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Blue Mosque, Mazar e Sharif, Afghanistan June 2013

and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

170. Once Again

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 27; the 27th Edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The topic for this month is 'Once Again'.
Jaaswandee was happy that the bus had not yet turned up. If she had missed the bus, it would have been very difficult for her to survive the day. Today she desperately wanted to go to school; not because she loved her school but she hated her home.

Yesterday evening when Baabaa came home, it was obvious that he was completely drunk.  His drinking was not a rare scenario in the last couple of years or so. Jaaswandee fearfully waited for things to happen; the way they usually happened on such evenings. Baabaa would start abusing Mother – that was the first stage. Mother generally kept her cool, cooked, fed everybody. And then Mother would force Jaaswandee and Amol to go to bed early. Amol always enjoyed this luxury and slept calmly. However Jaaswandee was always kept awake by the painful sobs of her Mother. Throughout the night she sensed something was wrong around her, but never was able to pinpoint what it was. Next morning she would glance at her mother and her mother’s face would tell her the horror story – the same story once again.

On some other days things would become worst. Mother would lose her patience and start counter arguing with Baabaa. Both Baabaa and Mother would shout at each other, accuse each other, abuse each other, threaten each other and ultimately it was always Baabaa who would overpower Mother. After violent attacks from Baabaa, Mother would be left limp and she would just lie down and weep silently – nonstop; for hours.

Yesterday was one of those days. The neighbors were always useless in these situations. Nobody would turn up and offer help. Jaaswandee could call nobody. She had to cook, feed Baabaa and Amol, and entertain Amol so that his attention was diverted. After all that she also had to feed Mother – who generally refused to eat and drink. Jaaswandee had to clean, and she could never sleep on such nights. She had no problems with occasional extra work, but she hated the environment in which the work was put on her shoulders.

Yes, fortunately these nights ended, always ended. With the rising Sun, Baabaa would become sober once again. He would be silent; he would talk to Amol and Jaaswandee with love and care. His voice would be soft; his eyes wet, his face thinking something deeply. He would glance at Mother and whisper something which made Mother smile irrespective of the pain and sorrow. That made Jaaswandee mad at her Mother. How could Mother forget her pain and the beating so easily? How could Mother forgive Baabaa again? Why can’t Mother just walk out with her and Amol? Why can’t three of them together punish Baabaa for drinking and spoiling their life?

Jaaswandee wanted to tell her Mother something that had happened to her last week. She wanted to weep on the shoulders of her Baabaa. But somehow, the whole last week was strenuous at home too. Things had gone wrong too many times and the frequency of the fights between her parents alarmed her. Even Amol, who was so innocent and noisy had become calm and quiet and that was not a good sign – Jaaswandee knew it well from within her heart, she had gone through the same realization process. She had no time for her sorrow, no time to weep, no will to share, no motivation to live.

****
Reaching school was not fun today. Examinations were approaching and teachers were stressed more than the students. First lecture went on okay. The bell rang, another teacher entered and Jaaswandee’s heart sank.

Mr. G was nicknamed as Mr. Good by his colleagues and students had picked up the name fondly. He was old, very loving teacher. Generally all students liked him, though there were few exceptions. He had his unique way of handling even notorious students. He never had to use any brutal power to control his class. He was good in his subject and taught in an attractive manner. He was famous for inviting select students at his home for special coaching – and that was free coaching. Sometimes he worked with them in the staff room after the school was over. He did not invite only rich students but poor students as well. He did not invite only girls but boys as well. His special effort was considered as a kind of free service in the field of education and in his school circle.

“Submit your homework.” Mr. Good said in a manner which did not sound as an order but in a way it was an order.

Jaaswandee realized that she had not completed her homework yesterday.  

The students moved in a queue – everybody happily submitted the notebooks. Jaaswandee’s legs became wooden. Drops of sweat started flowing from her neck to back. Her eyes became misty. Her hear started beating faster and faster. Her palms were cold. Her mouth went dry. The world collapsed around her.

“Yes, Jaaswandee, where is your homework, my child?” Mr. G was standing close to her. Jaaswandee shivered at his closeness. She wanted to run away from him, but could not.

“Ok, I understand. You need some special coaching. Meet me in the staff room after the last period is over.” G told her sweetly and smiled at the whole class.
“Once Again?” Jaaswandee asked with horror.
“Yes, my dear. Once Again. You seem to need some special attention from me.” He added and chuckled mischievously.

Jaaswandee panicked. She remembered the last week’s coaching. She knew ‘not completing homework’ was just another cause for her own trouble. She had become an instrument in his hand which would destroy her and leave Mr. G unscratched. She did not want again to be alone with Mr. G. She knew she had to avoid him at all costs. She knew she had no one to turn up and share. She knew that she would be punished – for no fault of hers. She had to find out a way – on her own, without any help or support. She knew submitting to Mr. G’s wish today knowingly would be worse than death. Last time she did not know, so she had no option; today she knew- she had to find a way out.

Even before the last lecture began, Jaaswandee walked out of the school. She did not take her usual direction and did not go towards her bus stop. Jaaswandee could see only one option. For a moment, she thought of Amol – who would take care of him if she was not there? But this would teach a lesson to Baabaa and Mother. Mr. G would still go unpunished – but she knew she could not do much about it.

At 6.36 that evening a girl continued to walk in the rail track in spite of shouting by other people and blowing of the train horn. It was a very tragic accident. She died on the spot. She was 13 years – too young to die.

The police could trace her identity from her school uniform and notebooks. Her parents were informed.

****
Next morning, a young lady teacher in the school whispered, “A girl from our school committed suicide.”
“Once Again,” added someone with suppressed anger.

And the silence comfortably stretched its jaws to gulp everything around.
Once Again.

****
*
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

22 comments:

  1. Heartbreaking story once again :-(

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  2. Poignant.. :( It is SO bad what little girls have to put up with. unlike adults they dont have any say. Like feminists or socialists they cant stand against their abusers. SO wronged :(

    Nice post Aativas. Thanks!

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  3. Well written, I love the narration here it is not hard hitting or trying to make a point it just lets the story do the work, good one

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  4. heart wrenching. the saddest part was where Jaaswandee's age was revealed. she was too small for death and all the burden's of her life.
    and yes... silence is what prevails i think in all such cases...

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  5. Anonymous, thanks.

    Kappu, some people are so vulnerable that they are wronged by life ..most unfortunate fact of life.

    Harsha, thanks for your encouraging words.

    N.S. Kriti, what is most unfortunate is the silence .. that also takes the life of the next victim. We need to learn to speak out .. and listen when someone speaks out.

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  6. Very touching...In today's world most of the places its women hurting not by herself but from some cruel creatures acts as professionals in front but show their foxing back..Very strong rules and serious actions need to be brought to eliminate these acts...

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  7. Phew!!! This was something that makes my heart heavy. The description given about the characters are very impressive. I had a small doubt, were the other faculty aware of this professors behaviour??

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  8. You broke my heart.........But cant help it.. after all suicides is a reality of life. One cant run away from this fact.

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  9. I recently read about our Blog in a article in Loksatta. I dont specifically like the way tis fellow writes about blogs but being a fellow bolgatonian I knew abt ur blog. & for a chang the article had some good words to say about your writings........ :-)

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  10. vajra, we need to go a long way to eliminate such acts.

    Menachery, thanks. About your last question, I guess the other (at least two as the story says) faculty members suspect but they have to keep silent for reasons untold here.

    Thanks Nasia.

    Pavil, sure, one has to face the facts in life .. and thank you for second comment too.

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  11. Quite a different and a sensitive take on the subject. loved your narration . Well done !


    ATB for the BAT

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  12. Heart-wrenching well narrated story on the ill of child sexual exploitation. ATB for BAT :)

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  13. Thanks a lot Maverick and Debosmita.

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  14. Awww.......that was a sad one.
    Though well written.liked d post....:)
    Good luck for BAT.

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  15. Thanks clouds and Blue Lotus.

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  16. I have started following your blog after BAT.. you have a way of writing , simple yet effective..love the way u write

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  17. Thanks a lot Sharika for your support. I hope that I will be able to fulfill your expectations from this blog.

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  18. Children are deeply affected by their surroundings. In fact I feel the environment in which a person lives impacts them and shapes them. I liked the post, it was short and crisp yet I feel the plot was somewhat predictable. Just my thoughts :)

    All the best for BAT!

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  19. sad! Check this out - it is on similar lines - http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2012/05/indian-women

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  20. Richi, I agree that the plot is somewhat predictable .. I have hardly seen any miracle happening in such situations ..

    Thanks Dishit. Thanks for the link.

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