The Pink Suit

Published On: July 2, 2016 12:55 PM NPT By: Rajendra Parajuli

Rajendra Parajuli

Rajendra Parajuli

The contributor for Republica.

Shukra Raj Shastri Ko Chasma, a collection of short stories in Nepali by author Rajendra Parajuli is all set to hit the market soon. Here is the English translation of Gulafi Suit, one of the stories in the collection:

The Pink Suit

Shankar Kumar felt like wearing a new suit.

He has more than half a dozen suits hanging in his wardrobe at home. But he doesn’t like any of them that much. The pink suit hanging at Krishna Tailors has stolen his heart.

He is a candidate for the Constituent Assembly elections under the first-past-the-post category. Also the Party’s district chairman and a central-level leader. The Party of Revolutionaries. His Party had accepted elections after a great deal.

There’s only a month and five days to go before the elections. It’s been more than a week since his eyes fell on the pink suit hanging at Krishna Tailors in front of the Party’s district office. He looks at the suit everyday while going to the office. But he doesn’t say anything. Nor does he ever ask the price. However, it’s not because he doesn’t have the money.  

“Only the bourgeois leaders of the bourgeois parties wear such suits, not the proletariat,” he tells the party cadres around him and immediately thinks about the pink suit hanging at Krishna Tailors.

One day when a party meeting was called for 5:00 in the evening, Shankar Kumar finds himself standing in front of the party office at 3:00.

That day he was alone. Usually, he doesn’t come out without 4-5 cadres with him. Bu that day, he was completely alone.    

For a while, he looked at the pink suit from outside Krishna Tailors. Then he moved a bit closer, still looking at the same suit. A closer view made him like the suit even more. He couldn’t control himself and quickly entered the shop.

A flag of the Communist Party hung on the inside wall of Krishna Tailors. He swelled with pride seeing the flag of his own ideology there. The thought of having made a Dalit a voter of the party made him even happier.

The flag was new as well as artistic. Shankar Kumar turned to the flag, made a tight fist and raised his hand.

The sickle and hammer stuck on the flag was made of silk. That made it look bright and attractive. The sickle looked as if it could really cut grass and the hammer as if it could break boulders.

“Namaste, Krishna dai,” Shankar Kumar said as he entered the shop.

Krishna Pariyar was astonished to see leader Shankar Kumar at his shop all of a sudden.  

Now my dream to open a shop in Kathmandu will come true, he thought. He believes that by coming to the capital he will better himself. It’s been five years since he first had this ‘capital dream’. He sees Shankar Kumar and his Party as the ones who could make his dream come true.

“Namaskar, hajur! How can I be of service?” Krishna asked.

“You are my Krishna dai and I am your Shankar bhai. Why hajur and service? That is the language of the bourgeois and the capitalists,” Shankar Kumar said, “The Party stands on the support of the dalits. We always respect you.”   

It can’t be said how much Krishna understood of what Shankar Kumar said or if he didn’t understand it at all. But he nodded his head as if he had understood anyway. And, he was extremely glad that a famous leader of the country had called him ‘dai’. Before this, Shankar Kumar would address him as ‘Krishna Ji’. He has taken many clothes from Krishna’s shop. In return of the assurance he makes to Krishna to help him open a shop in the capital.

“You are helping not only me but also the entire revolutionary campaign,” Shankar Kumar would often say while taking the clothes.

Krishna has also provided dozens of flags to the Party. He always uses quality cloths to make the flags for the Party. He generally also prepares flags carrying the party’s election symbol during elections.    

Krishna wants to start a tailors shop in Kathmandu at any cost. Opening up ‘Krishna Tailors’ in Kathmandu has been his life’s dream.

“Krishna dai, you have made our Party’s flag so beautiful. The Party will value your talent properly,” he said, “Our Party is sure to win a majority in these elections. After that, the happy days will start for the proletariat and dalits like you. The Constitution, too, will be drafted in your favor.”

Though he was talking about the Party and its flag, his attention was constantly on the pink suit. He would look at the party flag once, while looking at the suit five times.  

Now he could not control himself and started stroking the suit. He started turning it, touching and turning it.

“You have used such fantastic fabric for the inside as well, dai.”

“Do you happen to like this suit, Shankar bhai?” Asked Krishna, feeling a bit awkward calling a big leader of the country a ‘bhai’.   

“Do you like it, hajur?” he asked again, trying to make himself sound at ease.

“Krishna dai, now don’t call me hajur. Call me bhai,” Shankar Kumar said, “Ya, I somewhat like it but…,”

“Take it, Krishna bhai! It’s a gift from me,” Krishna said, “But you will have to help me open a tailors shop in the capital.”

“That’s not a big deal. Rest assured,” Shankar Kumar said, “I will even help you to get a loan from a bank.”

Shankar Kumar took the suit off the hanger and slipped it on.

“Krishna dai, did you sew it for me? See, how well it fits my body. An exact fit!” said Shankar Kumar.

“Now tell me how much I should pay,” he asked while reaching for his pockets as if to take out some money.

“Money is not needed, bhai. Just help me open a shop in Kathmandu. I can give you other similar suits,” Krishna said with confidence, “I will also prepare the Party’s flag and election symbol.”

Krishna gifted the suit to Shankar Kumar. He didn’t charge even a penny for it.

The elections came.

Krishna Pariyar voted for Shankar Kumar. He also requested those he knew to vote for Shankar Kumar.

The vote counting took place.   

Shankar Kumar won the election with a large number of votes. The contender, from the Nepali Congress, was badly defeated. Shankar Kumar’s Party got a clear majority.

The old government was removed.

A new government was formed.

Shankar Kumar became a minister. Forest Minister. The television showed him taking his oath at the President’s Office.

Shankar Kumar is wearing the same pink suit. The suit which Krishna had gifted him.

His Party has boycotted wearing the Daura-Suruwal.  


Krishna Pariyar felt as if he was on cloud nine.

“Who will stop me from opening a shop in Kathmandu now,” his confidence peaked.

Krishna bought a night bus ticket leaving for Kathmandu. His entire family felt happy.

He got off the bus at the New Bus Park early in the morning. He had been to the capital nearly a dozen times before, but this time this place looked new to him. He has come to Kathmandu after four years. He was, however, surprised to see such a crowd so early in the morning.

A microbus took him to the Ministers’ Quarters.

“I have come to meet Minister Shankar Kumar,” he told the security man guarding the door. The security man was reading a book. He lifted his eyes from the book. Then he jotted down “Krishna Pariyar from Gorkha” on a piece of paper and took it inside. He soon returned and started turning the pages of the book again.

Two hours..., four hours…! Nobody called him from inside. In between, he had approached the security guard many times. The security guard would tell him that he wasn’t allowed to go inside unless a permission came from inside.

“Did you really take my name inside,” he shouted at the security guard.

“Shankar Kumar is like a bhai to me, a younger brother. Why am I not being allowed to meet him? Fix my appointment with him immediately.” 

Bhai…,” the security guard scoffed. He put some chewing tobacco in his mouth and spat on the road. He shifted the rifle he was carrying to his other hand.

“The suit he was wearing while taking the oath the other day was a gift from me,” Krishna tried to convince him, “the pink suit.”

Exactly then a black car waving a flag slowly came outside. Krishna shouted seeing the person inside.

“Namaste, Shankar bhai…”

But Shankar Kumar didn’t recognize him.

“It’s me, Krishna Pariyar dai. You told me yourself to call you bhai, isn’t that right?”

Shankar Kumar still didn’t recognize him.

The car stopped. A half-opened window rolled down.

“Hey Shankar bhai, this policeman didn’t let me inside. He’s made me wait for four hours,” Krishna said in a single breath.

Minister Shankar Kumar looked once at Krishna Pariyar’s face.

“Who Krishna? I don’t know you at all. Have we met before? Where have you come from? Are you from my district? Gorkha? See, many Krishnas, Haris, Radhas, Shyams come here with some task,” he said signaling to the security guard, “Perhaps something is wrong with his head. He calls me a bhai.”

Shankar Kumar was wearing the same pink suit.

Krishna couldn’t believe his ears when he heard Shankar Kumar’s last sentence – “Perhaps something is wrong with his head. He calls me a bhai.” Still, he managed to say, “It is Shankar bhai, isn’t it? I had gifted you this suit after you liked it so much.”

Then the car’s window was raised up completely. And the car moved forward at full speed.

Krishna felt as if it all was a dream. He felt dizzy. He dropped to the side of the road and shut his eyes.

Handing him a bottle of water, the security guard said, “It’s their job to sell dreams, Krishna dai. We are stupid to believe that they will fulfill our dreams. We should fulfill our dreams on our own.”

The guard’s last sentence touched Krishna somewhere deep inside – We should fulfill our dreams on our own. He gulped down the whole bottle of water.


He returned to the Bus Park and bought a ticket for his journey back home.

Inside the bus, he had another dream.

Making his shop in the village bigger. Keeping a larger stock of cloths, hiring people. Bigger investments. Never again seeing a dream about opening a tailors shop in the capital. Never again gifting dresses to political leaders. Never again making party flags and election symbols for free.

After returning home-

He felt as if the flag in his shop was gesticulating at him. It reminded him of Shankar Kumar’s mistreatment.

He removed the flag from the wall.

Picked up a brand new pair of large, sharp scissors.

He cut the flag down to the size of his underwear. He knew that his old underwear was dirty and stinking. In places, it also had holes in it.

(Translated by Akhilesh Tripathi)

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