The monsoon season is almost over, though we do get occasional rains. The sky is such a beautiful blue now.
Night time under the moonlight is a different place altogether. This Photo is taken from our house.
A few months ago , we were returning from Mumbai and it was dusk as we were passing the Western Ghats,
On the 26th our festival of Navaratri started. We worship Goddess Durga. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. On the 26th evening we had been to the temple of the Devi, not far from our home.
Two paths and only one option is really a difficult situation especially when both paths look very dark . She is in this situation.
She is educated and is married to a person who is to all purposes illiterate. The decision to make her marry him was taken by the elders of the family without really looking into the details. Her husband is an alcoholic and all that she earns is taken by him and his parents. They live in a village where social pressure is much more than it is in cities. In cities people can merge into its anonymity. To some extent there is freedom there which is not found in villages. Hers is a miserable existence. She has no father and her mother works elsewhere for her living. Once, she had come back to her mother but had been persuaded to go back. She did, praying for a better life, but it was not to be. This time she went to her friend, her mother was desperate when she could not contact her initially. Now the mother and daughter have gone to her maternal uncles’ place and they will decide what to do.
The girl has told her mother if she really loves her, she will not make her go back, it would be better to give her poison. Social pressure has placed the mother in a great dilemma. If her daughter goes back she will be miserable all her life and she might even be driven to take her life. On the other hand if she gets a divorce , the mother is worried about what people would say. The blame would definitely be on the girl.
I wonder what will happen.
It is the 21st century and nothing has really changed.
But, even as I write this ,I am reminded of my father’s elder sister. She passed away in 1991. She had been married at the age of sixteen. She was encouraged by her husband to study, she completed her BA and MA, was a gold medalist, became a Professor of Political Science and went on to do her PhD.
There is light.
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.”
― Brigham Young
Our planet has been in existence for billions of years and humans have been around for a long, long time. When we look around us we have been doing our best to destroy Mother Earth in different ways. Most people are not thinking of the consequences of these actions. But she has endured. Every dawn reminds me of this endurance of Mother earth.
These are photos of just before sunrise and the beauty of the sky and so much more.
And it is sunset and another day ends and life goes on. I had read these lines somewhere and have loved them-
“Look to this day !
For it is life
the very life of life
In its brief course
Lie all the varieties and realities
of your existence.”
There is a lot of construction activity going on in and around our place. We often wonder why. As I walk back home, I see workers busy with their work. The building has been constructed and the parking lot in front of the building is taking shape. Not only men and women but their children too are around. The children keep themselves busy playing by themselves and sometimes with stones and sand. Two of them are as small as my grandson and looking at them and thinking about our grandson brought home the difference in their lives. And that is Life.
I walked on thinking about life which is so different in different places and in different times. This brought to mind my years in Mumbai, specially the first two months. This was more than thirty years ago. After the world of home and school and school and home, Mumbai and college life was an entirely different world, a different life. Thinking of Mumbai is thinking of the local trains. They are the lifeline of the place. Traveling on them every day from my uncle’s place to college was exciting. My cousin had come with me once to show me where to get out. The first few days were anxious ones, I was very busy watching the names of each station that passed by.
Once I got used to it, I started noticing the people who came in and got out. So many different people and so many different lives. There was a lot of scope for imagination.
Local trains and the circulating or lending libraries, they go together. These libraries were treasure troves for book lovers. We had to pay just fifty paise for a book and we could keep it for a week. I had to travel on train for more than 1 ½ hours every day and I used to exchange books every other day. I must have read hundreds of books in those three years.
Now, after so many years, college life, those friends, the local trains , reading books and the people on the train seems like a distant dream, a different life and it had been a happy one. And I wonder that seeing something which brought to mind different lives, brought back these memories.
It happens, we never know what strikes a chord and what does not . It just happens.
( A few years ago we had been to Mumbai and had gone to my college, these photos are of my college.)