Saturday, January 29, 2011

The end of their Ambitions

How long have you been working?”, a high-student asked me. I was visiting a school for disadvantaged girls, and for the last 30 minutes had been bombarded with questions on various career options.
“Guess”, I replied.
Two? Four? Three?
“Come on, girls. Do you think I look that young?”
Six? Seven?
“Fourteen! Nearly fifteen!”
There was a collective gasp. “No, you are joking.”
They were shocked when they realized I was not pulling their leg. “But”, finally ventured the bravest one, “why aren’t you married?

It is sad those exceptionally bright girls consider marriage the end of all their ambitions.

_____

drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

10 comments:

ladyfi said...

Sad, yes - but how wonderful for them to meet a role model like you: married, kids, and with a career!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sure they were shocked yet again when you told them you were married as well.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

You must have taught them a lot that day!

AS said...

Maybe but its sad, but then lets look at what is fed to them day in and out. How much of a reality or how much of making the fire burn in them ... not to blame them, but its the lack of those who groom them ... the we's ..

sue said...

Fantastic that one was brave enough to ask, otherwise they might never have known. Did you mention you have children as well?!
*Sigh* I imagine their whole village shares those expectations. Could it be that to be different and not comply would look like a defiant challenge?

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Very sad-but it won't stay that way forever, I hope.

Jemi Fraser said...

It's so sad - like a time warp has encased so many parts of our world.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Fiona - I just too everything I have for granted, but when those girls asked me the question, I realised how my life could serve as a model for them. They couldn't believe that a woman was running around the country without her husband after marriage- now they know it can be done.

@ Alex - shocked speechless is more like it. It wasn't something they had even considered.

@ Debra - I know I definite gave them something to think about. And knowing how bright and ambitious those girls are, it may well turn out to be a defining moment in their lives.

@ AS - I totally agree. It is entirely the fault of the society they live in. All of them come from families where the women have not studied beyond primary school. For them attending high school is pathbreaking. If they take up jobs as anything other than agricultural laborers, they woudl be the first women in the community to do so. Why should they even think women can work after marriage?

@ sue - she was, wasn't she? And they just couldn't process the thought that I was married and had kids. But they will think about it, I know.

@ Oddyoddyo13 - I too hope they change. I am sure they will, if not today, then a few years down the line.

@ Jemi - rural India is like another world. You read everywhere that the country is doing well economically, and then you go to a village and see that nothing has changed in 100 years (except the introduction of mobile phones).

Arlee Bird said...

Wonder where they got an idea like that? Now they know a new angle of life.

Glad to have you signed up for Blogging from A to Z in April. We're going to have another great challenge.

Lee
Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Lee - they have been conditioned to think that women do not step out of the house. Gradually, they are seeing a few women doing things till they get married and have kids at which point they give it all up. They have just not processed information beyond that.

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