Yes, I am Kali!

Our cook has a sweet little daughter called Rupa. Sometimes, she comes to our house with her mother. We like each other and I love hearing about her friends, her dance classes and what new she learnt in school. During one of the days, I saw her putting a lot of talcum powder on her face. I ignored this in the beginning thinking that, it may be one of her child fantasies. But, then after seeing it repeatedly for quite some time, I asked her “Rupa, why do you put so much of powder on your face?” She replied innocently, “Aunty, all my classmates call me Kali and tease me”. I was disappointed to hear this. First thing I asked her, if she has complained about this to her teacher. She said yes, but still some of the children do so.

If we reflect on this situation, it’s not about those children. It’s about their upbringing and their parents’ thought process. I thought for a moment and told Rupa that, if someone calls you Kali the next time, you say, “Yes, I am Kali, the goddess you pray”. Skin colour is still a challenge in our country but I never wanted this to affect an 8 year old girl who was still too young to understand this. And if I don’t give her confidence now, it might affect her future and I can’t let that happen. 

I find it silly when people talk about colour. The colour of skin doesn’t matter. All that matters is our behaviour towards people and a person is much more than a skin colour. Now, women have achieved so much and it’s all because of their hard work, perseverance, positive attitude and a never die spirit. So, people stop judging us on the basis of our skin colour. We are beautiful in every way and can proudly say, “Yes, we are goddesses”!

Motherhood- Does it epitomize a woman?

Sunita, was a beautiful and lovely girl. She was full of life, serene like morning breeze, and painted everyone’s life with her creativity and love. A very caring daughter, a loving sister, a great friend and a very good student. While I was ambitious with my goals, she was very simple and wanted to be a teacher to enlighten people’s life with the gift of education. She started growing with her dream taking small steps towards it.

While she was excited about exploring the world and bringing about a change, her parents were disturbed. The reason was that, she was not getting her menstrual cycles. But, the concern grew deeper when her sister, who was 3 years younger to her starting getting them. Parents consulted a gynecologist to address the issue. After check-ups the doctor said, she is absolutely fine but she can never give birth to a child. The parents were shattered as if it was the end of their daughters’ world. This news disturbed Sunita as well but, she said “what if I can’t give birth, I can still be a mother” This is not the end of my world.
After graduation I took a short vacation and on return, I went to see her. I was shocked to know that she got married. I was startled that we were even not informed of this. I felt very bad but, then her younger sister came up with Sunita’s wedding album. I saw her pictures, all I could see was a girl who was innocent and pure. The beauty of her heart was reflected through her eyes in every single picture.
After a year, Sunita came to meet me at home. I was extremely delighted to see her. She was as lively and fun loving as she was in her teens. She was taking care of the house and also pursing her education. She got her two kids along. She was happy to have them in life and the kids made her complete now. I was happy to know that she was happy with her family.

Three years later, it was a winter morning and I was just about to step out for my college.
Phone rang and it was my sister on the other side. The news she gave me was the worst of my life and beyond my imagination. Sunita was no more, she committed suicide. I was heartbroken!! A girl who had beautiful dreams and was full of love in life, a girl who could have been much more to the world was no more.
This news disturbed me and I wanted to inquire what went wrong with her?? After returning home, I asked my mother about this incident. She said that because she could not conceive, the parents decided to get her married to someone who was already married and had kids. Nobody will marry her if they get to know that she can’t give birth to a baby; a stupid justification was given to my mother by her parents.
The man she was married to, was her relative and he lost his first wife to a heart attack. He had two small kids and he wanted someone to take care of them. Sunita’s parents got to know about him and they took it as an opportunity to get her married. She must have agreed to this decision to keep her parents happy and save them from the allegations of the so called society.

Further, I got to know that the boy accepted her as his mother but the girl was young enough to understand that Sunita was her step mother and she had lost her mother. She was not happy with this decision and misbehaved with her frequently. At first, Sunita ignored it thinking that she was a child but gradually the matter grew serious. When Sunita tried to explain it to her husband, he accused her by saying that since, she can’t be a mother she is not able to take proper care of his children. The words started hitting her mind, her soul, her self-confidence to an extent that she finished herself. A beautiful heart went to ashes!!
I want to know who her real culprit is. Her parents who forced her into this marriage because she could not give birth to someone? The so called society who will call her sterile her entire life?? The husband who could not understand his child or the child who could not accept her as a mother??

Is a woman only about motherhood?? Can she only survive in this society if she can give birth to someone?? Can she only be respected and loved by her own kids?? What about Mother Teresa who transformed life of many people and the world calls her “Mother” What about Sushmita Sen who has given a wonderful life and a great upbringing to two beautiful girls. What about those thousand women who have adopted children and brought about a change in this world. To be a mother, you don’t have to give birth to someone. A mother is all about love, care and sacrifices and none of this is biological.

Mothers are Gift from God!

I was a little girl. My father had a school where he would educate the underprivileged kids, who could not afford to go to expensive schools. But, that was not enough to run a family. So, he used to take private tuitions and go to people’s house to teach their children. We use to stay in a small house and could only afford the basic amenities in life.
My father use to go for his tuition on a cycle and I would request him to take me for a ride like every other child. To make me happy, he would sometimes take me to the houses where he was teaching on weekends. Almost every Sunday, he would take me to Chaube Uncle’s house. His daughter Priyanka was little elder to me. She use to play with loads of toys like cars, dolls, puzzles and sometimes, she would share with me on her mother’s request. I loved playing with them. I would eagerly wait for Sundays to play with those toys as I never had one.
One evening, I was watching TV at my neighbor’s house and my mother called for me. She washed my face, brushed my hair and told me let’s go to Chaube Uncle’s house. I told her but it’s not Sunday. She replied today is his daughter’s birthday and they have invited us. I was very happy. We reached their house. It was beautifully decorated with lots of balloons and colored papers. There were many kids around who were dressed very well. All of them were wearing birthday caps. There were many toys kept on a table for everyone to play with grabbed my attention but I was too shy to pick them up without anyone’s permission.
Then, Mrs. Chaube announced for cake cutting. Priyanka, the birthday girl was dressed like an angel. She looked very pretty. When she entered the room, it seemed that suddenly there was a bright light all over. She had worn lovely accessories, shoes and a crown. Then, Chaube uncle came with a very big cake. It had flowers, toys, chocolates all over it. The cake looked delicious. All the kids started gathering towards the cake. My mother tried to push me as well I was pushed back. So, I stood behind holding my mother’s hand, the safest place in the world. Priyanka blew the candle, and everybody started singing the birthday song. People around started wishing her.
My mother too insisted that I should go and wish the birthday girl. I was already not happy with the kids pushing me back from the cake-cutting but somehow I took my little tiny steps toward her. But, she completely ignored me in front of her well-dressed friends. I felt hurt and tears started rolling out of my eyes. I remember I was wearing a pink frock which my mother stitched for me. She embroidered little blue flowers all over it. But, it was simple and not that flashy and expensive as other kids. She was the same girl I use to play with but today she pretended as if she didn’t know me.
My mother could understand what was going on in my heart. She lifted me in her arms and I dig my face into her shoulders and started crying. She gave the gift to her mother, grabbed me tightly and left immediately from that place. On the way, I remember her sobbing and telling me “Darling, you are my little princess and you will forever be for my entire life” She was hurt more than me. Today, years later she is still the same and fights for her three princesses for their good. She has always supported us to achieve our dreams and has made us what we are today. It’s true that God can’t be everywhere with us and that’s why he has sent “Mothers” for us.