Shirin has a dream where Faith talks to her and tells her not to search for her because she does not matter to anyone.
‘Faith,’ Shirin whispered as she looked at her. Faith was wearing her wedding dress. ‘Yes Ma, it is me and I have come to tell you something. I know you’ve been so worried about me. You’ve left everything behind just to find me. Your husband and mother-in-law are upset with you. Why are you going to such a lot of trouble for a person nobody remembers or even bothers about?
Who am I? To you, I am your daughter, but for the world, I am a nobody. They forgot me the moment I got married. To them, I am not even a tiny, momentary speck in this indifferent universe. My existence does not matter to anyone. So, why worry so much about some body like me?
You have spent days looking for me in this hot and dry desert. Even if you are able to find me and bring me home, what will happen? My father will berate me, my grand mother will keep telling cursing my existence because she feels that I am a liability that needs to be protected from this cruel world.
As a girl, it does not matter that I can work and earn on my own. It is not important that I can create my own life. To people like Papa and Dadi, I am still a liability.
There are women in big cities who are working and living their own lives but every now and then, something happens with one of them that reminds the people that girls are still vulnerable, they still need protection despite all their progress.
When that ‘something’ happens to one of these ‘independent’ girls living in big cities, the impact is felt by every girl living in every village, every town. That one incident is narrated to the girls day in and day out. It shakes up their confidence and faith in themselves and the world around them. The parents become even more fearful for their daughters. Some of them even wish that they had no daughters.
At that time, their achievements, their progress does not matter. It does not matter that women have made their mark in every sphere of life.
All that matters is that they are women and a nameless person can rip them apart in a fraction of second. He may be a nobody but every body in this world is scared of him just because he is a man.
Ma, don’t search for me even though I am your daughter. I do not matter. People are happier without me.
Finding me will destroy your peace of mind. You will forever be worried about me. Forget that you even had a daughter. With me gone, you are free to travel, to explore the world, to find yourself again.’
With a whiff of the mist, she disappeared. Shirin opened her eyes. She was in her bed in Jaisalmer. Shirin opened her eyes. She was in her bed in Jaisalmer.