On Sita, Women and Forgiveness

When little, I was always taught the value of forgiveness.
Now, a woman, I wonder if forgiveness is a lazy excuse we make
to not love ourselves enough,
to silently take the blame
and not stand up against the abuse hurled upon us.
Forgiveness; almost always equated with kindness —
what if is nothing but a shadow of fears —
fear of losing our fragile reputation,
losing the habits of our hearts?

Would we be braver if we don’t forgive?
Speak up, revolt and punish those who did us wrong.
Would we honour ourselves more or be left bitter, caged – alone.

So is forgiveness a route to liberation then?

But would it really be one, if we forgive, embrace and yet feel at loss.
But would we win if we keep our pride, forsake the familiar
and yet yearn what we lost?

Sita refused to walk into the fire to prove that she was pure
she sought to be swallowed by soil instead.
She gave up her children and also a chance
to be reunited with Ram, her beloved.

A brave example set for the rest and yet she left the world, unhappy.
And I wonder what if she forgave, walked the fire and fell in his embrace,
would she have been happier,
forgiveness – her failure or her success?

Anahita Mehra is a public policy researcher and currently pursuing law from Faculty of Law, Delhi University. She tweets @anahita_mehra.

Featured image: A still from Sita Sings the Blues/YouTube screenshot