Numb, Broke, Anxious, Loss of faith in humanity, Horrified and fearful. This is what I felt watching the vulnerable story of a ferocious warrior against life; Ms. Regmi. This is a real-life story of a young girl whose dream became a nightmare. Eight years back, A young girl looked at herself in the mirror and dreamt of becoming the future model of Nepal. Her dreams being sparked young as she had already acted as a child actor in multiple Nepalese movies.
She was one of the most cheerful person, you could ever find. Her naïve smile expressed the trust and beauty she found in this world. Everything was flowery and beautiful in her world. Her sweet sixteen years of age fired her up to challenge and conquer whatever she wished for. And being a very outspoken and versatile person, she knew that one day the reflection in the mirror she was looking at will be proud of the person she is going to be.
But little did she know that the world she perceived as so beautiful with her pink tinted naïve eyes was nothing like she thought. The world she had so much faith in was going to backstab her multiple times. All her fantasy of the innocent beauty she found around her was loudly shattered and her life went downhill from there as she auditioned for a ‘Beauty Pageant’.
A teenager who had aspired to be a successful model put her first baby step in the glamour world excitingly by participating in a Beauty Pageant after the completion of her high school. She knew this was her chance to shine and she gave her best in the audition but unfortunately, she was not selected. Universe had some other plans for her. Quite an unfortunate plan to be very honest. Being a very charming girl since her young age, her photo which she had provided in the audition got in the hands of a consultant of a modeling agency.
The preparator saw a photo of a naïve sixteen-year-old who could be easily manipulated and immediately took his chance. Him along with one of the renowned photographers in Nepalese media cooked up a plan to claw their dirty paws upon a minor. Ms. Regmi saddened that she was not selected up for the audition but still not completely dejected received an unknown message out of nowhere which read ‘Let’s have a photoshoot. We will make you a model. ‘
Regmi became elated with joy that someone recognized her talent and now she was one step closer to her dream, quickly caught up to the consultant aka the horrendous abuser. When she pulled up to their office, the consultant and the photographer put up a façade of being professional and conducted a photo shoot. She was even provided with 5 thousand rupees for the shoot. This was a huge gain for a sixteen year who was just rejected in an audition.
She felt that the girl she always dreamed of becoming while looking at the mirror was getting closer to become reality. Slyly smiling at the innocent girl, the abuser pulls up another proposal for Regmi which felt like a dream come true to her. Mr. Panday, the abuser states that they were going to organize a ‘Beauty Pageant’ and she should participate in it. This was what she always wanted so she quickly agreed on participating in the Pageant. But there was nothing beautiful about this ‘Beauty Pageant’.
The ‘Beauty Pageant’ went on successfully and to her biggest surprise Ms. Regmi even became the first runner up in the competition. The glamour world has multiple layers of fanciness to it, so the organizer aka the abuser announced that they were going to hold a success party as a completion of the grand event.
The abuser personally invited Ms. Regmi to the party which was held in the Everest Hotel and a girl enthralled by the beauty of the glamour world went all dolled up to the party. When she pulled over to the Hotel, she felt something was not right as she was the only one present there along with Mr. Pandey and the Photographer. Confused deeply she asked where everyone was and the manipulative bastard was quick enough to cook a lie stating that Ms. Regmi was too early to the party and everyone was going to come after a while.
Believing that sinful lie, Ms Regmi waited patiently for her other fellow participants of the Pageant to arrive but to no avail. After a long wait, a waiter arrived in her siting area and offered her a glass of a lemonade. She queried why it was given to her and the waiter replied that it was a ‘welcome drink’. As it was a non-alcoholic drink, without any more suspicion, Ms. Regmi gulped her drink as she was very bored of waiting. But as soon as she finished her drink she started to feel very drowsy and felt something was not right.
She went to Mr. Pandey and informed him that she will be taking her leave as she was not feeling well. Mr. Pandey scolded her harshly and said ” You are the winner; how can you leave such a huge event and go home? You should be accountable to the media and your fellow participants. But I knew scenario like this will happen. So, I was already prepared. Don’t worry, I have prepared a separate room for the girls who might get drunk today. Just go to that room and take a rest. When the event starts, I will be sending someone to wake you up.”
With this reassurance and her mind going haywire with dizziness, Ms. Regmi without any further thought went to the hotel room specified by Mr. Pandey. As she rested on the bed, she was quickly knocked down to sleep. She kept gaining consciousness in between but every time she gained her consciousness for few seconds, she felt him inside of her and he was raping her. It was so painful for her but she could do nothing about it. In the state of unconsciousness, she could not do anything about it.
Next morning when she woke up and was conscious, she got aware of her surroundings. The first thing that she noticed was the fact that she was naked from top to bottom and to her horror, Mr. Pandey was laying completely naked too besides her. Then she observed that the whole bed was smeared with blood.
Absolute fright and disgust took over her body and she screamed with all her might, but there wasn’t anyone who could hear her. The scream woke up the rapist and he calmly said “Stop screaming. I have placed 20 thousand rupees in your bag. Why are you crying when you were the one asking for it? You told me that you wanted to have money for sex. So, that’s what I did. Now take that money and Shut up, otherwise I have already asked my photographer friend to take your nude photos and videos of us having sex. If you ever talk about what happened here with anyone, I will release all your pictures and videos.”
Horrified, Disgusted, Afraid, Shameful, she was left with no choice but to dress up and take that money with her. Her voice was silenced and once a cheerful girl with vibrant smile got shattered into pieces and lost the soul to life at such a young age. She hailed a cab and returned back home. Too scared to disappoint her parent, she wiped off her tears and put a fake smile pretending everything was fine with her. The rapist had a huge blackmail material over that naïve girl.
After that, he used to call her whenever he wanted to have sex and forced her to do things a child like her could never imagine. He even forced her to have sex with his friend in front of him and she did everything helpless and no one to support her. By this point she was completely broken and had lost all charm to life. She became suicidal and very self-destructive. She used to cause self-harm because the rapist had manipulated her to believe that whatever was happening with her was her fault and was happening because she asked for it.
She felt disgusted in her own skin. And as the horrible incidents kept on happening for six long months, one day she realized that it was too much now and this must come to an end. For this she turned to her only source of hope and trust, her the then boyfriend whom Ms. Regmi likes to regard as Mr. Khadka.
Mr. Khadka became her only source of comfort because one day when she could not take anymore and broke down in front of her boyfriend detailing all the things she has been going through all this while. Mr. Khadka agreed that he was going to help her and with that she went to the modeling consultancy of the rapist and with all the staff of the company and the photographer present, she confronted her rapist for the very first time with all different evidences which ranged from voice recording, text messages, threats, photos etc. All the staff were shocked at the revelation and one even decided to leave the company the same day. Her boyfriend got aggressive after going through all the evidence and beat that man black and blue and Mr. Pandey was forced to delete all the blackmail materials.
After that torturous event, Ms. Regmi was forced to go through a lot of mental trauma which she still lives with till date. When she shared these incidents with the ones she trusted, one by one they kept turning backs upon her and accused her of all the happenings, stating that those were all the consequences of her own actions. Many people told her it was her fault she was raped or she asked for it or it’s not even a big deal and she is just over-exaggerating etc. Her suffering was continuously invalidated by the people around her which led to severe depression and her attempting suicide multiple of times.
It even went as far as to when, she called the rapist’s wife to tell her the bigger picture of her husband’s demonic reality, she harshly replied, “All of you model girls are after my husband. Why do you guys keep seducing him?” After going through many horrendous and traumatizing events for almost seven years, Ms. Regmi has now decided to break free from her trauma and share her painful past and how she has been the bravest person even while facing hell for years through different social media platforms. She is now strong enough to call out all of those culprits who ruined her childhood and the years after that and how she has silently suffered for years but now she wants to be heard.
Ms. Regmi is living Nirmala and Samjhana B.K. She has fought all this while alone having no one by her side. Betrayed uncountable times and shattered thousand of times. It is now a very important time; Nepalese society fights for her and provide her the justice she deliberately deserves. The unjust, assault and discrimination faced by women in different sectors needs to stop.
This is a warning bell that victims should not be the one silenced when the preparator is living life freely. Acts like this should not just go unnoticed. Ms. Regmi has pulled a very brave step coming in the social media and opening about her traumatizing past, it is now a responsibility of every Nepali citizen to not let this step go to vain.
This should cause a big revolution that after this no other culprit dares to commit such horrendous crime again. It’s too much and has happened too many times and it needs to stop. Ms. Regmi is the epitome of braveness, a warrior, a survivor and how strong a person can be. Let this be the reminder that if cases like this does not stop now we are going very far from humanity. Rape is the only crime in which the victim becomes the accused and victim-blaming should be strictly stopped now. #enoughisenough