An Immigrants Tale

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“You know I won’t be able to tell you my story without breaking down”, she said.

Jahanara; had only two weapons left, a strong will and an undying faith when she had come to this big city of Bombay from Bangladesh, 9 years ago, defeated by her own family.

She used to work on the farms, leading a simple life with her mother and son. She decided to buy a land of her own from her aunt. You know how they say, ‘Anjaan log hi ache hai, kyunki jaan pehchaan waale toh jaan hi le lete hai’ .

“I gave her my hard earned money to buy the land but she ditched me.”, with tears in her eyes as she lived those memories again. There was this raging anger inside of her which she had decided to channel into positivity. She took whatever money she was left with and came to Bombay .She just wanted a better life for her family. So she packed her dreams and came to the City where they say Dreams come true. “There are dalals ‘agents’ who help you cross the border at night.” She added when she was recalling all the risk she had taken to be where she was now. Since Jahanara was a bangladeshi she struggled and fumbled with Hindi. In a city like Bombay, with only a little money left for her bare survival, time only got harder on her. Jahanara did not let these obstacles break her as she stood strong. Like any other struggler with less fortune left to spend, made her sleep on the roads and skip meals. In the course of time she found work for herself as a maid in houses. She worked for this one family, for over 4 years and self taught herself Hindi by just listening to them speak. It has been a hard journey for Jahanara: being a woman, a single parent, the only bread earner of her family in a world where Equality is only seen on paper and heard in speeches.

What makes her special and unique from the rest is way she perceives life. She didn’t give into the odds. When asked if she has any big dreams for the future? She simply smiled and said, “You don’t necessarily need to have an extravagant plan or big dreams. A simple and a peaceful life, is what I dream of, every morning”.

Women like Jahanara don’t make into headlines for doing something extraordinary. The world doesn’t celebrate women like her, who battle for their existence every single day. There are no strong women or weak women because all women are fighters.

And every Jahanara that fights in silence; deserves her share of respect, honour and recognition.