10 mar 2015

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Please proofread this story.

Chapters of Injustice
Author: Rizwan Ahmed Memon

Chapter: 1
It was a sunny day. Robbi was so delighted to win the prize in her class for an essay competition. Her teacher said her that he was sure that one day Robbi would become a great woman. Robbi said to her teacher, “God willing, I would become a doctor.” The teacher replied, “God wills that. I know because He has given you all the abilities which a successful doctor should have.” Robbi came home and showed her mother the prize. Robbi’s mother was happy too, but her father didn’t seem to be happy.

Robbi’s father was a drunkard; her mother had to pay for her education. She made both ends meet by doing needlework. Besides going to school, Robbi also helped her mother in household works and in needlework. Days kept going by and Robbi was in class nine then. At night Robbi’s father said to her mother, “Now Robbi has grown up.” Her mother said to him, “No, she is still young, well why do you say so?” He said, “Now Robbi won’t go to school anymore.” Her mother said, “No, she has to study still, and she wants to be a doctor.” “A doctor, impossible!” he said. “Why can’t she be a doctor? She is most clever girl in the class?” said her mother. Her father said to her mother, “Because the time has come for her to go to her real home.” “You are thinking about Robbi’s marriage? She is still too young,” she said. “Well sooner or later she has to go. Sooner the better.” said Robbi’s father. He further added, “I have already talked to my old friend. He has a son who works in the fields, and that will be better for her. I don’t want to talk about it anymore that’s it.”

In morning when Robbi was getting ready for going to school, her mother said her, “Stay at home today.” Robbi said, “why dear mother?” She said, “Today I have a lot of work and I want you to help me.” Robbi said, “All right if you say so, I am not going.” So on that day her mother told her that her father was going to get her married. Robbi tore into pieces. Her mother said her, “It is inevitable, neither can I do anything nor you can refuse. If we go against, we will both be in trouble. So it is better to be quiet and endure.”

Robbi’s dreams shattered. She felt a storm inside her, and she wanted to cry as much loudly as it could break the sky. Weeping and sobbing she slept. In few days, Robbi’s father married her off. Now she was just walking around as if already dead.

Chapter: 2

Robbi was only fourteen. She was studying in the hope of becoming a doctor, when her father married her off.

She was married to Zaman, who worked in the fields. All of Robbi’s dreams were shattered before they could come to fruition. Her husband treated her as if she was a servant or slave. He punished her, abused her, and harassed her. He commanded her to look after the buffaloes and cows. She milked them and grazed them near the bank of the river which was a short distance from the fields where her husband worked.

Robbi gave birth to Rabia at the age of fifteen. Robbi and her daughter were week due to Robbi’s pregnancy at a very young age. Early marriage led to many detrimental effects upon Robbi’s health.

It had been more than a year since Robbi has seen her mother. Robbi’s father never allowed Robbi’s mother to visit Robbi; neither did Robbi’s husband. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years as Robbi continued to bear all the injustices that her husband did to her. In rural areas of Sindh, a province of Pakistan, it is common for men to treat women in this way. Very few women raise their voice against the oppression. Robbi would never resist, but she had decided that she would never let her daughter fall victim to this abuse.

One night, Robbi said to Zaman, “Saeen, Rabia is now five. We need to send our daughter to school.” (In Sindhi the word ‘Saeen’ is used for someone who is admired or respected.)

“School? Don’t you know in our village girls are not allowed to attend school? She will never go to school,” her husband replied.

“But Saeen, she must get a primary education, at least, so that she can read and write our native Sindhi language.”

“I don’t like your explanations and answering back. I said she will never go. Now get out of my sight!” he shouted angrily.

Young Rabia was watching and listening her parents talking about her from the window. In her heart, Rabia hated her father because she had seen him beating her mother many times.

One day, Robbi went to graze the cattle, as usual. Normally, Rabia would stay at home with her grandparents; who never cared much for Robbi or Rabia since they had been disappointed when Robbi did not give birth to a boy.

On this particular day, Robbi decided that she would begin to take her daughter out with her to graze the cattle. Robbi had learned reading and writing in Sindhi when she was a child, and she also knew a little bit of English. She decided that she would educate her daughter herself while the cattle grazed.

At night, Robbi called her daughter, “Rabia? Rabia? Where are you?”
“Ami, I am here with grandpa.”
“Won’t you let me read you a new story tonight?”
“Oh, yes.”

That night Robbi told Rabia about her plan. Robbi had originally thought that Zaman would do the same for their daughter as Robbi’s father had done for her.

“At least I had got my primary education. I have to do something for my daughter, otherwise in this male-dominated society my daughter will be deprived of even basic education,” she whispered to herself.

The next day, as usual, Robbi woke up early, milked the buffaloes, churned the Lassi, and fed the cattle. When she served breakfast to her husband, she told him, “Saeen, I want to take Rabia with me. She will learn grazing the cattle and cutting the grass. She is not going to school, so she better learn the household chores.”

“All right. Keep a close eye on her,” he agreed.

After Zaman had gone, Robbi and her daughter left to graze the cattle. Along the way, she gave Rabia two hundred rupees, which she had earned by selling the milk. The money was used to buy two pens, (one red and one blue), a notebook, and a first grade text book from the village general store. Robbi also gave her a palm straw bag, in which she packed her lunch. Rabia purchased all these things and put them in the bag. When they reached the river, the cattle started grazing, and they both started the lessons.

On their first day, Robbi taught her daughter some letters of the alphabet of their native language. For five years they studied in this way; hiding their books from everyone. Usually, Children do their homework at their homes, but Rabia did her at the river bank. Rabia eventually learned to read and write the Sindhi language, and a little bit of English.

[Novità] Ehi tu! Dico a te che stai imparando una lingua!

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