Today I am at a loss for words.
You know how much I would go on and on to you, about not ever letting yourself feel any less, no matter what anyone says, than boys. To Be a Girl, and yet be Equal. I would talk endlessly on how not to take flak from them.
I loved dressing you up. Remember, how I would go ga ga over clothes, for there is so muchmore by way of choice for girls, than boys. And I would watch you with such pride.
I was also terrified all the while. Never let anyone, especially strangers or acquaintances pick you up, hug you or try and make you sit on their lap. No sireee, not at all. I told you about that too, you remember? Your solemn face, and your brothers’ too, as you listened, and did like wise. The good touch and the bad touch.
I told you how just believing in yourself, would get you the world, and its mother in law! I meant that, and I still do.
I watched, I listened, and worried. But you see, I did have faith in you. You could never go astray anywhere, with the values we built together, you and I and your brothers.
I insisted you play cricket with the boys. That you learn to play rough, just like them, while playing football. That you never sniffle and come with girlish whines. That you go out and be just like them. I knew I was doing right, I know I did right, for is not ours the best land in the world where you can be yourself? Not a boy, or a girl, but you!
But, that is why too, I insisted you learn self defence. For I know you, I have faith and trust in you, but I cannot say the same for a multitude of lecherous limbs out there in the big world.
And today, as you lie bruised and hurt, not just your body, but your spirit, what words can I say to console you? The lecherousness of the world took you by surprise, did it not? The passion of their misguided, misogynistic, moralistic, mad, mad, mad manic clammy notion fair took your breath away did it not?
I am sorry, my dearest. Not for them, but for this land, and her daughters who still have to face the demons we failed to vanquish with our Preamble. For this land, that spoke of Respect to Women, but listened to tenets to suppress them. For you, who had your illusions shattered when he pulled at your clothes and hit you on the head!
But I shall not let this be. And you shall join me. Today and tomorrow we shall go out again, and tell them, and the impotent public and the law of the land, that we matter. We will live, as equal citizens, as worthy women, with the core values of care, concern, respect and humanity. For is that not all we need? To be human? To serve that which is in all of us. The self same divinity, that you have, and he forgot he had, but borrowed an Uttama Purusha’s name to indulge in the lowest of crimes!
I shall not let it be. And you, being my daughter, will not either. I know you will pluck that courage again, from the ground where it lay briefly bleeding and battered, and we shall again, pit our might against a morality that is not one at all. Against injustice.
Come, my daughter, it is time. Let us pledge to bring back honour, and courage.
It is time. We must step out, and face the demons.
It has been done before, and it shall be, again. The Mahishasuras of Ignorance and Opression shall be overcome. Only this time we are Shakti. We.
26 January, 2009