#100womenproject – jaisalmer, rajasthan: “i let my girls go…”

migrating some of my pages, to my posts. you might see content you’ve read before. bear with me for a bit.

jaisalmer, december 2007

 

i do not remember her name but i remember her story.

at a village on the outskirts of jaisalmer, a woman sat washing utensils at a community tap. along with her were many other women, all washing utensils and clothes. with her thick kajal, long red tikka and heavy silver jewellery she had me paying attention. i was drawn in and stopped to talk. “where did you get that payal from?” and then the usual questions followed. was she married? how many kids?

three kids, all boys, she said. but she’d had two deliveries before that and they were both girls. she had ‘let them go’. i didn’t understand, and pushed for more. she went on… there is no life for girls, too much money to get them married, no use to have girls, so i ‘let them go’…

with two of her boys…

i looked around that village, i walked around for an hour. there were little boys everywhere. but no girls. and it slowly seeped in… i hadn’t understood the first time around. no little girls… ‘i let them go’… murder?

“whom will you get married to?,” i asked the oldest boy. “a girl from the other village, any girl in my village is my sister.” convenient, i thought to myself. there were almost no girls in his village.

a village full of boys
boys, boys and more boys!

i came back later and saw her still there. she called out to me, “take a picture of me with my sisters”. there were four of them. four of them – four daughters whom her mother hadn’t ‘let go’. four daughters whom her father had gotten ‘married’. photo clicked, they all peered into the camera screen, giggled and then she went back to her washing.

woman and her sisters
with her sisters…
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4 thoughts on “#100womenproject – jaisalmer, rajasthan: “i let my girls go…”

  1. Provoking,I like the way you built the story.here . . deep and poignant.
    You’re becoming an expert at telling a story and then giving that mild twist at the end- that will make your reader think.
    I like the treatment here a lot,, Bhavani

    in the silence
    of an autumn night
    her song

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Bhavani,
    How’re you? Thanks for this story. I was in Jaisalmer with you in Dec’07 – wish I’d paid attention to this telling tale then.
    Living in North India now for 10 years, one hears of really sad stories about the life of women in Haryana & Rajasthan.
    I’d often wonder how women in the Arab world live till I learnt how women in our driver’s community live.

    Trust all fine with you – do lemme know when you visit Delhi-NCR : )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks bags. you as always are very generous with your praise! 🙂 i agree with you completely… sometimes i tend to avoid knowing how bad it is for my help only because i don’t know what i can do, or am willing to take the time out and do… and so i’d rather not know more? does that sound selfish enough?

    all is good with me! removed your number from the comment so that you don’t get spam calls. have it saved on my phone, will def call next time i am around in the delhi-ncr region!

    Like

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