Challenging the Age Barriers

Humans are born with different talents, and these inborn talents are within us forever, no matter where we go, what we do, and how old we become. There are people who do not get the opportunities to express their talents; and there are also people who do not find or grab the opportunities they get in life to use the talents. Talents do not select wherein the person is born: whether it be in a rich mansion, or an apartment; whether it be in the palace or a roadside shanty dwelling, each and every person is born with a talent.

Effects of War on Women: Remembering 1983

“Thirty – five years  have passed by and I still have not been able to forget that day in my life; when I am speaking now, I can see our home amidst those hot red flames” shudders 41 year old Shevani from Thirunelvely, Jaffna. Shevani, a mother of two boys considers herself lucky to be alive today, and employed by a bank in Jaffna.

When her parents’ home was set fire to by few groups of Sinhala extremists on 25 July 1983, Shevani was only six years old. After escaping from death, the family had found refuge in the homes of some relatives before bidding goodbye to their friends and relatives, and to the place they thought they belonged to. Together with her parents, siblings and many other Tamils, Shevani arrived in the Northern shores in a crowded ship, which had then carried the ‘riots affected refugees’ (as how they had been termed then) from the capital city and other southern areas of Sri Lanka.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Wed; Will it give a birth to a new era?

All know of the young Royal Prince’s wedding with the Afro-American movie star, Meghan Markle. This big day of tying the knots dawned on 19 May 2018, with the bells chiming at the Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. The New York Times noted this as ‘nudging the British royal family into a new era’. Continuing, the NYT highlighted the beginning of an era by reporting ‘that Ms. Markle, who has long identified herself as a feminist, entered St. George’s Chapel alone rather than being given away by her father or any other man, a departure from tradition that in itself sent a message to the world’.  Prior to and during the wedding most of the discussions were either on the skin colour of Meghan and her family history, her divorce from the previous marriage, her acting career, or the expenses of the wedding.  Some news talked about the skin colour of guests who would be attending the wedding ceremony – friends and family of Markle.

Girls not brides; yet Yes, they are

“I am 20 years old and this is my second baby, my prince.”

Jhumki, was returning to her home carrying her new born son from her maternal house. She smiled with desperation while continuing her story. “I got married when I was 16; I had wanted to study, but my grandmother was old and wanted to see me married soon; it was her last wish she said to me. So I agreed. I married to fulfill my grandmother’s wish before her death. But then I had to kill my wish.”

Jhumki’s innocent eyes stayed on my face with a question. “What about you?” She was surprised to learn that I was nearing my thirties and still had not married. “You are so much elder than me, and still unmarried; didn’t anyone you into marriage? I can’t imagine that you are still allowed to study and work too.” Jhumki’s words were strong, and yet it was filled with remorse and grief.

“I had wanted to become a teacher, but all my dreams were in vain. My parents stopped me from school when I was in grade 6; and see me now; I am mothering two children.”