Pic courtesy :Google
Swati belonged to a remote village but her dreams were never small. She was the daughter of a poor farmer. But her mother was her biggest supporter. When Swati became sixteen years of age,matrimonial prospects poured in but Swati was not ready for this. She wanted to study, go to the city and become self dependent financially, help her family have a better life. Her Mother was her biggest supporter. She fought with the entire clan but ensured that Swati enrolled herself in the college for higher education.
Being a meritorious student, Swati had been able to get many scholarships from the school which enabled her to get admitted in one of the reputed institution. She also managed to get into the women’s hostel based on her marks.
This marked her new journey. New horizons, new dreams and aspirations as if called her with open arms. Swati could not stop smiling. Since her childhood, she had dreamt about living this life. Hardship never bothered her. Stagnation in her life is what she worried about.
After getting the intimation letter, she and her mother asked her cousin brother to accompany her to take the five hour bus ride to get to the college. Her father had denied to come along. After all, all this seemed waste of time and energy to him.
After the long journey, they reached the college gate. The gate was so huge that Swati took few minutes to pause and wonder about the world that she was about to enter. A new chapter was about to begin in her life.
The college was a quiet place as the holidays were still going on. The security guard told them to go to the hostel building and meet the warden. They did as directed. After finding her room, her mother and brother kept her belongings in the room, ate the lunch that they had packed for them shelves and it was time for Swati to bid adieu to her mother. She held her mother tightly. It was an embrace that lasted quite long. After all, for Swati her mother was her world. She had cried a lot but they both knew that this separation was the need of the hour.
After few hours, there was a knock on the door. Swati’s room mate had arrived. Swati opened the door with a big smile. A tall, beautiful, well dressed girl appeared. She gave a glance to Swati from head to toe and barged into the room. This kind of behaviour was new for Swati. May be her room mate was in a disturbed mood, Swati thought to herself. The entire night went by but there was no exchange of words.
The next morning was special for Swati. She looked forward to get to college and be a part of the new world. She always thought that people staying in the cities must be very smart and intelligent. Being exposed to the best facilities, they must be more developed and as per her mindset, she considered that having a chance to share her life with them would make her capable enough to make her life better. Little did she know about the reality of what signifies the concrete jungle.
The moment she reached the Dinning Hall dressed in her favourite dress and hair nicely oiled and braided, she could see every eye ball rotating towards her and then few seconds later there was a huge laughter among others. She felt awkward and sat at one corner. She never understood the reason though. When she reached college, the same laughter echoed in her ears. The dream of making friendship with anyone seemed distant. Even the teachers seemed to look at Swati with raised eyebrows. Within few days she was nick named as “gawar” meaning rural folk( in a sarcastic way). The girl who had big dreams in her eyes felt every passing day to be difficult to fit in with the so called civilised World of the modern city life. She was taunted at and lewd remarks were always passed to her. She soon became the laughing stock just because she could not afford to dress like others and adapt to the pseudo developed culture. She became depressed as time passed by but still struggled to keep her focus on studies.
Her first year exams were over and Swati left for her village. She had given her best in the exam. After few months, the results were out and Swati returned back to college. She had topped the exam but this did not go well with her peers. Swati was shocked to see her caricature in large banners hung up in the corridors saying “Gawar, the topper” in bold letters. Swati had never felt so humiliated. Tears rolled down her cheek. She ran towards her hostel room and closed the door. Everyone clapped and hooted when she was running to her room. The principal and other teachers took stock of the situation but by that time Swati was greatly affected.
Till evening when Swati did not open her doors, the hostel warden was informed. After a lot of effort when the door opened, the sight was frightening. Swati had committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling fan. Every one stood there frozen. Swati, her dreams, her mother’s hope, her relentless effort every thing came to a halt. No one was arrested as it was a case of suicide. Really? How could someone with such zeal just end her life? Who is to be blamed? The society, the so called westernised mindset, the tiny thought process of people staying in mega cities, the aspirations of people like Swati;who is the culprit here?
Many a times modernisation leads us to forget our human values and we tend to take things for granted. There is a fine line between sarcasm and joke. Hope we understand that before making a comment at someone just for the sake of having a good laugh!