Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 15th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> Angel of Thorns—Nepalese Jhamak Kumari Ghimire
Writing Life with Her Feet, Turning Thorn into Flower
       Nepalese female writer Ghimire had been born with severe cerebral palsy, she cannot speak, and neither can she write with her hands. Her only way to communicate is by writing with her toes. She not only overcame her disabilities, but also wrote down her courage, her hopes, and her love of life. Her recently published prose autobiography Life is Thorn or a Flower won the highest mark of literary excellence in Nepal, the “Mddan Puraskar Literary Award,” and front page news coverage by BBC, CNN and NHK channels. Ghimire never stops to lament her misfortunes, she is independent and self-reliant in her many efforts to conquer the obstacles in her life. She writes of life with her feet with the purpose of sharing with and encouraging others that it is indeed possible to turn thorn into flower, that life must be lived with hope, with courage, and with love, making her a true “Angel of Thorns.”
 
Each syllable a tear, each word a drop of blood
      Ghimire was born in 1980 in the poor, backward farming village of Dhankuta in Eastern Nepal. She had been born with severe cerebral palsy, and all of the neighbors tried to persuade her parents to give her up, but they never did. Even though it was hard for them also, at first, to accept the fact of Ghimire’s severe illness, and even though they were too poor to seek medical relief, Ghimire’s grandmother gave her all, and carried Ghimire on her back to doctors and schools alike. Sadly, not only were the many hospitals they went to unable to cure Ghimire of her illness, but she was denied the right to schooling. She cannot speak, neither can she write, but she is very much able to listen, and that was how she learned, by listening. She found that she could write by holding a pen between her toes, and so she slowly wrote, each syllable a tear, each word a drop of blood, the story of her life.
      Like many other people, Ghimire was born without too many choices in life, but the special thing about Ghimire was her courage in facing her lot in life. She never stops to lament her misfortunes, she never succumbs to fate, and she perseveres in full determination. The many difficulties she faces never daunts her or robs her of her willpower, instead, she grows stronger after each battle, each time more triumphant than the last. Her relentless efforts have enabled her to publish 6 poetry collections, 4 prose collections, as well as many newspaper columns. Now, her income not only allows herself to live independently of others, but moreover to provide for her family. The flowers of the valleys have finally blossomed for Ghimire.
      On September 3rd, 2011, Ghimire was awarded with the highest mark of literary excellence in Nepal, the “Mddan Puraskar Literary Award,” as well as an accompanying prize of 20,000 NPR (around NTD 8000), a sum that sufficiently provides for her entire family for a year.
 
Everyone has a purpose in life
      Renowned Nepalese novelist and translator Madame Thapa has praised Ghimire’s 11 publications, including Life is Thorn or a Flower, masterpieces on poeticizing life. She commends Ghimire for portraying love and life through the medium of poetry, and for bringing beauty and joy upon the earth. Ghimire has posed the question once and again: Is life a thorn, or a flower? Just as flowers may blossom in beauty and grace amid thorns, life may shine through the darkness of hardship and trial.
      If life went on as smooth as sailing all our days, we wouldn’t be able to discover its beauties. It is only because man is faced with one hardship and pain after another, that he strives to attain happiness and bliss. As is with life, if flowers did not blossom amid thorns, perhaps they wouldn’t seem as lovely are they are. For Ghimire, her entire life is an endless quest in overcoming pain and grief, without hope of ever leading a life of peace and tranquility. The sadness and happiness, pain and hurts, twists and turns that everyone must experience in life teaches us to appreciate, when we have overcome, the essence of life that shines as brilliantly as a flower in its bloom.
 
Sacrifices toward a better future
      In a BBC interview of Ghimire, she recounted her life story as portrayed below: It is because I had to conquer so many difficulties and overcome so many obstacles that I can truly appreciate the value of the simple, peaceful life I live right now. I don’t mean to say that I am not encumbered with doubts and fears, but that is the lot of man which no one may escape from. I too have accepted my fate, and I have survived.
      But now I have come to a stage in which I no longer fight only for my own survival, I no longer need to strive for this purpose. What I must do now is to make sacrifices for others. If I must endeavor, it will be to attain this ideal.
      No matter how long or short my life will be, I will endeavor to live a meaningful, purposeful life for my society, my country, and my universe. Yes, I have been accused of writing for fame and fortune. Nevertheless, this is the path I have chosen, and it is not for fame and fortune. Perhaps, it is my destiny to sustain myself with my writing.
      But have I indeed made any sacrifices and dedications? Only “Time” will tell. I do not defend myself. Even if I shall eventually be judged for my actions, I do not fear what the consequences of that judgment.
      I give my life over to future verdicts. I give my life to the age that has yet to come. My life no longer belongs to myself only. I only concern is whether the art I am now able to create and portray lives up to the expectations and hopes of my generation. I beseech death not to mock or shame me. I also beseech death to not come upon me too soon, for these is still so much I wish to bequeath upon the world.