“Rohit, Rohit…, where are you? Where are you Rohit, come quickly, wear your clothes”. His father, Mohan called out several times, but Rohit did not show up. Rohit was just 2 years old. It was 6:30pm, the sun had just set. People were getting ready with candles and kerosine oil lanterns. It is a backward Indian village and people still don't have electricity running. This summer the village just got the electricity poles erected, however villagers were still waiting for the electricity to come to their houses. One day Rohit‘s mother decided to pull the electricity wire from the Newly-erected power lines pole to connect to a bulb in her house. Unfortunately the electricity was flowing through at that very moment. Electric shock caused the immediate death of Kamla. Another big disaster happened when Rohit followed his mother, who was lying dead on the ground, holding the naked wire in her hand. Rohit touched her and died immediately too. It was a small, close knit village. Everyone knew everyone.The whole village was weeping at the sight. Sadly no one could go through greater agony than the three daughters, Kamla left behind her. The whole family was mourning the death of Kamla and Rohit. The youngest daughter was just 3 years old. She did not even understand what had happened to her mother. People tried to console her, but everything went in vain. Life still has to keep going on. Slowly the other daughters learnt to live without their mother except the little daughter Chandi. Finally Mohan decided to re-marry a woman named Hira, so that kids can grow up with a female figure, who will at least try to love them as her daughters. Hira was a kind and beautiful woman. Hira loved all the kids with her whole heart as her own kids. So far so good, until one day the reality unfurled and she found out that her husband already had a vasectomy. She was in disbelief as to what cruel game god has played with her. She felt cheated and angry for the terrible injustice.The frustration started coming out at kids in the beginning, and eventually it became obvious that step mothers can never love as your own mother. This was just the thin end of the wedge. Bigger problem was somewhere else. Perhaps it was the agony of not bearing her own kids. Hira felt her life was ruined, she wanted to see her own flesh and blood. Nonetheless her motherly instinct was very strong. She wanted to have her own kids, but she wanted to love her step kids too, just the way she loved them before. Very soon it became a domestic gossip in the village as to how unfair Mohan is to Hira. People started accusing him of committing a crime for not being honest before he married Hira. In the meantime kids were oblivious to the emotional roller coaster Hira was going through. Kids took Hira's anger as a temporary adjustment to her new life. Mohan felt guilty for causing this pain to Hira. He soon realized that Hira will never forgive him, and his kids will live without a mother's love again. Sadly, what is done cant be changed. In villages divorce is not an option. Well, Hira was very bitter, and if one believes in restorative justice, this is it. She was entitled to “Her Female Body” and have her own kids. She felt deprived and Mohan was guilty in her eyes. Ironically in-spite of everything, Hira loved Mohan a lot. At the same time she did not want to be a mean mother to her step kids. With all these emotions, Hira became the perfect picture of what it says “repression breeds sublimation”. A moment of tranquility set in. Hira started to look at the bright side of her life. On one hand her step kids may not be her own, on the other hand she got such beautiful daughters; all grown up, without any pain.The daughters, who love her so much that they even forgot their own mother now. She thought that with everything that has happened to her, she can either feel sorry for herself or treat what has happened as a gift. She accepted her step kids with all her heart and never wanted to separate from them. Hira realized that the word “Maa” has no boundaries, no discrimination, it is the purest of all, the word which her daughters call her. Hira found a new dimension of her life and felt, “the wheel turns and turns and turns: it never stops and stands still.” She will always love these kids as her own flesh and blood from now. This incident happened long back in 1988 in a village in India where I lived as a child. But the memories still haunt me even now. Whenever I see a charging cable or a wire hanging from the electric outlet, I get scared. So many years have passed but the memory is etched so deeply in my heart and brain, that I never let my daughters go near the electric outlets. On one hand science and technology can be so useful to humankind, on the other hand a small mistake can ruin everything. This is the evidence right here and I always keep this in my mind.
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