MIDWAY: Duty and beauty

I have two sisters named Sila and Tara. Both of them live with me in Kathmandu. The former is my uncle’s daughter while the latter is my own sister. I love them equally but they refuse to follow my instructions. I wish my sisters to be successful in life but they want me to leave them alone.

To them traditional dresses and lifestyle are obsolete and they want to try modern dresses and enjoy the goodies. But I suggest them to follow Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of simple living and high thinking. I try to teach them moral values but they forget the lessons the very next day. My sisters want to ape sophisticated girls. They too want to wear short hair, dye their hair, use heavy perfume and powder, thread their eyebrows, apply heavy lipstick, and wear tight T-shirts, trousers and pencil-heel shoes.

They never think rationally that the applying of cosmetics can do nothing to enhance their inner beauty but can cause skin allergy like itching, rashes etc.

It is merely a waste of time and money. My sisters could instead utilise their money in buying books as Thoreau had once said: “Wear an old coat and buy new books.”

My sisters could visit any of the religiously, culturally and historically important places and gain knowledge in the process. However, their behaviour is exactly the opposite. They love talking to their contemporaries and forget their duty. They don’t realise that duty and beauty cannot go together. For them I am not an ideal brother. They consider the enjoyments of life to be shorter, so they want to cherish the present moment. But I think that it is important to leave one’s footprints for future generations to follow.

Perhaps, my sisters are right in their own way. It is difficult for two people of opposite ideas to live together. Still, I am their brother and it is my duty to show them the right path.

A brother should behave like a father, mother and a friend as well.

Hope one day my dream of making my sisters the followers of well regarded personalities like Mother Teresa, or a courageous lady like Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, and helpers of Florence Nightingale will come to fruition. Changing others’ thoughts and beliefs are not an easy task.