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And believe me, no established boy would be ready to marry a girl with a physical disability. You should consider yourself lucky enough that this match came for you and they are ready to handle you.
Dhairya adjusted her dupatta and looked herself into the mirror for the last time, lost in her thoughts. A knock at the door broke her reverie. When she opened it, her Chachi entered into the room hurriedly. Chachi inspected Dhairya from top to bottom, cleared her throat and said, “Beta, why don’t you apply some red shade of lipstick? The existing one is not quite noticeable on your lips. And make that Kohl a little darker. That will make your eyes more prominent. And…(placing a pair of big round multicolour jhoomkas in front of her) and these jhoomkas will go better with your pink salwar kameez. In fact, it will be more attractive.”
Dhairya signalling with her hands, “Stop it, Chachi! Do you have any more suggestions left with you? Would you stop interfering in my looks?”
Least bothered, Chachi continued, “Yes, I think…”.
Dhairya cut short her Chachi and said, “Don’t you think I already look so pretty in my own skin? I’m beautiful in all aspects and let me make you clear that these cosmetics or any other superficial make-up is not going to cast a magic on someone. If it does, then that person won’t be a perfect match for me or for anyone else. And one more thing, I don’t want to draw anyone’s attention by a makeover.”
“It’s not about your looks Beta! We all know that you have been blessed with a fair skin. But the thing is…”, Chachi trying to console her.
Dhairya blurted out, “Better stop right there Chachi. First of all, beauty is something more than skin deep. It’s not just about being fair/dark complexion. And secondly, I know what you were going to say. Let me complete it for you. I’m physically disabled. I can’t walk by my own. I need the help of these wheel chairs to move on. Right!”
She paused and gasped for breath.
Chachi trying to make her points valid, uttered, “Why don’t you understand? Accept the fact that you need someone to assist you throughout your life. And believe me, no established boy would be ready to marry a girl with a physical disability. You should consider yourself lucky enough that this match came for you and they are ready to handle you. So, try to present yourself properly otherwise you are going to lose the opportunity. Does it make some sense?”
Dhairya in a shocked tone expressed her resentment, “OPPORTUNITY! A lucky chance to surrender myself for the entire life to someone who could merely judge me by the amount of kohl applied on my eyes or the shade of lipstick on my lips! Wow!” Slowly, she raised her pitch saying, ‘Thanks Chachi for the lecture. But NO. Keep it with you. Try to sell it to someone else. I may be physically disabled for you but not mentally. I’m mentally sound and stable. So, I’m not going to buy this. You asked me to accept the fact. Right! The fact is I may need walking stand as support to walk but don’t need anyone’s support to lift up my soul and hold my head straight, and right now I’m accepting this fact with grace. If marriages and relationships are just based on physical appearance/ability, I’m refraining from it and embracing myself the way I’m. My leg is broken; not my heart, my intellect, my confidence or my courage. Just because I need to bend my body for some assistance doesn’t mean I’m going to bow my head in front of others. Listen carefully, even my present is not going to bow in front of my own future. This head will be held high till my last breath is broken. Hope this makes some sense..Chachi!”
Chachi stood still there.
Dhairya continued, “Please convey the message to the prospective bridegroom or else I’ve to play a repeat telecast!”
Chachi was stunned by the fire in Dhairya’s eyes and the boldness in her voice. The red lipstick slipped from Chachi’s hands and fell down with a thud near Dhairya’s leg.
Years passed by. A party was hosted to mark the successful completion of a decade of the ‘Veera Enterprises’. Being an employee, I was also invited. This was the first chance for me to meet the CEO of the company. There she comes. She wore a bold red lipstick matching with her pretty red dress. But this time, it was not to please someone. Instead it reflected her inner shine and strength. She walked confidently(on her artificial limbs) with an elegance in her footsteps. All eyes were transfixed on her. Many wedding proposals lay scattered on her table. One more man approached her in the party for her hands and she smiled effortlessly saying, “Better luck next time!”
Image source: pixabay
Founder of 'Soch aur Saaj' | An awarded Poet | A featured Podcaster | Author of 'Be Wild Again' and 'Alfaaz - Chand shabdon ki gahrai'
Rashmi Jain is an explorer by heart who has started on a voyage read more...
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