Saturday, 31 March 2012

Are we human? Or are we Women?

“What kind of species are we? Merely having organs make us living beings? Such appendages are owned by animals too! Look at that heifer!”

Heer, pointing at one of the heifers among herd grazing in the field, told Sassi.

“How they mingle with each other irrespective of color, cast and creed. No obstacles! No hindrance!”
Lying on the grass, making bales of sticks as Buttresses under the shade of trees, Heer and Sassi always used to share their life experiences. As like sees like, the  dejected seeks the company of the dejected.
“What have we got, being a human? Aren’t we treated worse than these animals are?” Heer tried to explore the enigma of life. She asked Sassi as if her friend could help undo the ties of the knots of life. 

They had many things in common. Both were given off in early age to old man to settle family feuds. Both were the best of friends and took the herds in the nearby field of their village to graze. They were friends since childhood and exchanged their happiness and sorrows under the shade of the dense Neem tree.  They grew together, played together  and dined together. With the passage of time, everything around them changed save for their miserable fates.

Heer was perturbed as her father gave her off in feud dispute when she was just 5 years old. The aggrieved party was pressing hard to get back the “pledge” that her family owed him. Heer belonged to a tribe that always remained at loggerheads with other tribes and spent much of money to purchase lethal weapons. It remained a wild practice of a clan to buy the latest weapons, regardless of whether they had the capacity to buy it or not. It was a matter of embarrassment when one tribe knew that the rival had procured new weapon to outdo the other.

Heer’s tribe killed 4 people in a bloody clash long ago. The issue surfaced when a dog entered into the fields owned by Heer’s tribe and spoiled the crops which had a minor value. This thing turned into a case of furious vandalism and this ended with the intrusion of an  “honorable jury “. The Jirga gave a decision that a minor girl should be given to aggrieved party to settle feud.

“No Heer! The fate  of animals and Women is the same. Animals are tamed, fed and cared for, so that they could give the owner a better price. Likewise women are domesticated so that they could be used as a means of compensation for the loss caused to another family. Both, animals and women, are herd tamed for another’s use. Both are made scapegoats; punished, and forced to bear the pubishment for others.”
Sassi hurriedly went to the field and pegged a stray heifer with a leash to the ground. She ensured that it would not spoil the crop of another field, possibly sparking off another feudal war.

Heer continued her speech, triying to emit all the woes buried in her heart to unburden it.
“Listen to the melodious chirping of Birds! It soothes and suffuses tranquility in the atmosphere. They have freedom to express their rejoice or grief. They wander to and fro.....”
Sassi interrupted Heer again; leaping across the puddle. She dispersed calves and Heifers to avoid a stampede. 

“Feel the fragrance of this Rose. Even this Pulse-less specie has a right. It has right to grow and bloom and spread fragrance. No one has put obstacle to its life!  Look at us! Nothing to gain.  We are endowed with the blessings of tongues, ears, eyes. But beyond all other considerations, we are women. What sin we have committed being a woman?” The tears flowed down slowly on her cheeks. “Sassi! All these species are enjoying their liberty. They are free to move, sing and feel. Why are we  in chains?” 

Sassi Stood up breaking the cosmos of Somberness. She grasped the Flower from the hands of Heer and asked her for a walk. Both stood up and smoothed their dresses down and strolled along the field.

“My sweet innocent friend, Why are you wasting away your energy in such thoughts? Man is born naturally but it is circumstances that man makes law and usance and spins webs to entangle innocent prey like us. The fate of a woman is written in the wind, it cannot be altered.”

Sassi tried to console Heer who stood still, like she was lost in the Bermuda triangle. “Just like the shepherd drives the herd, our parents drive us. The shepherd takes the herd into the field and feeds them so that they could be sold out in the market at high price. Likewise our parents feed us, bring us up so that we could be compensated for their wrong-doings. Nobody has control over his or her fate. All are like puppet whose strings are in the hands of others.”

As flies to wanton boys, Are we to the fortune
They kill us for  their sports.
By Ashfak Siyal

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