Just a little piece of cloth

This is something about which I have always wanted to write. Something that contributes so much to my identity and me as a person, yet, from the cover, it’s just a scarf. Just a piece of cloth.

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I don’t remember the exact day, but I do remember the time when I started wearing it for the first time. It was when I was in 7th, most of my classmates had started wearing a scarf and I chose to wear one because I wanted to be among them, fitting in sort of a thing. Since my family was not exactly orthodox, there was never a push or  an encouragement from that side. Gradually after some time, this piece of cloth on my head started becoming a part of me and my modesty. I started feeling uncomfortable about showing my hair anymore.  Back in my childhood, I was a stage performer. So this piece of cloth was incorporated in my stage attires, partially first with a little covering of my hair, then turning into a complete cover. There was so much resistance even from family first because apparently I was taking it ‘overboard’. But the little me stood my ground, because this was something that obviously tied me to my God. Something that made me feel good about myself.

Then it became an integral part of my dressing. I knew I could never go out without my scarf. Nor remove it for the sake of anythng. It just became a part of my life. What I didnt know about was, how this little piece of cloth on my head affected and bond in a much more deeper level. Till then, it was an external element. Something about how I chose my appearance.

Then came a phase in my life, in college, where inspite of being surrounded by Muslims, there was a constant struugle when it came to my religion, within myself. Everything was blank and I felt numb, I didn’t feel any emotion even when I prayed, that at times I would skip it, because of the guilt of doing injustice to it by not showing even an ounce of commitment or sincerity to it. Just darkness and everything felt so empty. I felt no guidance, no encouragement, nothing that told me to do more. Everyday I would wake up and just find myself doing everything mechanically, getting ready, going to college, coming back. But in those days, when I looked in the mirror, to put on my scarf, everyday, I would see a girl staring back at me, still holding on to that little piece of cloth on her head that she could never let go. And I had an epiphany. I remembered how I had fought to embrace it. How it became a part of my life. And that little piece of cloth that I wrapped daily on my head, was a flicker of hope. A hope that made my heart beat again. A hope that told me all was not lost. A hope that told me that I had miles to go.

You see, that little piece of cloth, held me together, unknowingly, when I was breaking down. That little piece of cloth, reminded me to realise who I was and who I want to be. That little piece of cloth, made me work to be myself again.

I am tired of those sympathetic looks I get, about how I am, being forced to cover my hair. And I have a hard time explaining the fact that it was infact the opposite, wherein I faced a lot of resistance to wear my hijab in the beginning from family. I am tired of explaining how this scarf is my choice, and just is a part of what I BELIEVE. My choice. My belief. And my religion. It is nothing of your concern.

I cannot even comprehend the pain that my Muslim sisters undergo, struggling with wearing hijab in the West. But I know I felt really bad when I was asked if I carried a bomb in my bag, by the security lady who judged me by my hijab, which is the identity of my religion when she let all my other friends pass without a fuss. What she failed to understand was, it was MY identity, my identity as a person.

You choose to tie your hair this or that way. You choose what to wear and what not to, and you have reasons for it.

And just like that, I choose to wear my hijab. And I have my own reasons.

 

Reasons of how it was this little piece of cloth, that held me together when I was breaking apart, struggling to find a ground.

It is never just a piece of cloth.

It is a part of my life.

A part of my heart.

 

 

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The End.

I have been walking and walking. I have been observing. I have been reading. I am desperately trying to find something. But I guess its just come to an end. Yes! The end has happened. The end of Good. Have you by chance come across what am searching for? Show me. For I am searching for something called Humanity.

Too much to ask?

Yeah?

I thought so.

Every morning we rise to hear the shocking cruelties faced by innocent people. Violence. Violence. There is always silence after it. Because everyone is too frozen to react. Only one thing goes through their minds – What has the world come to?

What happens around me scares me. Well its not just me. Everybody is scared. The world’s turned to a dangerous place.

Parents are worried. They cant send their children anywhere. Because danger lurks around them. Animals are waiting to tear you apart. The sense of freedom is lost. For fear has replaced them.

Every day we hear news of shootings by a psycho, innocent girls raped, fighting for their life. But is all that fighting to leave worth it?

I am an Indian. But it doesnt make me proud. True, am a part of a country full of culture, traditions and life. I am part of a country which has one of the best Constituion and has been termed one of the best democracy. I am part of a country where you have all the freedom and rights. For a stranger, it might be true. But I see the reality everyday. And its too far from the ideal democracy that its being called.

I see the news of a 3 year old who has been raped. A wife who was publicly raped and made to walk around naked. Nobody is spared. Be it a new born, a small girl, a teenager, a wife or a grandma. Are you a woman? Then beware. Being born a girl can be the biggest mistake in your life.

I see a girl who was gang raped for nearly an hour by 5 men, fighting for her life. She is a brave one. But I am scared for her. Will the society ever treat her the same again? Will she able to live like a normal girl?

That girl lost everything that she had. Her dreams, her ambitions, her life, her chance for a happily everafter. Everything was snatched away from her. She saw her world turning upside down within a few minutes.

I salute and respect her for her strength. Even after being in such a critical condition, she is fighting. She is fighting for the remnants. Hopefully, she will be able to build up everything she had again. For there is always hope.

There is always hope.

Or I would like to believe there is still some good remaining around us all.

Ironic? I know.

But there is always hope.

Hope.

Because there is always God.

The Almighty.

 

P.S. : The girl who was 23 years old and fighting for her life died on 29 Dec. May she rest in peace and find the deserved happiness in her afterlife. She was too good to live in this world full of evil!