One thing my generation constantly complains about is the lack of freedom which we get; be it freedom to choose a dress, a career or something as important as choosing a life partner. However freedom like life's most importanat things doesn't make its importance felt till we loose it. Mother is most missed when we move away; we finally realize that mom's hand made food will beat the dhaba anyday. But these things are very minor as compared to ones endured by my own sex a few continents apart. Indians are always considered very rigid & religion - bound people. However we just need to look a bit farther to the west; the land called Middle East which attracts many from all over the world with promises of money & luxury. However money is just one side of the coin. Other is rigidity, customs & traditions, strict religious conduct & little or no freedom for women. Just completed reading 'PRINCESS'; an international best - seller by Jean Sasson. The plight of women in Saudi seems terrible. Girls are married to men the age of their father only to become third or fourth wives to such men & become their sex toys. The girls sometimes are no older than 12. Women from the poorer sections sell their own girl child to the rich class & gain money through this flesh trade. Do we appreciate the mother's stone heartedness & sheer sense of duty towards her family or do we cring & wonder how can a mother sell her own flesh & blood. Women are refused medical care in some parts for they can't expose an inch of their body to the male doctor & no woman can be a doctor. In other parts the condition is a bit better though wherein women can progress through hard work & become doctors to serve their own sex. The punishments in these oil rich lands are also harsh. Women especially suffer the most. A woman who dares to disobey maybe stoned to death. This is also the punishment for someone who gets raped. The rapist is given a lecture on religion while stones are pelted on the victim till she succumbs to injuries. Another form of punishment is locking up the girl in a dark room with all the doors & windows boarded so that she can have no contact with anyone & dies with her misery as her only companion.
Reading such epsiodes from someone elses life makes me thankful that I was born in India; as a free citizen to do what I willed; wear what I chose & marry whom I loved; for though these may seem perfectly normal things in the lives of many like me; there are still millions out there who suffer for being born a girl. Freedom is truly the best gift any girl child can get from her parents.