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Those of us privileged may have a lot of work, or may be bored being housebound. But these women - one of them a child, have been suffering much more!
Those of us privileged may have a lot of work, or may be bored being housebound. But these women – one of them a child, have been suffering much more!
Do you think, you are house arrested these days and have nothing to do? You are bored of cooking, cleaning and managing the house. You are tired because the house-help is not there. You are bored because you are not meeting your friends. You are bored because there are not enough movies on Netflix. You are bored because gyms are closed.
Everyone is bored these days, posting videos of how they are surviving and managing everything, home workouts, cooking, cleaning, etc. etc. etc. Yes, we all are bored and want this lockdown to get over. But there are some people who want the lockdown to get over more than anyone of us.
There is 8 year old Sameera who is praying to God everyday. “God! Please ask Principal Ma’am to open the school, please God! I really want to go to school. I told you so many times that Rajeev chachu (uncle) came to our house few days back as he had some meetings in the town and is not able to go back to his home now. His son misses him. He should go back”.
Her sobbing increased and she again spoke “God I told you already that I don’t like him at all. He touches me in a way I don’t like. When mamma is in the kitchen and dadda is working on his laptop until late night, he sits with me in my room to play and he touches me everywhere. I don’t like it God. I didn’t tell mamma and dadda because uncle told me that its our secret. But I can share the secrets with you because you are God and you know everyone’s secret. I hate Rajeev uncle, he hurts me.”
In another house, there is 19 year old Ruhi, who is sitting on her bed and talking to herself and saying “I don’t know why my parents are after my life to get married. I want to study further, have my financial independence and then get married. They keep on telling me everyday that from this session onwards I am not going to college anymore. I have to be at home at learn the household chores with my mom. I don’t want to sit at home. They are saying all this because I failed in two subjects in my examination last semester. I was down with high fever and was not able to appear in two of my exams. The college people marked it as absent and I have to re-appear in those two subjects again next year. But my father considered it to be my failure, and has strictly told my mom that I have studied enough.”
Tears started rolling her eyes while she thought “Why? Why did I had fever in those days? I should have gone to appear in the exams somehow. It’s all my fault. And in this lockdown, being at home all day, my father is watching me at home and his belief that I should get married is getting stronger every day, as the sooner I get married, the sooner he will be able to get rid off his liability. I can’t discuss it with anyone as I am not going out anywhere.”
After that it’s 32 years old Meera, who is a single mother of two children and earns for them. She has to work from home due to lockdown these days. There is no house help and the children are at home. She is working day and night to manage everything – cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes, washing clothes, arranging groceries, bathing the kids, attending virtual meetings, doings PPTs, attending phone calls, putting the kids to bed and every other thing associated with it.
After putting to her 9 year old and 5 year old to bed, she read an email “It is our pleasure to announce that we are starting virtual classes for the kids so that their learning should not stop. We shall be sharing the video conferencing links soon”.
She was excited about it, thinking that the kids will be able to learn something while being at home as she is not able to do enough for them as she has too many things to manage.
The smile on her face faded immediately when she realized that the timings for the classes for both the kids were the same, and were also during her work hours.
She found herself saying, “No! No! No!, I have just one laptop and one phone, and that means if both of them have to attend the class at the same time, but both the devices will be occupied for 3 hours and I won’t be able to work. Which means that I will have to manage my work after their learning hours get over… how will I able to compensate my peak working hours in the morning? God! Please! Help! I don’t want this lock down. I was done! I am tired! And I am helpless and confused!”
Jaya, who is a 24 years old home-maker and a mother of a 3 months old baby is exhausted. Her husband is working from home and her in-laws came to visit them few weeks back, and didn’t go back to the increasing spread of this virus and thereafter the lock-down.
She works the entire day, serves everyone, takes care of her baby, cooks, cleans and does everything around. Her body has not fully recovered after pregnancy and therefore she gets tired very easily. She is breastfeeding as well, so more nutrition loss. And on the top of it, no sleep.
Her husband cannot help as he gets up, do his daily chores, and sits in one of the rooms to work. She only hears him when he asks for coffee or something to eat, or when he asks her to serve him lunch on his work table. Her in-laws only play with the baby. The moment he starts crying, they hand him over to her. And when she is not able to cook or clean on time, everyone starts blaming her.
This is the third night when her baby didn’t sleep due to colic. She was sitting the entire night holding him yet again when she remembered, “I should have gone to my mother’s place a month back. She was asking me to come. How stupid of me…I told her that I will come when my in-laws go back to their home, it doesn’t look nice. They should also get to spend some time with the baby. And now this lock-down. I am tired and frustrated. No one helps me. My body is giving up and I am not able to take care of my baby properly as I have to do everything.”
And then there is 27 years old Mayuri, who is a domestic violence victim. Her husband used to come home drunk almost every day and then used to beat her for some reason or the other. Now he is at home as his shop is closed. He drinks at home and then beats her whenever he wants. The frequency of these episodes has increased from 2-3 times a week to everyday and sometimes even twice a day.
When her drunk husband was asleep, she was standing in the bathroom in front of the mirror. She saw marks on face, bruises all over her body and one of her hand was swelled. As she turned on the shower the warm water pinched her. She felt pain in her entire body and started crying, “Ma! I miss you. I can’t live like this. Ma! I am in pain. Deep pain. I cannot tell this to you. Papa is a heart patient. He won’t be able to bear this. He will die. I cannot even take a divorce. My father in law is a big time lawyer, he will win the case, by hook or by crook. But if society gets to know about it, no one will marry my younger sister. I am bearing all this Ma! Don’t worry, I am a strong women and will bear all of this till I am alive. But I in pain Ma! My body hurts everywhere. When I sit down to mop the floor, I am not able to get up as my back hurts. And this lockdown has increased his anger as he has nothing to do now. He watches TV, drinks and then beats me. Everyday Ma! Please pray to God that this gets over soon so that I get some time to heal.”
I have tears in my eyes while writing these stories. We all are bored of our lives. But we never feel gratitude for what we have. We never feel thankful for all that we have. We are always thinking that we are victims of lock down.
But there are people who are bearing more than us. There are people who are always victims, their pain has just increased, and they are praying more than each one of us everyday for this lockdown to get over, more than anyone of us, more strongly than us. I pray for them. I pray for us!
Image source: shutterstock
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"There is a story and a vision which makes us gravitate towards cinema. Even as we worked as assistants on ads, we realised that cinema was our true calling," say Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh Raseen.
The Railway Men. Mili. Cuttputli. The Diplomat. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. And more…
Let me introduce to you the talented designer duo who have worked on these, and can be considered today’s upcoming costume designers for the screen. Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh.
Having studied at NIFT, Gunpreet Kaur Mann sent her portfolio out to several designers. Her first gig was as an assistant stylist with Manoshi and Rushi, who also happen to be a designer duo. She worked on an ad film starring Saif Ali Khan and eventually landed a full time job with designer Vikram Phadnis. Years of experience as assistant costume designer followed, which eventually led her to getting a break.
A ‘thank you’ makes a lot of difference in the way any woman in your life sees herself in your eyes. It might even mean the world to her.
I have not received any appreciation in the past. Probably never will. This is the experience of ample women across the globe. The expectation to be thanked for all the sacrifices she makes to keep others happy has faded. Yet the urge to hear few words of acknowledgement always lingers.
There is never a day when she pushes off her own burdens. She knows not to give up on people she loves. Women in general, are givers by nature and hence, give without asking anything in return. They have been the care givers and lovers since centuries however receive no appreciation.
It will mean the world to your mother if you answer her calls. If your sister seems lost give her a hug and assure her about her strengths. Tomorrow, there might come a day when you would have to make your daughter feel empowered with few words of wisdom every now and then. For the children to feel wanted and loved, you must be able to spare some quality time with your wife and be present in the moment.
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