There was this other exercise she had us undergo that I remember clearer than yesterday. It was a Civics lesson. She was supposed to be teaching us a chapter on Social Evils. Whenever I think of any social evil (like Harish‘s child marriage, slated for later this year), my thoughts wander to that memorable lesson, 18 years ago.
She had us all stand up, right hand on our heart, left hand outstretched, and had us take an oath. There we were, our heads set atop our diminutive figures, religiously reciting our favorite teacher’s words after her. It makes me sad that I cannot recall the exact words anymore. But I do remember what the oath was. And it is only now that I am able to appreciate the full nature of the responsibility she entrusted us with that day.
All the girls pledged not to give dowry when we got married. All the boys swore not to take any.
I wonder how many of my classmates remember that promise today.
I wonder how many will be able to keep it.