On the Brighter Side: A Tale of Resilience and Hope
Task: How does Jasmine's life unfold after marriage and her struggles in adapting to a new environment in Australia?
Revision of short story draft
“On the Brighter Side”
This story is inspired by the story "The Drover's Wife", which is written by Henry Lawson. The story begins with the introduction of the main protagonist of the story Jasmine Virk Singh, who was born into an Indian Punjabi family in the year 1960. India during that era was completely male dominated with a patriarchal society, where female children were considered a burden, and women were constrained within the four boundaries of the wall, with entire domestic and household responsibilities. Jasmine was also considered a burden to her family, wherein she was deprived of many rights as well as happiness. Education was never an option for Jasmine, and she used to read her brother's books, whenever she got the chance, because most of the time she was busy with household tasks, helping her mother with cooking, cleaning, washing, etc. Since form her early childhood, Jasmine was ill-treated in her family as she was often abused physically, mentally, and verbally, wherein her father tried to kill and exchange her for a son multiple times. One day she bought a suit for her brother as a wedding gift to him, with her own money, but when her family member found out about the gift she was dubbed by everyone because it was considered bad luck, and she was forced to leave the occasion for bringing shame to her brother. Jasmine, which has been experiencing all these discriminations, was used too with such pathetic behaviours of her family because most of the girls and women were treated the same way in a patriarchal society, where the birth of a male child was celebrated, wherein the birth of a female child was treated as a burden and curse to the family. When Jasmine turned 20 years old, her family wanted to get rid of her through marriage, and marrying Jasmine into a wealthy family was the main concern of her family. When the Grewal family approached Jasmine's family with the proposal of marrying their son Sunny Grewal with Jasmine, it was then she experienced little concern and affection from her family, because the Grewal family was a wealthy family. Finally, in the year 1980, she married Sunny Grewal, and with her home, she moved to Australia after marriage.
Jasmine had a high hope to live a better life after marriage, but to adjust to the new family and completely new environment in Australia. However, she struggled to cope with the new course of her life, where she tried her best to keep her husband and her in-laws. Her life depicted the perfect example of the deep-rooted socially accepted inferior positioning of women throughout the traditional communities of that era. When she moved to Australia with her husband and in-laws, she was exposed to the procedure of enlightenment she explores her journey through two country and their cultures. After moving into the new place, her expectation to live a better life turned the opposite because her life turned from bad to worst. Prior to marriage, her brother Jaggu had always remained in her support, even during the incident that incident at his wedding, regarding the gift. After the marriage, the life of Jasmine turned more miserable, because at least she used to have her brother as a support in her home, but now Jasmine had no one to rely on, and she started craving support from her husband and his family, which she never got. Sunny often used to stay away from home because of his work, wherein she started getting treatment as a servant from her father-in-law, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. They always used to force Jasmine to work hard every day like a servant and never treated her as a family member. After a year of marriage, jasmine delivered a baby girl, for which jasmine was tortured more by her in-laws, as she deliver a baby girl and not a baby boy, as anticipated by her in-laws. Slowly the situations of jasmine worsen, as she was continuously forced to slave, and both Jasmine and her daughter were discriminated against in the family. Now, her in-laws of Jasmine started forcing her to have another child, with the demand to give birth to a male child this time. Since Jasmine has been experiencing both physical and mental trauma, she underwent two miscarriages, which worsen her health, both mentally and emotionally. The situation gets worse when Sunny died in a car accident, which was the beginning of the worst period of jasmine in her life. She was now kept in a dimly lit room, where she was given no amenities and not even a bed to sleep in. In Indian culture, at that period, widows were ostracized, wherein Jasmine was also treated the same way. She was not even allowed to sit with the rest members of the family while eating, and, she along with her daughter started living a life of slavery. Jasmine was deprived to live a normal life after the death of her husband. Till her husband was alive she was looked at by her husband's family, irrespective of the ill-treatment, however, after the death of Sunny she was cut off financially by her in-laws because they used to blame Jasmine and her daughter for the death of Sunny. Jasmine was completely helpless, and all she can do at that time was to ruminate about her fate along with the fate of her daughter. One day she received a call from her brother, and tears started rolling out through her chicks. She wished to share her feeling and sufferings with her brother but her mind was struck with the thoughts of being treated as an unwanted daughter and a burden to her family since childhood. She then remembered how she had to quit her schooling in order to look after his family when her mother undergoes a kidney operation. She realized that she was illiterate because of those responsibilities that were imposed on her at an early age. Her dream to get higher education after marriage remained unfulfilled after the death of her husband, and thus she wipes her tear and sobs softly.
Jaggu realised the trauma of his sister through the phone and wanted to console her as much as possible. Jaggu realised at that moment how living in a foreign nation without any support can deteriorate a person's life and push them to the edge of darkness. All he wanted to do at that moment was be there for Jasmin and share her sorrows. He could not believe the strength Jasmin had and all he could do at that moment was resent the choice made by his family. He resented the situation under which Jasmin was placed; he knew how everything that was happening to Jasmin was not her fault. After much deliberation with his thoughts, Jaggu realised that it is only he who can support Jasmin at this pivotal moment of her life. After a month Jasmin received a phone call from her brother and this phone call was about to change her life for the better. Jaggu had sold an ancient plot of land in India and used that money to help Jasmin. He had wired $2000 to Jasmin and this money was about to change her life.Jaggu devised a whole strategy as to how she could use the money to change her life and tried to pull Jasmin and her daughter out of their miserable situation. Jasmin had no clue as to how she could utilise the money and it was Jaggu that advised her to use that money to get out of her in-law's house. He advised her to find a house where she can live with her daughter and they can start their own lives with a fresh start. Jasmin took Jaggu'sadvise and worked accordingly. One fine day when Jasmin was dropping her daughter off at her school she came across a woman named Raina who was a psychology student also working in a campaign that worked towards eradicating discrimination in society. The two hit it off instantly and quickly formed a bond. For the first time, Jasmin felt that she was heard, and her opinions mattered. Raina instantly took Jasmin into her life after hearing her story and knowing about her hardships.
Raina played a pivotal role in Jasmin’s life and started to transform her into a better woman. Jasmin was introduced to the social work campaign led by Raina. It was then that she met various people who had undergone some sort of hardships in their life. She felt welcomed, seen and understood. Jasmin started to realise the importance of good companionship and her eyes opened up to new possibilities. The time spent with Raina and her social work companions allowed her a new perspective on life. She realised that the treatment she was subjected to was not normal and no human being deserved to live the way she did. After finding a place for herself and Mannat, Jasmin started to pack her belongings from the Grewal house and disclosed her plans. This move made by Jasmin left her in-laws shocked to the core, they started to humiliate her and even subjected her to violence. However the only difference this time was her attitude towards this treatment. Had it been an earlier experience, Jasmin would have simply accepted the torture, cried and blamed herself for all the wrongdoings happening to her. The new Jasmin was different, there was a purpose within her and when her mother-in-law snatched away Mannat from her arms, she pushed her away, snatched Mannat and moved out of their house. Jasmin was driven by the words of affirmations Raina had instilled in her and the faith Raina had placed in her to get out of this rut. She knew it was time to be unapologetic and confident and break all barriers that tore her down. She realised how she was supposed to be a role model to Mannat and how her being confident, unapologetic and brave would be one of the best ways to raise Mannat. She did not want her daughter to go through the torture she went through. She wanted nothing but the best for her daughter. This was undoubtedly one of the toughest steps that Jasmin could have ever taken but it was also one of those steps which would change her life for the better.
Raina was one proud friend and appreciated and cherished Jasmin for finally speaking up for herself. For her entire life, Jasmin lived for others, this was the first time in her entire lifetime that Jasmin was living for herself and cherishing her truth in front of the world. Jasmin was offered a role in the social work campaign by Raina and she was also facilitated with all the necessary resources to reset her mindset, change her thinking patterns and become a better mother. Raina wanted to ensure Jasmin was equipped with all the correct tools which will allow her to live a fear-free life and rewire her perspective. One fine day as Jasmin was sitting by her window, ruminating on her life and the decisions that led her to this stage, she felt a sudden urge of loneliness and she remembered her husband. Suddenly Mannat called out to her and she immediately burst into tears. She now knew her purpose. It was Mannat who was a purpose in life. For years Jasmin questioned her purpose as she did not have the ropes of her own life in her hand. This changed dramatically, now Jasmin realised her worth and understood that nothing in this life is permanent. She understood that after every rainy day, there comes sunshine which can change one's life for the better. She realised the importance of self-love and how to attain happiness one must be filled with happiness inside them. Jasmin saw the light at the end of the tunnel and she knew she would be fine irrespective of the situation. Jasmin not only saved her own life but she also saved her daughter’s life. She started to celebrate her life, she appreciated and was forever indebted to the help she received from both Jaggu and Raina and led her life unapologetically while also becoming a great example for all the women in need.
Creativity according to Kaplan (2019) is essential to imaginative thinking in any particular domain and to make a solution creativity is a must. I have always believed that creativity development relies on different internal and external aspects and one needs to grab the opportunity to make a count of every single of them. I encountered the same situation when I went through one of the renowned short friction stories i.e., "The Drover's Wife”. The dramatic short story is the main reason behind the development of my creative skills and it was capable enough to enhance my own understanding and knowledge. As discussed in the previous reflection section the story is about a strong-headed woman who looked after her children herself in absence of her husband. It can be highlighted that despite multiple challenges she was successful in protecting her children from external threats symbolised by snakes. I was able to understand the core concept of the story based on which a creative story of JasminVirk Singh has been successfully developed. As discussed above the development of creativity needs external support similarly, I was able to use the story of “The Drover's Wife” to create an innovative story of JasminVirk Singh.
The significance of my developed work as said earlier is inspired by another short story that has a great aspect of learning. Creativity has always encouraged innovation and in the case of developing new stories, it has assisted me in demonstrating the real problem in society. Creativity can be implicit as being a multidimensional construct, involving different personality characteristics, cognitive variables, and cultural and social elements (Primi and Wechsler 2018). The initiated creativity has highlighted the thematic significance of the story as it has illustrated the truth of the existing society. It is evident that in either developed or developing countries women are struggling hard to stand equivalent to men. The story has shed light on different positive and negative sides of society such as struggle, vulnerabilities, isolation, responsibilities, aspirations, unity etc. Based on these aspects frictional story has been developed demonstrating thematic significance as a whole.
Moreover, analyzing the story of Jasmin who got married to Sunny Grewal considerably shifted to Australia despite of diverse cultural differences between India and Australia. I have highlighted the technique "point of view" in the frictional story where the point of view regarding women empowerment has been highlighted. Gender equality according to Kapila(2017) has been a major concern to economic and human development. Women are always discriminated against for their gender whereas men are celebrated at the same time. Therefore, women like Jasmin have always struggled in a judgemental society however, despite challenges and difficulties Jasmine was able to stand out against dominating society. The approach she determined to change within herself to protect her family started as soon as she pushed her mother-in-law away and snatched her daughter and left the house. She was loud and clear when she told her in-laws not to bother her family or else she will be calling the police. It can be said that the point of view in terms of empowering women despite different barriers can be demonstrated through the story of Jasmin.
In addition to that despite following an ideal story of “The Drover's Wife" I faced issues in constructing a story of Jasmin. As a writer, I have understood that before writing and publishing any significant work there needs to be a good understanding of the external environment and the interest of the people that I will be targeting. For instance, Australian culture is known to everyone for promoting intercultural aspects; however, Jasmine has only faced discrimination, loneliness and isolation which led her to take strict against her own family members. Therefore, demonstrating my understanding of Australian society was likely to encourage a conflict of interest. Conflict of interest according to Silva et al. (2019) denotes a person's different interest in a particular topic or subject. The way I viewed, visualized and demonstrated the Australian culture can be a conflicting factor and an enhanced ethical issue. There are multiple existing ethical issues that can potentially challenge the work of writers, however, in my case I was sure that conflict of interest can be a potential ethical issue that can act as a barrier to my creative work.
Furthermore, being a writer I have always believed in highlighting different social issues that have somehow restricted society to attain better living. I have always stood by my side to embrace an immense sense of belief to change the world through my works. I chose not to go for another profession as it was not justifiable for me to shed light on society's ongoing concerns. I believed that pen and paper will be appropriate tools to convey the societal message that people are not aware of despite touching the height of multiple developments.
The concept of creativity highlights two different aspects firstly, the novelty notion, where every individual is expected to be creative to encourage change within the existing environment. Secondly, the usefulness notion demonstrates the practical use of creativity and involving everyone in such initiatives (Al-Ababneh 2020). I can say that I have developed my creativity based on these two aspects where I have evaluated the social issue and make people aware through my work. The entire journey of developing a fictional story based on another story was full of knowledge as it provided me with an opportunity to identify some major challenges in the existing society. I can say that my own belief and the culture where I was grown up was the main reason behind developing this creative work. I believe that this small piece of work will certainly inspire another individual similar to the way I was inspired by the story of “The Drover's Wife”. There are different sheds of the society where we live and it can be a novel cause to reflect all the events that are causing a negative impact on society. I was solely responsible for developing this creative work and highlighting the situation that Jasmin had faced in her life.
Al-Ababneh, Mukhles M. 2020. “(PDF) the Concept Of Creativity: Definitions and Theories.” ResearchGate.2020. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339831352_THE_CONCEPT_OF_CREATIVITY_DEFINITIONS_AND_THEORIES.
Kapila, Pallavi. 2017. “Women Empowerment: A Comprehensive Analysis.” ResearchGate.2017. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/350107331_Women_Empowerment_A_Comprehensive_Analysis.
Kaplan, Danielle E. 2019. “(PDF) Creativity in Education: Teaching for Creativity Development.” ResearchGate.2019. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330760402_Creativity_in_Education_Teaching_for_Creativity_Development.
Primi, Tatiana De Cássia Nakano, and Solange Muglia Wechsler. 2018. “(PDF) Creativity and Innovation: Skills for the 21st Century.” ResearchGate.2018. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327378152_Creativity_and_innovation_Skills_for_the_21st_Century.
Silva, Jaime A. Teixeira da, JuditDobránszki, RadhaHolla, and Charles T. Mehlman. 2019. “Editors Should Declare Conflicts of Interest.” 2019. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332599795_Editors_Should_Declare_Conflicts_of_Interest.