Snatched Dreams

Snatched Dreams
  • Varsha sat at doorstep of her house. She is alone right now. She is doing nothing. She just sat there looking at a stack of books adjacent to her. They are her books. She is 14 years old. She is the child of the family. The only offspring. Her parents love her, that’s what they say.. That they love her and hope for her the best only. They never denied her anything. Even when she said she wants to study in school her father had very reluctantly bought her a bicycle so that she can do whatever she wants. When she got the first position in 8 standard her father was proud of her or that’s what they said. She said to her father ‘ Abba… See since I’ve got the first rank in the class… My teachers are all proud of me…i intend to work very hard to prove myself… And Abba?… You wait… I will make you really proud someday!’. Her father had smiled then. He said nothing but blessed her by caressing her braided head. She was satisfied by this. Now the enrollment for the standard 9 has to be made but she was not allowed. She was asked to not to leave home at all. They say it’s important that she should be fair in complexion now and that not much household chores had to done by her. She is to sit in shade all day long. She heard her parents discussing that people are coming to see varsha but it’s just the formality for it has been decided ever since that she would be given as a wife to him only. Now is the time they fulfill their responsibility. Varsha now sits amazed at the doorstep. She is deep in thoughts gazing aimlessly at that stack of books near her. She asked her mother yesterday ‘ Maa… What’s all this… I told you I’m not ready for this yet… I cannot… I want to study… Why don’t you tell Abba about this… He would listen to you… Amma please don’t do this to me. I have some dreams… And marriage is not one of them’ she even cried while saying all this. Mother just looked at her then explained ‘ first thing we are not asking you to.. We are telling you to get married… N Beta this is what is right for you…. You are old enough to know your responsibilities now… Remember you can’t survive without a man… And that’s enough about studies I have heard you bantering about… Just forget that all and start focusing on being a wife ‘. Her mother’s words had injured her far more then anything. She felt suffocated and suppressed. After all she does deserve to decide what’s right dot her. She had been begging both her parents to let her live with them and not to send her away but they won’t listen and it makes her sad, very sad indeed. She sighed heavily and decided it’s time to sacrifice her dreams and inspirations. She picked the stack up and carried them to the shed at the back of their home. She dumped all of them… Every single of them into an empty rack. She stared at the books for a long time and then wiping the tears off her eyes she said bye to her dreams. Smiling ruefully she walked out of the shed and met her mother who was coming home back from market. Her mother gave her a red saari saying she has to wear it today in evening for grooms family is coming to negotiate and she is supposed to look good enough. She took the saari and starts walking towards her home with mom but not without an backward glance to her dreams and identity which now lay scattered in a dingy shed.
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Mahima Singh
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