Last ClassDate: 8/1/2013
We had our last classes at Save Our Sisters and at the government home on January 4th. We started at Save Our Sisters, and took a rickshaw to the Kurla train station as we have done in the past. Departing the rickshaw, we are thrown into chaos of human bodies, buses, motorbikes, other rickshaws. A mass flows towards the station, and Sajji and I are carried with it. We then climb the stairs of the the walkover bridge dodging beggars, vendors, and dogs as we scurry to the other side. Overwhelmingly, men comprise the fluid, moving body of humanity in this area. It is intimidating for a woman like me; it makes my head ache to think the girls I train face this gauntlet daily. At the same time, I am even more motivated than before to reach out and train as many girls and women as I can. The last class at Save Our Sisters begins with a technique we have not tackled yet: piggyback rides! Let me just say, this concept is totally foreign to the girls. When first shown what they would be doing, panic and horror seized their faces. Many heads started to shake â€˜nayhee' (hindi for â€˜no'). But then, all of sudden, Preety* jumps on the back of Mumtaz and off they go! I grab another girl, and we head down the floor, squeals and peals of laughter filling the conference room. Devashri, the SOS program manager, comes into a room of laughing, howling chaos, and soon adds her laughter, as well. Their happiness fills me with gratitude, and I cannot think of another place I would rather be. After the fun, we review the techniques: hammerfist, palm strike, throat strike, knee strike, various escapes. The girls perform wonderfully. It is bittersweet - with every strike we are coming every closer to the end, to the time when hands will be shaken, hugs will be given, final good byes said, going our separate ways into uncertain futures. We will share, however, these wonderful memories more precious than gold. Farewell, dear girls. May you speed to the fulfillment of all your dreams. * All names have been changed at the request of the organization.