Wednesday, 9 January 2013

I Am a Woman..

Every life is a collection of precious tidbits; of beautifully sweet memories interwoven with tragic loss, of tender caresses lost amidst miserable vengeance and often of joyous tears mingling with the dread of anguished cries. Every moment is infinitely precious; every second is a new beginning. And none understands it better than a woman. She is the very epitome of life; she can heal with the warmth of her soul and drive away all sadness with her luminous smile. So in a place like India, where Goddesses are worshipped with such grandeur and showered with so much love, you expect women will be revered, cherished, loved and esteemed by all.
 Yet sometimes a new born girl is still drowned in milk in rural India, a young woman is taunted in the city streets, female fetuses are aborted in hospitals, a bride is humiliated for dowry and old mothers are left abandoned at old age homes. It was the brutal loss of a young girl in Delhi that jolted us awake. Can we now hope for change? A never hoped for revolt uniting the youth in its firm resolve to do justice emerged after the Delhi gang rape. It was time not for sympathies and consolation but the time for action. Young India marched on ignorant to turbulent waves.
And as the whole world watched astounded the tragedy that struck Delhi, my own world tilted upside down on that very morning- the 17th of December. It was not the stories in the news channels that mirrored through my eyes, it was the fear of a granddaughter whose 80 year old grandmother had walked out on her family alone in the chilly morning and had not returned. We shall never know the answer as to what instigated her to walk out on her son, but what struck me was the struggle that she still waged on-had waged on since her husband died 50 years ago leaving her destitute with four children to raise on a meager pension. To look back proudly and say that only a woman could raise such established and well-to-do kids amidst such struggle would be an understatement. How could I worry about the rest of the world when my own world was in such upheaval? After 10 frantic days of searching, we had lost all hope. In the meantime The Indian Brave heart struggled in Singapore to survive. As the news of her death struck the morning news the very next day, I felt a strange loss well up within me. It was the last day of my search for my grandmother after which I would give up. And incredibly she was found that very day. A young woman of meager means had provided her shelter and had returned her to the safety of her brother’s house. It should have been a joyous moment but I felt nothing-all I felt was a sadness and anger mingled with relief. Flashes of the morning news kept coming back to me, the drawn tired face of my grandmother devoid of hope kept coming back to me.
So all you can do then is shed silent tears. When will the struggle end? When will India be truly independent? Yes I am a woman; I call a man my father, I call a man my brother, I call the one I love my husband, I call my own blood my son. I live amidst strangers some of whom I call my relatives and some of whom I call my friends. I am never safe because sometimes honor to some men means nothing. I am taught to fear all men since childhood be it my father or son. I fear lonely roads, I fear crowded buses, I fear the touch of a stranger, I fear the touch of  men I know, I rush by men who subject me to humiliating stares, I fear the loud songs of men on roads who cannot resist to know their feelings known. I am left abandoned on the roads when I am of no use to my son. But it is time for me to be brave, to learn to defend my honor against all odds because I shall not give up without a fight. I am a Woman and change will come through me. For men must learn that physical strength doesn’t make one strong; it is faith that does. A promising young India stands by my side and we shall not let injustice reign.


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