Having lived as a widow for 14 years, singing, dancing and enjoying the essence of womanhood had become a distant memory for Sinder Kaur (60). However, 'Mela Dhiyan Da' the festival of daughters, gave her a chance to celebrate a day as a daughter of Lobana village, her parental village, 30 km from here, all over again on Sunday.
The excitement and happiness of reuniting and enjoying a festival dedicated to the daughters and daughters-in-law of the village was an experience that not only Sinder enjoyed but over 800 women of the village married outside also cherished.
With tears of happiness in her eyes, Sinder said, "I never thought I would ever get a chance to meet my childhood friends and interact with the older and present generations of village women."
Women from as far as Mardheri village in Haryana, around 100 km from the village hosting the festival, and even 90-year-olds flocked to the village to be part of the cultural extravaganza.
Around 50 unmarried daughters of the village had taken the initiative to bring back the older women irrespective of their marital status, caste and age under one roof to enjoy chit-chat and relive their memories.
In Punjab, where the sex ratio is 895 and female foeticide is rampant, the initiative raises hopes of a better and secure tomorrow for girls.
It was the result of four months of sheer hard work, and door-to-door survey done by the village girls to collect the data, including addresses and phone numbers of the daughters of the village who have been married outside the village.
The event featured a brilliant combination of tweaked versions of 'boliyan', folk songs of over four generations. The function was inaugurated by 11 elderly women of the village.