March 08, 2018



The day begins in many ways to all. To some, its the milkman ringing bell or the sound of the newspaper falling. It also begins to some with the birds singing or the temple bells ringing. Some say it is the stupid alarm or the sweetness of your Mom’s voice, to which you wake up. The master mind to all these actions is our Sun that bestows its rays impartially on all, giving light, warmth and hope. With the ringing of the alarm Lakshmi woke up, and her day began early, like many women whose foremost task is to get their children and husband ready for school and work. Vishal or the kids were never once late to office or school. All accolades to Lakshmi for practising punctuality. By 6 ‘o clock in the morning, Lakshmi served coffee to her in-laws, was busy in the kitchen with preparations for breakfast and lunch. The aroma of breakfast drew Arjun and Aadya to dining table as it did their dad Vishal. The magician of their house had once again performed her favourite trick as Vishal always told kids. She made herself very comfortable as Vishal’s wife and her in-laws praised her as the lovely bahu who is in the form of Goddess Lakshmi herself.

As the day advanced, and the mighty sun shone brighter and harsher on all, Jaya who is a vegetable vendor, pushed her cart along. She was having a hard day.  Hard was not business, but life. She rested the cart under the shade of the tree outside Lakshmi’s compound as usual. Listening to cart sound Lakshmi came out to buy vegetables. “What is wrong Jaya? Are you tired with fever?” enquired Lakshmi looking at Jaya’s plight. With what going in the life of Jaya, she had forgotten to collect money and give appropriate change since morning. With Lakshmi’s words, she poured her heart out sobbing. “My parents have arranged my marriage with a boy who is in foreign. I am very anxious. I do not want to get married to him.” Lakshmi was happy for Jaya. She wished her well and asked her not to be nervous. It was unusual for a strong person like Jaya to be scared of marriage and asked if she was in love with some other boy, which was the usual case. “I wish I had”, sighed Jaya. “At least I would have known about him. You are asking like my mother.” Lakshmi was surprised to hear this and devoid of words.

She knew Jaya from few years and always admired her as she earned to support her studies and stood strong always. They exchanged the pleasantries whenever they met. All along, she learnt with her own experiences that Jaya was honest and hardworking. As her parents could not support her studies further, she had taken to selling vegetables, and also continued studying. Everyone in their locality appreciated her.“ I do not want to go the foreign, I have heard and also seen on TV, so many scary things, girls like me who go from India on marriage are forced to become servants. They do not have a happy life there” said Jaya weeping. Perplexed, she asked Jaya to come inside and gave water. Lakshmi comforted like an elder sister, “If your parents love you very much, they will surely listen to you and not give you away in wrong marriage; talk to them about your feelings”. She suggested to talk to the bridegroom before marriage and see if he can come back to our country instead of Jaya going there.

These soft words from Lakshmi hit bulls eye to her heart like an arrow on the dart board. She immediately stopped crying, walked straight to the painting of the deity and showed her respects.

Its a small act; timely done, that catalyses the big change! A change that probably not noticed by most in the world, but changes one’s whole world! A change that respects feelings of a soul, who is most often unheard! A change that makes a voice speak out; which never uttered a word! A phrase so strong that it can move a mountain! Or break the ceiling!!! Magic, can we see it? Miracle, can we express it? Divinity, can we show it?

Jaya spoke about this with calm and firmness with her family. They eventually realised the folly that they were going to compel upon their daughter, and called off the arrangement. She was given the freedom to live her life on her own terms.

Later when Lakshmi met Jaya she was all ears to the changes in Jaya’s life and how her family gave respect to her opinions and views. Jaya’s smile and laughter tinkled through out, and she asked to see the painting again. But alas! It was  not there “the painting is already sold? Your painting brought a change in my life! So wonderful!”. Perplexed, Lakshmi stood there speechless. Yes, it was a painting of Goddess Shakti, that she had done and given it to children for their extra-curricular activity. She was good at art and tried her hands during her study days. After a long time she had got the chance again when children wanted a painting and she did it for them. With Jaya’s words, a chord strum in Lakshmi’s life. Can she paint? Will it be appreciated? Will her family support her? She started to calculate all this in her mind.

Partiality is a man-made term. Nature is impartial. Everyone gets the same energy and bliss of divine. It only gets leaked through the holes of ego, envy and hate that one drills in their life.

Trying is the first step towards achievement. Unless the first step is taken, one is unsure about the path. Success is only met when one travels the path completely. Lakshmi understood this very well and overcame all difficulties on her way to pursue her passion. Hey women, show the world that you can break the glass ceiling and reach to the sky!


Featured image used for representational purposes only.

Author: Naganandini S

Category: All in a day’s job: breaking through the glass ceiling