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Month: March, 2009

Fathers as fiends
Bachi Karkaria

Daughters have a special bond with their doting dads. Mothers are left seething out of the equation, and later suitors suffer because they can never measure up to the first man in a girl’s life. This was the credo, reaffirmed by all of us who have glowed in this unabashedly biased relationship. The monster of Mira Road has shattered the idyll. It’s difficult to think of a worse betrayal.
The blood of every father’s daughter must run cold to read about the 21-year-old who had been continually raped for nine years. A father as perpetrator, a mother as accessory, and a so-called godman not only calling the shots, but pumping in his own dirty bullets as well. How many idols were smashed in that burgeoning outpost of Mumbai suburbia? Everything supposedly sacred was defiled. It’s difficult to think of a worse perversion.
Every daughter who has snuggled into her father, charmed him into submission, had him indulge her every whim to her own delight and her mother’s disapproval, must surely have followed this story in disbelief. For the past eight days, we have been subjected to chilling revelations. Just when we thought we had heard the worst, another report, another piece of testimony has reared its head to mock our cozy illusions.
The Mira Road incest is not an aberration. It happens everywhere, all the time, as routine as water cuts in summer. Too often, ‘family’ is not the benign unit of protective Mama-Papa and loving uncle-ji, but a whitewashed sepulchre of poisoned innocence. To the curios in the showcase add the skeletons in the closet. Alas, not dead, but jumping out to paw, grope and molest. On a regular basis.
The difference at Mira Road was only one of degree, motivation, and the fact that the pustule burst open. This happened only because it reached new depths. When her 15-year-old sister was also dragged into this pit, the long-suffering girl found the tremulous courage to inform her maternal uncle and grandmother. So, add one more dimension to this perverse roster. We must be thankful for the doubled evil because that’s what finally led to the end of the sordid tale. And for the small mercy that the girl’s court of appeal did not typically cite ‘family honour’ to slam the lid back on what was its demonic opposite.
Child sexual abuse by a family member, most often the father himself, extends from pavement to penthouse, leaving no economic, educational or ethnic group unstained. It sits there masked in normalcy, like porn covered in the innocent brown paper of a school exercise book, like a festively wrapped mithai box swarming with maggots inside. The statistics may be conjecture, but they certainly aren’t damning lies. An act of domestic sexual abuse occurs every seven minutes (compared to every three minutes for any type/venue of sexual violence).
In this depraved milieu, we must then be very grateful for the six minutes of security. And, we, who as children had considered our unmolested cocoon to be the unremarkable rule, must now fall on our knees for the blessing of exception. When the parental protector turns predator, every other violation pales by comparison, arguably even turns kosher.
The father raped his elder daughter for nine years and, inured, felt no shame in pulling the younger girl into the sex vortex. The mother emotionally blackmailed them into submitting not only to him, but also to the instigating tantric. To be fair, she threw herself into the hissing cauldron as well. The parents abandoned their most sublime duty for the sake of mere crass reward. The ‘godman’ had convinced them that this was the divinely ordained route to the father’s business success.
The silence of the lambs of Mira Road is deafening. But the current empty din of electoral invective is unlikely to pause and listen.

Courtsey- http://www.timesofindia.com

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Best of both the worlds

Almost every blog post that I read over the past few months would generate a lot of arguments if the post mentions anything about religion. Hindus would ridicule Muslims, blame them for something and the Muslims would retaliate, explain things and end up ridiculing Hindus, and vice-versa.
My nani is a devout Hindu and my dada was an extremely religious Muslim man. I remember nani teaching me excerpts from Mahabharata or Gita and narrating me some instances from these holy books(she still does it). I remember learning the Gayatri Mantra and Om Bhoor Bhuva Swaha in schools, and then coming home and chanting them in front of my proud nani. It didn’t matter to her that I am a Muslim, nor did it matter to me that I am a Muslim chanting these line. For me the meaning of these mantras was more important, rather than the fact that being a Muslim I shouldn’t chant them. I still remember them, though I don’t chant them now (school assemblies are over!!), and now I can proudly say that I know more about Hinduism than most of the Hindus I have come across.
I also remember my dada narrating instances of Holy Prophets (peace be upon him), reciting Kalmas, and offering namaz, scolding us for not praying 5 times and telling us about the fruits of being a religious and good person.

Often nani would teach me some lessons of life which pertained to one becoming a good human being and I realized that these teachings are there in Quran too. No religion teaches hatred, religion is supposed to be the guiding light of one’s life, it can never teach to kill someone. With time I realised that these religions are not that different. Basically they all teach us to be a better human being, to have a pure heart and not be consumed by hatred towards anyone else.

Life is too short to be consumed by hatred. There is absolutely no point fighting over religious issues. The British followed the divide and rule policy and succeeded to achieve their goals. If our country gets divided, it wont be long before we again get ruled by fascist elements.

I am a proud Muslim, but I am prouder of my lineage, because I get to experience the best of both the worlds.

I wish everyone starts respecting the other religions and starts following the principle of ‘live and let live.’

Religion and Us

Today, in office, for the first time i was on the receiving end of a religious biasedness. No, there were no open abuses, no fiery arguments, just a cold reaction from some of my colleagues on getting to know my religion..
They thought i wouldn’t hear the hushed up voices of astonishment, and the news being spread slowly that i am a Muslim. One of them exclaimed in a different context that “Parsi community has very few people left, so they are no longer a threat to our country, unlike other religions”!!
Can u imagine that!
What shocked me was that i did not expect this, atleast from the educated people around me. I mean does it really matter what religion i belong to? Does it make me a lesser human being if i am a Muslim?
Spoke to dad about this, and he told me, this is a part of life and things will get worse now, better get used to this!
Why should i bear the cost of the actions of few lunatics? The thought that i just spoke to a Hindu/Christian/Sikh/Buddhist/Parsee never crosses my mind, why does it cross the minds of others around me?
Islam does not teach hatred, and what angers me, is the gross mis-interpretation, people who don’t even know two words about Islam, abusing it, left right and centre..
The day the people in this country grow beyond religion, race, case, sex, creed, we will be truly a free nation…

I wonder when that day will come…

why such perversion?

Just read something on the net which reminded me of the movie, the monsoon wedding..
The thing that really affected me and i am sure many others watching the movie was the disgusting part about the child molestation. One never realises but things such as these maybe happening right in your own house. The little child often does not understand what is happening/has happened.
And more often than not these incidents remain only in the mind of the people involved in it. The child remembers it with fear and anger, the perpetrator of the crime remembers it as his/her pleasures.

Most of these incidents happen in the family, leaving the child with no option but to keep quiet, but what they don’t realise is that by speaking up they not only save themselves, but other future victims from the hands of this insane human.
I still don’t understand what pleasure does one get by molesting a year old kid or or for that matter a 8-9 year old child.

I hope and pray that no one, absolutely NO ONE goes through this mental trauma.

the watch

A trip back to my home in Aligarh brought back lots of childhood memories. Memories of running around in the verandah or fixing a swing on a tree, or hiding a puppy outside in the garden from the elders, only to find it missing in 15 mins. Ahh..such childhood memories, time really flies!
Wish i could have enjoyed just a little bit more! But as they say, its never really enough!

Now the garden in the house is missing, replaced by a towering building, no neem tree…and no more swings.
The only chatter that remains in the house are of my two little cousins (who are not so little anymore!)… no more shouts of my dada for his routine food/chai/water etc etc.
I was never really close to my dada, met him occasionally, nevertheless, his loss has been scarier to me than i thought it would have been. His death was inevitable, something that was becoming too obvious, with his falling health et al. But the realisation that the next generation after him would be my parents generation is all the more scarier.
I wish i had the chance to spend more time with him, share more laughs with him.
I don’t remember my dadi, she passed away too soon and too fast.
Yes, we got pampered a lot by her, but the memories have faded away..
i read this somewhere… “Someone can walk into your life
and it is not until after they walk out
that you realize that they were even there”

So very true…
Life becomes so..so..empty without their blessings on us.
I got my dada’s watch as a memorabilia..to remind me always what i have lost in life and what i still stand to gain, by being with the people close to me…cz one never really knows!