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Nepal Gets Its First Graduate Goddess

mirror, making up her face.

The sight, she says, shocked her into realising that she would have to start adjusting to her new life quickly or be fated to an equally fruitless existence.

Rashmila thanks her parents for deciding she would go to school and learn to stand on her own feet, and her siblings, who when she returned home from her palace, treated her as a fellow human being and not a goddess.

'When I went to school, I was 12 and doing Grade II with five- or six-year-olds,' she reminisces.

'Other students knew I was a former Kumari and would come to gape at me. But when I was in high school, people no longer remembered me as Kumari and I realised it was nice being known as Rashmila.

'I am proud to be doing things on my own, without trying to get any advantage from my stint as Kumari.'

Rashmila has several firsts to her credit.

She is the only Kumari to be a graduate, with a degree in IT. She is also the only Kumari to have travelled abroad.

And now, she is also the only Kumari to become an author.

She relieves her extraordinary life in the bestselling book 'From Goddess to Mortal', written in collaboration with author Scott Berry.

What made her write the book?

The sea of lurid and appalling stories about the Kumaris, Rashmila says.

'There are incredible stories, like the four-year-old has to see the sacrifice of 108 buffaloes and goats and walk over their heads.

'And that the Kumari is too powerful to have a normal married life. People would often ask me, When you marry, will your husband die?

'I wanted to set the record straight.'

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