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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Women pull bonded wheel of gender

By on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Women's Day Special (Story this week)
Once, when my mother came to met with me from Kolkata to Mumbai, she asked, so many pictures come on computer internet… why didn’t you ever paste my photo on status?” she might have felt that I would have been devalued so I had never used to share her photo on social media account, but I had never thought about. Because I have no interest much more in Selfie, so I had to not clarify much more and the matter was averted.
My mother had had her some selected photograph. She had her first photograph of her childhood when she had been married. Her age then would be about 10 years or below. Seeing the photograph it narrates the entire story about her that she could not have even understood for long time that she had been married woman then. An adult man beside the mother looks stands. The photograph was snape so that it could prove that both were married, but it was a crime evidence too for minor girl marriage. There was a sindoor on forehead; auspicious necklace and blank eyes – all could be seen in the photograph… and can be seen too that a minor girl could never quiz what she was doing. Whom she could ask this -- none of her own was there!
The daughters in Kanjarbhat society of Pune are assumed to be trouble today. My mother took birth in such family where the daughters are born more than Grain grains. Too much daughters came in the file were in the expectation of a son. When the expectation fulfilled, this child producing machine, or to my granny could heave of sigh. As the food shortage started; indiscreetly the girls were begun to marry. Mother’s husband was from Agra, but he was not that man who had to show Taj Mahal to a newly wedded bride. He had mother spent many years a lot in household chores; too much tormented. Whatever least to have told about that period of mother’s life gives pain very much.
When mother became young after living a few years in Agra, her mother-in-law got her in brothel.
Actually both mother-in-law and her son were in trade of selling after marrying minor girls. Colourful streets of Kolkata were not so bad than the dungeon of Agra. The mother’s luck can be said better in this matter because she had been a little elder then. She was trained singing and dancing so she could appear for Mujra and even she learnt it dedicatedly.
It can be said that she had hugged the ploy that time instead of struggling with her fate.A woman who had never seen the school face; who had never understood the real meaning of her name, if she reached at such place from where no hope to escape was there of her will, what would more she do?
If she would escape, where would she go? She might have understood that she had no easiest way to earn her dignity full livelihood even after escaping from there. Would Kanjarbhat community, having provide her respectful felicitation, give a new chance to live… and people – would people let her do own decisions. It might have been difficult; but, wherever mother was, mother took her own decision: for her self, for herself respect and even for her family too.
Mother kept on working at brothel, but she always set family apart from this atmosphere. She got her younger sisters taught; she saved them from the brothel by having done all the sisters marriage. Even her younger brother who had born after her 9 sisters was also got education and set his home too. This was done by that woman who had been deprived of all type of happiness. This is the reason -- perhaps she understood its value!
In the decade of 1980, we used to live in Kolkata Bow-bazar brothel and in Mumbai’s congress house brothel. At that time these brothels used to be at such places where ghazals were sung, Kathak dance would be famous and goons would seldom or ever introduce in etiquette. The atmosphere was as that cannot be said affirmative; but it was not bad for me because I had never seen such better atmosphere than this. Another person may think about it how might have been that atmosphere for a little child, which had digested every bad thing, but that was thought correct... but how could that be incorrect for me when moreover that I had seen nothing. Whatever was in my home was natural – not correct or incorrect!
Today it is very easy to say this because I myself have made it understandable, but it is not possible to do for everybody. The other children at brothel who were with me are the example of this thing. However all had no such fortune, but I think that it had to make up. I did it then perhaps as mother had got my admission done in a boarding school of Darjeeling. This is the reason why I was able to understand the two distinguish world. I learnt at school and even concentrated at my study at home, but other children of brothel did not heed their study despite being given the study chance.
Seeing the music instruments like, Tabla, Ghungru's jhingling I was fell in fond of dancing and singing at many occasions, but mother had kept one flame that I become good human by studying. I was not good in study, but not so bad too, but reaching to the college I had got so knowledge that I had begun to secure bad marks. The good thing was that I had got so much confidence till then that I would do certainly something. I used to speak fluent English and I had fond of writing. I had an fervor that I would write a book. My perception is going to be complete. The book is going to be published next month; and that is from harperCollins like big publications.
I had always maintained the fond of writing even before the book. I kept on working as a journalist for many years in Mid Day, The Hindu and The Scroll. What is all just possible for my life because my mother had taken decision to send me at 5 years age to a boarding school from where it was not possible for her to go somewhere else? Her decision taking of my study in such language opened all the doors for me of the world.
On the occasion of women day we all greet 'Salaam' that woman whom I say mother and whose name still I didn’t tell you, what does it matter on? She is a woman…; she is mother!
 Writer has translated this story of a journalist published in Hindi
Translated, Edited and Compiled in English

Rishi Ram
Administrative Officer in
Government Press