As the first orange flames engulfed her, Dhiti wondered whether she should try to fight, whether fighting would be worth it. She realised at that moment that she had accumulated only regrets in her life, so she decided to shed all her gathered baggage now. She had given up her dreams for their happiness, always choosing them over her. She had squandered a lot in life, her independence, her individuality and now finally her mind – that is what they said, that she had lost her mind. For her things had never been clearer, through the flames she could see clearly for the first time in her life what people were and who she was.
Maybe if she had stood her ground when she was asked to give up everything including her identity, then she would not have been subjected to humiliation for having nowhere else to go now. She had never shared her hopes, she thought “what no one knew could not hurt them,” maybe saying things aloud could have saved her from bring adrift on unknown seas, but the flames surrounding her were helping her remember the slow destruction of Dhiti. Her life flashed before her like a movie shot on a 70mm camera meant for the big screen.
She had always been the obedient daughter, never going against the will of her parents however much she thought otherwise. That is when she first learnt to kill her dreams and deny her wishes. Saddled with a horde of duties, she learnt that personal hopes and aspirations always come last. She had been the responsible elder sister, always ensuring that younger siblings never got in trouble, and fighting their fights when needed, just as all elder sisters ought to. Her first tryst with responsibility was a success, and paved the way for her gaining more baggage and lesser space for aspirations.
Then one day Dhiti suddenly found herself to be a dutiful wife,, raised to be so by responsibility and taught by obedience. She had been as good a wife as she could be. Dhiti had been very clever in not letting anyone know the truth; she had hidden the negative and showed the world that it was all so good. She did not know her guile would come back to haunt her later, Dhiti emerging as the villain for masking the true demon in her life.
Finally she was a mother, everyone put her on a pedestal and she had to follow the strictest possible code of conduct to stay up there. No one cared if she wanted to be there, or that was what she wanted to follow in life. That did not worry Dhiti. All her life she had been training and sacrificing for this moment of salvation and pure glory. She was doing the perfect job of that too, but somewhere while being that mute, dumb, atoning person she realised the difference between living and existing. That is what made her realise that she wasn’t what she truly wanted to be.
She started to yearn for things that she never had, respect and love, the things she deserved. She thought they would be easy to get after having given so much of her to others. Dhiti never realised that her aspiration to be herself would be deemed as being selfish. She never believed the people who were saying she had lost her way, and needed to be reminded of the right path. Luckily she had realised that the only person in her life who did not need to change her course was her. She wished the rest of them would believe her though, but she never got them to.
She craved to be so much more in life, but she realised needed to go through the furnace to be true, just like gold has to face fire, and all its impurities are physically removed. She would be like the phoenix that rises from the ashes stronger than ever. She realised that the spark lit by the demon would actually be her salvation, she could not change what happened, but she can resurrect and be who she wanted to be. As the flames around her kept rising, she realised that she would soon be rid of everything that plagued her, and she smiled.