It’s me, yes, it’s me. And alive surprisingly. Maybe because my existence was needed and supported by those ‘good Samaritan forces’. To set things between me and my destiny straight. To justify my story and my efforts to fight for my loved ones and my happiness. I am Mutaiba, a tea garden worker residing in the valleys of Darjeeling. I had a childhood that was more of a suffering saga and a learning chapter than just a daisies-n-doll thing. At the tender age of six, my father abandoned us, a family of three kids and my mom and since then we were on our own, fighting with all the unwanted challenges in life. We two sisters started to work as domestic helps in homes to take care of our little brother and ailing mom. Times passed painted in the colors of our sweat, sometimes colorful, sometimes equally bland. At 12, my mom too left us, to be alone and sad in this big, bad world. I was now working part-time, in the Magic Tea Land Gardens, earning ten thousand in total and at night I was taking home tuitions in English and History languages. My sis got married in a nearby village and I put my younger
brother in school. Times passed and he got admission in an engineering college. I completed my graduation and started coaching in a nearby college. And also
came to know my going-to-be husband, Raj Shekhar who was also a professor in
the same college. We started to develop feelings and finally decided to be
together. We finally got married which gave me the biggest gift of all, total
happiness, I thought. I started to dream about daisies, a beautiful, wonderful life where every desire of mine would be perfectly fulfilled and things would fit in places rightly. But some dreams don’t turn into reality, instead, they become nightmares. In some time my husband turned bitter day-by-day along with my in-laws and a torturous game started from their side. I was defenseless with no support from Raj too which left me devastated. I had to do every household chore which included cooking for fifty members, not given my share of food, love, comfort or even slight appreciation. Life was changing colors from lighter, merrier shades to dark, frightening ones.It
suddenly started getting heavier on my shoulders so much that I wanted to drop it any moment thus breaking it into pieces. Everyone around turned hostile and camouflaged into the devilish models way beyond acceptance in my life. I was beaten and bruised, abused in a thousand ways, and left to decay, be destroyed piece to piece, bit by bit. Days were getting darker and I was feeling stuck in the middle of nowhere, maybe in hell. At this point in life when I wanted to quit I came to know that I was pregnant. I wanted to feel happy about this big news but all I could do was generate a bagful of mixed feelings having the perfect mix of joy, fear, and thick glooms considering my situation and circumstances. I kept being ill-treated, misunderstood, voiceless, hopeless, and all too low but no one came to my rescue. The lucky day came when after enduring all the sweet-pain as I call it, I finally gave birth to my angel, Rushia, a shining star of hope in my life. No one was happy with her joining our family because she was a ‘she’ and thus became the center of hatred for everyone including her father. I raised her going through thicks-n-thins alike, doing unwanted chores, facing harsh brutalities from
everywhere. I knew my life was seriously doomed but I was more than ready to face the brunt of life a million times if it could protect my daughter giving her a normal life. I, in the meantime, got busy paying back debts and struggling for the idea of bare survival. I was thrown out of the house with a free gift of abuses, accusations, wrong charges, and nothing but my meager belongings. I somehow managed to get a place to stay near the tea gardens. I started to work double time with whatever job was available to save money and surprisingly made future plans for the two of us. Rushia was growing up fast and soon we blew up candles and baked a vanilla cake for her first birthday. I lived on a high cliff overlooking a river with dense forests and dangerous slopes. Then came the shocking news of my husband’s death in a car accident. This was a true shocker and though I had cut all ties with him still sadness stepped in to make me miserable as usual. It really took me a lot of effort to stay sane and firm on the ground. I felt I could not bear the load of so many unwanted gifts piled up by my destiny to prove that I was a doomed woman for free. And I did not want to accept this at any cost. Till now I had owned the idea of quitting strongly but plans would have to change from now
on. One fine Sunday evening proved to be a solid ordeal I wasn’t ready for but
which really made me change my perception and gather all my strengths for the sake of my flower-girl whose innocence had become my medicine for existence and I just wanted to justify it and sign out only when I had completed my responsibilities, put my anxiety and concerns for Rushia at rest. And God just knew how to motivate me from my core. We had organized a small picnic with some other fellow workers and were having a gala time with lots of food music, bondings, and fun. It was totally a great reunion. Then I just went inside to get something from the motel and left Rushia for a while. When I came back, I could feel tremors under my feet giving a clear indication of an earthquake and subsequent landslide. I was horrified to see that the slide had cut the way from in between making a divide in the middle. Rushia and one other girl, Nasha were thrown out on to the edge and I shouted to her to grab a branch of the closest tree. She did it. I somehow managed to jump to the other side of the divide and caught hold of Nasha securing her to a safe spot. Rushia was crying badly but on seeing me she smiled and said that she loved me. Now, this was enough battery for me to charge up and get busy being the rescue angel of the moment or forever, for my love. I smartly slipped down a slope to land on a narrow stepping beside the tree holding Rushia. I tore my kurti and made a loop from it throwing it on one end of a branch and tying another to an edge of the cliff. Now I slowly scaled towards her securing her to my waist tightly. Now we ascended towards the cliff breaking twigs and branches
and safely put her down on the stepping. I called for help with my mobile and just as I took a step back, the rock moved and lo, down I went plunging deep. When I next revived and opened my eyes, I was on a bed with Rushia holding my hand and smiling and saying, ‘Mom, wake up, I love you.’ I was so happy to see her only for a sharp, plunging pain in my back certifying that my back was broken
permanently. But was this pain anything as compared to the pain I had endured my whole lifetime? I was put in a wheelchair and times flew fast. Now twenty years later, Rushia is a young, loving, and beautiful girl completing her graduation and super busy nowadays promoting a beautiful story of survival titled, My Life, My
Story, penned according to her by the strongest fighter she had come across in her life, her mom. And I wanted her to be like me. To never suffer, tolerate wrongs done to her, to never step back, keep fighting, learning and proving always that she is a true soul, brave and confident to do the impossible and make everyone proud of her, never taking stands with wrong, always there to help others and to convey the message that no one is weak. I wanted to pass her the message that one should find their inner voice and strength believing in themselves. She said she would truly abide by these golden words of her mom,’You make your life, you only define and decorate it, you balance it, you only beautify it making it special and you only have the power to save it. Only you do it. No one else can.
Gender is just a word holding no power in it. The power lies in the person, his or
her thoughts, perceptions, viewpoint, and strengths, and last but never the least,
a firm belief in oneself. You are the ultimate power to discover and deal with.
You are the real problem and solution to your life. You are all-powerful whether you are a he or a she and sadly and gladly were made equal by our humble Almighty.