SORAYA

This is a little story I had written for an assignment.  Do let me know how it is. Share, comment and like. It is a work of fiction and not an actual historical event.

SORAYA

 

 

73 years of British rule in India had passed. Still under the rule of the white men, India seemed to not let go of the practices that seemed to have gripped the country since the Brahmins decided to lay down the Dharma sutras. No Indian had yet rebelled against the existing norms that not only put down women but also, tortured people on the basis of their caste and origins of their birth. Sati was rampant, education for girls was a taboo and widow re marriage was a sin. In such dark times, India found a few light bearers. They went by the name of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Vidyasagar.

She sat on the little cot beside that burned out oven. The house still reeked of the same onion smell and the paint was still peeling off from the brown walls. She got up and touched that white wall peeping out of that torn brown wall paint. She couldn’t believe how much her life and the society had changed. They say the country hasn’t progressed yet, she herself experienced a little progress in her own life. Soraya was only 3 years old when she was subjected to see the horrors of being born a girl. The mother she revered as strong, the mother she feared when she did some mischief was reduced to a whimpering kitten in the hands of her strong burly father who smelled of alcohol all the time, well at least the times she saw him at home. He  didn’t seem to like her. She was told by her mother that it is because she is a girl and girls are only a burden. She was surprised when she heard that. She never thought of herself to be a burden and she believed that she was capable enough to support her mother, after all the only difference that she saw between herself and the other gender was a few more hair and slight more bodily changes. She never realized how that made a huge difference as to who gets more food and who gets education and who must be married off. Of course now she did.

But, Soraya’s life was not all that miserable. As she grew up she realized that she was a bit more privileged than her mother was or ever would be. She saw her mother fade away by the regular tortures meted upon her. In the morning she was a powerful goddess who went around Soraya, who handled multiple chores but in the night she was just a slave to a dominant force. Her mother never received education as she was told by her mother. She never learnt to read or write, but that didn’t matter to her. Her mother anyway exclaimed that what will a girl do after studying, on the contrary she should be an expert in cooking and washing and sewing to please and serve her husband. Her mother was married off at the age of 10 to a man who was 40. Soraya had often wondered about this difference till her mother simple stated that is exactly how it is supposed to be.

Soraya was 15 then, she asked her mother why she wasn’t married yet. Her mother had only laughed and said that the times were changing. She will be married off eventually, but with all these new reforms of women education had delayed the process. Her mother said that her father despised it, but just because he had to follow the current wave of new reforms he went with it. “But make sure all this education doesn’t go in your head. You don’t need all this. You need to learn cooking, come now help me with this” her mother said when Soraya had proclaimed that she wanted to study further after an influential and charismatic man had come to her school and made all the girls understand how important education is and one must study further. The man had identified himself as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. Later that night, she heard her mother remark this to the man of the house. There was silence followed by a deafening laughter and all that she could hear were screams from her mother. She had closed her eyes hoping this would stop.

The following morning, her father came to her for the first time along with a young girl of not more than 16. She had deep brown eyes and lovely black hair. “This is also your mother, treat her with respect. Her name is Abhaya” He said and left after kissing her on the cheek. Soraya’s mother had just stared and almost looked sympathetic towards the girl. Soraya expected her to be angry, but she only seemed sorry for her. But, Soraya hated her, she had just taken away her mother’s place, but somewhere in her heart she was relieved, relieved that it won’t be her mother who would have to bear the heat of the man’s patriarchy.

That night, she did not sleep. Once more she found herself thinking about the words of the esteemed man. ” Women make up half of the population. Isn’t it only fair that they are allowed to pusue education and be half of the work force too. You, girls are not just mothers, daughters or wives. That cannot be your identity. You are a human who has every right to be someone and not someone’s wife.” Those words seemed to echo in her mind now, but soon enough it was followed by what had happened to her mother when she had casually remarked the idea of Soraya’s dream it pursuing her education to her father.

At the break of dawn, Soraya opened her eyes in the hope that the sunlight would brush away all the darkness of yesterday. Unfortunately, the world had something else planned for her. As she stepped out of her bedroom she heard loud weeping and people chanting the name of god. A few men were carrying a human figure covered with a white cloth which lightly blew in the wind. Her mother sat in the corner with a terrified expression with her father’s new wife trying to console her.

Soraya knew what was under the white cloth. And she knew what was to follow.

Her mother and Abhaya were both draped in white sarees the next time Soraya met them. They were all so busy trying to arrange for the funeral. And for the after funeral. Soraya’s mother was prepared for what’s to come. She didn’t smile or laugh for the whole funeral and she refused to speak to anyone. Abhaya on the other hand was smiling and laughing as though she was unafraid of death.

The following day, Soraya was made to stand in front of the crowd. Her mother stood in front of the raging flames waiting for the second mother to present herself. After waiting for hours, Soraya was sent to check on Abhaya’s whereabouts. When Soraya looked into the room she saw Abhaya’s clothes missing the room neatly kept and no sign of Abhaya at all. Abhaya’s laugh made sense to her now. She had abandoned her mother.

When Soraya was back, she couldn’t see her mother, only the raging fire. In a way she was happy that she didn’t have to witness this atrocity disguised in the name of ritual. With tears in her big, brown eyes she whispered. “She ran away.” She couldn’t hear the gasps of the people around her as the pain of loss had deafened her. All she wanted to do was get the ashes of the only person who she truly loved.

Soraya took over the household and even after listening to all the taunts from the neighbours and family, she refused to get married until she fell in love. She did fall in love with a man, whom she met during her travels to the market. He called himself Satish. Soraya was sure that he was the right man. Unfortunately, the society believed the opposite as Satish was inferior to her caste and that would meant that even such a thought was forbidden. Soraya who ignored all the insults eventually got married to Satish.

Soraya was crushed when Satish told her that he had to go to the city for work. His visits back home became fewer and fewer to a point which he couldn’t even meet her once a year. He wrote letters to her about how much he missed her and that as soon he would have enough money he would bring her to the city too.

The next letter she received was not from her husband. It was from the factory he worked at. Soraya carefully ripped the paper dreading what was written inside. Apology…Accident…Sorry…death. Four words echoed in her mind as she slumped on her chair. She knew what was coming. She had to escape.

She ran as fast as she could. She burnt the letter, took all the jewelry, sold it to a local shopkeeper and with the money she ran. To the station. And then she hopped onto the train to go as far away as possible. To the city.

When she set her feet down to the floor of the city, she got pushed about by hundreds of people trying to reach their destinations. And as though for the first time god had smiled upon her, she saw a familiar face in the crowd. The face she once hated that now she was thankful to see. Soraya ran to the women in the green saree who was carrying five books in her hand and hugged her so tight that all the books fell down.

Abhaya turned around to see that familiar scared face that she had once seen years ago. She looked different but her eyes said the same story. In a few hours, Soraya and Abhaya had both shared their stories, shared hidden tears and some missed smiles. Soraya discovered that Abhaya had run away to the city and had found a job as a teacher.

Abhaya then looked at Soraya as though she hit a light bulb moment, she pulled Soraya to her school and started talking to a women who looked very authoritative. They nodded at each other, shook hands and then they both smiled at Soraya. “Soraya? Welcome to your new school and home” said Abhaya smiling at her. Soraya stared at Abhaya and finally gulped her tears and uttered “Thank you. Mother.”

She stood in front of the Ganges unable to believe how much the village had changed. Girls were going to schools and windows were remarried. Soraya pulled out her mother’s ashes stored in a neat designed vessel. She opened the lid and let the ash flow into the river. She was joined by her new husband, who was a fellow teacher in her school.

As she saw the ashes falling from the urn, she smiled. At last her mother was in peace.

  1. The girls giggled as they left from their school. There was progress. More new girl schools were set up, more women were working and many even married late. India was becoming more active for their independence and women also came out in support. They were no more in their homes. That was progress. That’s what everyone said. Women were now getting education, they could re marry and the liberals even let their daughters work. The progress was evident. The light bearers had passed their torches to the future light bearers, who only seemed to grow in number.                                                                                                                                  2017. India had walked a little to reach here. Actually has walked a lot, it has run some would say. Nuclear weapons to sending a satellite to Mars. Progress is more than evident, yet groping, eve teasing and molestation hasn’t left the country. In more ways than one we never walked for the empowerment of women. Wage gap, dowry, domestic violence, being called out for dressing a certain way. Is that really progress?

 

 

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TAKE ME BACK

Monday 5 am 2011: “You really need to get up sleepyhead, she is here, and you don’t want to miss that!” I wake up with my eyes still half closed. I tell my grandma that no I don’t care, I want to sleep, and also one boring radio program doesn’t really mean that she is here. My grandma not relenting picks me up, makes me sit up and puts the radio on full volume. For my grandmother Mahishasuramardini – a two-hour radio program signifies the arrival of Durga Ma.

Tuesday 10am 2015: “Mom why didn’t you wake me up early, I missed the whole program”. Mom looks at my red angry face in disbelief and then shrugs and says, “Since when were you interested? Anyway even I gave it a miss this time”. I get ready to argue even more and threaten to tell grand mom, only to realize that she wasn’t here with us in Mumbai, and without her, the radio program simply didn’t matter. As I sat down to have my breakfast, my thoughts went back to my old, wrinkled and grey haired grand mom.

Monday 9am 2011: I see her hunched back sitting on that stool, she is making those sweets. I still don’t know what they are called. The whole house smells festive, it’s almost like Durga Ma is just at the door. The fresh flowers fill up my nostrils as the light autumn breeze enters through the windows.  Grand mom has just taken a bath, she smells of her jasmine soap and her white wet hair falls till her waist.

Being from a zamindar family, but grandmother took pride during this festival, after all in the earlier times Durga Puja was a festival meant for the zamindars. The courtyards used to be covered with intricate rangolis (alpona), as marigolds hung from every corner of the house and the smell of the incense stick just made the whole atmosphere more welcoming.

I once had the opportunity to visit my village and was able to witness what Durga Puja actually is. It is not about how popular your Puja is, or how beautifully you have decorated your house or how lovely your idol is. No, it is about a feeling, it is about celebration and mostly it is about being together with the whole family.

Durga Puja was celebrated since the medieval age. Pandals were non-existent. It was just the few members of the family and the idol. The priest used to belong from the household. The idols used to be erected by a member of the household itself. It wasn’t about the feast or the quality of the food, it was about the worship. It was about staring at the masterpiece of the carved hour glass figure like Goddess, and just immersing oneself into the chants. Rituals were simplistic- giving Anjali was a must, and as an unwritten rule women were meant to wear white sarees with red borders.

 

I am jerked back from my lovely thoughts as my eyes are drawn towards an advert on the newspaper – ‘Does your pandal have what it takes to win the award? Well, then what are you waiting for, nominate your pandal’ I close the paper in disgust, as I realize how much has changed. The festival is not about the worship or togetherness anymore, it is about profit. It is a business. A business fueled by people’s desire to see something grand. A simple pandal doesn’t suffice anymore, it has to be the largest something, or made out of something unique or out of the blue to attract crowds. Once a place for socialization, pandals have now become places to bump into people, stand in lines, push and curse strangers, just to get that perfect picture to show off to the less fortunate, who weren’t able to do the same. It is not about standing in front of the idol and admire the craftsmanship anymore, it is about lining up for eating in front of the numerous stalls. The typical folk songs have been replaced by the need to pull crowds thereby, shelling out huge amounts just to bring some popular Bollywood singer. My mind goes to the innumerable hoardings and banners that I have to cross just to see one small idol. How frustrating it gets!

Anjalis, white sarees with red borders, listening to the radio on Mahalaya have now all become insignificant to this generation. Already my house doesn’t smell the same, the flowers don’t exist, the songs have dried up and my grandmother isn’t here anymore to make those mouth-watering sweets.

A feeling of sorrow clings my spine, as I wonder why I never listened to the program before. Now, so much has changed, and all I wish now is for a time travel machine just to go back in time to enjoy the Puja as it should be enjoyed.

LOST

‘Inside the envelope was a single page write up; it was really simple, no hidden meaning could be derived from it.

He was fired. Now, he was a single father, with no job and no money. He kept staring at the sheet of paper like it was some kind of a sacred scroll, the words etched on the page did not make sense to him, yet there was nothing on it that was difficult to understand. The company had gone bankrupt, they couldn’t afford to pay him anymore. In such a case this was the most logical thing for them to do.

He clutched the paper tightly almost afraid to let it go. He walked down the road bustling with people on their phones, wearing their Armani suits power walking with a burger or donut in their hands. He had hated them once, he always felt that they were arrogant people who only pretended to be busy to look important to others who did the very same thing. He always found it funny, how people tried to look powerful to people by wearing or doing certain kinds of things, yet people couldn’t care less and yet those same people who did not look at others believed that others would look at them, so they acted the same way. It was like a cycle of delusions. However, today all he wanted to be like them. He looked at his watch, it was almost time for his Namaz, but today he didn’t want to. He did not feel the presence of God today.

He kept walking aimlessly, trying to make sense of what was happening. He tried to come up with a plan, but he knew even the wisest couldn’t come up with one. He looked at his watch again, it was time to pick up his children from their school. School. He wondered if he could afford to send them to school anymore. He had break it to them………’

“Ah! Say George” came a voice, the script writer looked up from the page, put his pen down and looked directly at the balding man. His soulful blue eyes looked straight through the man, urging him to continue.

“Well, did you finish writing it yet? Remember, we have to release this film by this year.”

“Don’t worry director. I will be done in a day or two”

“Good make sure you tick all the boxes. You do have the list right?”

“Let’s see, I have a man middle aged, who is a brown Muslim and also a Pakistani immigrant living in America, and he is a single father with no job and is now poor”

“Excellent. George I can already is it. I can see the Oscar in my hand. I mean our hands not just mine obviously. You certainly have ticked all the boxes. Now get back to work”

George picked up his pen again ‘He went to pick his kids up. He looked at his two sole purposes to live and said, “Listen, Dad has a little surprise for you…”

“Oh and George, make it based on a true story. Come to think of it, you already have. Good that you made our protagonist a Muslim and not a Black, these days it apparently sells more, also it’s closer to reality now. Yes, now no one can keep us away from that coveted golden statue”

ARE WE A LITTLE TOO COMFORTABLE?

Before starting the article I would like to apologize to all my readers for not updating the blog in forever. I would graciously blame it on my college. But from now on I do plan on being more regular 🙂 now back to the article.

ARE WE A LITTLE TOO COMFORTABLE?

 

I have always believed that we have been brought into this earth by an external force many call it as god to beautify this little house. It is like we are visitors or elves sent by the caretaker or owner. Yet, it seems over the years we have become a little too comfortable in our man made homes and have stopped venturing out, or even put in a little effort to contribute to the beautification of this house. We have somehow consciously made the decision to sleep on our couches and cuddle in our blankets. The memes also seem to glorify our lack of curiosity by telling each individual meme consumer that are not alone, we all are equally lazy, thus normalizing the situation. Like herds we can see that majority are lazy and we keep behaving like that herd. We decide not to step out of it and actually be something different. For some reason we just want to ‘relate’ as if ‘relating’ to strangers on social media gives us some kind of validation. We have reasoned with ourselves that it is too dangerous to go out of our comfort zones, we the human kind, which once flew to the moon and built aircrafts, have now altogether decided to stay in our make belief caves

The dreamers are lost in their 9 to 5 desk jobs, the fools with unachievable ideas have masked themselves with dull, and unoriginal ideas and the travelers are lying on their beds, afraid to step out. Anything that doesn’t fit into our perceived comfort zone, is deemed impossible to do even if we have to travel a little or do something out of the way we curb and refuse to do it, yet, we call ourselves the age of development, technology and ideas.

We have grandeur ideas, but no one is willing to peruse and chase them. We believe in letting things go, yet we should be the ones to hold on as long as we can. We should hold on to that impossible task, we should run, chase it down and pursue it with all our might, till we have given our best shot and, only then should we think of letting go.

This generation has been privileged to get everything on a silver platter. It claims of being open minded tolerant and liberal but does nothing to prove so. We all are arm chair activists who rant on social media, because that’s easy. It’s easy to share posts and comment on them. After all, it can be done through our phones while sipping a hot cup of coffee at home. Where is the challenge in that?

I too am guilty of the same as well. I am guilty of complaining if I have to travel another hour extra for an assignment, but I plan to travel the world. I am guilty of cribbing about going to ‘too many parties’ yet I feel left out when I am not a part of the pictures on social media. And I am guilty of ranting about it, while doing nothing to change it. But the one thing that I am not guilty of is not trying. Once one tries or the slight effort is made, then half of the battle is won and that’s what we need to do. We need to face our fears and challenge ourselves and most importantly accept that we do not know how to do a task, only then can we learn.

As Churchill had once said, ‘Do something that you fear everyday’ and that is exactly what we should be doing and one should always remember ‘the individual allows for everything that the world does not’ Are you up for the challenge?

Do like, comment, follow and share. Your feed backs matter a lot 🙂

 

GHOSTS

Usually my headings are not so direct and such that it gives away the away the contents of my article. But, in this case the topic itself is so interesting and debated, that I decided to keep simple and precise.

So, what exactly are ghosts? According to the dictionary they are spirits of the dead body. Yes, that’s all the oxford dictionary says, it doesn’t describe it as a white apparition with a pale face and long black hair covering most of her face.

Surprised? As that is what you expected it to be, thanks to innumerable American films and even some horrifying (not that the films are actually scary, but most will scar you for life) Bollywood films. At times it seems that directors find no other genres but ghosts, and honestly, the ghosts in most of the films are pretty much similar. Even the faces of the ghosts hardly vary. It’s funny, when humans don’t look the same while alive, then why would the spirits look the same. Amazingly, a blonde human will also have black hair, once he/she is a ghost. The probable reasons can be- a) she/he got bored of his/her blonde hair or b) the ghost world only allows black hair.

The other amazing feature of these films are dresses. The ghosts are mostly shown wearing white long frocks. Now, if I was a ghost then I would be invisible to others, so why won’t I steal some lovely dresses and wear them. However, it seems they only prefer white drab dresses. And, not to miss, ghosts are hardly ever men. Do people really feel that women are scarier than men? Maybe during our periods, otherwise, we aren’t that scary (maybe).

Oh! Another fact-DOLLS. There is always a creepy doll. And the kid discovers it and gets possessed, and for the time being only the kid recognises the presence of a ghost. Why not just throw the damned doll!

The worst part is that these films inspire so many that people start ghost hunting. Why can’t we just leave the spirits alone? They at least deserve to be peaceful after their death. So, its better that we live and let them live. After all don’t we all say – RIP (rest in peace)

DARKNESS

I can only see the darkness, I try to climb out, and I try to reach the end of this tunnel. I can see the light, I am almost there. The ghosts try to stop me, the wind almost knocks me out and water drowns me, but I know I can make it, at least I hope I can.  I reach out, one more step and I am out. But, it pulls me back, I struggle, I shout, I scream but in vain. It’s powerful, more powerful than my will, I can’t fight it anymore, I submit to its strength and it takes spiraling me back to my darkness. Another day gone in vain. My depression had won again.

The dictionary simply defines depression as- feelings of severe despondency and dejection. But, what we need to realise is that depression is not simply a feeling of dejection or despondency, it is much more than that. It cripples one’s mind and leaves one with no life or soul.

A psychologist usually defines Depression as- a period of severe bad mood accompanied by loss of pleasure in any activity, changes in weight, social withdrawal, feeling of regret and guilt, and suicidal tendencies.

For a depressed individual getting up every morning becomes a challenge. For him or her life is worthless and hold no meaning or purpose to him. He can be compared to the living dead or the ones with no soul. Depression is also accompanied my negative thoughts which further brings out the individual. All one can think about are his mistakes. The person is surrounded by darkness which slowly starts to engulf him. He reaches out but to no avail.

Depression can be called the cancer of the mind, however it is harder to treat. One of the main reasons for that is lack of support or social acceptance. To make matters clearer- if someone recently had a bad break up and she is depressed, most of us just laugh it off and say that time will heal everything. We believe that the cure for depression is going out with friends or just simply giving it time. We fail to understand its severity and hence, depression goes unrecognized till it reaches a level where the person may take a drastic step to get out of it. In many countries, especially India, most choose not to even reveal that they have depression as they already know the reactions- ‘oh no, you are not depressed, it happens with everyone. Give it time and go out to enjoy’ or ‘get a hobby, don’t think about it. Distract yourself’ or ‘these things happen all the time. Think about the people who can’t eat, are you worse off than them’. Hence, aware of all these reactions the victim (yes depression is a killer) puts on a fake smile and goes about his life, and all of his near and dear are unaware of the battle going on within him. ALSO- a) Time doesn’t always heal depression- therapy does b) it’s hard to distract yourself as no matter how hard you try, the thought keep recurring back to you. It’s not that easy c) for a depressed person others don’t matter, for him his biggest problem is his own problem. Asking one to think about if they are worse off than a said group does not solve the problem. In some cases it makes the matter worse as now he starts to question himself-‘I know they are worse off, and my problem is so small relative to theirs’, then why can’t I get out of this?’ all these questions increases the turmoil within him and makes him feel selfish and uneasy.

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Contrary to believe depression can strike anyone and anytime. A person may be depressed because of a loved one’s death or maybe due to a break up. With the growing use of social media cyber bullying and the need for public validation also leads to depression. The reason of depression can be anything, it depends on the person’s mental strength, past experiences and resources available. In India the academic pressure on students also leads to many developing depression.

Psychologists believe that there are some factors that predispose depression-

  • Hereditary
  • Genetic make up
  • Gender ( women are more likely to be depressed)
  • Age ( middle age for men and twenty’s or women)
  • Past experiences

And

  • Lack of social support

The statistics in India suggest that depression in on the rise I the country. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics reveal that a total of 1, 35,445 people committed suicide in 2012 which amounts to an average of 15 suicides an hour or 371 suicides daily. Maharashtra ranked second on the suicide index with Tamil Nadu topping it. These numbers are jarring as it shows how much depression or mental health is neglected in India. The lack of proper institutes aggravates the problem. The suicide helpline are also futile as like our police (100) no one ever picks up.

India recorded the highest rate of major depression in the world, at 36 per cent, and Depression affects over 120 million people worldwide. It can interfere with a person’s ability to work, make relationships difficult, and destroy quality of life. In severe cases it leads to suicide, causing 850,000 deaths a year. It is reported that 26, 00, 00,000 in India suffer from mental disorders.

To find a solution to depression, we need to treat it like we treat any other chronic disease. One needs to understand that it is nothing to be afraid or shames of. To cure depression we first need to cure our attitude towards it. We need to be on a look out for early signs of depression and make sure we support the person rather than advise him or her as to how to combat it. We need to empathise and not sympathise with the victim, and most importantly we should take him or her to a therapist immediately.

If we ourselves is facing depression then we need to understand is that-

·         It is not embarrassing and not something to be ashamed.

·         It can happen to anyone. You are not alone

·         One should seek help immediately

Also I would like to end this post by saying to all those who are depressed or sad or feeling hopeless is- keep trying and never give up. You are not alone in this. You are a beautiful soul so try not to lose hope and fight that demon and show it that you are the boss and you and only you has the right to control your mind and no one else. And I know one day, soon enough you will take a step out of that darkness and into that light and on that day nobody can pull you back into the abyss.

 

 

SHACKLED

 

“She is the reason that we have men,

                                            She is the reason for life on the earth,

She is the bud to every flower, then

                                               Why she is still tortured, then why

Does she still have to struggle to

                                        Get the right”

In our very own country- India we shout with pride that how our country is the largest and most successful democracy in the world, we claim of liberty and equality among all, we claim of equality before the law for all; yet in this very country still now women are living in darkness afraid to come out and voice their opinion, they are still treated like toys in the hands of the alpha male. From time immemorial women have been discriminated, the jobs of men and women have always been demarcated with men working in fields and in public companies while women expected to make food, look after home and bear kids. In India women have been treated badly since a long time. From the practice of sati to the veil system and even polygamy have scared the dignity and the confidence of women. In this country especially, women have been always been asked to worship their husbands.

In India, many women who want to work and have their own identity are mostly suppressed by her own family members, or her in laws or maybe even her husband. In India it is somehow never the men’s mistake, even if a girl is sexually molested it is said to be a girl’s mistake. It is amazing how politicians defend the molester by saying that it was the girl’s fault as she had supposedly lured the man, here the question arises, which girl asks a man to sexually molest her?

The Khap panchayats in India are the most surprising community in India, it is not surprising that they exist, it is surprising that they are allowed to exist. These panchayats openly support child marriage and even ask women to stop using mobile phones, as apparently that is the main reason for all the molestation cases and girls going astray.

Every day there are articles of rape, molestation, harassment or domestic violence. For a few days media is all about these women, about their plight and then there are massive protests and young men and women marching with slogans and candles and then again after maybe two three days all of us are back to our normal routine and the media is again all about either the politicians or which Bollywood star said what to the other. Everything is back to normal but will those women ever be able to live a normal life; what happens to these women?

It seems that no girl is safe in this perverted country, where no matter how the boy looks, whatever he has done, how horrible or useless he is, he is still a man and will always be the golden bird of the country. Even schools are not safe, children as young as 3 year olds are harassed in schools. There are still many families in India some even educated who practice female foeticide. Especially in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir the rate of female foeticide is very high. Annually one million females in India are aborted. Female not only face discrimination in this culture, they are even denied the right to be born. They are denied the right to education as well as most parents believe that daughters are meant to be married off and they don’t even have the capacity and ability to take care of her parents by earning a living. That is why most parents educate their sons and not daughters as they know that any way she will be married off, she is not even given a chance to prove herself and to show that even she is just not born to be married off.

The Khap panchayats claim that marrying off these women is the only way to save them from being molested and there ‘lovely’ husbands who may be as old as 60 years will take good of care of them and protect them. However, the reports of domestic violence in India is shocking. There are millions of women in this country who are beaten and even molested by their husbands each day. These women suffer probably the worst kind of attacks as they have no choice but to live with this person as they are married to him and getting a divorce would scar the reputation of the girl and her family. Still now dowries are common in this country and if dowry is not given then the consequence is usually that the wife is flogged badly sometimes even killed. Every day there are some way or the other that a women is discriminated and made to feel inferior. In this country all women have faced discrimination at least once in her life. For example- in many schools, girls are not allowed to play football because it is a man’s game, in the work place a women is mostly called not capable, every day a girl is eve teased or called various harassing names, even in our very own film industry the female actors are paid less than the male actors even though they have the same amount of scenes.

It is even more saddening to know that women are not only discriminated by the men but by their own female relatives including their own mothers who ask their own daughters to leave their education and take up household chores, who make sure that her son gets more amount of food than her daughter and who teach their daughters to wear proper clothes but fail to teach their sons to see the women with respect.

But, the change is slowly coming, the women of this country are braving the odds and pushing away the barriers, they are speaking up and letting the society know that they too have an individual identity and an individual voice. The women are now mothers, sisters, daughters, business women, fashion designers, world leaders, wives, sportswomen, army officers, doctors and what not. The women just need to put in a bit of effort and break in this male dominated world as only a women can help herself and break the shackles, and there is no doubt that women are powerful as only a woman has the strength to support another life and give birth to her.