“Arre Deva, this girl doesn’t understand. Laxmi gets up pattingher last chapatti on the hot earthen tava which was capturing the fire from the clay stove.
The backyard of a small house is filled with soapy water flowing into a thin stream and then vanishing in the hard mud ground.
“Aai, I hate to wash these clothes. Whole day you make me work! When will I get time to study?”
Screamed Madhavi clearing some hair strands in front of her forehead with soapy hands.
This wasn’t anything unusual between Madhavi and Laxmi. Madhavi is Laxmi’s 16 year daughter who hates household chores like most of the teenage gals. But her dislike is for a cause. She wants some time off for herself to indulge in studies. She is far away from world of WhatsApp and internet.
Where would she get so much facility and a budget for ANDROID phone in a small village Morochi which is in Satara District of Maharashtra?
Her father was a poor farmer and mother a simple home-maker. They could barely afford two meals in a day. But Madhavi was very determined. She was born with big goals and a broader vision. She did not believe that a woman’s life is created just to start at her parent’s home with loads of work and no respect, and then move towards another completely unknown home and strangers and listen to them without raising your voice.
Although society is turning modern and women are competing with men, still in the most remote part of our countries these ideas are not yet freely welcomed.
Madhavi wanted to go to school and study and not just live life aimlessly.
“Oh! So you want to study? And then who will help me do all this work? And what will your in-laws say to us? That we didn’t teach you cooking and home making! Is that you want? To give chance to the society to blame your Baba and me?” Laxmi’s eyes started turning moist which almost shone in the basking sun.
“Aai please don’t start again. Trust me I have no intentions to let you all down in front of any one. I just want to study and stand on my feet. And I thought that would make you guys proud and not defeated.” Madhavi consoled her disheartened mother.
Laxmi wasn’t convinced she said “But Beta why you want to study. We don’t have enough funds for your education. Also our community does not encourage women to go out and wok in offices. Do you think it’s simple?”
“I know it’s not simple. But it’s not impossible. I will work hard Aai and obtain scholarships and study. You want to know why? Because we do not have any good schools in our village. And that is the reason no one wants to study from our village. The school is few miles away and winter and monsoons are hindrances to the school going children. I do not want that to happen.
I am not denying that women should skip all household work and not take care of the house. But also feel strongly that we have the right to study and shape our lives”
Madhavi had a twinkle in her eye as she was explaining this to Laxmi.
Laxmi could see the spark in her daughter. Some where she know GOD had gifted her a very ambitious and bold daughter. She was indeed proud of her. She decided to talk to her husband and send Madhavi to a good school in a town nearby.
She pulled Madhavi close to her and whispered something kissing her forehead. Her words were indeed the biggest strength for her daughter.
“I am proud of you child and I am sure you are here to make A Better Tomorrow”
This story is written as a part of contest at my work place for International Women's day celebrations!!!