Women leaving footprints

I forgot to draw the curtains last night. The yellow glow from the street lamps below filter through the thick early morning mist straining to make its presence known. The silhouettes of the leafless trees fill the scene with their spidery branches. Some branches are still stubbornly holding on to the last leaves threatening to shed them any moment. The teasing stance continues. If only they would let go we could have cleared the mess up before Christmas, but they refuse, dropping a leaf here and there prolonging the annual event. The silence is punctuated by the early rising birds and swishing sounds from distant traffic. 

My thoughts switch to recent developments. Deepthi, my sister in law, has managed to get her hundred word short story published in the latest New York Times’ ‘Tiny Short Stories’ compilation. The book launch was on zoom like everything else in life these days. She has achieved something I have always wanted to do. When I see a picture of Daniel Jones, the senior editor of the Modern Love series talking about the book, I feel admiration for what Deepthi has achieved. Shouldn’t I be feeling a pang of envy I ask myself. “No”, I tell myself. Maybe one day I will be able to match this feat, but I’m not counting my chickens. 

Murali also is living his dream. A small part in a film and he is over the moon. ‘Footprints on water’. I really like the title. It shows promise and imagination. He meets the sisters behind the venture and finds out that they are from Kollam. Further investigation reveals that they are Jayashree’s daughters, one of my former predegree college classmate, and film star Mukesh’s sister. I have a faint recollection that we were friends, I don’t remember how as I don’t think she was in our batch. I watch a clip from another short film the girls have made, one a director and the other the story teller. ‘Lehenga’, a short two and a half minute film about a young Indian man with a secret. Another story beautifully and sensitively depicted with minimum words. 

In the midst of this, Asha Kishore, another friend has been hounded out of office. Tributes to her service have been pouring in from all quarters, including the Travancore Royal family, from people who value hard grit, determination and strength, values that got her to the highest rung of the SCT ladder. A brilliant scientist who is one of the top movement disorders experts in her field, Asha has many years of service left in her. Her plight shows how difficult it is for a woman to stand up, be counted and leave their indelible mark on the pages of history. She has however done just that and the mark she has left behind will shine brightly for years to come. A mark to show future generations what can be achieved if you put your mind to it.

From small achievements to great ones I listen to the words unfold and spread their wings. For some the journey is just the beginning and for others the venture is into new horizons. Like the rays of sunshine trying to dispel the mist, the wings hover before taking flight. 

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