comfort. After losing her son, she remained in a state of shock.
Kabir, however, felt the pressure to be more responsible to Annapurna after their story became public in January 2020. He had told Republica that he would take her home. Her neighbors did not want to see the old woman lonely and helpless in her twilight years.
"I will take her home, my other wife is okay with this. Even my sons will cooperate, they know everything since the beginning," Kabir reported.
Annapurna, who speaks very little unless you have earned her trust, was more than happy. That was a gesture of love and acceptance from the man she loved her entire life.
"He had told me that he would take me home. But I need a separate room, two rooms, one kitchen and one bedroom," she said, which was not a costly demand before a husband who owns three houses in Kathmandu.
Kabir continued with his routine to visit Annapurna. His houses were rented out and it took a while for Kabir to make the necessary arrangements. Once the rooms were ready, the coronavirus crept in. Annapurna is still waiting to go home with Kabir.
"I had readied to bring her in, but then the lockdown messed up the plan. But I meet her regularly," Kabir reports.
During the lockdown, Kabir sneaked into Annapurna's place at 5AM. He still visits her every Thursday.
"He would come in the morning and give me some money and then leave," Annapurna said. "These Thursdays, he stays for a little longer," she added.
Annapurna recently had her eye operated, and ‘Kabir took care of things’. As soon as the government further eases lockdown, she hopes to finally join the family: a new dawn in Annapurna's life.