Every Life is a Story to Learn From

Sometimes, a person's life is not just another life... It is a footprint, in the sands of time... A footprint that stands for the strength of the human spirit. It's a story, that reminds us that life is neither as simple nor as complex as it seems. Makes us wonder about how in spite of all that's beautiful in this world, we decide to squander it all for reasons too primitive to think about.

I had the opportunity to meet a girl... Let's call her Kavitha. She works as a kind of nurse + maid to a relative. I was supposed to show her around the house, and once we were in the backyard, we began talking... It first started with house beautiful the house and the surroundings were, but soon, she was telling me all about her life.

She grew up in a hostel in Andhra Pradesh, as her mom had left for jobs abroad and had not returned. She studied till 11th, but then had to discontinue her studies due to problems in the family. She had a younger and an elder sister, the latter was married and had had a boy and a girl child by the age of 16. When asked about her ambition, she told me she wanted to join the police... That had been her answer since she was little, to everyone who asked the same question. But her family, she knew would look at her as an outcast if she became one.

During her stay in the hostel, she never visited her family during the holidays much. When she returned from the hostel, her father turned out to be a drunkard and as she couldn't live with him, she went to her grandmother's house in Kakinada.There she worked in a spinning mill, maintaining the records of how much of what  went where and other such accounts. She was 15 then. She had passed 10th with a good score of 450+ out of 500. But soon... there came a curious debacle.

There was a man in his early twenties working in the place. There were barrels there which were a bit difficult to move. He was a friendly fellow and asked Kavitha for help. She obliged, but her uncle [sister's husband] had seen it and started spreading the rumor that Kavitha was talking to that guy a lot and other such remarks. This problem escalated and the family started to think of arranging her marriage soon.

She told me that where she came from, early marriages were common, nothing big. And you filing cases for fighting for your rights never really happens. When things got worse, Kavitha ran away from home. She explained that once married, everyone expected her to remain at the feet of her husband... ladies had to wear only sarees and in her village, unmarried girls had to wear half-sarees always - no midi, salwar kameez, etc. For her the world hadn't changed much... India hadn't changed much.

But when you look at the now 17-year old, you would be surprised. She had a very cheerful face, twinkling eyes and an innocent beam of smile, as long as she's at the right place, with the right people. To me, she represented one of the young women fighting against all odds and pursuing a dream - a dream to achieve something in her life. She had had sorrows but she wasn't weak - far from it. She was a person whose resolve and strength of character could be seen through her eyes. It's times like these that you get a chance to marvel at the might of the human spirit.

Many families and societies across India are still holding a backward outlook on everything. Nothing else can explain the honor killings, dowry abuses, early marriage, child labor, etc. And we can hardly call ourselves a free country, when such restraints of the mind are still keeping many of us down. A free society is one which provides the freedom of self-actualization. Anything other than that, you will have injustice... And like Martin Luther King said, "Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere."

1 comment:

  1. very nice person indeed! we need such brave girls in the path of women empowerment