Was she so old for it?

Crying WidowShe stepped in the house in red bridal saree and gold ornaments. Her hands were looking very pretty in henna tattoos and red chuda. She lifted her saree to take step ahead, her silver bichuae and anklets shine over her maroon henna tattoos on feet. As she looked up from her veil, we saw a beautiful face beautified with gold nose ring, mang tikka and big gold ear rings, red dot on forehead and red lip-colour made her lips look like red rose petals. The red saree, make over and ornaments complimented her fair complexion… This is Sita on her wedding day.

This appearance of hers stroke my mind today, when I met her after five years of marriage. Now, she is a widow, her husband died a year back in an accident. She lives with her parents-in-law and her son, Gopal.

She walks down the street in white saree, there is no other colour to be described. She appears pale and lifeless. She lives with no hope from life except her son, who is very naughty and unaware of the grief of his mother because of his innocent age. She has hopes from him, but we don’t know whether he will look after her or show her the way to old age home.

Sita was a very cheerful and lively girl whose presence brought a life into the talks with her satiric comments and beauty. Today, she passes by without being noticed by anyone. She stands isolated in a corner where darkness hides her presence.

With a heavy heart I walked on the shore of the river, where I met Thakur Ranjeet Singh, the brother-in-law of Sita, the same loud character of the village whose wife died few years back with cancer. He is in his late fifties but thinks himself to be a dandy of thirties. His family and relatives are looking for a bride for him, because they and even he himself thinks that to kill his loneliness he should go in for second-marriage.

I greeted him and compared his life after death of his wife with the life of Sita. Is his loneliness greater than hers?

He is being given an option of second marriage whereas for Sita the thought of second marriage does not even strike any ones mind.

She is considered unlucky when seen in morning and is asked to stay at the back on any auspicious occasions. But we don’t see any change in the lifestyle of Ranjit.

Can anybody answer why there is “Sati” for ladies, why don’t any men burn themselves alive for their wives? Why no color is removed from their lives? Why aren’t they forced to live a life of gloom by the society? Why aren’t they restricted from non-vegetarian food? The list of “Whys” is stuck like a chewing gum in my mind but I see no answer to these questions.

Here, I’m not asking you to answer these questions of mine but to consider a widow as a human being with a heart – who love colors, who feels happy after loud laughters and also feel lonely at the hardships of life. If we consider a second-marriage right for Ranjit then why not for widows like Sita. Even they have the right to start their life again.

There might be one or many such Sitas around you, please think about their life without a partner and try to bring colors back to their lives. The issue is not of second-marriage but of bringing happiness in their life.

Raised in Shimla and originally from Mandi district, Disha wears many caps which includes being part of a lead team of a fast growing IT company based out of Chandigarh. Earlier Disha was associated with My Himachal and visits Shimla regularly.

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  1. says: Rajni

    Well, the hard fact of life!! Women are going far ahead of men in almost every sphere of life. We all believe that men and women are treated equally but inside all of us know well that the double standard is still alive and kicking…..

  2. says: Rajni Setia

    Hard fact of life!! No doubt, women are far ahead of men in almost every sphere of life but gender bias still exists. The article very well proves that the double standard is alive and kicking……..

  3. There are thousands of sitas in Himachal and in India. the Ekal Naree Shakti sanathan is trying to bring their problems in the public forum and initiate public debate. Sita, in a way is fortunate that her parent-in-lws are ready to give her shelter, ther are many who have been driven away by calling them `unfortune bringer’ to the family. Addt their misery, if a woman has only girl child before she becomes widow, she has no place to go.
    The Ekal Naree Shakti Sangathan is requesting the State Governent to constitute a Commitee to look into the life and issues these women face and formulate a policy. We all need to support Ekal Naree Shakti Sangathan.

  4. says: Kumar Ganesan

    Beautiful and eye opening article… hope it will open hearts of the readers too… I agree whatever you have written… I never treat any women different… God created both men and women equal… Hope the world will change one day when all are equal… Thanks for the beautiful article Disha…

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