Coming soon . . . Nirmala: The Mud Blossom by Fiza Pathan
There is a difference between the cry of the cock and the bleating of a young lamb. There also is a difference between the gaze of the wise owl and the stare of the fanged serpent. In this same way, I, too, am different from you.
There is a difference between the blood shed on the battlefield and the blood drawn out by the physician’s needle. There also is a difference between the hot sandy desert of Arabia and the cold bleakness of the Arctic. In this same way, I, too, am different from you.
You were born in a hospital, and your mother took you into her arms gently, as if you were a toy made of china glass. Your father washed his hands thrice before he even touched your cheeks and looked into your eyes, fantasizing about whose eyes you’d received—your father’s jet black eyes or your mother’s honey brown ones.
This is the difference between you, dear reader, and me, for your family took you home after you were born . . . whereas mine dumped me into a dustbin near the clinic where I was born, all because I was a girl.
Unwanted by all, my dreams were snuffed out on the footpath that led to the dark world of gender differentiation. In dirt did I find my solace. In the filth of the slum did I find my home.
My name is Nirmala Acharya, and I was rejected by my society because I was born a female. The pain of being unwanted has scarred my flesh as deeply as the daily beltings I received. My clothes smell of human excreta and my hair is filled with knots and lice. But on the inside, I’m just like you. The sad thing is, it doesn’t really matter what’s inside of me, because I was born all wrong on the outside. I’m just a girl.
I study, too, you know. I’ve got books and pencils and stuff, but do you know where I study? I study under the streetlights in our slum. I’m a topper in my class, but no one comes to watch me receive my awards on Prize Day. Who cares? I’m just a girl. What does it matter?
I rarely cry, for crying is useless; it only gives you a headache and a blocked nose. It won’t change anything or make anyone notice me or care—other than to get me belted to a bloody pulp by my mother—so why bother? After all, I’m just a girl.
I don’t watch movies; I’ve never seen a movie in a theatre in my whole life. However, I love reading books, especially those by the famous British author Charles Dickens. I can empathize with his characters, especially Oliver Twist and David Copperfield. The only problem is, these two characters are boys . . . and I’m a girl. But the world of books provides a perfect escape for me. I can find happiness there and relief from the mental and physical agony and abuse I must face in the real world. But why would I need to escape? I’m just a girl. I should be grateful.
I don’t have many girlfriends, except for the few naked street urchins who run around the Bandra Reclamation slum and urinate near the garbage bins. I love them, for they love me for who I am . . . smelly, dark, and filthy me. However, I’m a bit different from them, as I have a dream. I want to be a doctor and treat patients. I love science and mathematics; they are the two subjects in which I excel. But dreams are just that for me: dreams. After all, I’m just a girl.
You can read all about the exciting lives of Indian women if you just read the Mumbai newspapers. We have so much to look forward to:
- Eve Teasing
- Dowry Crises
- Bride Burnings
- Female Infanticide
- Female Foeticide
The media has sensationalized these issues, and I read all about these cases cover-to-cover under the streetlamp in the dead of night. I wonder why people like reading the gory details about such atrocities. Perhaps they don’t believe it’s true. Perhaps they don’t believe it can happen to them.
But who am I to question these things? Who am I to dream and hope for more than I’ve been given? Who am I? I’m just a girl.
Nirmala. The Mud Blossom. Crying out to your heart . . .
Coming Soon on Amazon: NIRMALA: The Mud Blossom
Author: Fiza Pathan
Edited by: Susan Hughes http://myindependenteditor.com/
Cover Art: LLPIx Photography & Design http://www.llpix.com/
Image: Sharvari Rane licensed usage http://500px.com/Sharvari_Night/sets
5.25 x 8.0
Price: $ 5.99
Kindle: Price: $ 2.99
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Copyright 2014 Fiza Pathan