Oh! Lord I’m just a country girl………
Whether you are a country girl or a city one, what matters is that it doesn’t matter, as long as you are wise.
Wisdom branches out from the tree of life, and to receive it you require living it.
Short Story of Suraina
Living again as our country girl Suraina put it, is when you feel the fragrance of life in all that is living.
Here is Suraina, whose stories could easily be akin yours. Each of us have stories to share, but sadly no time to spare.
As Suraina unfolds the secret folds of her life, there pops out values she wishes to treasure
As you traverse down Suraina’s memory lane, all the incidents she does mention had something to teach her then.
However, they unclasped now during her sunset years.
Do we hold on to them now, or do we wait for life’s sunset to unfold those mysteries which were never mysteries?
Once upon a time, in a small village in the outskirts of Madurai , in South India, a little girl Suraina, lived along with her parents, and her younger sister, Sheena.
Her father was a mechanical engineer, and was posted there.
They were originally from Mumbai, and though her father aspired to come back to Mumbai to his roots, his job offered him no choice.
Suraina, the little country girl, however was very content living in this small town, and as she made her way on the pathways leading to school along with Sheena, she could not , just not notice the lovely flowers on the way, the chirping of birds, in the breeze, which gently touched her cheeks, reminding her of this lovely song “All things bright and beautiful ” Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, he made their glowing colours, he made their tiny wings.”, which was her everyday prayer in school.
School was the place where one could apply one’s theories to, and one learnt and grew too, a fun ground, which taught all a few lessons, some you retain, and the others you let go, only to land in further deep waters, where fighting against the tide, you had to relearn them with harsher lessons.
As a 9year old, it suddenly dawned on Suraina, that the fun in life was its living.
The neighbourhood was filled with her school friends, and open maidans (grounds) where one could run, and play ball, and watch the sun set as it disappeared around the horizon.
Then on other days, stories of what would happen at puberty, made to sound real by adding mythological events about how women, had to face the brunt of the painful menstrual cycle, due to a promise given by Goddess Parvati to her husband Lord Shiva, seemed mystical and one participated, looking with awe at the storyteller, as the glory in it overcame the gory of it all.
Suraina listened in disbelief, but she listened in totality.
The fate of women was sealed, story or no story the truth was that this was it.
Nothing else mattered, what mattered then was that all of these young girls had a fate collectively sealed, this is what this young country girl felt all along.
So she felt all were one, there never seemed a morrow, where one had to think of another as other.
They were in together and Suraina always felt they should stand up as a team,so much so, that her little mind conjured togetherness and standing up for one another in a way one wouldn’t comprehend and hilarious as it seemed, it was done in true earnest.
As a leader, she stood her ground,when in class Rani, had not completed her home work, and faced being punished, so she called on an emergency special round table conference , before the teacher arrived, and the resolution was passed.
None would submit their work today so it was declared, for the exception of one, Suganda ,the nerd of the class, who was stubborn and brave enough to stand her ground.
This did not go well with Suraina, who just let her be, however lost no opportunity in bringing out her mean streak , and thus seeing to it that she was abandoned by the rest.
So in the next hour of class the consequences were, that 25 of the 26 girls in class stood out of class, as punishment, for the entire period.
Unity is strength, we all are one, indeed, but the application of it, as applied by this young mind, who had a rebellious streak within, just did not seem as apt and right.
Well understanding Suraina, was no easy ball game,
As you can see in yet another exciting incident, which came up, where she could, implement the qualities she prided herself of possessing, or so she thought, they were her boldness and her attitude of notwithstanding injustice.
She was impulsive by nature, and injustice to her at that point of time was what her mind thought it was. The mind is very manipulative as you know…don’t you? Haha…
Look before you leap, would be a good lesson, but not for Suraina, who did things impulsively and hastily, as her strong headed mind convinced her, that she was in charge of setting things straight in the face of injustice, and in school when you do not look before leaping you land up right where Suraina did,
Suraina leapt into anything she considered gutsy, something which needed a display of a tremendous amount of courage, even though the act would be foolish and land her in big trouble.
So, one day in school she happened to see the big bully Rehan, hit Monish, for not obeying his orders.
Rehan was the son of an influential person, and everyone was of the opinion that all his mischief and misbehaviour was tolerated as his father donated a lot of money to the school from time to time.
Assumption of school girls or a reality ? Neither did anyone see or know of it.
The truth is that this is a question of speculation even today, which even Suraina , today admits to, though way back in the 70’s she was sure. (Such is the process of our corrupted thoughts which occupy our minds and keep us whirling round and round our entire lifetime, looking at us and laughingly challenging “Break free if you can?”)
Yes break free you can , and let go of one, only to be entangled with another corrupt thought. As you think you free your inner space, oops in comes another one to occupy your free space, so friends if you think you’ve broken free, think twice, breaking free is a theory one knows but never practices, as practically it’s a game of hide and no seek.
So how could Suraina break free?
Well back to the story of the bully.
Rehan hit Monish, and Monish in his defence, retaliated and caught hold of Rehan’s collar, which could not bear the brunt of Monish’s tight grip, so it snapped and tore.
This did not go well with Rehan and as anticipated the “sissy spoilt brat” as Suraina addressed him charged to the principal’s cabin to complain about the torn shirt, with Suraina charging behind like as if she alone, and only she was the army designated to act and talk in Monish’s defence.
Monish was indeed reduced to being a silent spectator, and let’s say at this point he was relieved as well as amused seeing Suraina take up for him.
Suraina charged like a ferocious bull, telling the principal that action must be taken immediately,
“Please see to it Rehan is expelled, he does not deserve to be in here”, she angrily exclaimed.
The Principal was flabbergasted, and instead of paying attention to the Rehan episode, he sounded off Suraina and at once asked her to get her parents to meet him.
Suraina was in a soup, and learnt a lesson that day, however, she didn’t digest it, as her thoughts were “This Mr Goon is a goofed up principal and he ought not to be one. Poor Monish…, this just isn’t fair, Mr Goon, took up for Rehan because of the benefits to the school, and so on and on and on..”. her mind kept chattering constantly..
Her mind played games with her, and instead of realizing her mistake and learning from it, she retained her views.
So as you can see, she invited events of a similar kind, and behaved in the same fashion over and over again, unwilling to accept anything other than what her mind kept repeating over and over again.
Fight on like a brave soldier, it kept beeping.
Oh God, was there anything to fight for?
Was it not something which was a fragment of fiction in her mind, or was it really a cause of concern and a cause to react the way she did?
Well the crux dear friends, sure is that seeing is believing, however seeing things with tainted glasses, the taints you’ve developed over periods of time , could be harmful and dangerous and could lead you on to a vicious circle, never letting you break free….
Read on , the continuing journey of how Suraina grows up from a country girl to the woman of the world and slowly on to the woman who gets ready and steady….
More in Episode 2….