Wednesday, June 2, 2010

freedom cant be assumed


The area is called Rajender Nagar, no not the Punjabi version that I am aware of but a little hamlet that I had zoomed by countless times on my way to work. a tiny left turn and an entirely new world was there to witness and be a part of. 


Rajender Nagar is not a slum, but lets say a more tucked away part of the city. The roads are littered with livestock, with the chicken moving un interrupted between dogs legs, the cats sneaking behind the alley as young girls sweep the courtyard and the kid goat is bleating to be untied from the leash she is on

The families here were a delight to interact with, warm and welcoming the kids giggled as we sat in drawing rooms that would give interior decorators a run for their money, TV's jostled with wahsing machines for space as the mothers spoke about their concerns and fears. 

Saw the prettiest girls, with inner reserve and free spirit that wanted to move out....but alas they could not. Because daddy dear was not keen on her stepping out of the house.. Daddy dear was not a monster, he despite having studied only a bit did actually have a desire to make her educated, bt the reality was that the area she stayed in was a breeding ground for young boys who had discarded their studies..

Gang men, little punks got kicks in the eve teasing, power struggles were about who could be more obnoxious. Results- The girls stayed home or were sent to the garment factory to trim and sew clothes for Rs 1800/month and then married off

Made me value the freedom that I enjoy much much more. The freedom to say no to not be subjected to parental authority, the power of being a women and still being able to make my choices , is so basic yet so untraceable as an every day reality that it makes u wonder if things have actually changed at all...