Her single slim stature sifted softly
Toward the village water well
The rocks rumbled her bare feet
And she simply glided through the road
Blasé about the crude cuts on her souls
She was told to fetch water
From the well in the village five miles away
And she would have to do so.
It wasn’t that there was no well in her village,
In fact there was a river too.
Yet her younger brother had stubbornly held
His opinion about how sacred he thought
The water from the well of Tarapur would be.
So she had to follow his orders,
Without there being any rational reason
For what she was told to do.
It had always been like that
He would order. She would follow.
He would demand. She would satisfy it.
He would usurp. She would sacrifice.
And if she didn’t, she would be welcomed
With a beating from her family members
It wasn’t only her.
All her fellow friends had such troubles.
She had never understood why
There were such inequalities, such ails
Why was it that she had to give up school?
That she had to be ever compromising?
And had to give up her needs for his greed?
Old wise Amma had told her:
“It is the doings of your past birth, child,
That you now have to suffer pain.”
So if Old wise Amma was true
She might have a better next life
And he might be in her position then
But why should she believe
That what Amma said was the absolute?
‘Karma’ was what Amma called it
She stopped, lost, looking at the green board
With the white designs, which she couldn’t decode.
If only she could read those tiny black letters
Printed in the thick books or the stacks of papers
If only she could travel to libraries
And actually use them for gaining knowledge.
True knowledge, they said, could be found in books.
But now, she had to forget her fantasies and walk
To get the ‘sacred’ water. Some want that was!
She moved on, with an inaudible sigh, but determined heart.