Their Dreams Died Young

February 7, 2011
23 year old Sowmya, from a small village in Kerala, raped and killed, on the railway tracks.  The sole support for her family, she left school mid-way to earn a living and help her family. Her dream –  To get a good job at a top bank, buy a car and house for her mother.
February 11, 2011
Manisha Thakur, in her 20s, a national level kabaddi player, shot dead at point blank range by a CRPF soldier because she refused to give him her phone number.  From a lower middle class family in the state of Himachal Pradesh, she had fought hard to make a place for herself in the national team.
April 13, 2011
Arunima Sinha, 23 year old state-level volleyball player pushed out of a moving train by 3 men after she resisted their attempts to rob her. Her leg has been amputated. Her sporting career, finished.
As the country celebrates the new Team India, the cricket Dhonis from ordinary backgrounds who made it to the World Cup winning team, let’s spare a thought for these women who also dared to dream big. Only to have it end so brutally.

The Working Mom’s Whine

How will my kids remember me 20 years from now?
Will they remember the pastas and pancakes and the bedtime stories I cooked up? The swimming sessions and Abba routines?
Or will they remember me as someone who was wasn’t always there when they came back from school? Often for days?
Questions that nag. Especially when I have work-related travel coming up. The kind of work I do involves a fair bit of travel. The more you travel and report, the better it is for a journalist’s profile. I also enjoy the experience of going to different places, meeting people from different backgrounds, eating with them and listening about their lives. Before the kids came, I travelled virtually every week. That’s stopped now, and I have to say I am quite glad. I want to see them before I go to sleep. On an average I travel perhaps 8-9 times a year, never longer than a week at a stretch. I have friends who stay away much longer than that. I bring that up in my head every time my older daughter cries on the phone when I am away.
So when she is 26, will she remember the tears and the loneliness? Or will she understand my need to do my own thing, however small?