"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced"
- Soren Kierkegaard
Throughout her formative years, she has been reminded time and again that she is not good enough. From adolescence to adulthood- this phase has forced her to criticize the hollow society. She has struggled to find a place in the society marked by cultural construct. However, she failed to fit in the society which thrust women into the gender-pigeon holes. Being born as a girl and becoming a woman is certainly not easy. Like many other women of our society, she too has been teased, bullied, abused, and molested. However, she did not stop hoping for a better tomorrow. These bitter experiences have made her a strong woman. Here, I have chronicled her little struggles, articulated the pain that she has received in this insensitive society at various stages of her life, and have also highlighted how she has bravely fought with the apparently insurmountable diseases of her mind: depression, hopelessness, isolation, mental torment, etc.
When she was 6 years old- Like every other little girl, she too enjoyed playing with her doll house. It is believed that the devotion of a little girl to her doll is anticipatory of the serious business of the adult life. Thus, the cultural construct expects a girl to play with doll and a boy to play with car and ball. Since her childhood, her mind has been a complex web of thoughts. She could not fathom why she has always been asked to play with dolls only. Once when she was in her grand-mother's arms, she starred wide-eyed at the colorful toys which were on a display at a shop. She wished to play with ball and asked her to buy her a ball. On her birthday, when her granny gifted her a red plastic ball, she brimmed with joy. Every evening she used to play with the ball on the terrace of her abode. Soon she discovered that the dribbling sound of the ball was annoying her aunt who used to live on the third floor. One day she was asked by her aunt not to play with ball any more as it annoyed her. Then one of her neighbours asked her not to play with ball as girls are not expected to play with ball. These words infuriated her and made her feel upset.
When she was 8 years old- It was her sister's birthday. She was playing number game with her family-friends. The next moment, her brother entered the room and asked her to solve a tricky mathematical problem. When she gave the wrong answer, her brother humiliated her in front of the guests. The kids jeered at her and she was told that she has a poor IQ and that she is stupid. She fell into a belief system that she was not intelligent enough. She felt so embarrassed that she boxed herself in a room and shed tears for being a butt of ridicule. Although it was a petty issue, it had a deep impact upon her mind since she was highly sensitive.
When she was 10 years old- Although she hardly understood the game of cricket, she wished to be a part of the game when she used to see her brothers playing. Often times, they used to humiliate her for playing the game which is believed by many to be the boys' game. Since she is a female, she was never let to hold the bat and was also reminded that she was not good enough to be a bowler. So she always had to be the fielder. This kind of misogynistic treatment is still prevalent in our society.
When she was 15 years old- She was body-shamed for being skinny. In school her friends compared her to joss stick and toothpick. They used to call her ugly and laughed at her. The mocking laughter used to linger in her mind when she used to get back home. Her flaws and inadequacies were thrown up in her face. This precipitated the faltering of her confidence and she was scared to go to school as she was bullied almost every day. She was made to feel awkward and eventually she started experiencing a crisis in her psyche.
When she was 17 years old- One winter evening , when she was returning home from her tuition, she was attacked by a group of unruly, drunken men. They hurled unwanted sexual remarks at her. When she tried to run away, a man came from behind and groped her breasts while the other two men held her arms tightly. She cried out for help but her efforts went in vain. When they were about to lunge at her, few street dogs came to rescue her. As soon as the dogs attacked the goons, they pushed her and fled away. She was left with bruises and scars. Like real heroes, the dogs had saved her life. But, a feeling of fear, shame, and depression, caused her to shrink.
When she was 21 years old- She was entangled in a toxic relationship. Her then boyfriend abused her, insulted her, and tortured her mentally and physically. She fought with him and refused to remain confined in the cage. She flew like a free bird and started enjoying her freedom.
Although the little struggles in her life have had a terrible impact upon her, eventually she reprogrammed her mind frame and stopped asking herself "Why me?". The past memories could not chasten her any more. She envisaged a better tomorrow and strived to do something decent in her life. She gathered all her strength and worked hard to do well in her exam. Finally she ended up topping in her final university examination. The cumulative force of the little struggles has helped her to grow as a person. She has got rid of the pangs of hopelessness, anxiety, and fear, which used to stir inside her. She has learnt to deal with things with maturity and has learnt not to pay heed to petty things. She has become a stronger person and has been doing well in her life now. There are things that go wrong but she has learnt that she can get through bad times. Thus, we should never lose hope and should keep looking for a beautiful tomorrow.
"In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!"