Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009

Just finished watching Kite Runner on HBO. When it began I underestimated it. Like all those who read the book before they watch the movie I thought it would fall short. But half hour into the film and I knew this was something special. Years ago, the book had made me cry for days. In two short hours, this movie made me cry again.

In any conflict, women and children suffer the most. But it is the children who will have to grow up with the pain of whatever has befallen them. Of course Nadeem Aslam's next, A Thousand Splendid Suns was a masterpiece in itself, but nothing portrayed the tears of a country for its lost children more than Kite Runner.

Another book I recently read was The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, set in the Congo of the 1960-s through 90-s. To know more about the history of Congo, I started searching the net until I came upon this-

Where doctors break down with stories of the brutality of men, of little girls and boys not knowing what happened to them, of their internal organs, not yet fully formed, being torn and spoilt for life, if they were lucky enough to live...

"Every day, 10 new women and girls who have been raped show up at his hospital. Many have been so sadistically attacked from the inside out, butchered by bayonets and assaulted with chunks of wood, that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair."

The Rape Epidemic, as it is called, continues till this day, even as Hillary Clinton visits the country. It has been called the worst assault against women and children in the world till date, worse than even Rwanda in the Hutu- Tutsi conflict, where rape was seen as a weapon of war, meant for ethnic cleansing.

I could not read the whole report in one sitting. The reports get more and more horrific. Can one even imagine living such a life, where your grandmother, your mother or your little 3 year old daughter might be raped at any time? A doctor says “There used to be a lot of gorillas in there,” he said. “But now they’ve been replaced by much more savage beasts.”

What kind of sickened hardened mind can do that to another human being, and a mere child. Can they look into their eyes? What is in the minds of these men, who can steal innocence forever and inflict such violence.

These are countries at war. What about a country in peaceful times. India- Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, lovely tourist destinations, has something more to attract a special kind of tourist. Available children. These places specially are paedophile destinations. There was recently a newspaper report on orphanages in the Mahabalipuram tourist stretch, which sold children, girls and boys. If you had the proper contacts and especially if youhad white skin, its not much trouble landing the 8 yr old boy you always wanted to destroy.

I saw the movie Changeling some days back. Reminded me of our very own Nithari killings where two men rapes and butchered no one knows exactly how many women and children. (The Nithari killings made headlines for months but now no one seems interested in that anymore. Salman Khan's latest movie is more interesting, I suppose, now that the gory details are all out. Who cares about the victims.) Reminded me of all those news items of little girls kidnapped and imprisoned in base ments for decades, held as sex slaves to men, often with full cooperation from their own wives. Sometimes the girls were not kidnapped... she would simply be the man's daughter.

Girls are routinely taken, often bought for as little as Rs 500, from villages in east India to be sold off to higher and higher bidders in cities like Kolkata, Mumbai or even sent as sex slaves to families in Delhi or anywhere for that matter.

I read and I read and I read, and I feel sterile, helpless, empty. Sometimes I scream to myself to do something, but what can I do, where do I start. I know in the end I will do nothing but seethe inside at the monster that is humankind. I am too domesticated, too engrossed in my childs school, my months targets, and my evening doughnut to stand up and act. I am in awe of those men and women who work to free such victims of lust and god knows what sickness of their own brothers and sisters. Those who spend their lives to bring maybe one ray of hope to those who have none. To bring a smile to those who have gone beyond tears.

Sometimes I feel it was a crime to bring a child into this godforsaken world. For where there can be a Nazi Holocaust, an Ahghanistan laid to the ground by its own men in the name of patriotism, where you can chop off children and dump them in the sewer, where men and women use children to gain pleasure or money, or to take revenge against a race... there God would not be, could not be.


  1. I've read your blog before but never got around to commenting. I like some of your posts ... eg. Esha & C'section dilemma.

    You are a doctor. If possible do visit Africa... and not as a tourist.

  2. "The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary. Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness." - Joseph Conrad

  3. @Nimo- I am no doctor, but sometimes, believe me, I wish I were.

    @Esha- So true. Every wickedness you can think of and many more you simply cant.