She was very tall, taller than most of the girls living in our cantonment. Quite, homely, highly qualified and only daughter of her parents. We went to her marriage too. A grand reception with lights and roses. The groom worked in Delhi and she shifted there, but – she was back soon. It so happened that just a day after her marriage, at the breakfast, the groom’s parents hinted that the dowry was not enough and they were expecting more. She left the house right at that moment. For a month she stayed with her parents and later secured a job for herself. My Dad got transferred and what happened to her after that is still a mystery for me.
She was never forced to learn cooking, but still she did, for a family of 6 sisters. She never had enough paper to practice the Mathematical equations, yet her dream was to obtain a degree, to be Graduate. Though married when she was in the final year of her BA degree, that didn’t thwarted her ambition. 5 months pregnant, examination center at the other end of city, husband out of station most of the time – she completed her degree, on her own. And she is proud of it and so is her family. She is more closer to me than my heart.
Look around and you will notice there are women who are actually living a life. They stood out because they had the courage to fight, to stand on their own. One doesn’t always need to quote the examples of Sarojini Naidu and Indira Gandhi for motivation.
Frankly speaking, while growing up I thought women issues were a thing of past. It was only when I started working, I realized that the contents of my social studies books are still valid. The amount of freedom and liberty that I have been exposed to sometimes make me feel if I belong to a different era. It may be because of cultural difference. Women oppression is not what I have seen around me, until I came out of the cocoon.