Flapping Wings – Vandana III BACE
Flapping Wings: The cold breeze is still there. The yellow globe is out of its horizon. Catching my breath, I hastily walked through the narrow lane. At the end of the lane, before my eyes, unraveled the vast stretch of the land untouched with the artificiality of man.
Standing there in the bright blaze, my attention was caught by the stone-carved statues narrating the triumphant tales of Pandiyagad. Besides, that stood a lighthouse-like structure with the figurines of a peacock. A girl maybe 12 years old sat there feeding the birds. Talking with her I came to know that this place was devoted to feeding the birds, a custom followed in the village.
The eyes of the 12-year-old have not so much to say but I felt the monotony in them. At the age of nine, education was been her parting friend. Not so much did she knew about the complexity of books, but she wished to roll it with her naked tongue. The broken English of her brother was alien to her. The art of sewing was not taught to her but she attained it out of this alienation. Strenuous sewing has resulted in numerous red marks in her figures as if someone has pierced it. At the age of holding a pen, she spends tireless hours with the cloth and needle. They have become her part now, a part that was enforced onto her on the basis of her Gender.
She loved watching birds, their flapping wings fascinated her more than anything. She sat on the floor while her brother sat on the chair. She was destined to eat the leftovers of the males in the family. A veil covered her face before the males. No opinions were invited by her. Soon will be she married off. Her existence was visible but unheard, maybe drowned under the shadow of her brother. On the way back from Pandiyagad, thinking about the village, all the romantic notions I carried till then were erased by the monotony of the 12-year-old. She is not the only one who is marginalized from the rights enjoyed by the male community rather she represents the whole community of young girl children in the rural and slums of India. A million girl children still lack the right to education. Equity still in this 21st century seems like a distant dream.