Of Closed Fists and Gulped Tears

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Life is about choices. One needs to be able to make these choices for herself and be happy with the decisions taken by her. Because, in the end, it’s about having no one to blame but herself for the wrong things she’s chosen. Moving past something is only possible if regret is caused by her own mistakes and not because her life was in the hands of someone else. Sadly, in a lot of places, people, especially women, don’t have the right to choose for their own selves, let alone make right decisions. It is this depressing reason why most of them resort to the extreme steps that they later on realize are too late to regret. Here are the stories of a few such women whose lives are not in their own control:

 

Meet A. She’s the typical girl next door with her head in the clouds about the perfect man she’s going to marry. She goes out to college in the mornings and comes back home to the television and the computer. Her life is nearly perfect with simple desires and hopeful dreams. One day, she meets the man of her dreams and decides that he’s the one she wants to end up with. Little does she know, that her parents think the same thing. About someone else. Fates clash and she finds herself in a battle between the two people who’ve given her everything she could ever hope for and the boy who could possibly make her smile for the rest of her life. Before she knows it, she’s lowered her head to the former and it’s her wedding day. In front of her is the love of her life, the person she can never have. But beside her is the person she’s going to have to learn to love. Maybe she will, maybe she won’t. But one thing is for sure. She’s forever going to regret not having the right to choose.

 

Here’s B. She’s the growing up child of a poor man’s family. Her mother works three jobs a day, sweeping floors in the morning, stitching clothes in the afternoon and teaching little kids at night. The girl is distraught that her mother works so hard while her father is drinking all the cash away. She wishes to complete her education as soon as possible and help out with the family. She wants to be able to earn as much as possible to see that long lost smile on her mother’s face. But little does she know that in less than a month her mother will close her eyes forever. Exactly 30 days later, a week after her mother’s death, she’s standing in front of a stranger, her top showing off her ribs and her skirt lower than her belly button but higher than her knees. Her father pushes her towards the hungry eyed strange man as he goes back inside to finish off his drink. Looks like she’s going to get a lot of money after all. But her getting it this way will forever haunt her. If only she had a choice.

 

The woman standing in the corner of the street asking for a lift, she’s C. She loves to sing and always dreamt of being a professional singer. But after being married off at a very young age and being raped by her own husband who recently died of a heart attack, she’s now the mother of a two year old child who’s always hungry and never sleepy. She tries to get a lift to the factory where she works during the day and then walks back home at night, trying to pick off food from the streets. Such is the life of this 25 year old woman-child, whose voice can only be heard when she’s humming lightly on the way to work. Sometimes, she wonders what if she’d been allowed to sing for a living? She might have been earning a lot by now, or she might be barely making ends meet. Either way, she’s sure she would have been happy. Much happier than now. But sadly, she’ll never be able to find out. She never had the right to make a choice.

 

This is your last chance to meet D, the dying old woman who’s alone in the hospital because her family didn’t care enough to see her off for the last time. Ever since she was a child and saw her parents burn in the car crash, she had a certain wish. She’d planned her own death and decided that she wanted to be buried under the purest soil that could then be used to grow flowers. Her dream was to be the bed on which flowers would bloom. She knew that would take a lot of time and money which in the future her family might not be able to spend on her, so she started saving up right from the age of twenty, for the burial of her dreams. It seemed to go well and build up into a huge fortune that she, a few weeks ago, wrote off to her children and grandchildren with just one wish. The perfect funeral. But it wasn’t to be. Her greedy family decided that they’d burn her instead of cremating her as that would then let them have more of her money. With a single tear in her eyes, she breathed her last, knowing that her own death wasn’t her choice to make.

 

This is the plight in today’s society where we’re so impressed by the few women making it big that we don’t see the plight of the thousands suffering with the greatest disease of them all. Lack of Choice.

It’s time we spoke up and stood up for those who can’t do it for themselves.

Like the old story goes, don’t fish for them. Teach them how to fish.

Just ten minutes a day can change lives forever.

I’m going to start.

Are you?

 

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