Theme: The Way I See It
LIFE AFTER DEATH
I am very much fond of travelling. While I was staying at a hotel in Murree in the summers of last year, I encountered something different. The hotel management and staff were all males except for a female waitress. That made me curious as to why was she the only woman serving as the waitress. My curiosity was sated when luckily I had her as my server and got to ask her the reason.
I was served coffee with hot cakes in the evening by the same lady at the hotel and seeking it as an opportunity I decided to talk to her. The lady upon my constant requests told me that after her husband passed away she was left with nothing. Life had come to a stop. She had to provide for her two little children. She belonged to a middle class family but after the loss of her significant half, her in laws as well as her family had abandoned her. She had no one to depend on. The support from a man had been taken from her. The shady tree was nowhere to be seen. Only a couple of months had passed since her husband died, and here she was, doing what she never thought of!
Without any support she had to face the challenges life had brought her way. The manager of the hotel was a kind distant relative of hers’ and so he had offered her a job there. After she was done, she wiped her tears and left.
I sat there completely taken aback with sympathy and tears trickling down my cheeks.
How can life be so cruel to someone? How does it feel to be abandoned because you’re a widow?
My heart aches.
Has anyone ever given a thought to how difficult it is for a woman to bring up her children all by herself?
In our society a girl is pampered and protected from the day she is born either by her daddy or by her brother and even when she gets married she is wholly dependent on her husband. She is never taught how to become independent and how to stand on her own. And then, when all of a sudden…… her world turns upside down….. You abandon her. Isn’t that too much of injustice?
Widows are considered as a bad omen and are not even allowed to do the ‘rasam’ (ritual) at the weddings. They are considered as bad luck for the bride-to-be. This is very painful. Have those mothers of the bride-to-be ever thought what if they themselves become a widow one day? Would they not participate in the rituals anymore? Our society makes the life of a widow worse by displaying such behavior.
There are men who consider widows as their prey. Widows become an easy target of sexual harassment.
We never know who is going to face such a situation. Death doesn’t always come with a warning. And too often than not, it leaves the victim’s family in a complete disarray. You may not know this but the reason I am writing about self empowerment and the plight of widows is because I have been raised by a single mother. I was at the tender age of five when my father passed away. My mother had to raise the three of us by herself. It is because of her determination, I am here. It is because of her that I know the value of a self empowered woman.
The solution to all the problems that I have discussed above is to promote self empowerment of women. From a young age, let them become independent. Let them do their work by themselves. We never know who is going to face such a situation in the future, for that matter we should encourage our girls from a very young age to stand up and never to be dependent on others for the sake of their needs. It’s high time that the women in our society take control of their lives rather than being dependent on others.
Syeda Unzela Mushtaq