Vrindavan – The Abode of the Abandoned
A five minute break, amidst the busy schedule, extended to almost an hour on Facebook. Time certainly ticked fast. Just as I was about to close the browser, I bumped into this heart wrenching and thought provoking documentary about ‘Vrindavan – The Abode of the Abandoned’. A small video led to a twenty three days of extensive study about the Vrindavan – A Religious Land of Krishna and Radha.
Vrindavan is a religious land in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India. While the religious scriptures have shown the beauty and sanctity of this land, not much is spoken about the unbearable pain of the white widows. What is spoken is just the tip of the iceberg. The research reveals a mountain of unexpressed emotions submerged under these wrinkles. The dark side of this beautiful and so called peaceful city remains muted since ages. More than a holy or spiritual place for spending the twilight years of one’s life, it feels like unwritten destiny of thousands of women.
Even today in Indian society, the widows are shunned because of superstitious beliefs. They are considered to be a sign of bad luck, treated as liability with no social standing and an unwanted mouth to feed. Often they are forced to wear white sarees, thrown out of the family and left on the streets, to live alone, depriving of all the colors and happiness of life. Sad that such heinous acts are done by their own families, irrespective of the women’s age.
It is illogical to say lack of knowledge, literacy and awareness are the reasons of such atrocious behavior. Because, such atrocious behavior is practiced even in the urban metro cities of India by the so called ‘well educated’ folks.
After innumerable calls and mails to the land of Vrindavan, I finally was able to get into contact with one of the women who was abandoned by her son after her husband’s death. It’s been more than fifteen years that she is away from her family. Her son had come once, to take her back. A presumed gesture of love, crooked to be a timely greed of money by the son. After a period of eight months, she was scorned on the railway platform of Vrindavan, leaving her unaided, in this gruesome world. The mother’s heart has been bruised, leaving with no emotions for his son. She has convinced herself, of not having any child of her own, in this world.
After a long pause, just before I was about to keep the call, she just uttered that, ‘This is not only my story. This is the state of life of thousands of Women of Vrindavan. Nobody discerns our sufferings. A stringent law or awareness campaign cannot heal such emotions. Hoping that, at least, the future generations do not face such scenarios in the name of social evils or greed’.
The conversation concluded with a choking throat and a heavy heart, enduring mixed emotions. Mixed emotions, because happiness and peace, would be at stake each day, if she had stayed with such a child, for a life. Her life would have been filled with ignorance, humiliation and loneliness. Far away from the evil glitches of social atrocities, some hope of peace does exists in her life.
By hook or by crook, parents make the best of their efforts to give everything possible for their children. In no time, parents to teach their children to walk, run, talk and what not. Parents are the wind beneath the wings of the children, catalyzing to fly high in their lives. As parents reach their old- age, they feel dependent on their children. The unfortunate and unforgiving stage is when children fail to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of their parents. A little time from your life and earnest gesture of love and respect, is all what they wish to have in return.
A writer’s goes through innumerable emotions while stitching a story. The whole experience of writing this article, was a journey in itself, comprehending my responsibilities as a child towards my parents. Hope you do the same as a reader.