I had some time before the OPD finished for the day so I started talking to one of our young friends who is all of twenty years.
Her father is a weaver of carpets but has made sure that none of the children take up the profession because it is hard work.
Most people in the villages around do weaving in some form.I met an old person today who weaves the famous Banarasi saris and has invited me to see him at work.This man earns around Rs 400 per day but the sari ,the basic one, costs around thirty thousand without the gold and silver work.He seems to think that most of these saris get sent abroad because according to him 'Indians cannot afford it'.He is blissfully unaware that the richest asian according to the Forbe's list is an Indian.I choose not to correct him beacuse it will not make a pi of difference to his life.He has invited me over to see him at work.
My little friend's father weaves the humbler carpet which sells at around Rs 3000 per piece but gets paid only Rs 150 for his labour per day.
I got talking to her about her aspirations,she wants to get married after her graduation but needs to arrange for money for that.She is twenty years old, so marriage could wait till she is twenty five,she has time in hand to increase her worth in the sight of the potential grooms who will put a price on her accordingly.
Out of the blue she suddenly quoted -'a bike and one lakh rupees'.
A bike and a lakh of rupees was what a potential groom would put her price at.I just started chuckling away,it was just so matter of fact.The pathos of it all was bordering on comic,'a bike and one lakh rupees'.
Between the two siblings they earn a sum of twelve grands which the father uses to educate five siblings and a daughter-in law who is doing her BEd second year.The father had to take a loan of forty thousand rupees for the son's wedding ,some of which is being gradually paid off.They got a dowry of thirty thousand rupees and a bike for her sister-in -law because her widowed mother had already enrolled her into the BEd course.It was seen as an investment for the future.
For me it was fascinating and a privellage to peep into a world that is theirs and she was willing to let me see it.
Then she mentioned that her sis-in law was a believer and apparently some of our colleagues had visited their house for prayers.
My respect for my colleagues increased a several fold just hearing that.
They were getting to know the God who put a bride price for us as well and it was nothing less than 'He' himself.
Christ paid the ransom for you and me. He paid it on the cross with His life.That is the value the Lord has put on you and me.Hope she gets sold for nothing less eventually when she gets to learn her actual worth.