monsoon season

with a renewed hope of freshness and life, the monsoon season hit southern india with abruptness and confidence. people looked forward to the monsoons that would temporarily save them from their drought. the monsoons were supposed to bring water to those who wait days for water. they were supposed to bring softer soil, and promise of a kitchen garden for those without income and subsequently without food.

yet, the monsoons hit with a week of vengeance, and since it has been smoldering hot again. it came like a thief in the night--here one day, and gone the next. the thing is, the days that the monsoon hits, the streets are deserted. trash, human and animal waste, and dirt float to the surface. not a single item remains even halfway dry. and i've learned one very important lesson:

try as you might, you can't clear your view or see a path clearly with a wet hand.

it is hard to wipe something completely clean with something dirty.

i feel as if here in india, we are constantly struggling to fight for a new path, but mostly just smudging things around. my previous post illustrates some of the daily juxtapositions that i encounter. today, i had to sit quietly as i heard about undesired daughters named "unwanted" (Nakusa) or "girl who was not wanted." i had to sit and listen about girls who are named "girl to be used as a social prostitute" (Mataram). girls whose families believe that these young girls (aged 7-13) can be married to hindu gods, and in turn be used by any man in their village at any time they desire. these girls are sacrificed and dedicated to the entire village for the men's pleasure.

today i witnessed as three laboring women with infants slung on their sides clamored to get onto a moving train with water buckets tied to a bamboo pole. subsequently, two of the women lost a few of their water buckets, something they have to purchase here with their own savings for laboring. i watched as i saw the forlorn look cross their faces when these women started calculating the real cost of what just happened: weeks of savings to purchase the buckets, the set back that means on their daily income of a few rupees a day (a few cents a day) without the buckets, and how much they will have to save to purchase some new ones. this whole time i watched them literally fighting for their own lives, a man was in the seat next to me pointing out microsoft's biggest headquarters outside of the US, and facebook's asia headquarters here in hyderabad.

the thing is, there are days where i can't make much sense of what is actually going on around me. there are other days where things are blatantly clear. like the hot sun here is being magnified and singed into my forearm for me to never forget. i can't help how clearly i understood today that the bottom line is this: we are all humans and should be treated as such. today, more than ever, i re-learned that suffering is universal, as can be compassion, empathy, and a smile. although sometimes it may seem impossible to see the path through the monsoons, and maybe sometimes you can't find that dry hand to wipe away the murk, that eventually the monsoons stop, and in the end they bring life back into a desolate place.


Michelle said...

Thank you for this post. I needed it.

Viviana said...

This just made me cry!! I cannot imagine anyone not wanting a daughter. I have loved my daughter with all my heart all my life!! Your account of events was probably hard to watch. It is probably harder not to be able to change much for them. Love is universal as well. Make sure you give it freely. This post makes me more grateful for my Savior who can wipe clean all things in this life!! You are a princess of a Heavenly kingdom and for that I am grateful. - Love you.

anitamombanita said...

Brooke, you are amazing. I can't imagine what you're witnessing/experiencing. Clearly this will change you forever. Love you. You are the bestest of the best!