Image for representation purposes only. Source – wikimedia
She saw it all from inside. It was her protected bubble. It was her home for the last eight and a half months. A house with a million windows. Since then, she had a dream. A dream to change it all.
Her parents were voracious readers. They couldn’t do much with an income of forty nine rupees a month but they managed to buy the newspaper. Her mother couldn’t read, so her father read aloud. That’s how she traveled the world.
She heard every story in exceptional detail and she wondered if she really wanted to go out there. She decided she did and with good reason. She wanted to change it all.
She wanted to fight for the lady who was beaten by her husband. She wanted to console the child who had lost his parents in the war.
She wanted to hug the tree from being mercilessly cut down. She wanted to save the chick that was about to be cooked for a meal.
She often pondered on how people survived in such a world. It wasn’t safe, it wasn’t free, it wasn’t happy, it was simply a hell hole. Did she still want to get out of her happy bubble? Yes. She definitely wanted to change it all.
She wanted to punish the man who stole her father’s money. She wanted to charge the man who rejected her sister because she couldn’t pay him the dowry.
She wanted to give the poor woman some water and the rich one some happiness. She wanted to break the caste system that didn’t let her mother study. She wanted to question the official who denied her uncle a job because of his class.
What encouraged people to live in this world? She could never come up with an answer. Will it be better a decade later?, she thought to herself. Not if you don’t step in there today, she told herself. She finally agreed to it. She wanted to change it all.
She wanted to end the irrational belief that one religion supersedes another. She wanted to shatter the assumption that one community was better than the other.
She wanted it gone. But was that all she wanted? Change wasn’t the only thing she dreamt of. She dreamt of playing with her sister in the fields. She dreamt of making her parents proud. She dreamt of falling in love with the right man. She dreamt of being a successful professional.
But, little did she know that her dream wasn’t coming true. Little did she know that her dreams would die in her happy bubble. That her parents would leave her out in the cold the day she took her first breath. That they wouldn’t return to her. That they eagerly waited for her demise.
But I was going to change it all, she cried. I was going to be your beacon of hope. She howled and howled. Her mother sat silent as her wails echoed in the night.
She doesn’t deserve to be in a world where she won’t be respected, her mother told herself. She couldn’t fight for a second time. She had fought for her first daughter. So what if she is a girl, she had said. But the village shattered her daughter’s dreams too. She realised that her mother-in-law and her husband hated her baby girl from the time she was born. They didn’t want her to study. They didn’t want her to work. They were scared of what society would say. She was nothing but a liability to them, a person who couldn’t be thrown out because they couldn’t afford the dowry.
And so, her mother let her die. She let her second daughter die. The daughter who had a million dreams. The daughter who would have changed her life, if she had given her a chance.
It is sickening to see that 5,00,000 girl children are killed in India every year. When will we progress as a society? When will we stop this discrimination? It is time we stopped looking at her as a liability.
You could be poor or rich, educated or uneducated, smart or foolish, but you are simply inhuman if you kill her for being a girl. It is time we gave her a chance.
A song by Swanand Kirkire titled “O re Chiraiya” inspired me to write this post. The lyrics beautifully convey why we need to see the girl child as a blessing.
Here is a link to the song: