Friday, January 24
Signal for Thought
She ground her leg into the gravel and waited patiently for the signal to turn green. This was going to cost her 2 minutes, but she did not mind. She would be well in time for work anyway.
The sunshine kissed her toes and she mentally saluted the Sun. The mighty God received as many complaints as compliments, depending on how the rest of the weather shaped up. On a wintry day, sunrays are greeted with joy but by noon, people are cursing the sweltering heat. Talk about unpredictability! Clouds are as unreliable as people, and the sun gets blamed for it.
She was rebel with an imagination. Her world was black and white. She found it beneath her to bow down in front of injustice and arrogance. Ever ready to fight for her rights as well as those of others, she often emerged the hero in a situation, but more often the villain.
Sometimes she wondered why people were so mean to her. She considered herself one of the nicer (if not the nicest) people around, and yet, she observed that she was treated unfairly and discourteously. This, despite her being kind and friendly! For the umpteenth time, she wondered why.
She was well aware of the fact that she had a razor sharp tongue. But she wasn’t the only one blessed with this curse. Day in and day out she met people who were (in her opinion) 10 times as rude and despicable, but they were showered with love and popularity. Why was she then not accepted and forgiven the same way?
People who loved her told her two things – one, either the others were not doing this mindfully and it was purely her imagination. And two, that they were envious of her and could not trust her goodness.
She didn’t know which was true. She did not really believe in either hypothesis. But since she had no better answer herself, she let it pass.
It was really hurtful. She carried a smile on her face and pretended it did not bother her. She told herself it did not matter, but she felt queasy inside, like her body was confirming that this was a lie. But she had ample forgiveness to give away and she kept giving people chances.
She hated lies and she despised liars. She stood for what was right but she also believed in humanity. She knew she owed no one anything, but she also knew that with a little effort, she could make people happy. And that was all she wanted. To be happy and make others happy. But frequently, relatives and acquaintances kept complaining and taunting. And when she did not like it, her blunt tongue came to her rescue. She was not among those who could rely on someone else to speak up for them. Most people could not deal with her straightforwardness. She was expected to be sweet-spoken, quiet and tolerant while they could be as crass and rude as they wished. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Unfair, unfair world.
Worse still, marriage revealed another discrimination to her. A woman had to take care of every petty thing in the house no matter how hard she worked at her full time job outside, and she was always to bow down in front of her husband’s foolhardiness, insolence and commands.
She would have been able to cope with it better had she been raised in an environment where boys were supposed to be superior to girls. Fortunately or unfortunately, that had not been the case. She had enjoyed equal status and love (if not more) in her parents’ house. And maybe that is why squabbles abounded at her home after her marriage. She could not see the logic behind this forced domination, and she could not bring herself to accept and behave according to this age old outlook.
She promised to ensure that her daughter was aware of this – she did not want her to grow up thinking life was fair and equal. It wasn’t. To give her a more peaceful life later, she would inculcate this thought in her mind right since the time she was a teenager.
The signal turned green. The ruminating would have to wait until another day, or until the next signal.
On second thoughts, why ruminate when you can change nothing? Just ride along the path of life… until the day your journey comes to a thankful end.