Is freedom a luxury?

Amidst numerous deadlines, work-pressure and few cycles of dusk and dawn;

Monday to Friday goes by, and the remaining called weekend, which we long for, goes up in a blink !

How unjust, right?

But still life for many, isn’t really the same;

It’s much more than the ever popular ‘Eat, Sleep, Work and Repeat’.

What makes the difference?

It’s the struggle !

It may be in different forms but indeed struggle for survival, struggle for independence, struggle for freedom, struggle for equality or as simple as struggle for earning 3 meals a day and to be able to sleep under a roof.

I know how endlessly we are caught up in lamenting about our own problems, that we forget about the world, we forget the fact that there are real problems in life.

Problems that really need our attention, and problems in front of which a break up or someone being fired from a job, or a minor accident doesn’t count at all !

But let’s get to a very painful story, I have got to tell you guys today !

There are people who can’t sleep because their stomach hurts of not being able to afford food for days.

People who are in endless incurable pain and people who give their everything and are still considered as an object.

Society calls these objects as ‘women’.

Women who inspite of working hard throughout the day, get beaten up by their drunk husbands and keep working anyway, because there is not much they can do about it.

I first met the maid named Sarita, back in my home, a few months ago.

Eyes dull and red as if she hadn’t slept from many nights and bruises on her hands and face, like someone had brutally beaten her up.

She was sobbing, trying to wipe the tears rolling down from her eyes with the sleeves of her top in an attempt to forcefully stop the tears and save herself from clever and curious eyes of people around her.

She was washing dishes that were left from the previous night, while my mom was talking to her in the local language;

At first, I waited assuming that I shouldn’t go and sympathise with whatever is hurting her because I can’t really do anything about it.

But after a little while, I couldn’t resist myself and the very next moment, I found myself standing beside Sarita, and throwing questions at her one after the other,

Why are you crying ?

How did you get these bruises ?

Why didn’t anyone take you to the hospital ?

and Why the hell have you come to work in this condition ?

After a pause and a friendly exchange of glance between her and my mother, she managed to smile beautifully at me and soon turned her face back to work.

But I could still see the pain in her eyes;

I jumped again in order to truly understand what had happened !

My mom took the initiative finally and she explained to me briefly, that her husband has beaten her up because she sent her 6 year old girl child to school secretly.

I giggled and asked in amusement, What’s wrong in that ?

And then Sarita looked at me,

Didi, we aren’t as lucky as you are, I was born to a family for whom education and freedom are luxuries, we couldn’t ever afford.”

She continued,

“I work here in order to earn a bit and send my girl to study in a private school so that she also learns English and Science and becomes self dependent so that she doesn’t have to live a life as miserable as mine.”

Isn’t that very normal, what does this have to do with her being beaten up ?

I turned to my mom and she further explained me that her husband steals away all her money and uses it to buy wine and food.

He had beaten her because she attempted to become free !

According to him, she was teaching her girl so that she will later get a respectable job and then they will run away.

What a loser ! I uttered to myself.

Basically the drunkard was afraid that these girls will get their wings, and he will no more be able to fulfill his sexual desire.

He will no more be able to come home and take out his frustration on a lean girl by beating her to death and then raping her and to top it all, in the end have supper prepared by her and run away next morning with all the money he could find in her closet.

I asked immediately, why don’t you get divorced ?

She said, ” Didi, our town is not as open-minded as it should be, if I run away from him and live on my own, people will raise their fingers on me, talk behind me and go on telling others that, ‘I am a prostitute’. ”

I was awestruck at it, in disbelief and despair !

I was speechless.

I didn’t know such mindsets still existed, I didn’t know that freedom was an asset still many coudn’t afford.

I turned my head away, while my mom was dressing her wounds asking me to give her few pain killers.

I couldn’t still face her, I was lost in thoughts and I still am !

I still keep thinking about her in the hope that one day I will be able to help women live a respectful life with dignity and without having to change their second name and hide behind a man.

Women empowerment they call it, I feel it’s still a privilege, only few can afford !

Wake up people, we as youth posses immense potential to work on things and bring about the necessary changes our society still deserves.

Stop crying over tiny problems in your life, broaden your mindset, look around, travel solo and try to understand things that people still need.

Use social media, take help of your friends and do what you really feel the world needs.

Be the change you want to see in the world !

~Mahatma Gandhi

Footnote

I am right now trying to help people like you, who need motivation to realise their potential and work through Calm Insights.

Writing a book on overcoming unexpected tragedies in life.

I visit orphanages and old age homes to understand things better.

And I look forward to try bringing the change I want to see.

Cheers !
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