Everywhere we look around today it is "Happy Women's Day".Inspiring interviews and tales of successful women,heart -wrenching stories of the abused and the ill-treated,congratulating each other on having an entire day dedicated to our species,having functions to felicitate the achievers among us and what not........It feels good but I would like it to happen everyday.Why not celebrate being a woman everyday?
Amidst all the limelight on women from all walks of life today,my mind keeps on rewinding the memories I have with some very ordinary women who are extraordinay in their own way.They are the ones who came into my life to help me manage a home,a baby and a job smoothly.Not that they gave me only peace and tranquility....they gave me my share of stress and tension too....unannounced holidays,mood swings,disappearance of food from the fridge and pantry,extended T.V.time.....to mention a few.But these are less torturous compared to the sense of guilt they gave me from time to time.Those pangs of guilt give me stress even today.
I felt guilty everytime I asked Putul(an 18 yr old who had a 3yr old son in her village who stayed with her brother's family as Putul had been deserted by her husband)to feed my 3yr old any delicacy.Didn't she think about her son who might not be getting even a decent two-square meal a day?
I felt guilty whenever my husband got roses for me or we went out for dinner.....I coudn't look into Shefali's eyes in fear of seeing her pain whose husband of seven years had left her with two kids for her own youn ger sister.She was working for us so that she could send money to her aged ailing mother who took care of her kids far away in a remote village.
I coudn't console Savita when she used to engage herself in heart to heart talks with me while oiling my hair.I couldn't help admiring that 22 year old's strength when she in an unguarded moment(like a younger sister speaking to her elder one) she told me how she survived the harrowing experiences in the previous house where she worked .She used to be abused by the father in the night and the son during the day who used to work at a call centre with the helpless bedridden mother in the house.Savita couldn't leave that house as her father needed the money to repay his debts.I felt guilty because I could not guarantee her the safety that she had in my house once her father take her away for a more lucrative job.
It was hard for me to see Malati ,a woman in her 60's to see my in-laws playing with my son when she used to yearn for her grandson whom she hasn't even seen .Her only son had thrown her away because she was always ailing unable to carry water from the well and chop the firewood.She used to earn and save all the money to buy a plastic toy aeroplane for her grandson who she believed will look after her one day.
All these women had some things in common...earning money,an abused life ,enough strength to overcome their ordeals and a hope for the future.Putul hoped that her son will one day go to school.Shefali hoped that once her sons grow up they will not let her work anymore.Savita was confident that she will soon meet a very nice man who will marry her without taking any dowry from her father.Malati believed that her grandson will take her on a ride on an aeroplane one day before she dies.
On this International Women's Day,I only wish and pray that may some of their dreams come true,if not all!May all the Malatis,Savitas,Putuls and Shefalis stay as brave as they are overpowering their misfortunes and struggles and not lose their hope for a better womanhood one day!!