Saturday, January 8, 2011

Where are the Men?

A village of women. Old women, young women. Beautiful women, not-so-pretty women. Outspoken women, timid women. Women!

Everywhere you look, there are women. A few old men tottering about, a few children running about. But no able-bodied men anywhere.

Where are the men? In the cities, working on minimum wages, saving as much as they can, so their wife and children can eat.

They do not like it, but do they have a choice when the rural economy has collapsed completely?

The men are forced to move to the cities. The women keep the village going. But for how long?
drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.


Saumya said...

I love this and it brings back so many vivid memories of India. And the picture is beautiful! The distribution of men and women in India continues to rattle me. There are so many people wedged into certain areas because they do not have any other choice if they want to survive.

Priya Shankar said...

Rayna! I love this post so much. Makes me nostalgic and I can't wait to go back. In the village I was working in in Rajasthan, it was crazy how the women tended the fields, etc. but the men sometimes went as far as Ahmedabad to seek out work... most of the time the jobs wouldn't even be very well paid. I think your post also speaks volumes about the recent urban migration. THANKS for posting :). I miss India SO much.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

How long before the cities and villages merge into one?

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Such amazing things people do for their families.

Jan Morrison said...

Ron, my SP is in Labrador with his siblings as his mother spends her last few weeks in the village she was born in. In North West River, the men, her father, uncles and so on - all were trappers. They left in September, came home for a week or so the beginning of January and then left for the rest of the winter to live in tilts and tents and follow the trap-line. The women took care of their kids, killed small birds to eat and fended off starvation and cold as best they could. A sturdy wondrous lot who weren't without lots of fun and nonsense at the right time!

Kittie Howard said...

I don't think it's possible to visit India and ever really leave for the country weaves its way into one's soul. It's absolutely beautiful how you write about India. You capture every emotion; you make us think; you make us want to return to India.

And, if you visit there's a blogfest where you have to write one sentence of 100 words, using one semi-colon. I know you can rock the house!

AS said...

A good post, but thats the truth. The rural economy? What is that? I think that has been lost long back. What remains is a shambles of it. So the newer generation in the villages does not know what to do, so they migrate. But is that the right way? .. Villages merge with cities .. i wish that never happens.

Anu said...

so true.... the men live in cities in such a state, but just so that their families can have at least one meal a day! this doesnt bode well for the villages, or even the city for that matter!

Anonymous said...

You describe a sad phenomenon beautifully.

Clarissa Draper said...

Wow, imagine being only around women. No wonder they're so happy! ;) Jesting aside, it's a fact of life for many people around the world.

Tina said...

What a sad state of affairs. Our farming economy is in terrible shape as well. Giant corporations dictating pretty much everything to the family who has had the farm for countless generations. They don't make enough to live, so they are forced to do as told. They're not even allowed to save seeds, it's illegal. They have to buy them from the evil giant ruining their lives.

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - What a compelling story! It's so wrenching to think of what poverty and social circumstances can do to people. In this case, it affects the very social structure...

Jemi Fraser said...

This doesn't bode well for the economy or the lifestyles of these poor people.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Saumya - I grew up in cities, where the prevailing attitude has been one of hostile or passive "send them back", but what none of us seem to want to realise is that they would not be here if they had a choice.

@ Priya - the problem is so acute, people like you and me can see it. But the great planners if the planning commission just don't seem to get it, and haven't done so for 60 years. Sorry state of affairs, indeed.

@ Alex - maybe never. India is really huge, after all.

@ Oddyoddyo13 - do they really have a choice? I think not. But the difference is that in India, they send money to the family, but in other countries, they may just make a life independent of the family

@ Jan - what an amazing family SP's is!

@ Kittie - thank you so much, Kittie. That is such a huge compliment, even though I know I am barely scratching the surface of what is India.

@ AS - very very sad state of affairs. And I really wonder how and if the cycle can be broken.

@ Anu - bad for the villages, bad for the cities. But what is the choice?

@ Fiona - it is really sad. Wish it didn't exist.

@ Clarissa - I am sure it is. And it is so sad that it should be so.

@ Tina - not allowed to store seeds- that's prepostrous. How could they allow it to happen?

@ Margot - it is really sad when reality hits you in the face like this, and you realise you are powerless to do anything at all.

@ Jemi - not at all. Nor for the cities, either, because they are full to bursting to start with.


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