WOW | People
Women to Watch – 2016
Bartika Eam Rai
Time and again, an artist comes along and touches the heart so deeply that tears flow. That is what Bartika Eam Rai’s self-composed song Khai manages to do. With profound words and soulful music reflecting her experience, the single is not less than a masterpiece and quickly went viral. The songwriter-singer writes postmodern Indie songs. Her debut album Bimbaakash where she collaborates with incredible musician Diwas Gurung was released recently. Time and again, an artist comes along and touches the heart so deeply that tears flow. That is what Bartika Eam Rai’s self-composed song Khai manages to do. With profound words and soulful music reflecting her experience, the single is not less than a masterpiece and quickly went viral. The songwriter-singer writes postmodern Indie songs. Her debut album Bimbaakash where she collaborates with incredible musician Diwas Gurung was released recently.
I am proud to be a woman because…
My family raised me to believe in individuals, not men or women. As an individual, I have always been proud of the place I come from, that helps me to understand myself and others better, without judgment. I am proud of where I come from and I will always carry parts of my humble beginnings to every new place I go to or every new person I ever meet.
Most significant barrier to female leadership
Self-doubt, the conditioning to please society, and not being assertive enough due to internalisation that we may be coming out as being extremely bossy hence submitting to stereotype biasness are the most significant barriers to female leadership.
Woman of inspiration
I was practically raised by Aamaji (my mother) along with her four sisters in an unusual matriarchal family. These five vocal women with polar different personalities; my five mothers are who I am inspired by. The lives that they lead and the struggles that they have overcome have greatly influenced me in becoming the person that I am today.
More than generalising as a generation, the challenge is really one-on-one for each of us over here because each of our stories is different. It is every woman for herself. The biggest thing to remember though is to give back once you get somewhere.
One act of change…
Irrespective of being known to a lot of people or not, if I ever manage to hike to a point that may be better elevated than many others, I would like to make it possible for at least three other people to get there. I can live with that.
Best advice you have ever been given
At ten years old, when I was being sent to Budhanilkantha School to study, Aamaji made me a very simple meal of gundruk jhol-bhaat when parents sent children off to boarding schools with elaborate meals of chaurasi byanjan. I had just started eating when she sat me down and told me, “Never forget where you come from. No matter how high you rise or how low you fall, your feet will still be on the ground.”Aamaji continues to give advices but that, at ten years old, should top it all.
BEST part of being a woman…
As women, we have seen a lot. We have overcome a lot. In the end, we will have better autobiographies because our life in general has been more challenging than the rest of the society. We are practiced fighters. We are survivors. And, survivors are gold. Always.