Drishtee Immersion
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Stories

Welcome to Stories by Drishtee Immersion. This is our places to share stories gathered from the field, from Immersion participants, and those shared by others about our global mobility experiential learning programs in India. 

Immersion Stories: Surithi Yogalingam

"The Truth in Empathy" by Suri Yogalingam

Shackles and chains
They know not her name
She embraces them as they leach
Of her innocence and naivety
Honour and duty consume her minds
As she dons the sindur and churi

The mind assumes without question
Draws conclusions and solutions without permission
It wanders abound our thoughts, weaving sentiments
Constructed by our own perspectives.

Knowledge where art thou?
Where she suffers in silence
In this reality
Is this what she deserve?

Sadi’s sweet serenade
Blinds her mind
Numbs her thoughts
Stomps her Innocence
And sculpts her place in society

What is the truth?
We don’t know
What is that she wants?
She won’t tell
The frustration melds itself into assumptions
For there is only so much the mind can take

The shadows may starve out the light
Though we must not forget
For wherever there is light there is darkness

On such story belongs to Sakthi
Khakiji’s passion drives the kitchen
Her power found in her seva
She breathes the freedom in her work

Her happiness found in servitude
A crude concept to western constructs
But we starve for the self-respect she wields

While little happiness maybe found in passion
For the ordinary woman, Pain is norm
Whereas Joy is little
One child after another
She can hear their soft cries in her thoughts
Amma where are you?

The mind consumes
Makes perceptions bleed
Twists beliefs into them
And makes you believe

But how to make sense of a world
Where girls are told
If a man looks at you, duck!
If they enter your home, move!
Cover you’re face, you’re a child no longer
The mind teaches
There is no freedom here, only repression.

Brace!
Cover!
Duck!
Repeat!

The rules remain same
The application differs
For Ruby gets to study
But Anu doesn’t
Anu gets to work in the fields
But Ruby can’t
Birth has the luck of a flipped coin
There are drawbacks in any world

She screams after one child
Pray for rest and receive none
In a world where speech is null
Who will protect you love?

She embraces the children
Teaches them better
Teaches them the freedom in education
A government job… what they should aspire to

She doesn’t tell them about the pain
Let them be children for longer
Embrace and protect her until you can no longer
Until the swathes of red swallow her
She’s a child, there is no need to concern her

See her married
Send her off with more protection
More than you ever had
No ounce of fear on your face

Sanjovi devi sends her daughter of with a smile
For she has more protection than she ever did
There is no fear in her heart
For she knows her daughter is more ready than she ever was

But the reality for most woman
Next time you meet, if you ever do
You’ll see the slight tremble
The fear that consumed your little love
For no amount of preparation could have prepared her
You’re heart breaks
For she is no longer the child you sent off
But a woman, broken by the system you sought to protect her from

Knowledge is not taught
Awareness is lacking
For all our perceptions are tainted by western constructs
Our understanding of equity is far diverse from experience

Old scars and new wounds
The life is a vicious cycle
The chains and shackles consume her
No matter, the principle is the same
A woman’s duty cannot be stopped

Surithi Yogalingam is a student in Advanced Science & Creative Intelligence and Innovation who recently participated in our Bihar Immersion program.

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