Manoj Khang (25) leads the narration. He belongs to the terrai dalits (untouchables) and earns a living as a peasant farmer. His elopement with a neighbor’s daughter, Parbati Raut, now 22 years, in 2003 led to ethnic cleansing in his village. Hundreds of high-caste men attacked the around eighty untouchables, in a bid to drive them out and “purify” the village, putting the lovers under extreme pressure to separate.
Khadga Bahadur Sunar (23), a low caste blacksmith, eloped with Jaisara Baduwal (21), a high caste Chhetri, in 2008. Though they were childhood friends and neighbors whose families shared work, land and water, their elopement sparked off violence in the village. They hid in a forest for several days to escape the wrath of Jaisara’s parents, who wanted to kill them. They lost their way in the thick jungle and nearly starved to death.
|Khadga Bahadur Sunar|
Shyam Risidev (22), a milk vendor, lives in a town near Nepal’s second largest city. His love affair with Saraswoti Pokrel (21), his childhood friend, turned into a tale of police brutality after they eloped in 2010. Her parents bribed the police, who raided the village, tortured Shyam’s father, injured dozens of untouchables, and took Saraswoti away to be married to a man of her caste.
Though still a 17 year old student, Ranjana Kumari Singh eloped with her lover Kishor Paswan (21) rather than be a stranger’s bride in an arranged marriage. Her parents connived with the police who charged Kishor with kidnap and seducing a minor. The Supreme Court of Nepal however controversially dismissed the case against him, which was a victory for all Nepali youth who believe in love.
|Kishor Kumar Paswan|
|Ranjana Kumari Singh|
Rajib Sunar (16) came into town to learn the goldsmith craft of his caste from his uncle. But within four months, he fell madly in love with a high caste girl, Sabina KC (15). Her family could not accept the relationship. The lovers were found hanging on a single shawl in the jungle, a chilling warning to the society that inter-caste relationships are not tolerated.
|Rajib and Sabina died under mysterious circumstances.|