Each of us is born with one’s fate, they say. I was born with one too. An awfully ill one, it was supposed to be. But now, it doesn’t seem so. Because yes, I’ve conquered it, overpowered it, and defeated it with all my might. Yet, I’m not regarded as one of you. I won’t ask why, because I’m aware of the answer. You all are victims to the “typical Indian mentality”. Do not get me wrong there, I respect all Indian values; I’m an Indian too. And as an Indian, I’ve learnt, since childhood, to honour people (especially women) and am still living up to it.

They say I won’t get married ever, they say I’m very unlucky. But, I ask, will a wedding ring determine if a woman is lucky or not? Doesn’t she have her own value? You all regard me as someone who is punished by God because of some sin she committed in her past life. In your eyes, I am someone who has been deprived of the brighter side of life. Maybe, I was, but not now. Today, I can proudly say that I’m one of the happiest persons on earth. And therefore, I have taken a pledge, a pledge to spread joy, to make others smile…

I was born to an extremely deprived family in Rajasthan. My village did not have access to even the basic necessities of life. But, life went on… I lived and grew up as a normal child, till came a day when I came to Delhi with my uncle. The night we reached Delhi, was the night that changed my life. When I recall that night, tears fill up my eyes. That night, my very own chacha sold me. Yes, he sold that timid little me to a “distinguished” person of Delhi. I was made to work and was treated like an animal; I was forced to do things, which are unimaginable. I had to vend myself… I had to; I had no choice. After all, I was a mere nothing. But, I’m not impure. Because, I never sold my soul. I kept it well preserved within me. And today, the strength in me has revived itself.

People gossip about me, but, it does not affect me because I know who I am and what I’m doing. I know that it does not matter whether you’re married or not, but it does matter whether you’re educated or not. And by education, I don’t mean the certificates hanging on your walls, I mean the courage to speak up for yourself, the courage to say what is wrong is wrong. And for that, though I lack formal education, I can say that I’m educated. I’ve been a voice for myself. I’ve stood up when I needed to, and today, working in an NGO, hope to stand up for thousands like me.

Many may look down on me, but I pity them for their voicelessness and meek character. We all have that spark within us, we just need a call from our hearts to ignite it. Today, five years from the day I fled from that devil’s house, I am confident and happy. I’ve worked hard and do not bother whether I’m married or not. And I don’t feel unlucky or impure or any of the tags that people generously shower on me. I manage to hide my tears and smile, and make others smile. I have a job, get paid well enough and have been able to punish that evil person as well as my uncle. So yes, I’m satisfied. And, I’m sure…for the hundreds of thousands like me, the future is NOT dark…

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