“I am a girl, born in a small town in a middle class family in India. I was lucky to be born in a family that decided to bring me in this world. I was loved and pampered as much as any child can be pampered. Dear to all, I was the light of the house, spreading happiness all around.
Like any other child of my age I hated studies, I used to cry a lot but my parents always encouraged me and helped me through. I grew up. I started understanding what education really means. I worked hard day and night to get good results. I wanted to make my parents proud.
Gradually I began to see this world. I realized that I live in a country with poor sex ratio and where female foeticide is high. I was first shocked at the sorry state then figured out there’s only little I can do to prevent this. I thanked God for giving me everything I had and for blessing me with parents who are ready to educate me and give me everything I want.
I completed my education and then applied for a job like every other student of my batch. It was time to make my parents proud, to give them all they ever wanted. I was filled with joy when I got my first placement letter. I still cannot forget the look on my parents faces, they were happy as ever. I felt like the luckiest person on the earth for that one single moment.
Oblivious to what future had in store I stepped into this world I was thrilled by the sense of freedom, which my new life gave me. Well I went on to perform well. Gradually my job became my identity my life and was everything to me. Then came the day when I had to make one of important decisions of my life. Yes it was time to get married. I left that decision to my parents as I knew they would be happy to take it for me. They were eager to search every corner of the world to get me the best they can.
Then it was arranged, a meeting with a guy who was at par with their expectations. The first time I met him I was anxious, he was a well educated guy belonging to a decent family. I shared my experiences and my expectations. Though he was all I could think of but he expected me to leave my job I just could not accept it. I talked to my parents about it. I was sure they will support me till the end.
To my amazement my parents asked me to leave my job too. “Why do you need to work, you’ll have all the money in the world, he earns quite well”. I tried explaining to them that my job is my identity and just something I do because I want to earn money. They won’t relent. For the first time in my life I felt alone. The look in their eyes was different. I looked deep into them searching for a ray of hope. But I couldn’t find it. They were no longer the same parents who once holding my hand had taught me how to walk.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I saw the little girl crying, not wanting to go to school, her parents by her side. I saw the years of struggle and those sleepless nights all pass before my eyes. How much happiness and confidence they once gave me, yet today they appeared to be meaningless. As if all those years of education were just in vein. I could see the young girl sacrificing all the pleasure, studying hard to prove herself. In this man’s world she as determined to make a difference yet how insignificant those dreams appeared now.
Was this how it was suppose to be?
After the freedom that I have felt I deny ending up as an educated housewife. I denied being enclosed within four walls, succumbing to the wishes of those around me, for the rest of my life.”
The next morning she left the house never to return again, lost in the crowd where many others were of her kind. Nobody would ever know where she went. Perhaps to a world where she can find her dreams, a place where she can dare to fly and dare to be herself.
The question now lingers in your mind “Who was she?” To this I would say she was just an ordinary girl, like you, like me. The real question however is why did she need to escape? Why she was not given another choice? Some might call her weak, some might say she was scared but the truth is she refused to fight a war that she knew she would never win. She knew she would break if she stays back. We all know at least one woman around us who can fit into the picture. But it’s time to raise our voices to speak up, to stop giving in. It is time to stop sacrificing our own dreams for people’s expectations and their wishes.