10

Good Bye Aruna! (Guest post by the father)

I hope everyone is aware of the story of Aruna Shanbaug. It was a gross insult of humanity and justice. I remember seeing this story on Bhanwar, a show on an Indian TV channel and being shocked. From what I read and what my parents told me, she was engaged to get married to a junior Doctor she loved. He cared for her for 6 years till he got married and moved abroad, and until 1988 he and his wife would visit her at the hospital at times. The Dean had covered up a lot of the crime because he wanted to preserve their ‘honor’. It led to a huge failure of the whole case and the criminal getting away with peanuts for punishment. 

My father was greatly disturbed that day after he read the news of her passing away finally. He wrote the following to express his emotions and sent it over to me. 

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Good Bye Aruna. We will miss you badly.

Aruna Shanbaug died on 18th May 2015. A life started as a young, bright girl with a caring nature and full of dreams came to tragic end.

But did she actually live?

She died on 27th Nov 1973 when she was sexually assaulted and strangled by a pervert product of the society. He was lust and cruelty personified. It is very difficult to believe that such a man can exist in an educated, advanced society.

Aruna paid for being good natured, affable human being. She paid for resisting a man’s unjustified desires.

Who killed Aruna? The ward boy who assaulted but cannot be charged for murder, the society which produced such a person, the system which could do no justice to her or we all as a part of the nation to which she belonged?

What is it if not the mockery of justice? Aruna was sentenced to 42 years of pitiable life at the tender age of 26. But the man responsible for such ghastly act was given only 6 years in prison, released and may be leading a happy life without a shade of shame. Even the charges framed against him were nothing in comparison to his crime. Now when everything is lost, the learned legal brains are engaged in futile discussions whether he can be charged with murder!

I, a nobody, a common man, aam admi, am ashamed of the society, the judicial system and all males. Let nobody care but it was saddest day for me, the common man, when I came to know about the official death of Aruna.

Aruna, please forgive us. We all are guilty for what you had to undergo. We are guilty that we could not make amends to you and we are also guilty as we know we are not sure whether we can protect any more Aruna in future. This is lifetime shame for us.

No praise is fulsome for the doctors and nurses who looked after Aruna with such love and care which only God can show. We are proud of them and bless them.

Hope Aruna gets best opportunity in the next birth and is compensated for all the sufferings. Let’s wish we see her in the next birth enjoying decent life which she deserved. Till then good bye Aruna. We really, really miss you.

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39

Problems

My papa, the strong active man I always see, is in the recovery room of a hospital. He just got out of surgery.

He had a fall at home and ended up with a fractured hip that has been put together with a few screws. The doctor says his prognosis looks good and recovery should be quick and alright. He will be walking with a walker and then a cane for a couple of months before he can walk normally on his own.

It throws a lot of questions and emotions right on my face again and there will be no end to it.

Anyways, I hope he heals really soon and is back on his feet again.

15

Sweet Charlington (Guest Post by the father)

“An angel may have a tail in lieu of wings and a halo,
He can enrich your life by ways so sweet and mellow.”

Bye sweet Charlie…. May you rest in eternal peace amidst squirrels and carrots….

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Charlie was my ex landlady’s dog. He was laid to peace on 05/28/2014 after suffering the ill effects of old age. He was an absolute sweetheart. I said goodbye to him on the 27th.

ETA:
My father wrote this ‘as me’ and I edited it to add some more things. He knew how I loved C.
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You came in my life by quite an accident. I remember the day I saw you for the first time. After finishing my studies at San Diego, I got a job in nearby OC. I had short-listed a couple of accommodations in OC. When I visited one of those for finalising, I saw you. And I think without knowing I finalised that accommodation because of you! You were quite a deciding criteria.

I saw you and your lively, brown, round eyes caught my attention. Those were so warm and inviting, that I just could not resist. The dog lover in me just could not let the opportunity pass on.

I shifted to that house and immediately you accepted me as a friend. That bond was meant last forever. I came to know that you were brought by the landlady from a rescue home around 9 years back. At the time of the adoption, you were estimated to be around 3-4 years old. That made you about the same age as my Moony. I joined you and we had wonderful time.

You were one of those who would make even a stone hearted person feel affection for you. You had an uncanny knack of getting attention and love. You become my friend when I wanted someone badly, being alone in a new place not knowing anyone.

I took upon myself the duty of taking you out regularly and to look after you. Spending time with you was a delight. I vividly remember how eagerly you used to wait for me to come back from work. You would welcome me enthusiastically everyday and then feel happy going out with me. You made me think about you all the time whenever I was out. I will admit that sometimes I did take you out begrudgingly and got angry with you when you were being stubborn. I am sorry C, for pulling and tugging at your leash and forcing you to climb the stairs.

It makes me smile when I think about your great weakness for carrots. You simply loved carrots. I used those as a bait to keep you moving when we went for a walk. It was adorable to throw pieces of carrots all around the house and send you off on a mini treasure hunt. Even cuter, was to watch you play soccer on your own with your beach ball. I would rather not remember how you loved to poke your nose in the trash cans and pull out disgusting things. You could eat anything, and would eat everything. Food was your fuel, in every sense of the term!

Your cute looks are best memories for me. Your short frame and bright, light brown coat was so nice to feel. Your energy hid your age. Your eyes always spoke and spoke affection. Everytime you would come back from the groomers, you would have a bright bandana around your neck, clea paws and tufty big ears. You always looked so handsome.

You tried to make up for the void I was feeling remembering my fond doggie Moony at home in India. It was a big comfort to have you with me. Also, I am sorry to shut the door on you when Laurel wasn’t around and make you sleep alone in her room. But, I just did not know how to satisfy your hunger anymore! Your whines confused me so much!

Dear Charlie, wherever you are, I am sure you will be loved by all around you. I sincerely pray for your eternal peace.

According to our Hindu philosophy, we believe in next birth. Please come again and be a part of our lives because we miss you so much.

25

Guest Post : By the Father

I have something very special to present here. My father saw the movie Queen two days back and told me about it. He was telling me what he felt about the movie and I told him to jot it down. He very kindly agreed to write down a guest post about it for my blog. I have told him that I shall convey to him all the comments and critiquing he receives. 

THE QUEEN OF HEARTS.

Yesterday I watched a movie titled “Queen”. It was a very pleasant experience.

It set my thinking rolling at a furious pace. I was thrilled to see the metamorphosis of a young girl from a timid, obedient daughter (meek submission personified) into a grown up liberated, confident woman and behold! With the help of totally unknown roommates.

I now fully agree with Chetan Bhagat when he wrote about this movie that every single girl or woman has a “queen” hidden inside and they must discover it and liberate themselves.

My mind started thinking about marriages in my community and in relatives. In most of the cases if not in all, the parents marry off their daughter without any specific reason. I am sure they do not have any clear reasoning in their mind except perhaps the age old traditions. If you ask them they will come out with one of those points like she is now grown up, all her friends have got married, what will people say if we don’t marry her off now etc. etc. There is no thought about what the girl thinks or what is the thinking level their  future husband possesses.

The girls also being obedient daughters, as they are taught to be, go along with parents’ wish and get married. Again without any clear thoughts. They feel happy to fulfil their parents’ wish and land up in a state of long term slavery called married life. They analyse very superficially about the boy whether he is worthy of being called the life partner is true sense.

The boy has been given authority by our society to be a psycho supported by his parents. The modern looking boy and his progressing thinking parents suddenly take 90 degrees turn and become very conservative while selecting a girl for marriage.

Most of the new age boys start pointing out shortcomings of their wives and autocratically imposing their likes and dislikes on the hapless girl ruining the most sensitive and precious time in the life of young couple. The in laws of the girl put all the responsibility of our great culture and traditions on the newly arrived daughter in law. There are numerous cases around us of women giving up their earlier free life, their hobbies, their passions and leading a wretched, oppressed life. A mere mention of their earlier likes or hobbies by anybody makes them depressed.

I am not sure whether majority of the boys understand the meaning of equality, partnering for life, individual freedom or woman empowerment leave alone practicing these.

It’s time to think whether to subject our daughters to this kind of married life or to train them and allow them to think differently and independently. Why not to leave this all important decision of life to them? Why not to allow them tread their own path by brushing aside the ever lingering thought of “what will people say!”

As responsible, educated parents we owe this to our beloved daughters.