I see lovely women beaming in their vibrant dresses on this fortuitous night. Their faces are lit with a rosy glow and their laughter fills the air with cheer. I suddenly feel my heart swell with affection and I am overwhelmed with a miraculous connection as I walk as one among them to celebrate the Milad of our beloved Syedna.
As our spirit refuses to fade away into the night I look around and wonder what actually could have created this halo of peace and joy. It couldn’t be only the new dresses, the glittering jewellery or the fragrant mehndi. It had to be something deeper and real that was probably set into motion much before and had reached its fruition on this glorious night to be celebrated in complete splendour.
And here’s the epiphany.
Tonight, we Dawoodi Bohra women are a breath-taking mosaic, not because of our attire but because of the battles we have won.
We have come a long way by retracing our steps to the basics. It may appear insignificant or regressive but it is a powerful metaphor of what we have experienced and how we have emerged. For us going back to the basics is not only about the external reality but touching base with the person inside us beneath the facade and what really matters. We have stumbled, unlearned, rediscovered our real selves and our true potential and have held our heads up high to pick up the pieces to rebuild our lives. Some of us have stepped out of our comfort zones and trained to be competent professionals. Some, have thought out of the box and become entrepreneurs, empowered being their own bosses. Some have refused to be cornered by the trivialness of a degree and learnt skills that has given their lives a new turn. Some have stepped up to take on community services to help other women, some have turned to pure academics and sought the valuable wisdom, while the others have courageously extended their warm embrace to nurture their children and families.
In our own ways, we all have shaken off the dust, believed in ourselves, reshaped our perspectives, built our self-esteem and done what we have truly wanted to do, without letting the world colour our vision, voice, values and principles.
We are happy tonight because WE have chosen to be who we are and enjoy what we do.
We are beautiful tonight because we have a style and mind of our own.
We are unfazed tonight because we are clothed in strength, dignity and divine guidance that lets us lead our lives without a fear of the future.
And we will continue to be so always as we have found the real treasure of love and satisfaction within us that keeps and will keep our spirits alive.