Speaking volumes about great deeds is indeed effortless, but implementing them in our lives needs optimum efforts and tremendous courage. If you don’t have that courage to step out-of-the-box of conventional theories, you definitely need to grasp that valor from the people who possess that vigor and #SpreadTheVibe of their audacious steps executed in their lives.
I obtained by share of courage to #SpreadTheVibe of goodness from my parents years back. Though, the spark that time was too feeble to be noticed and to manifest a change in my surroundings, yet it got strengthened with time.
It happened years back when I was all of 18, newly married, struggling to explore my ways amidst my conservative surroundings. She came to our house to rent a room as a tenant. Madhu, a married girl of my age coincidentally studying in the same college I used to attend, was allowed by my mother to stay in a room in our outhouse. She belonged to a village quite near to our town, married at a very young age and wanted to stay there with the permission of her in laws to fulfill her dreams of completing her studies. After seeing her insolvent economic condition, my mother allowed her to stay in the room for free.
She was an extremely beautiful girl always wearing sarees and covering her face with a veil all the time while going to college. Her veil was the most annoying thing about her, as I found it quite embarrassing for me at times while being seen with her. So, I tried to convince her not to wear that veil, but she refused. My mom used to call her ‘Apsara’ and I felt envious of her as she was more close to my mother than me because she helped her in kitchen while I juggled in my books.
Suddenly one day, we saw a group of strange looking and obscenely dressed ladies shouting aloud at our gate and calling Madhu. A scared and shivering Madhu came to my mother, caught her feet and begged to save her from them. And then we came to know that Madhu belonged to the red light area and daughter of a wench, a wanton. She had escaped from that brothel to live a better life and to study in a safe environment.
Seeing the behavior of those ladies, we were in extreme shock. Even my father shouted at my mother but my mother stood strong and valiant in front of them and refused to hand-over the girl to those ladies. Later, she even convinced my dad to provide her legal help. Madhu was though rescued, yet my dad didn’t allow her to stay with us for long but helped her a lot, to settle in another town.
We all were crying while she was leaving and my mom gifted her a gold chain as her ‘stree-dhan’, and promised to help her always like a daughter. Today, Madhu is a high-school teacher, happily married and lives a dignified and graceful life. That incident has taught me to stand strong against all odds and my mother was indeed that person who inculcated that strength and value in me to fight for myself as well as the evils and misconceptions prevalent in the society.
Letting Madhu go was the toughest decision ever made by my family, as it was against our ethics and sensibilities. May be, we were not that strong to face the wrong around us. My father’s social stature didn’t allow him to break the barriers made by society. But, that incident showed us the path to face the world with a dare and to fight with the illicit, the ill and the evil around us.
Years later, today when my father has left us abode, his pure soul still inspires us to take bold steps to fight with social evils. Thanks to my mother who again showed us a path to fight for a family undergoing with the trauma of AIDS.
This lady, Shail Kumari, came to my mother in search of job. She belongs to a downtrodden background of our native village. Facing the deadly face of Aids, she was unable to earn a living there. While living a peaceful life in Mumbai with her husband and 4 daughters, her life shattered on that fateful day when she her truck-driver husband was diagnosed HIV+. To her utter shock, she discovered that she was 4 months pregnant when her husband died due to aids.
Crushed under the cruel feet of destiny, it was the triumph of her misfortune when one day she too was declared HIV+ and gave birth to another HIV+ girl. Though it wasn’t her fault, she had to face betrayal, rejection and disgust from all those people whom she considered to be the closest. Unable to earn her bread in Mumbai, she returned her village, but wasn’t allowed even to enter there.
When my mother provided her a shelter, people all around us came up with sheer criticism. Even people close to us told her not to allow that family in our household, but she ignored all, just listened to her heart. My mother had to face strong objection from our relatives too, when she decided to help the family by keeping two of the girls as our house-help as people still believe that we should not take food from an HIV+ person.
While, Shail Kumari is running a small papad making business in our courtyard, two of her daughters are being married and the rest three are getting proper medication and education apart from helping us. Though people around us still stare upon us, and recognize our house as a place where girls from red-light areas and HIV positive families are being given shelter, but still, we feel proud of the lady of the house (my mother) who #SpreadTheVibe of positivity amidst the stale air of this stereotypes society as being the Youth Ki Awaaz despite her age.