An anxious Rewati was standing at the window watching her husband and her father-in-law leave for work through her veil. As the sound of bike was growing distant, the smile on Rewati’s face was growing bigger. She loved and respected her husband a lot and enjoyed his presence but this was Rewati’s ‘me-time’. She got to do all the things that she liked without having any sense of fear. FEAR, yes fear is the word, she was afraid of her husband and her father-in-law. Since she was the only woman of this three-member family, she couldn’t get any emotional support from anywhere else. So, this time meant FREEDOM to Rewati.
Rewati’s in-laws were orthodox which meant she had to keep on her veil throughout the day wherever she was be it at home or outside, her face shouldn’t be directly visible to any other male, she was not supposed to speak at a high pitch or maybe just speak at all because her opinions were never asked for. She had seen her mother in the same situation while she was growing up and so she knew somebody she will also end up the same way. Everybody in the village did.
But this was a little 21 years old Rewati, people would argue that the legal age to get married for girls is 18 years so they are mature enough after 18 but they are still kids with no first hand experience of LIFE.
As a child, Rewati loved listening to music and dancing. She did all of it in her room so that nobody would be notice but she never left her passion. Though she had accepted that she won’t be allowed the freedom the girls enjoy in the rest of world but doing nothing about her passion was non-negotiable for her even if it meant something as small as singing and dancing daily. This was something that made her happy. The moment her husband and her father-in-law left, she dropped off the veil. Now she could see and breathe freely. Then she put on some music on the television loud enough to cheer her up but low enough to be heard by the neighbors. She started humming the tune, slowly and swiftly moving her arms and legs to match the rhythm of the song. She never completely forgot her responsibilities though, so as she was humming and dancing she was also doing her daily chores. Yes, freedom meant so much to her but she also acknowledged her responsibilities fully.
The whole day went by and exactly 5minutes to 6o’clock, she turned off the music, trying to listen to the sound of the bike approaching. She put on her veil back again and greeted her family and offered them water, mischievously smiling behind the veil thinking of the song she’ll dance on the next day.
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