She knocked my car’s window whilst I was stuck in the jam-packed road. A dust smeared body draped in a squalid saree, holding a baby in her arms and bearing another in her womb, requested me to buy jasmine circlets. She looked exhausted, yet bore a pleasing smile just to coax the travellers into buying from her. Her words did not resonate in my mind but her moist eyes stole all my attention. She took money from me and hastily ran to a man standing at the crossroad junction to give his share, lest he snatched the whole amount. When the signal turned green, I saw her glaring at the traffic lights to turn red again. The scorching sun had filched all her womanly warmth but she looked unwavering in her tussle for survival. I left her alone with her destiny and shuddered furtively thinking about my blessed life.
Triumphant women in the present world have contradicted the very basic etymology of the word WOMAN. They rose to the pinnacle of success by defying all odds. Yet I wondered if this roadside flower vendor was a lone soul in the exception. Had I not seen HER before? Of course, I had.
I had seen HER in agricultural fields and factories, working hand in hand with men, yet getting discredited. I have seen HER modesty getting violated whilst traversing in public transport. I saw HER nobleness getting vandalized in the full face of society. I witnessed HER body and soul being ripped apart by the lewd looks of vultures, boasting in bogus pride under the influence of alcohol and power. I have seen HER in dark alleyways, running to save her honour from conceited men desperate to quench their sexual thirst. I had seen HER lying in a pool of blood while giving birth to a life. I have seen HER as a wife, weaving her dreams as dictated by her man. I have observed HER, as a wrinkled and aging mother, whose contributions in moulding her children were exuberantly extinguished. I perceived HER as a weeping girl child whose basic rights were violently hacked. I beheld HER as a daughter-in-law, burdened with the rulebook of family traditions. I had seen HER everywhere, being reconnoitred, exposed and disentombed; not as the most beautiful creation of God but as a browbeaten part of human race.
I often get devastated while pondering on the stereotypical analogy between man and woman. I wondered where mankind went wrong and chucked out the very basic need of HER existence. She was crafted because she was needed. She doesn’t exist to be superior to man but she exists for the continuation of mankind. The whole world jostles around to dedicate just a single day to womanhood but my muddled mind questions the day’s worthiness in today’s scenario. My consciousness demands an answer from our patriarchal society. Does she deserve a mere day for reverence to her subsistence?
I always wonder why this beneficial, beautiful and benevolent creation of God ends up being besmirched.