The servants were running after a beautiful, girl only ten,’Please don’t run,’ ‘Have your milk,’ ‘Change your clothes!’ I was now curious who this pertinent child was? I got my answer soon enough – when the servants froze and bowed their heads, it had no effect on the young girl, till a voice loud and strong ordered, ’Stop all this, and get ready. We will go to Ajmer in the evening just get ready for your wedding.’ The ten year old rushed to her mother and said, ‘You will keep your promise.’ The mother had a sad smile on her face. I got up with a jerk, the dream which seemed so real had made me imagine a scenario which was quite a common practice in the book I was reading and continued to read about the exploits of the Rana of Kumbha and read the last few pages of my book………the southern part of Rajasthan, a little far from Udaipur, is the Kumbhalgarh fort.
This fort was virtually inaccessible in the 15th century. Rana Kumbha of Mewar designed this fortress. He designed this great defensive fortress on a hill, which was situated at a height of 3,500 feet above the earth’s surface, which is approximately 1100 meters high. The person standing on the fort can easily see the approaches made by any individual from Ajmer. The fort is supposed to be second highest after the wall of China. But such greatness in design and such faith in old tradition of marrying girls so young! Will it ever change? Education may have knocked on all doors but is India ready to change. Are our traditions convenient to keep the womenfolk tongue tied and opinion less. 21st century is seeing a change but sometimes forts like Kumbhalgarh give us hope that when we have a legacy of such bright minds then surely the future of the Indian woman is better.
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