Thursday, March 31, 2005

My days in Jail---Daisy

There was a white girl in the lot. Daisy was her name. She stood out from the rest not only because she was white, but also because she was very beautiful. Neatly dressed in a jumper, track pants and pleated hair, she was always one of the early birds for the morning exercise sessions. I and Vandana were totally taken in by her beauty and her intelligence. She said she knew most of the asanas and it was apparent. One day, we decided to ask the jailer about Daisy. The jailer said she has been in the jail from the past 3 years! And now her age in about twenty...that means she came in when she was seventeen...we thought, "What kind of crime would anybody like Daisy; that too at a tender age of seventeen, commit?" She came in with 20 kg of brown sugar, it seems. Daisy??? I couldn't believe it! She and many foreigners like her are under trial for the same crime. But foreign nationals don't have any sort of bail plea in courts. For the next two days that we went there, we were still reeling from the shocking reality about Daisy.
She was British. Grey eyes, amazing figure and a very captivating smile. Looking in her eyes one could not imagine she could do anything like she did. Finally after the meditation one day, we mustered the courage to ask her why she had come in here. She said that she had been framed by some Israeli friend of hers. It was not her fault. Our minds anyway didn't want to believe what the jailer had been telling us.

250 female undertrials
50 kids below ten years of age
2 barracks
1 woman/ 18sq.ft area
6 toilets
7:30AM breakfast
9:00AM lunch
5:00PM gates close no movement outside
200sq.ft patch of sky
365 days a year
1 dream

Continued: Next week-> Ashwini

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Location: Pavement in front of Furtado’s Music, Opp. Metro Cinema, South Mumbai.
Time: 11:30 A.M.
Weather: Really hot

A mixed group of around 12-15 people comprising of young and old of various socio-economic backgrounds, stand surrounding a young man in his 20's who is lying unconscious on the ground. He is experiencing an epileptic seizure with hands and legs flying out randomly without any control or co-ordination. None knew what to do. But then an old Parsi lady came out and told the people, "He's having a fit. He'll need to be hospitalized. I am a nurse...I know he will have to be taken to the hospital!" Nobody moved. Nobody had an idea about what exactly should be done. And then, a man in his late 30's stepped ahead and he said, "Place a bunch of keys in his palm." He was exactly what the
dabbawallahs of Mumbai look like...a 'ghaati'. The nurse mocked at him angrily saying, "How do you think THAT is going to work?!" A shopkeeper from the adjacent Bombay Sports shop ran inside and emerged with a dumbbell and a huge bunch of keys and gave them to the 'ghaati'. He knelt down and then placed the keys in one palm and the dumbbell in the other. And the seizure stopped there and then. Immediately. And the crowd dispersed. The nurse went away, perhaps wondering about what she learnt about medicine all these years...they never taught her anything like this! I walked in complete awe, humbled by the 'ghaati' man's presence of mind and strong faith in simple remedies.

Can we really feel 'intelligent' and smart just because we have education?