Story of Indian Patriarchal system

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Ramu was an illiterate but extremely hard working farmer, who struggled all his life to make a living. He tilled his small farm and what ever little he could produce, he kept a small part for himself and sold the rest to buy other things. Ramu spent a solo life as he left his home at quite a young age and wandered around before finally settling at Sitapur village. After toiling much hard, he could finally accumulate enough money to buy a beautiful young white cow-Lakshmi.

 

Lakshmi was a fresh change in his life. Lakshmi gave him company all day – a feeling that Ramu had not experienced for a long long time. Lakshmi – a well behaved domesticated cow that she was, assisted her master by abiding with her master’s demands. Lakshmi was always under the belief that Ramu was the only master she would serve and hence, just dedicated her entire life to the service of his master. 

 

But Ramu was unaware of all these feelings of dedication, affection, self-sacrifice towards the near ones, etc. He remained a solo farmer at heart and instead of looking at Lakshmi as her companion, saw her more of as a commodity, whom he used whenever needed. Ramu was not even present when Lakshmi gave births to two calves and was expecting some one close, that is, his master Ramu to be around. 

 

Though Ramu not being there at that critical juncture, Lakshmi still accepted as she thought perhaps Ramu has gone to find a better life, so that she and Ramu can lead a better life than they both were living at present. Further, a better shelter was required now that two calves were also there. From the very beginning, Ramu loved the calves. He would take care of them, give them bath, take them for a small walk. Lakshmi was happy that Ramu was changing for better.

 

Lakshmi now had dual responsibilities – to assist Ramu as usual and with same vigor and at the same time nurture the two calves. But somehow, Lakshmi was still ignored and did not get the same attention as her calves and was still expected to be a slave and do her duties, without expecting anything in return.  For Ramu, Lakshmi was expected to be a never aging cow, that will keep on doing work from morning to evening, without any complaints and at the same time take care of her siblings. Ramu failed to realize that like him, Lakshmi was also now growing old and could not be as fast and efficient as she used to be. 

 

As a result of old age and dual role that she had to do in addition to her own declining health, Lakshmi declined to do some work or did at her own pace. This irritated Ramu, who would then start brag about how he used to toil when he was of her age. Obviously, Ramu failed to understand the difference between the natural features as well as health problems of  a mother of two and of a man, who was meant to toil and work hard. Ramu also discounted the fact that Lakshmi was not a bull but a cow and being a female, few natural problems were bound to be there including the role of being a mother and associated problems. Ramu could not have done anything about the natural problems but had he understood the problems that Lakshmi faced on day to day basis, Lakshmi would have sacrificed herself even more for her master. At the least, a thought would not have surfaced in her mind that she was not a servant to his ‘master’.  

 

As a result of this, the gap between the two kept on increasing and so did the misunderstandings and quarrels. Lakshmi would not even budge from her shed to do the daily work. Lakshmi’s calves would even suggest to her mom that why should she stay in Ramu’s farm when he gives no respect. However, Lakshmi would instead rebuke them for making such immature statements. She would argue that it was Ramu, who got her here and took care of her during initial years and that he is still the person, who feeds our entire family. 

 

Though Lakshmi even today remains that all-sacrificing cow that most of the Indian women are, most of the Indian men remain like Ramu, who still belongs to those old-patriarchal society, where Man is at the center of the house. It’s not bad to be at the center of the house and being the head of the family. But when the wives suffer like Lakshmi, the Man loses his respect as the head of the family as he is unable to understand the problems of his members below, especially women of the house. 

 

Ramus of today should realize that Lakshmi, being a feminine already have lot of problems of their own and despite their problems, they take care of the daily chores and run the house-hold. Ramu can atleast try not to take advantage of their self-sacrificing attitude and not add more problems to their back by ignoring their problems as being petty problems. This may after all, one day break their back-bones.

Jon’s shackle of love and Kitty’s escape

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Kitty- the Cat had a wonderful owner-Jon, when she was born. In the initial years, though Jon wouldn’t have anything to eat himself, but gave Kitty a plenty so that she could be healthy and happy. He looked after Kitty’s every small needs and requirements. However, there was a catch. Jon put shackles on Kitty, so that she could not go beyond Jon’s watchful eyes.

 

Jon put her in shackles, not because he was a dreadful master but because he loved her so much that he didn’t want her to wander off and get lost in the big-bad world. As a kitten, she was completely unaware that she was tied up with a chain since she was getting all the royal treatment that a kitten could dream of. While she grew up, she still remained lazy and was happy with the royal cat treatment that she was used to. For she even purred and purred until she went blue just to get what she wanted. She was a spoilt cat.

 

While she grew up, still locked up inside, she used to look outside, the other felines playing. Kitty was reprimanded if she even thought of going out and play with the other cats as according to Jon, those cats were of lower stature and will corrupt Kitty’s mind. Since Kitty didn’t have a thinking brain at that time, she reluctantly agreed. Though sometimes, without the knowledge of Jon, she used to sneak out by opening the shackles..but would soon return before Jon’s arrival. However, if Jon found out, Kitty got another round of scolding. So, Kitty had a little say in who could be her friends. Shackles still remained. 

 

As Kitty kept growing big, the shackles started to hurt. Upon Kitty’s repeated cries, Jon finally realized and removed the shackles…but only to put her in a large cage with very limited time-outs when she could move out. Some freedom was better than no freedom. So, Kitty happily took it.

 

Kitty was well brought up by Jon. Kitty knew that. So, she knew what to do and what not to do while outside. However, Jon without having confidence in himself and Kitty, started reprimanding and scolding her whenever she went out with Tom-Cats. Though Kitty was clear that she was well brought up and knew whom to purr and whom not to purr with, Jon would have none of it as he believed that he was the sole owner. But Jon forgot that Kitty now had a life of her own and was not just Jon’s pet!! Cage thus remained. 

 

Jon’s mind was clouded by too much love that he had for Kitty. Hence, he could never imagine that Kitty could do things in her own way, without Jon telling her. Obviously, he expected that Kitty should love her back, which was never in dispute. Kitty also gave in at that time, since she also loved Jon and did not want to hurt him for what he had done for her. Hence, both continued to live together.

 

But as Kitty grew, so did her dreams. Then came a day when Kitty wanted to go out and explore the world on her own. She pleaded with Jon. But Jon, fearful of the world outside and maniac-kind-of-affection he had for Kitty, did not allow Kitty to have her way and instead suggested some other things by which he could keep Kitty forever. These episodes started to recur every now and then as Kitty’s belief in her dreams kept increasing. However, each time Jon disapproved citing what he suggested earlier was correct.  

 

Jon was also forgetting that he also got a comfortable life after toiling, falling and hurting himself throughout his life. He would have surely realized that there was nothing more satisfying than a life earned through independent hard work. Then why was Jon so apprehensive about letting Kitty explore life?

 

Perhaps Jon wanted Kitty to achieve what Jon could never do on his own. He perhaps saw an extension of his own life in Kitty and wanted Kitty to do what he missed out in life. Perhaps also Jon was fearful that if Kitty be allowed to go out alone to explore and realize her own dreams, she would either fall down, hurt herself and given her young immature age, would be lost forever in this big world. Jon was no pessimist for he always hoped for the best. He could not have been insecure as well, as it was Kitty’s life, not his. Only possibility could be that Jon was scared that if Kitty goes, who would be there for him, when he returned from work. Who would reciprocate the love that Jon had for Kitty?

 

Jon, however, was not realizing that his pure love for Kitty and resultant quest to keep Kitty to himself would one day slowly start to either entirely kill Kitty’s dream or make Kitty break the cage and run out of the house for ever so that she could explore the world on her own. 

 

Kitty, on her part, still believed that Jon was the perfect mentor she could ever have. Kitty believed that she would come back home victorious. However, she was unable to understand why her mentor, after teaching everything was not allowing her to go out and realize her dreams?

 

So, one day they sat together…again…

 

Kitty explained again…. Jon heard again…was not convinced again!!!!!

 

It was yet another stalemate. Later that night, Kitty realized that dreams too have a shelf-life. They die after a certain time. That time had come. It was finally the time to decide this way or that way. Kitty thought if she decided to have Jon’s way, then surely the dream would die. Though this may have made her successful in some other manner, but the regret of not giving a shot to realize what she wanted would spook her entire life. It would not have hurt Jon, but Kitty. On the flipside, if she decided to have her own way, then the ride would have been tough. There would have been no pillion rider to help out. But the joy and satisfaction of reaching the destination would have been like no other. The ride would have hurt Jon, not Kitty!

 

Next morning, Kitty was not to be found in her cage. Jon searched everywhere hoping it to be a prank. It was not. Jon lay dumbstruck as to why this happened. Then as he got up slowly, he saw a piece of paper lying close to open window next to Kitty’s cage, which read –

 

“Jon, long time ago, I read this poem by Kahlil Gibran. I hope you will understand. I will be back. It read –

 

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

 

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.”