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We recently had a short trip to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan to spend some quality time with family far from the maddening rush of our busy lives. On our way to the Thar desert, our safari driver took us to the tour of village and there we got a chance to meet Phulwari, the lady in the bright yellow lehenga. She was so welcoming and her smile was captivating. We spent around 1 hour at that village. Not only she allowed us to have a close look into her house and the life style but also share her life story with me. In that one hour of chatting with her she told me how she was sold for meagre amount of money to the man in the name of marriage. She was only 14 years old while her so called husband was double her age. Her in-laws treated her like a maid and she was beaten up brutally many times a day for the reasons I found very silly for a person to get beatings for. Her face brighten up when she told me that she got the freedom from her husband and in laws when she gave birth to her daughter. They threw her out of the house on the second day of her delivery. I was stunned at her courage. I asked her wasn't she afraid and worried about herself and the new born? I got the brave reply from her. She told me it was not only that the child was born, that day the mother was born too. She saw this as an opportunity to give better life to her daughter or else her daughter would have been treated the same way Phulwari was treated and her husband would have sold her daughter one day. So she saw this as an end to her misery. But the question was where to go and what to eat. She knew she cannot go back to her home and also she had forgot the way back to her home as she never went back there after marriage. To her rescue came the old lady from the same village. Phulwari said that lady was an angel sent by the God and this made her faith more strong. She stayed at that place for a month and learnt some embroidery from her. After a month, Phulwari built her own house out of bushes and mud. Life was hard at the beginning but her daughter gave her courage to sail through. Now her daughter is 12 years old and goes to school. She was proud to share that her daughter knows how to read and write in English. Now Phulwari owns a house big enough for her daughter and herself to live in. It is no more a temporary one but the permanent one made up of burnt bricks. They make their living by doing embroidery on bags,cloths,even on shoes. Life is still hard for them and they have to struggle every day but she still smiles and feel thankful to the God to help her come so far.
I was amazed at the undaunting faith and courage of Phulwari. She suffered so much and yet have no regrets and complaints. Rather she is full of gratitude. She has nothing materialistic in her possession as compared to many of us but still she makes me feel as if she is the richest one on this Earth.
Soon it was time for us to continue our journey to desert. We bid goodbye to Phulwari and her daughter Itwari (as she was born on Sunday 😊). The bright yellow lehenga of Phulwari could be seen from the far and I could see her waving to us as our vehicle drove past the village. Phulwari was much younger than me in age yet she taught me some important life lessons. I never felt so grateful for the people I have as family and friends, for the life I am living, for the things I have and there is this young lady who has a house with a thatched roof, four goats and one cow and yet she is full of gratitude.
In our journey of life we meet many people. Some give us scars,some bring joys to us. Some add meaning to our life. And there are some who inspire us, motivate us and help us to grow and become a better person. Phulwari is an inspiration to many people who think life isn't fair to them.
I hope this will inspire some of you to be happy and feel content in what you have.