Kumari of Patan “displayed” during this year’s Nariwell Jatra of Rato Machindra Nath.
People were religiously touching her feet, bowing to her.. while she, the Living Goddess, remained lifeless.. sad.. and silent.
How can such glance, which is believed to bring good luck, confer anything but sadness?
She was made Goddess when she was 5. Now, almost 13 years old, she is awaiting her first menstruation – in other words, to be “sacked” from the divine designation as she becomes impure and sinned. Soon she will just be a former-goddess, soon she will have to start all over her normal life – soon she will be ostracized.
Her childhood, now all but a cruel memory intricate with seclusion and silence, sacrificed in the name of tradition. While other children played, cried, went to school and ran on the streets – she, the chosen one, sat inside her temple being trained not to speak, not to smile and not to cry.
All for the glory of “Shakya” family, all for the glory of Hinduism!
She never asked for this.