Some dreams never die even if after facing obstacles. That’s what sums up Saba Irfan’s life in the new post on ‘Humans of Bombay’ — a photography project that retells stories of inhabitants of Mumbai.
Even though her sister was married off at the age of 15, Saba dreamt of a life beyond marriage. Being a bright student, she had planned things differently for herself. However, even after securing a better percentage than her brother, she had to convince her father to let her join a college. Her dad agreed, but her troubles didn’t end there.
“During family get-togethers, if I even spilled a little bit of coffee while serving, they would say ‘aur bhejo isko college,’ wrote Saba in her post.
She used to hear such remarks every day. “My friends used to go out and meet boys– I didn’t even think about it, all I wanted to do was learn,” excerpts from the post read. “There’s even a saying in our community, ‘if you look for a girl older than 17, you won’t find a good one,’ she wrote.
But she never even thought of giving up.
By the time she was 18, she got married. Her husband and his family encouraged her to study further after class 12th. “I refused to go — my parents had suffered enough. But I was still happy — going to college for that little time had opened up my horizons — there was a whole world beyond my community and I decided to keep learning in my own way,” Saba’s post read.
She was introduced to blogs and started getting the hang of it. The self-learning process took some time and then she began writing about the Hijab and the issues a woman faces. Gradually, she explored more topics and wrote about books, poetry, and travel. She learned French and now she is studying Russian.
“I even faced judgment for wearing my pardha — people would stare, pass remarks and keep their distance but it never stopped me. It pushed me to do more — believe it or not, I just became an author!” she wrote in her post.
But being judged didn’t change her take on her independence and her religion. “It just means that wearing a Hijab shouldn’t define who I am first — an independent woman with dreams. Because I’ve been condemned by the community for putting it on and going to college, and then judged by others for wearing it publicly — in both cases, only a woman suffered,” she explained.
Read the full post here: