The Dignified Aim

“I am married now,” I said.

 Kept the phone aside. This was the third call for me to play Ranji Trophy.

“I am really Sorry! If you want to go I won’t stop you” He said.

 Silence Surrounded.

I walked out of the room. Sat on the staircase. Tears were falling down.

 “Please! Don’t cry ” He said.

 “Just leave me alone, I want to spend some time alone,” I said.

Let’s start from the beginning

What is my fault? 

My first fault is that I am a girl. My second fault that I dared to play and the third fault that I dared to love.

This is Anjali Pandey. I am not that famous just a normal girl with some passionate dreams.

 Maybe my story would become boring for you. So read it at your own concern.

Counting with my fault.

I play cricket. 

I remember my first meeting with this game. My school ordered sports equipment’s and I was totally fascinated when I heard this. 

When I entered the room. 

First time in my life I saw many equipments together. There was a bat. My eyes were stuck into it. I hold that bat and gave a shot.

One of school coach applauded for me

 “Woah! Pandey . Nice shot” Coach said.

 “Sir! We will make a good girls cricket team” I said.

 “Sure !” Coach said.

 So, from that day cricket became my first love.

In starting it was just a game for me but after few years it became my Passion. 

Even my parents were against this game. When I was 16-year old I was selected for a state level camp. I was extremely happy at that time because I was going to take a step progress in my game.

I still remember that day.

/In 2009/

“I am selected for a state level camp,” I said.

 ” What kind of tournament?” Mom said.

 “I was waiting for this from long. I am selected for state level camp, they will give me training” I said.

 “And who told you that you are going?” Mom said.

 “You know the limits of a girl. By the way, the villagers were making stories about you. Your style of wearing clothes,  talking with boys and playing with them. This is how we have raised you? And now this state level camp this was the only thing left. Find a boy for her” Dadi shouted.

 She barely behaves that way.

But her words were like a sword for me. 

In few minutes it made me feel sad. 

When this society would motivate daughters like there sons !?

I am a girl it doesn’t mean I don’t have dreams. 

  All things were going wrong. Just one person was in my support. The support and protection, he is providing from the day I was born. My “Father”. 

“My daughter is no less than that of son. She will go for the state level camp. I don’t care what people think. My Anjali will go. She has that potential. I am sure she will make me feel proud one day. The thinking of society encourages her to do better and let her prove that she is the best ” Papa said.

/The creation of God is not only Mothers they are Fathers as well. The all time protector. I don’t have words to tell how much he supported me. By the time the only dream I had,  to make my father proud. So proud that he got recognition by my name/

 From the state level camp to national level camp. A number of tournaments. 

The awaited one  AWTCA tournament. I played live matches. I became man of the match by taking 4 wickets.

 Everything was going fine. I was doing good in my career and in my studies as well. I got the 1st division in my 10 and 12 standards.

 I hail from a small village Motihari in Bihar. In local newspapers updates about my matches were there. I was in love with my game. 

A beautiful life was waiting for me. Facing all the problems. I never thought of falling in love. But that also I did.

I was in love! Love in my life is beyond fairy tales and love stories in movies. It’s the reality in which I was living at that time. 

From the beginning, I had an essence of battle in my phases of life and I was in the love phase. 

Love marriages in India is a node division. Firstly to check whether the boy is from same religion that could easily be recognized by the first name. Secondly, to check he is from which caste? That could easily recognize by the last name. 

So in my case . Religion checked “Anubhaw”, a Hindu name. Then caste checked “Upadhyay” . A Brahmin match.

Some Kundali matching and that’s it.

That wasn’t so easy. In my case my parents were ready but the boy side wasn’t. 

Somehow he managed a family meeting for exclusive discussion of marriage. 

When I was in my room. I was normal. My sister gave me some tips about how to talk and how to behave like a “Sanskari” girl. As I always had a boy kind of look. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

 “Come outside,” Maa said.

 I entered in the room. They were asking me questions related what you cook? Qualifications?

 “Any other interests,” His brother said.

 “Yeah! I am cricket national player” I said.

“I think playing and all is not good for our family. If u want to marry Anubhaw you have to leave cricket”. His bhabhi said clearly.

/* Cricket live in me! How can I leave cricket?  */

 “And there is no future for girls in cricket. They just do timepass ” His brother said.

 I was quiet but there was wrath in my mind. I wanted to speak something but I couldn’t. As Anubhaw told me that maybe they will say something against your game so just be calm and don’t overreact. I was doing accordingly.

 ” But she is a nice player, ” Anubhaw said.

 ” Do whatever you want? ” Bhaiya said arrogantly and left.

 In night I called Anubhaw.

“Everything normal?” I said.

 ” Will talk later?” He said.

 I wasn’t able to decide whether I should pursue my career or to be with Anubhaw who love me so much, who cares for me. There were endless thoughts revolving in my mind. 

 Early in the morning, I went for jogging. Obviously still the same things were coming. And finally, I decided to go with my love. I don’t know why I choose that but still, I wanted him. The second thought, to fight against everyone to follow my cricket dream and I won’t step back in that as well.

 Coming back to reality. Still i was sitting there. Before marriage I was strong, I had that potential to fight for my game. Now I have different priorities. I was still crying. Anubhaw came and hold my hand

“Go for the match! I will manage” He said.

 “What? Are you serious?”I said.

 “Look I will manage. I promised you. Remember? I will always support you and that is what I am doing”.He said.

 I was happy and scared as well. But when “He” was there. I was feeling strong. He was protecting me like my father.

I decided to go. One has to be strong enough to take such decision.

 The thing learned after that “If you are passionate about something you just have to do that without thinking about society”.

 There is no perfect time to start. The perfect time is right now. Whatever you do! Do it with hard work and positive attitude. 

After Indian Women Cricket team performance in world cup the status of “Women Cricket” has risen. They all are incredible. 

The message to society is to support “Her”.

To nullify all the differences between him and her. 

Let her achieve “Her Dignified Aim”.

Maybe she will make you feel proud one day ๐Ÿ˜‰

 P.S-  Based on a true story of my Bhabhi! She is beautiful and generous. I adore her.

ยฉRashmi Tiwari

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