They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. They say it right! Beauty does not necessarily mean the outer physical appearance. It also counts for the beauty of the person from within. Women who are not blessed with great looks are often subjected to ridiculous taunts that break their inner confidence and morale. And what about women who have to bear the pain of disfigured appearances due to acid attacks. It is not just their face that is scared but every inch of their soul that is traumatized for life. While a lot of acid attack cases have been reported, one such case that I came across took me by surprise. It not only left me awestruck but also teary-eyed and yet proud of being a woman.
This is a story of Laxmi, an acid attack survivor of 2005, is now a happy mother to a cute seven-month-old baby girl. Her baby, Pihu, also has a single name just like her mother. Battling tears and mixed emotions, Laxmi recalls her tale when she was attacked at the age of 16 by a man who was twice her age and whose advances she had rejected. The incident took place in the middle of a busy market place. This woman strong from within mustered courage to carry on her life and find the man of her dreams and a soulmate. Ultimately, she did find love in Aloke Dixit. Together they run the Stop Acid Attack Campaign. Though the couple aren’t married even till today, they fought against all-odds to stay together in a live-in relationship. Neither of them believed in the institution of marriage and felt that love and commitment does not require a stamp on legal paper. Laxmi’s family was against the whole idea of them living-in. But, with time they gradually accepted them both.
After losing her father and young brother, she did not choose to give up on life. She could has easily chosen a shortcut and that is committing suicide. But, she felt she wanted to live her life completely. While 7-month-old Pihu accompanies her mother to all shoots, her mother has to encounter issues such as unable to get a birth certificate as there is no last name. After a rigorous operation to reduce the intensity of the burns. And she was advised to take care of herself and her child. Today Laxmi’s biggest fear is what Pihu’s response would be to her mother’s appearance. That’s where her soul mate Aloke stands by her and reassures her that Pihu would accept the fact that her mother loves despite the lack of goof physical appearance.
No doubt love triumphs in the end, but what about the pain cause to Laxmi. What was it in her that gave her hope? A feeling that she would rise far above from the traumatic condition and continue to battle hardships with a smile. This story of Laxmi has been a source of inspiration to young women out there who feel less privileged or not beautiful. Remember that you may not be a beauty queen but you are your beautiful self. A woman with a clean, honest, and free soul. You have to be bound by societal norms even during your worst phase. Like Lakshmi who along with Alok mutually decided not to get married but still raise a kid, how many women out there have the guts to live life by their terms? Why do women have to live in a shell? Domestic violence, rape, marital rape, physical abuse, mental harassment, eve teasing, these are some social evils that are bound to knock us down due to some sick minds. Yet we have the option of fighting it back and living life with a sense of dignity and walking chin up with no fear.
Ultimately, we need to remember that we came alone on this planet and someday we will go away alone without any materialistic belongings, emotions, good looks. We are meagre souls who someday have to depart from this world. So, until the time we are living, we need to fulfil our every wish of living life meaningfully and with respect for ourselves. Nothing could shatter or burn Laxmi’s self-esteem. She chose to save the women of this country by starting her own little foundation.
Learning Life Daily along with every woman in this planet salutes Laxmi and her earnest cause to stop acid attacks. What are you doing to make human lives better? To make this planet better? Think about it. #SpreadTheVibe and start working on it.
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