Widows coming out of the age old restriction to live a colourful life. 1536

The morning of the festival of colours started on a very positive note. While having my morning cup of tea along with the newsfeed on my iPad, I came across a very positive news which just made my spirits high and boost my energy levels. I read about Vrindavan widows playing Holi breaking all the barriers and stereotype images of widows across the country, coming out of the age old tradition that has restricted them to live a colourful life.

The breeze in the morning was chilly and the weather was cold; not a perfect weather for this festival at all but nothing could deter these women to get drenched in colours and go with the flow. The smile on their face and the glimpse of the contentment they had;  anyone could easily see that their soul never agrees to the colourless confined life full of rules made by the society for them. But in the name of the traditions and rituals, they caged their soul, shut their eyes, not to dream, rather stopped dreaming forever.

As life for many widows in India is still disheartening as they are shunned by their communities and abandoned by their families, it saddens me to the core that in the name of the tradition how many lives have become colourless, how many dreams shattered and how many howls go unheard.

But we must ask ourselves: Why should a woman, whose husband has predeceased her, be subjected to the worst indignities and deprived of the right to all that she has enjoyed, and should continue to enjoy?

Although urban India has moved little ahead in this respect, widows continue to be ill-treated within the family, especially in the smaller cities. Unable to fight back as they are without children, or uncared for by children, widows prefer to take the road to Vrindavan.

So people, with the city Vrindavan, which is considered holy by Hindus, becoming the ‘City of Widows’. Let’s open our eyes and be little more sensitive towards these women within the families and neighborhood to prevent them from living in acute poverty and ostracised by society due to various superstitions. Let us help them to break the stereotype image they have.

Let them also breathe life and not just exist. Let’s spread the colour of happiness, laughter and cheers for one and all.

उड़ने दे इन परिन्दों को, ना पंख इनके तोड़ तू।  ग़म तो पसरा पड़ा है हर तरफ़, ज़रा इन फ़िज़ाओं में ख़ुशी का रंग घोल तू।

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Let us become ‘Queen’!! 190

The other day, I was watching a movie called ‘Queen’ on TV. I did watch it earlier also but that day it gave me a food for thought. I realised that mental strength is a great asset every woman is born with. Having physical stamina is one thing but a woman should have strong mental stamina too. Frankly, the world we live in it would be hard for a woman with the weak mental strength to survive. It’s 2017 and our politicians don’t leave a chance to degrade women, not to forget the personal obstacles we must face in our day to day life. Mental strength makes us tough to ignore the nonsense and reach a state of peace where what others say or think doesn’t matter. This made me write about a few characteristics every strong woman has –

1. We Embrace Change

A mentally strong woman takes life as it comes. She accepts change with a smile no matter how challenging it is. She understands the fact that change is inevitable. As she knows being stuck won’t do any good, instead, she fights back with full force.

2. We don’t sulk over the past

The best quality of a mentally strong woman is, she doesn’t cling to her past for too long, that doesn’t imply that she is heartless, it’s just that she chooses herself over someone who has hurt her and looks in the direction of building a better future.

3. We don’t Give up

Women with strong vigor know that failure is part and parcel in the journey of life. We have a strong will and don’t give up so easily. We are fighter’s and achieve what we desire, despite few setbacks.

4. We celebrate when others succeed

We don’t get upset when other women succeed because we aren’t mean at heart and most importantly we don’t feel threatened by anyone’s success. We know everyone will get a fair chance to prove themselves, after all, there is enough room for everyone.

5. We stand on the foundation of faith rather than fear

We know that “Fear and faith” cannot live together. When you are afraid of something how can you fight against it? A mentally strong woman chooses faith over worry and believes that everything is going to be alright. She trusts god and does whatever is in her capacity.

6. We know there is no need to please everyone

There is one hard fact we all should learn, it’s not necessary to please everyone to like you. We accept the fact that if someone doesn’t like us it’s their problem, not ours. A mentally strong woman won’t change herself for others, she always honor’s herself.

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

How I was Duped? 180

This happened many years back, probably in 2011, early months of my marriage. Till date, I still feel ashamed of my naivety. However, I would like to share my story with you all, hoping to warn, if you find yourself in any such a situation. Although I doubt anyone can be as stupid as me, but opportunist and cheaters are found everywhere. So be warned and be careful.

It was one of those busy and hot summer days and I was totally engrossed in my work at home when suddenly the door bell rang. I’ am always careful not opening the door to strangers and so opened the window to check who it was. There was a salesman who wanted to do a survey on a new toothbrush that was introduced into the market. He said he will give me three brand new toothbrush for free and he will be back after a week. I am supposed to use the brush and answer few questions for his survey. Along with that, he will also give me a ticket with a number which has a lucky draw. There were different prizes and if my ticket wins he will get the prizes along with him the next week. All in all, I thought there is no harm in taking those sealed brushes with the ticket. I took them and kept it aside and forgot all about it.

After a week, the same man appeared in front of my door again. I remembered him very well. He said I have won some gifts worth 800/- Rs items and he showed them all to me. He asked me for the ticket. I searched all around the house but in vain and told him that I have lost the lucky draw slip. He told me that there is another customer who have won a refrigerator and those people have shifted their house. He can give that lucky draw slip to me along with the other gifts that I have won and all I need to do is pay him 600/- Rs and I will be getting the refrigerator too. He said he will also give me his phone number and his office number if I need to check. For a moment I could not believe my luck and got carried away. For more than a year I was talking to my husband about buying a new refrigerator as ours was an old model and desperately wanted one.

Now, this man tells me that I would be getting a refrigerator of a lucky draw, was like a God sent a gift and I did not think further. Though I was doubtful, the man convinced me that I need to pay first as he needs to report about the changes in his office to send the refrigerator to my address. Finally, I gave in and paid him 600 Rs and took the other gifts. He said he will be back within an hour. Once he left, I had to finish some work. Later when I got free, I checked the other free items that he gave me and found them all used items and some of them broken though the packs were new. Then is when I realized of foul play and called the phone numbers he gave me. One of the numbers went to a gold shop and the other to a placement consultancy. I realized that I was duped by the salesman and there is no refrigerator on its way reaching our home.

I consoled myself thinking that I was lucky enough that the man did not hit me on my head and steal the house. I learned my lesson and since then I am always careful with people around who wants to sell something to us.