A very intense dream woke me up this morning. With tears in my eyes. Full of a deep pain, that I felt throughout my whole body. And in my soul even more.
Despite the wonderful day I had today, the image that awakened me kept playing in my mind and pops up just before I want to go to sleep. Again it makes my heart beat faster.
I was in some kind of special zoo. They called it the zoo of life. Apparently some very important persons of this world showed me around. We saw many different kinds of animals, which all represented a part of life, as I was being told by my guides. The first part of my tour throughout this place didn’t impress me so much, since I can’t remember clearly…or maybe my dream really started when we arrived at the hot spot of this zoo.
“Now we show you something really special. It’s extraordinary and a very rare exemplar. All the way from Africa, we proudly present you a young woman. And she does whatever you want”.
Behind bars. Naked. She was treated like if she was nothing. Just an object. Without any value. People walked by and made fun of her. Guards abused her.
I looked at the cage where she was being kept. Dirty and disgusting. A death sentence for every being on this planet. Darkness where light is not able to shine. Somewhere where life extinct.
“But this is a human being! She’s being kept in a cage!”
It made me sick. The ball of anger in my stomach was so hot that it became fluid, flooding through my veins. It hit me so hard that I fell on the floor, struck by the pain flash that I felt deep inside, which brought me to the oppression of women through ages and ages. Then, but still going on now. Abuse. Rape. Violence. Trafficking. The fear that one of the little girls of the orphanage falls in the hands of bad people, which is quite common here in India.
I know it was just a dream, but no illusion.
The stories that I’ve heard, the things that I ‘ve seen, the experiences that I’ve been part of, don’t lie. It goes on and on. Continuously. The truth is like an ice cold shower after a warm bath of deep sleep. Sharpens my senses. Opens my eyes. A dream like this awakens me even more.
It was difficult to see in the dark. No electricity at night in this area. Dust covers our sight wrapped up in a thick mist. Three villages further we bring one of the eldest girls of the orphanage to her new home in the middle of nowhere. Living together with an older woman. A safe place. Mysore got a grip on her vulnerability. She couldn’t resist the attention she got from men, something that she has been yearning for all her life. Her father treated her like the African woman in my dream. And he didn’t keep her in this inhuman cage only for himself. He invited friends to watch and make fun of her as well. These men she’s met on the streets of Mysore promised her love and care. She believed in this dream. Not knowing that they only give her love now, so that she can give herself away later. Instead of doing her exams, she was about to do some homework, in the most humidifying sense of the word.
This goes further than words can describe. As a woman, but moreover as a human being, I just sometimes don’t want to see. Don’t want to feel. Keep my eyes wide shut for everything that is happening around me.
But I can’t.
Before I close them, my eyes fall on the book that I’m reading at the moment. Half The Sky. Turning oppression into opportunity worldwide. A call to arms, a call for help, a call for contributions, but also a call for volunteers. It asks us to open our eyes to this enormous humanitarian issue.
My answer lies in the awakening from the dream; eyes wide open to the illusion.
Every hour four women and girls in India enter prostitution, three of them against their will.
13 Year old Mira from Nepal was offered a job as a domestic worker in Mumbai, India. Instead she arrived
at a brothel on Mumbai’s Falkland Road, where tens of thousands of young women are displayed in row after row of zoo-like
animal cages. Her father had been duped into giving her to a trafficker.