Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In the midst of darkness, light persists...

I've been tardy with writing lately. I blame it on the fact that I'm almost perfectly happy. Anger, resentment, sorrow, heartbreak inspires me to write. It's cathartic.
But this time around something so wonderfully beautiful presented itself that I was moved to write (and very nearly to tears).
We live in an India, nay a world, that is fraught with sexism and subjugation and abuse. It's enough for me to feel the need to carry around a placard apologising on behalf of my sex. But every now and then a glimmer of absolute joy shines through from the most unexpected of places and is brighter still, because of the pitch black that surrounds it.
There's a young man who works in our office doing odd jobs, cleaning, making tea, gopher duties etc. He's educated to a degree, probably somewhere around middle school. He's smart and kind, and generally loved around the office. He is arguably my favorite person in my small startup of a company and we spend some time everyday just talking and shooting the breeze.
Born and raised in a village in Bihar he's had a very conservative upbringing his family still operates on an extremely patriarchal system.
This morning he came up to me and wanted help to look for recent school teacher opening's that the Department of Education has announced on their website.
I asked him about who the candidate was and he told me it was his wife. She has an MA and a two year diploma in education. She'd only finished high school when they got married. Her parents weren't too sold on the idea of educating girls beyond high school. But she wanted to study so he's spent the last 6 years borrowing money from the office using up his savings to help her though a BA, and MA and the diploma course in education. And to top it all he has regrets that he didn't have enough money to help her get a Bachelors degree in education so she had to settle for the diploma course instead. He also told me on the sly that he had to hide it from his family who live in the village as well and they think he makes a lot less money than he actually does because a considerable chunk goes into his wife's education.
He works from 9-6 goes home and helps with the kid and the cooking and cleaning so his wife would have time to study.
My friend, you're a better man than most men out there. I hereby dub thee The Knight. You have more than earned it.

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