The Tree Mourns

The news channels have been flashing yet another crime of brutality against women. The UP government took some reactionary steps after a couple of hours, reemphsizing once again on  it’s inept administration and complete lack of sensitivity to women’s issues. Well what would you expect from a party whose head calls rape a ‘mistake’!!!!??? that happens by boys and is  worth forgiving as if they are spastic as far as penile control is concerned.

I have become deeply cynical. Honestly its a whirlwind of crimes popping within a week . The hanging body of the minors screamed of chronic deprivation, malnutrition and a complete neglect from a society which boasts of being highly cultured and throttles every attempt to blemish HONOR.

What is the significance of women specially the ones who belong to low socioeconomic strata and worse still lowest on the caste ladder?? Is it anything more than having disposable vaginas!!!!??????Serve as easy targets for forced gang orgasm and then the rest of the body just  worth burning or being forced fed bottles of acid or hanged conveniently to die beneath life giving trees . The two sister corpses hanging off a tree shows that there is no fear,no mercy no respect for another human being.Oh sorry women are not human beings !! My bad!! they are men pleasing machines and male child bearing ‘ birthing vessels’.

There is a  flood of harsh words I want to spew.There is a an unimaginable anger that is building up in every cell of my body. The female of the human species is a classic example of an eagle’s egg that cracks among chickens , who dreams all her life of soaring but is told you are a chicken . She believes it and paralyses her wings to be accepted to the chicken community .

How many women grow up believing that all they need to be acceptable and validated by the society. Dress a certain way and speak a certain way. Being pressurised constantly to walk on a thin rope mastering a  strange balance of attracting male attention and at the same time  averting too much of it . Else be raped , molested or eve teased.

It’s a confusing place for a woman. Her body doesn’t make things any easier. As a practicing gynecologist I have seen women curse their bodies.But I also see fragile women go through labour valiantly . So are they weak ??

It’s a time where every woman has to realise that her womb is not her weakness and her vagina is a not a playground. Her body is sacred and it belongs to her and only her!!

I read somewhere on the net that there is a war against women and I felt that it’s a bit of an exaggeration of things . However in the past 2 to 3 years I have had a goose bump realisation that indeed there is!! Whether it is war rapes in Darfur or marital rapes in so called security of homes. Violence against women has more than 50 shades of grey I am sorry to say.

It is also a form of psychological  violence to tell an independent , educated , talented , aspiring girl to mould her life according to her husband’s will. That women have only supportive , home making and child bearing roles. That a girl who is ambitious should either drop the idea of marriage or be mocked and asked to find a house husband. The idea of equality in marriage and family has to settle in and the boys should not feel offended if they have to cook once in a while. Or better still why not outsource household chores or depend on technology to solve the problem.

I seem to be gliding off topic but it is a very chaotic entangled issues . Every such news has deeper roots then we can ever see. Each time such incidents happen thousands of girls see the cloud of fear thicken, there movement in the outside word restricted , their educational prospects being killed . It’s never about one victim it’s always about a domino effect that hits many .

The only way we as women can survive this is to not allow fear to creep in . To stand for ourselves . To believe that we are equals and believe in that religiously. The first and foremost task thus is to not give up . To pledge to stand through the storm. It’s easy for women actually as believe it or not  they do have inbuilt mechanisms for surviving. Women should protect themselves and first and foremost from falsehood that women are weak. It’s time to systematically break every myth of what women can’t do. There will be martyrs in this ‘war of identity and equality’ … there have been. There will be women who would fail women in so many ways but we should forgive them and break the ancient myth that women are women’s worst enemies. They are not . It’s a complex manipulative trick ingrained in patriarchy that makes women hate themselves and then act against their own kind.

Everyday let little girls and boys learn and know that there have been equally competent men and women who have helped the society progress. Lets strive to shift focus from skin scores and fairness index to brain and humanity scores and being fair rather than just possessing a fair skin. Lets find role models for our boys who don’t feel castrated by a  successful woman who has and speaks her mind. That no little boy thinks that it is his sister’s ‘work’ to pick up a glass of water as if she was stamped at birth with a list of must do things with kitchen chores inscribed on top. Let girls understand that they are capable and that it is their own duty to protect themselves . That it is not worth perishing for honor and dowry . That they deserve every bit of respect as long as they stay good , honest human beings unrelated to the status of their hymen. And when I speak of this I am not supporting promiscuity rather emphasizing on the idea of  producing a generation of responsible human beings and gifting them freedom.

What I wrote above  is a dream I have but for now the irony of the scene is stark. Two innocent sisters raped , killed and  hanging from a tree. Our so called society worships both trees and women. But it is also forgiven for cutting trees and killing women as if it was just a passing thing … a necessity a mistake.I wonder if the tree which was the silent witness could speak .. what would it say?

I have strong feelings for the cause of  both women  and trees and perhaps these words from Hermenn Hess could fill in what I feel for trees and how relevant it is for women to understand their own strength just like strong trees, to fulfil themselves according to their own law.

 

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

 

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.”

 

That home, that peace , that strength is within women . Lets pray and strive for the indestructible spirit of the strongest tree.

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4 thoughts on “The Tree Mourns

  1. Yet another poignant expression of feelings of every thoughtful Indian…indeed feel so ashamed when such news flashes ininternational channels……

  2. Awesome nids…even I hav zero tolerance to such crimes ….and inspite of being a feminist I believe somewhere females are at fault. ..y cant they teach their kids equality of gender….y cant they assert their right to education…..y cant they b independent n do some job for self sustenance. …y cant mothers instill a sense of fearlessness n trust in their daughters’ minds…so that they can b more vocak bout such probs they are facing

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