This article has been submitted by Sakina Hyder for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.
She stood in front of her family. She tried to put forth her point many times but it wasn’t of any use now. The previous times the topic of her marriage was brought up she had somehow managed to subside it. The last time they spoke to her, she had promised them that she would consider marriage once she was done with her post graduation, and before that she had asked them to wait until her graduation. She always kept giving them a vague deadlines because she knew she wasn’t ready for it now. Not that she was against marriage, just that she wanted to establish herself in a career before taking this very important decision of her life. She wished of becoming a ‘somebody’ before becoming someone else’s wife. She wished someone understood her. She turned to her mother and looked into her eyes, she was the only person she could look up to for support. But today, even those eyes turned away .She finally understood that her family meant business. They weren’t going to give in.
That night, she couldn’t sleep. Her mind was filled with innumerable questions, unresolved answers. She wondered why she wasn’t allowed to pursue her aspirations when her brothers could. Why was she considered a burden to the family that they wanted to get rid of ? She had never expected this from them. She was brought up on par with her brothers and never considered as a burden or a pending responsibility. But as she grew up, things began to change. Today she had finally come face-to-face with the girl-factor she feared all her life. She began to find her family in the pressure of getting her married before she crossed the ‘marriageable age’, whatever that meant. All that she understood now was that the dreams that she had nurtured for so long were soon to come crashing down. She will never be able to establish her identity in the society and be all that she wanted to. She pondered over the futility of a woman’s life ,who spends the first half part of her life obeying her family, and the other half her husband’s. She had always been a headstrong educated woman, but today she counted herself among those hapless women whose dreams and are shackled in the chains of marriage.
She looked out from her window and was immediately lost in the bliss of the old benedicted times of happiness and joy—colossal, stupendous and unbounded. She wished she was back to the times when she was a little girl who dreamt of flying in the sky with her wings of aspirations. But the thundering of the clouds broke her trance. Soon it began to rain heavily. It seemed like one of those days when nature resonated with her inner self—the thundering cloud, stream of tears welling up from the earth, imbuing the grief of nature herself.
She knew she was fighting a losing battle.
Flash-forward and she was taking on with her new world with her husband. She had slowly adapted herself to this new world of hers. The dreams that she had cherished all her life were fading into oblivion with little chance of revival. She was happy, she thought. Her husband and family were her world now.
Not long after, she was blessed with a beautiful baby boy. As soon as she took him in her arms her heart ripped open and was filled it light, piercing through the darkness of her past and liberating her from the discomfort of her vulnerability. She didn’t know it could feel this way to feel—the feel that she could only fathom after becoming a mother herself.
‘She knew what to gift him—she gifted him her life, all her dedication and love. She kept her promise.’
Time both flew and crawled. Soon her baby was a little toddler who learnt to call her “Mum,” in a strangely cute infantile accent. It filled her with immense joy. Nothing could have prepared her for the fantastical and grueling journey — for the tears and frustration, for the joy and the love. The times she felt low, the little one’s chuckle was sufficient to lighten up her day. Motherhood to her, was fulfilling.
Soon, she learnt she was expecting again. This time, she somehow felt that it would be a girl. And yes, she was right .Soon she was holding a little girl in her arms with tears welled up her eyes. She felt as though she was seeing a miniature reflection of herself.
‘She knew what to gift her— she gifted her “wings”, to soar up high in the sky and achieve all that she herself never could. She kept her promise.’
Syeda Sakina Hyder