Thursday, March 13, 2008

I just watched.

The newspaper laid limp in my hands as my eyes ran through the lines in a hurry.
The first page flashed a big ad from some fairness cream-"International Women's Day".
"Ya alright! You surely will be happy.",I smiled.
"Ting tong."
The doorbell rang like it had woken up from a deep slumber.
It was Sandhya.The little girl ,daughter of the maid.
"Bhaiyya ! Why is there so much crowd in that shop?".
I looked in the direction where her tiny fingers were pointing.It was a CCD(Cafe ` Coffee Day) and it was packed with girls,jeans and tops and skirts and polka dots and all the latest wardrobe hits.
They all wore coloured caps,and were shouting and hollering and hugging each other.There was no birthday cake.
"Celebrating Women's Day.",I replied.
"What's that?Is it like our Independence Day?",she asked.
"Yes.Its something like that.On Independence day people salute the national flag and today they salute the woman.",I pompously said.
"Will they salute my ma too?"
I laughed,"Yes."

"Then she should be happy.Why is so unhappy?Why does she cry every time she comes back home after work?
My daddy never salutes her.He beats her up instead and when he does that ma asks me to run away.So I run away to Malti's house.She bleeds in her feet ,her hands are no more soft now.She wakes up early and comes late.Father comes home late and leaves early too.Sometimes he stays away for 3 to 4 days.My mother cries then.I don't understand.I know that father will come back after few days.

I have been to so many places today morning.No one saluted me.I played with girls from the school and they showed me their new books.I read a few lines but even after reading twice they didn't cuddle me as ma used to do.I go to school no more coz we don't have money.Ma says that I should start washing my own clothes and dishes.She wants me to come with her and watch her work.
I dry the clothes and wipe the plates in every bhaiyya's house she works.I love doing that.I love staying with her.I have also learned to broom.
See? Now you should salute me."

I had no answer.

Women's Day !I watched them celebrate.They were shoulder to shoulder,hand in hand.I watched them stand proud and walk high.I watched them smell the air of freedom,I watched them love themselves.They sang and danced to the tunes they liked,they loved.I watched them speak whatever they wanted to,they pipped the boys in every race and I watch them alighting the stairs to heavenly success.

I also watched her cry,watched her hide her bruises and work hard,just for few morsels,watched her scrub the dirt with her tiny hands, eyes teared coz her baby cried somewhere under the sun as she lifted bricks on her head;I watched her thrown around like a piece of flesh,she being stabbed before even she smiled at her mother.I watched her beat her breasts in agony ,I watched her mark the walls with her thumbnails in pain and I watch her drown in blood and despair.

Just watched her.I was happy.I was sad.


Anupama Kondayya said...

Very well-put through the words of the child. And a nice outline of the contrast in the end...they are all women - the victorious and the victimized. And each of their spirits is worth being saluted.

Even I am happy. I am sad...

d SINNER!!! said...

wallah! Gazab likhte ho...

who said men can't think like women...

Sowmya said...


But I am optimistic...

"fiZZ"ing iNsiDE !!! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
"fiZZ"ing iNsiDE !!! said...

Yes.I agree with you completely.
Thanx a lot !!!
Yes.Every one should be.