Me a name I call myself... A journey to find ‘me’ began a good 24 years ago and I have stopped looking.
"I would have killed her, if it wasn't for my father-in-law", spoke a mother whose one year old toddled in front of her. Never could I decipher if it was remorse of being a woman and raising another, in a patriarchal society or familial politics that spoke through her... Ironically, this "Father In Law" had the courage to let his daughter stay alive. The village and community had had no daughters in a 100years time then.
And here I came to being. The woman in me saw light.
This happened in a remote village near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan where I was documenting stories of change for a project on female foeticide and infanticide. Little had I known that these stories would bring a WOMAN to life! I had been a female all 23years of my being then.
I never believed in gender. I believed that this was the root cause of all the atrocities females were subjected to. And in my naivety I was in complete denial of the very existence of these nuances that defined the threads of the society and our living. I had been molested as a 10 year old and this compensation was the best I could do in my defense – the thought concretised.
Only to be broken by a man! He made me realise how in my want of EQUALITY, I was driving around thoughtlessly to being more and more like... a Man. “Pick the right weapon at least, even if you pick the wrong battle” is what he said.
Acceptance: I was seeking in a Man’s world! Suddenly I saw the suffocation of all the women – emancipated or not; in a city or a village; educated or not. All this, I realised, was reflecting in Mother Nature and our treatment towards her. We all are living the same lives, somewhere, everywhere. Wanting acceptance. Not realising acceptance or not; acknowledgement or not; we are EQUAL. This realisation in us women is what is quintessential. The moment this happens this world will be a different place and hopefully a better one too. After all we are the first schools any child is ever brought to. A daughter or a son – we lay the foundation for the future.
I know it will not happen overnight. But this is a start: to share, connect and communicate all those narratives I come across. World is growing smaller and it is here we can help each other understand ourselves better. Understanding ourselves would lead to the acceptance of us and save femininity from extinction. The strength is US!
That is why I believe in... SHAREVoices of Our Future Application: Your Journey and Vision