Too sad to cry, her eyes looked down constantly. A smile that purposed to hide her grief conquered her face throughout the half an hour conversation that we had with this lady. This lady having, potential in the void spaces of her life, told us some cruel truth of this society with utmost pleasure, as if she was asking us to accept it because nobody has the audacity to change it. These reasons were holding her back.
Named Anjum and aged 23, she very proudly told us that she sewed ladies’ suits. This skill and knowledge was passed on to her by her mother. She had a sister who had acquired the same skill. A fellow member of khwaab was in search of such talents in their community. She had a conversation with her parents and managed to associate Anjum with khwaab. She taught all the other ladies sewing at the khwaab center. They together learnt and grew up with skills.
Anjum has this amazing talent of managing khwaab and all its members. She can keep in pace with all the work that was allotted by the fellows of khwaab. Moving forward in the conversation, our questions became inquisitive about her education and interest in further persuasion of the same. She stated that she had completed her schooling 2 years back and now has no plans of graduation. Before she could answer in attempt to hide it, her eyes said it all. She was convincing herself by her own statements. Her family restrictions could not let her study and make herself independent. They never made her realize that an educated mind only can lead to a path of right freedom. Instead, she was told not to grow her capabilities. Her growing qualification will make her rise up and it will be difficult for her parents to find a right match for her, from their society. How else can this society maintain the male dominance?
For Anjum to have a life partner, she will have to lower down her possibilities so that they do not go above her husband’s qualifications. I was astonished to know this fact. She accepted it wholeheartedly, maybe because of no choice left. A choice to choose right for own life.
One step that she took forward with khwaab emerged as a hope in her life, but if we could not help her to fill light in this ray of hope, she will have to again sacrifice for her family.
Peeli dori wants to add a bright yellow to her life, so that she can shine. We want her to realize her potential and take her to that level of self-created independence, where no dominating power of this society can walk over her dream. Her dream to be a senior managing member of khwaab.
Dream a dream with Peeli Dori and Khwaab.
Article: Niharika Choudhary
Illustration: Ananya Kumar