Rahul Gandhi keeps talking about women empowerment. The media loves to say that the women of this nation are ill-treated. I keep reading reports on how Indian women need more power, more support and so on and on. I totally believe that what these people claim is true, at least to some extent, in some parts of India, but what I fail to understand is why the other side is never shown.
A few days back, I went back home. On the journey, I took my seat and a lady was sitting next to me. She seemed strong and independent, somewhere in her late 30’s. The train for some reason was late, taking much longer than usual. She was looking at the window and talking to her brother, a few years younger to her. She was telling him to go back to work. On a weekday, in the afternoon, her brother had to come drop her off and even after she was safely seated, stood at the window for about half an hour and I could not understand why. The train finally started and for no apparent reason, he started walking with the train and kept walking, even jogging for as long as he could catch up with the train just to be able to see his sister for as long as he could, both of them saying nothing, just smiling quietly. This reminded me that not everything is as dark as they tell it is.
Just ask a brother, how his father treats his sister and you will realize that there is no one in the world who would love her more. There are times when a father who is exhausted after working the entire day, refuses to take his son to the fair in the city, but is immediately up and running when his daughter says – “Papa, chalo na.” There are times when he eats nothing, speaks nothing because of the tensions of work, but silently obeys his daughter’s orders – “Chup chaap kha lo.” Whenever he is the referee of any game played by his children, the outcome is already decided. When she is playing well, he would sit there with his head held high and when she is doing badly, he would help her win and then teach her later.
I understand that India is a broken country, I understand that the cases I have told maybe exceptions, I also understand that not a lot of women are given the respect they deserve but there are times when the unconditional love these women receive from the men in their lives is simply inexplicable, beyond everything and I only wish that sometimes we tell these stories too.
Originally published on Palantir, IITGN on 8th March, 2014