Girl, don't be a woman soon
Her hair bounced in the air as she took two sprightly steps at a time, climbing down the stairs of a dilapidated, dank building. Confidence tried to make a conversation from each and every pore within. The task of having a family to fend for felt anything but a chore.
Instead, there was joy. There was glee. And there was satisfaction to see familiar faces light up as she handed over the tributes to the family, every month, unfailingly.
Now the world was at her feet. Literally. Ok, it was at her door.
The car outside was her ticket to a better life. A higher life - a life that soared higher than her ghetto-ised existence, gave her moments to cherish, to be her own self and surge ahead. A life that almost fulfilled her own dreams, her parents' unfulfilled and unspoken ones and gave her the temerity to nurture new fantasises.
She almost felt like breaking out into a whistle. She had learnt the art - not mastered it yet -from a fellow colleague. And the girl in her couldn't wait to try it out. And see a few shocked faces and stumped jaw-lines!
But crossing over was priority now. As was breaking stereotypes and fixations.
As she was about to cross the threshold, she paused.
And instinctively looked up, for a moment.
A familiar face waved out to her. It was the face she saw every day. And knew all the lines etched on that face, by heart. Her mother tried to catch her eye, fighting a belligerent pallu of her own, fed by the cold winds. And when both did make eye contact, bewilderment swam across the shores of sanity, laced with fear.
She knew that the spell was over.
She felt icy hands around her neck. Cold veins and coarse palms tugged at her from all sides...clawing into her system, warning her of the dangers ahead.
She buckled. Nervousness clawed itself back in, her stomach was rumbling.
Fear had reared its ugly head.
She had gone back to being the regular. The extraordinary in her had cracked.
The bad dream came back to haunt her.
And her mother's words kept humming:
Girl, don't be a woman soon...
India is not ready for you, yet!
More about Lopamudra GhatakPolitically incorrect. Among other things, News Editor, CNN-IBN. Politics, films, entertainment, trivia keep me going. Also books, food, & vino :)
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