Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nascent fragility

I am born- 
Yes, I am finally born, after being inside for almost 9 months, I am finally out. This is the first time I see light, it is so bright outside. I am telling the person holding me, to cover my eyes, IT IS SO BRIGHT, I am shouting, But, why is this person smiling? 'Ouch' ,Suddenly, this person hits me hard on my bum, WHY, I shout again, And now, someone else is holding me, Oh, wait, it must be Mother, I can sense her. Now, she is crying and smiling. I keep telling her, cover my eyes, but she isn't listening to me. Wait, I can sense my own tears, is it that they don't understand my language, or is my language crying, I reckon its the latter. I sense a few more people coming in, It is my dad, I have heard his voice from inside, but he is not smiling, he is making strange faces. He puts his hand behind my back to lift me, Holds me mid-air and drops me in an instant. It hurt, and I shout at him too, DON'T LIFT ME IF YOU CANNOT HANDLE ME, but, he ignores me and goes away. I have shouted too much , I am tired now, and I doze off. I dream about a lot of brightness and light, after all, this was the first time I saw what light is!

I start crawling on my knees-
Yippee, I can move around the house by myself. My mom drops me on the floor after I wake up, and I realise that I can keep my body stable on my knees.I try moving forward, and that is it, this is the moment I had been waiting for. It was so nagging, to shout, correction, crying(yes I realised that I actually cry when I am trying to shout) , every time I wanted to move around from my place. Not anymore. The first thing I do after starting move around is reach out to my father, I haven't seen him in a long time. I see him standing in the aisle, I go up to him and tuck at his trousers. He looks down at me and makes a strange face. He moves aside, I again go up to him and tuck at his trousers. And, suddenly I am flying, My chest hurts, Did he hit me? Before I can fathom that, I hit the floor, my head is spinning, Everything I see is blurred. My whole body is in a state of pain. And this time, I actually cry. My mother lifts me, I shout at her to put me down, I want to move around, but I can't shout, my body hurts when I try to shout. Crying and shouting takes a toll on me, and I doze off. I wake up, only to look at the first face I saw when I came outside. I cry and tell her, that I still haven't forgotten the hit on my bum. But she is gentle this time, She takes me in her arms and rubs my body. I feel better now, the pain is disappearing slowly. I smile, and tell her, Apologies accepted.

I start walking around-
I know, you will call me a cry baby(talk of ironies!) if I tell you that it is boring to be crawling around, so one fine day, with tired and scrapped knees, I catch hold of the chair and try lifting myself. No, I am not always successful in my endeavors, and, I fall down. But I don't give up, Next day, I try the same stunt, and this time, I am lucky. I stand tall, everything seems so small to me. I see my milk bottle, wow, it looks so small now, I look at my mother, she is smiling, I smile back to her and tell her, very soon, I will be as tall as you. I try moving forward, but I fall, it hurt, but I am too excited to cry. I get up again and try moving forward, this time, I don't fall. I slowly start moving around the home. It is so much faster to move around like this.With each passing day, my speed of moving around increases. Each day, I make sure that I don't end up disturbing my father. One day, while my usual moving around the house, I felt a wet sensation in my bottoms, oops, I did it again, I realised later, that the timing is so terrible. I see my father standing, right across the room. He glares at me and comes to me with a great speed, wow, I want to move that fast one day. He picks me up, finally,I thought my father has picked me, finally, I will sleep in his lap, but, again go flying across, and it hurts again. He comes up to me again and raises his hand to my cheek, my cheeks are warm, and I sense something gushing out of my lips. My mom snatches me from father just before I dozed off again. When I wake up, I see the bum hitter lady again. I like her now, though. She rubs my body again, I feel warm, but all my pain doesn't go away now. She flashes a pointy thing to me, and pinches it on my arm and I doze off again.

I speak my first word-
Ok, I exaggerated this, I cant speak words, but then I can make some sounds similar to what my mom does. I don't know how, and I don't know why, but, the first word I speak, is 'Paa'. I don't know what it means, But sometime back, I heard a person, little taller than me, calling someone 'Paa' and I picked it up. I think, now, I won't have to cry when I feel like shouting. These people should now understand what I am saying. So, whenever I am angry, I say 'Paa'. Whenever I am happy, I say 'Paa'. My mother smiles every time I say 'Paa', even if I am shouting, she smiles. I think, crying was better, they don't understand their own language anymore. So, I decide to revert to my old language, but occasionally, I use their language as well. One day, I woke up when it wasn't bright yet. I sense that I wet my bottom again, and I still remember what happened, when I wet my bottoms while my father was around. I see two people around me. One of it is mother and other is my father, I can sense both of them, but which one is mother, I don't know. My bottoms feel itchy now, I want to call out my Mother, so I reach out to her and shout 'PAA'. She gets up and I hear a click and its suddenly bright again. Wait, it is not mother, it is father, whom I shouted to. He picks me up again, but I don't go flying across. But the way he has picked me, it hurts my arm. I am in his arms, till I suddenly feel breeze on my face. It is so pleasant. And again, after spending considerable(and probably the most) time in my father's arms, I go flying across. I wait for the pain to come, But I am still flying. I am enjoying this Wow, is this a dream. I feel so light, I am moving so fast. It feels great. How am I still flying? And then comes the pain, but the pain is momentary, I cannot feel my body, my vision is fading, but I see my mother rushing to me, but before she reaches me, I doze off again.

The brightness again!
I wake up, and never since my birth, has the brightness hurt me. "IT IS TOO BRIGHT", I shout out.

"You will get used to it child" a pleasant voice replies
"Ohh, so you understand my language, Who are you, and how do you speak my language, are you the person who hit my bum when I was born, but you had a different voice!" I ask, refraining from asking too many questions.
"I am your culprit, my child, I am the one who created you" the voice replies
"Where is my mother, and where is my father?" I ask inquisitively
"I am sorry, but, I won't be sending you back to them. You stay with me for sometime" He replies in the same pleasant monotone
"Promise me, that you won't send me flying across if I wet my bottoms, or shout 'PAA' from time to time" I say, trying to strike a deal
"I promise you, that, next time, I would not make you a Human"

Baby Falak in ICU

This blog post  is dedicated to the victims of baby assaults, in particular, baby Falak and baby Tanaaz, who died from continuous and calculated brutal physical assaults on them. While you are reading this, there are babies being assaulted all over the world, for crying too much, or for being a financial burden, or due to a drunken rage and worse, for being being a GIRL.

What can be the justification for an act of assaulting someone who is so helpless that he can't even stand on his feet. What can justify the act of assaulting someone, who doesn't even know what assault is, who he is being assaulted by or why he is being assaulted. Such a crime, should not be treated as homicide due to negligence, rather, it should be treated as a murder in cold blood. I truly believe in the saying, "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind" , but , if criminals convicted for such acts are let away with only long prison sentences and not capital punishment , then, I would rather stay in a blind world than live in world with such living demons.

Read Baby Falak news item
Read Baby Tanaaz news item

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Indian life- Evaluated

An average Indian perceives life as a gift of God. The references from Geeta, Quran and Bible on life, act as supporting documentation. And, considering their rise in numbers, atheists considers life as a product of fornication between a male and female member of any eukaryot and the resultant meiotic cell division, or, result of an asexual mitotic cell division in lower species, which is "the wow thing" for them(I guess, being a believer is easy and short to explain!). Any which way, life , and the existence thereof is a source of amazement and awe for us. Because we know that life is important, we spend half our fortunes on quacks who enlighten us with the knowledge of life, salvation and even afterlife.  And for the same reason, used by the crime syndicate and terror organizations to hold us at ransom, to give us grief and sorrow ,and, at times, make us vengeful. But, has life's importance been put at stake only by criminals(of all kinds of course) ? Think again.

The United Kingdom, prides itself on being home to multi-cultural and multiethinic communities, and on the social securities it provides to its citizens. It also understands its responsibility as a global power and being one of the five permanent members of the UN security council, it has sent its troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. It has also been providing aid to rebels in Syria to fight against the atrocious president Bashar-al-Assad. However, 93 years ago, in a small town of Punjab province, Amritsar, near Lahore, a group of Sikhs and Hindus had gathered to peacefully protest the British rule in India. But some Mr. Dyer viewed this gathering as a gathering of extremists, aged 1 to 90. He ordered his troop to shoot down all the terrorists irrespective of the age. Following the orders of their master, the troops shot down all the 'terrorist'. Even by official statistics, at least 500 people died in that incident. The General showed no remorse for his actions and was duly 'punished' by the British government. He was transferred back to Great Britain to continue his remaining service from there. He really got a severe punishment, didn't he?

In 1944, 320 African-American sailors(While reading, remember that Afro-Americans still did not have equal rights) were killed in port chicago,California in an accident, when the munitions, which were being loaded in the cargo, exploded. Such was a hue and cry raised about the accident, that the Navy insisted on giving each sailor a compensation of $ 5000. But since it was pre-Martin Luther era, the senate settled on an amount of $3000 for every dead sailor. The eighteen non-defense seamen who died in the accident, got a total compensation of $390,000, which comes roughly to around $21,666 per person. Some 42 years later, a bigger tragedy awaited the world. The biggest nuclear accident which the world witnessed occurred in Chernobyl, Ukraine(erstwhile USSR). It was a clear 'hollywoodish' case of science experiments going terribly wrong(only that no mutants were produced as a result). The load testing of the reactor, with lack of preparation, resulted in (even by the lowest counts) 4000 deaths and 100 thousands more being affected by cancer or other severe disabilities. A fully functional city(Pripyat, city housing workers and other people near Chernobyl) had to be completely evacuated and deserted. The economic impact on the already messed up Soviet Union was huge, However, even after the disintegration of the union, a compensation of around $10,500 was paid to every single person who was evacuated, along with consistent medical amenities being provided to them all their lives.

While all this was happening in the world, 2 years before the Chernobyl accident, the biggest industrial accident which the world ever saw occurred in India. On the cold winter night of 2nd December, 1984, while the residents of the lake city were in a cozy slumber,  a human error lead to the leakage of Methyl isocyante gas from the Union carbide fertilizer plant. This accident resulted in immediate death of at least 4000 people and injured around 550,000 more. The first thing which happened after the accident was not the relief effort for the affected, but the doubtful escape of the CEO of the company Warren Anderson, right under the eyes of chief minister Arjun Singh(Former HRD minister, who introduced Quotas in IITs and IIMs) and the MP police. What followed for the survivors and the relatives, was an ordeal for justice. 56% of the people got lucky, after struggling for the appropriate compensation, the relatives of the dead got a 'justified' compensation of $1211, while those who were disabled got a compensation of $ 454 in 1992. The rest 44% were yet to be even examined for an eligible payout. The US federal court went on to comfortably quash Indian appeal for a compensation of $3.3 billion, citing archaic laws. DOW chemicals which purchased UCC in 2001, was a proud sponsor of the London Olympics, which India only threatened to boycott, but did not have the will to.

Its not just the dead(Indians) who are given a short stick. You, who is reading this, and anyone around you who uses a foreign product, had his/her life devalued by this world. Some years ago(and some years before that as well), BIS raised the issue of the quality of water being used in manufacturing of soft drinks in India. It found pesticides in the water, which was way above the permissible limit. Amir Khan, of Satyamev Jayate fame, promptly came to the rescue of the said manufacturer by appearing in a TVC, proclaiming the safety of the product he endorses. Some people claim, that the water used in colas is the same water we drink daily, hence we should not have a problem, point duly conceded. However, ask any Indian who is returning from the west, about the difference in taste of the colas there and here, the prompt reply for the Indian version would be that it is way below the western standards. Ask any west returned Indian about the pizzas and burger retail outlet there and here, the answer would be no different than the one given for colas.

Many of you who have read my post this far may come to think that an Indian life is really taken for granted, but really, is that so? Nobody takes us for granted until we allow them to. An Indian life is taken for granted because we move on, we are considered to be the people with great spirit, because no matter what happens, we move on, however, moving on is not a choice, its a compulsion . Try suing a company for faulty product and you will realize that the cost of transportation incurred for travelling to the consumer's court is more than the compensation which you actually get. We forget and forgive too easily for our own good. If we have to make ourselves counted, then stand up, wait, and do not move on until you get what you deserve to. Because, life, as taught to us, was always 'Amulya' (Priceless).
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