It takes a lot more dare to dare itself. Isn’t it? This is what exactly Kamla was thinking. Can she ever dare to speak up against her husband, dare to say No to her grown up children, dare to give up the responsibilities and dare to break free from the shackles of slavery!!
Suddenly she feels a hint of smile on her face as she remembers her carefree life as a little girl in the woods of Jamshedgarh. Climbing the trees and jumping down the ground with Mangoes tied in the pallu of her tightly draped Saree, was her field of expertise. And how elated she was when one day after such an adventure, her Bhua told her that she will be married off next month in an adjoining village. Yes, a 14 year old Kamla was excited as she would be getting new Sarees and jewellery and she would climb the trees along with her new friend. Little did she know what was waiting for her there?
One thing she could not comprehend on her wedding was why all her friends and cousins were envious of her young and handsome would be husband but she was happily enjoying being centre of attraction in the family. Being a naive but daring little girl, she made a big deal when her charming husband tried to fondle her which was enough to enrage him and she was sent back to her village the very next day of her wedding. Later her Bhabhi counselled her and the day her marriage was consummated, the tears rolling down her cheeks took away all her courage and she knew she will never be herself again.
The beeping sound of Car bought her out of her reverie and she saw her youngest daughter Roli and their Memsahib rushing to her.“Kamla, leave these bastards and come stay with us. Roli told me they hit you again. For God’s sake eat something before we take you to Hospital. Why don’t you go and report to Police to teach them a lesson? For how long will you keep quiet?”she heard her Memsahib. “I am fine, Memsahib”, said Kamla “You are really my Bhagwan.” Kamla is always reminisced of the warmth of her mother whenever she sees her MemSahib.
She has been working as a maid in her house from the last 15 years when she first stepped on the lands of Punjab in the hope of a new life and a dream of educating her 6 children. The drought and the resulting famine in their area had led them to migrate to Punjab but Kamla was very happy and yearned for a better life for herself and her children. She worked hard everyday in around 10 houses. She enrolled her kids in School but as the fate would have it, her sons turned out to be similar to their father. They dropped out of the school and started working in a nearby factory. They would return home in an inebriated state and start beating Kamla coaxing her for more money. Her husband who didn’t work much would lose all her earnings in gambling. In the hope of saving some money for her daughter’s wedding, she started depositing half of her wages every month with Memsahib. Today her husband overheard her & Roli’s conversation about the same savings and he was furious. Poor Kamla had to face the consequences when she dared to say No for the money.
Kamla gains her senses and finds herself in the Hospital bed wrapped up in bandages. She couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw her husband and sons by her bedside. She thinks she must have been hallucinating and is suddenly awakened when her husband pinches her. “Dare you say anything to Police against us, I will make sure to kill you and then even your Memsahib won’t be able to help you”, her husband growled. Kamla opens her mouth to say something when two police officials enter the hospital room along with her Memsahib. “Kamla you need not be scared. Just tell us the truth and no one will ever dare to bother you again”, the police officials assured her. She shifted her eyes and could see the crocodile tears of her husband and her sons.
Could she dare to dare against her family now? Her inner voice and conscience reminds her of her origin and the Indian moral values her mother taught her. It is her duty to protect her family and safeguard them and just like hundreds of other women in our country, she couldn’t DARE TO DARE. Instead, she found herself mumbling “I fell from the stairs, Sahib.”
This post is a part of Dare-a-thon hosted by ‘The Momsteins’. I would like to thank Lohitha for introducing me. I would also recommend you to check out my fellow blogger Pragnya Mishra and read her wonderful post on the prompt.