Devoted exclusively to the creative process. Here you will see photojournaling, poetry, prose, an occasional review--journaling or philosophical writing can be found on our other blogs. This is our attempt to use our imaginations. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Spilled to Bloodlessness

(dunno where else to write, but i needed to do this)

Do you know of any guy who has been raped so much by skewed Indian penal codes and his lawyer that he contemplates suicide every night? And spilled to bloodlessness seemed such an apt term to describe his condition.

This is a story of my senior from Banaras. He is a nice guy and was like an elder brother to all of us there. He had a job and we, as students, just piled on to him like leeches . . . spending time away from our hostels, listening to good music, eating good food at his expense. He would cook for us without a frown . . . why aren't you getting married, we would ask him, but he smiled to that as well, without giving us a clear answer.

We later figured that he had a couple of sisters to marry off, which needed a lot of money, and he being the sole breadwinner, just couldn't afford his own marriage.

Ten years passed and we got to know that he eventually got his sisters married off and then got married to a "tall" girl as he always said he would. "why don't you marry X?" we would ask, and he would come up with something weird like "oh, she is not tall enough for me"

Tall girl... arranged marriage... has a kid... and is coming to Bangalore. I was thrilled at the prospect of meeting him after so long. We met... he hadn't changed one bit except for his mous gone. Looked younger than ever and still had that smile on his face. My wife (who was a fellow student in Banaras) being his fan as well, it was like the old times revisited. Chick Correa, Trilok Gurtu, L. Subramanium, and Miles Davis were remembered with reverence again and raised toasts to. That is, till his wife came over to Bangalore.

We had heard a lot about her and the day she came, we cooked some food for them and went to visit them. She didn't come out and say hello. I think she just sauntered into the living room once in shabby clothes and walked to the kitchen. When she saw us, she said "oh" and carried on.

My wife was mighty pissed with her behavior, but we attributed it to fatigue after the long flight from Calcutta.

We met her a couple of times after that, but because she wasn't very welcoming, we gradually lost touch with this guy as well .. . let him live his own life in peace . . . I met him later when he wanted to buy a car and couldn't decide which one to buy. Why do you need a car at all? Your wife and kid visit you only once in a quarter, so why a car? I realized he was being forced to buy one but he was doing it happily enough. Anything to keep his visiting wife happy.

One day, he went out to buy mangoes for her. Came back to find the bedroom door locked from within. She had waited for him to come into the house before committing suicide. "I will teach you a lesson" were her last words. He couldn't break open the door in time. This lady obviously expected him to save her before she got asphyxiated. He had to call his neighbors and together they broke open the door to find her hanging from the cieling fan.

The 18 month old kid, Khushi, was in the other room, playing with her toys. She had just had milk, so she was happy. Khushi means "happy" in Bengali, by the way.

Later we learned that she had attempted suicide twice before, knowing fully well she will be saved. This was her only way to put pressure on her husband and make him come home on time. She being a government employee in Calcutta (where people work from 12 to 2 in a day and still complain about workload) could not fathom why he had to stay back till late in the night at work. He worked for an American firm where most of the conference calls had to be taken at the middle of the night.

But this attempt, or the game she tried to play, went horribly awry.

He was put behind bars and the wife's family came and took the child away. They also filed a case against him under Section 489 A of IPC, accusing him of mental torture and dowry harassment. Funnily, I was in the room when the public prosecutor was teaching them how to frame a case of dowry harassment, thinking I am one of them. The girl's brother interrupted the lawyer and asked me to stand outside.

So, as you can see, my friend is a classic example of being spilled to bloodlessness. To get bail he had to borrow money to the tune of 8 lakhs and his lawyer is trying to squeeze him even further. Potential employers want to know where he was the last couple of years. And he is contemplating suicide. I could sense it. He somehow seems ready to jump out of a building any moment.

I feel rather clueless right now. I wish I could find him a potential employer who could give him an ERP job (he worked as an ERP project manager earlier) so that he can sustain the case and keep his lawyer. I also wish there were some good souls (and not sharks as they usually are) who would fight his case pro bono.

I don't know how to save a person who doesn't have any blood left in him any more.


Russell Ragsdale said...

where do vultures like this woman and her family come from. I was deeply saddened to read this

blow said...

i knew some people who passed out of law school a few yeas back. maybe i could ask them if they would suggest someone who'd be willing to do pro bono for this guy.

sometimes you just wonder if there's even one non0screwed up soul out there.