Sunday, February 14, 2010

Avenging Julie and learning right from wrong..........

One day a verbal duel took place between my grandmother and me. It so happened that I was coming back from school and my sister was just behind me. Instead of running into us, Julie flew at us at the level of 2 feet above the ground and landed a little in front of me. I was shocked as to what must have happened and then saw my grandmother coming after her… and concluded she had kicked the poor kitty.
“How dare you kick a poor little cat like that Naani?”
“I did not kick it.. why should I get into the bad book of God for some silly little stray cat by kicking it? She came in my way and I stumbled on her”
“Stumbling on cats does not make them fly, kicking will”
“I said I did not kick her.. that is it”
For some reason my sister was not saying anything and that irritated me a lot. She usually avoided arguing with grandmother and our dad. I could not help it.
My aunt rushed out to see what was happening and asked me why I was crying.
All the while Julie was sitting aside licking herself calmly.
Somehow between sobs I blurted out “This cruel old woman kicked my cat and it came flying out”
“Is that the way to talk about your grandmother?”
“May be not but let us talk about that later. Why should someone kick poor Julie?”
My aunt was confused and irritated for some reason.. but she managed to ask my grandmother ‘why did she kick the poor kitty’.
“That devil of the cat is always running between my legs and trying to kill me, I actually stumbled on it. I swear on Allah!”
“That is it. She swears and we cannot say anything more”.
“Swearing will not take away Julie’s pain”.
“Fari!… will you please SHUT UP now? When someone swears on Allah it means what they are saying is true. If not Allah will punish them. We are not to dispute this because Allah knows all”.
I was in utter confusion here because I had seen Julie fly .. and there had to be a kick behind it as she had no wings.. but here aunty was arguing that swearing on Allah meant that there was no kick. My eyes were lying. My aunt loved me and usually stood by me in most of the situations. So this was very irritating and also was irritating was the fact of my sister’s silence. May be she was tensed about the math’s test the next day or may be she had not seen Julie.
I did not argue more but decided that I had something to prove. My mind started chugging away like train engine.. chuk chuk chuk chuk.. and then flashed an idea.
I slowly slipped into a room where few things were kept on the mirror. I broke a nail polish bottle, wiped the mess with my grandma’s blouse, sprinkled face powder in all four corners of the room, made mess on the wall with my pencil and sat to do my homework . I felt Julie had been avenged and she slipped quietly near my feet and went to sleep proving me right.
I almost forgot about my avenging event by working math when shrieks and squeals made me realize the war had begun.. there they were blowing horns and inviting my army (only little me on one side all of them on the other) to fight.
Someone shouted “Fari! Why did you do this mess here?”
“I did not do anything”
“You are a liar”
“May be yes, but so are many of you”
“We want to know why you did this.”
“I did not do it and I swear on Allah that I did not do it”.
There was utter silence and shock on everyone’s face. It was like the world had stopped and stood still. Then all the muttering of Taubah Taubah started and they started to plead with God to forgive this devil child because she did not know what she was doing.
“What?” I said finally because it looked me this thing is never going to end.
“You stupid girl! How dare you swear on Allah just like that and that too on a lie? Don’t you know how fierce is the fire in hell?”
“Now you are not trusting Allah because you are not believing when I am swearing on him. That will make you accompany me to hell”
“How can we trust you when we can see what you have done here? Nobody came here and no one is insane to do this”.
“So when you see something and you are sure, you can question the swearing on Allah but I cannot?”
It was at this time in argument that my dad walked in. My grandmother gave a dramatic explanation of everything and finally it was the matter of me swearing falsely in the name of Allah which was presented in fluorescent words.
“This girl needs to learn right from wrong and there is no more room for explanation. She needs to be punished”. Said my dad…
So when my mother fretted (she never wanted any of the child physically punished) all watched when a nylon wire was brought, twisted and used as a whip to lash my legs. Yeah! Only legs. Meanwhile I was asked to say sorry to God and promise to never insult him in such way. I did not. I was hurting very badly and my skin had given way one or two places making it bleed a bit. But no! I had decided not to give in and it was Dad who gave up after 6-7 lashes. My grandmother smirked and unfortunately I saw that. I could not forgive her easily for that. My aunt wept and tried to pacify me but she could not even make any eye contact with me. I was not going to look at anyone of them. I was wild, angry and felt I have been wronged. For many days to come I was quite most of the time and just gave angry stares at my family when they tried to talk to me. I did not ask for food and my mother had to remember to feed me something. I stopped allowing her to comb my hair, help me have bath etc. I created my own island in the house and started living on that island and meanwhile unknown to anyone, unheard by anyone.. secretly I had decided that God was my enemy like my grandmother.

[A note to new readers.. - My blog posts under the label autobiography is true incidents from my childhood which had made huge impact on my own personality. My blog posts are a part of my journey into my troubled past. By allowing the child (me in my younger days) who suffered because she did not have anyone to share her confusions with or to  tell whatever she wants to. I am allowing my younger self to go through catharsis so that my present will be free from the past. This particular incident changed the way I look at belief and faith in God forever... 


  1. I have come to Kollur and hence know Byndoor. Its quite astonishing that from a laid back place like Byndoor u blog so well. and on top of that a housewife too. great effort.

  2. i'm stunned at the brutality. for the very 1st time in my life i am cursing an old person. what a shame..!

  3. You have great writing skills...keep it up.

  4. Thank you Anil for visiting my blog.
    It is no wonder you are surprised but may be I have been influenced by the time I spent in Bangalore.

    I am sorry Supriya that I made you do that... I would not want you to change your attitude towards old people because of this blog. My grandmother loved her daughter (my mom) and she must have felt bad when she had to sacrifice a lot for the sake of me. She was first a mother .. now I understand that part of her. Back in my childhood in was war and we had sides.. LOL

    Relax Betty... I know I was driving them crazy there.

    Nalini - this is just my past happening and I don't think it requires any skill. If had skill I would be writing fiction and making some money LOL...

  5. On goodness, I am horrified for you but somehow am not surprised at this treatment of a daughter by a father.. It is typical of the culture then and a lot of it still lingers today. You are a strong person, what a life.


  6. I have read many of your back posts and I'm in awe of your writing and honesty in your posts. I really feel like you have the ability to write a book. You may not see your life as "interesting" but you have gone through much and made it through to the top and that says so much!

    Sorry you had to experience the pain of realization that adults tell lies too.

  7. Thank you very much Simone for your kind comment to me.. May be with encouragement from people like you some day I will have enough guts to try to make a book out this rantings..

    BM- it is easy for you to understand because we live sort of close by and share same time line... In those days people feared God more than they do today. My father loved me a lot and with lot of difficulty punished me... I am glad he gave up. If not the stubborn me could have been emotionally and physically scarred on that day.

  8. I agree with Simone, you have so much to recall and had such a presence of mind in your early girlhood you would be able to put together an interesting biography.


  9. Wow, I can totally relate to that situation. You did a really brave thing there, trying to prove that swearing in the name of God doesn't necessarily mean that a statement is the truth. I can also understand that your family would not realize your purpose and would misconstrue it as the act of an insolent child. Believe me, this is something I could see myself doing. Now I know one of the things that makes you such a strong woman eh?


  10. It has been long since I visited you Farila...but good I did today...reading your blog reminds me of the blow I had when I was wronged simply suffocates you when you are jailed by accusations that hold no grounds and yet you are humbled and reprimanded and the tag that 'you are in the wrong'is thrust upon you....I still feel the chills when I think of the pain the mind and heart has to endure when you cannot prove your point and you know you are right...I don't want to ever live that moment in life ever again...I share your hurt here Farila I really do....take care God bless

  11. Thank you everyone for joining my journey and helping me leave my past behind and move ahead with my present life... Sharing has been easing of the pain of the past. Wonder how such trivial incidents trouble us!

  12. Was that so troubling?
    I think the other way..
    May be due to age and sum other factors ur grandma might have gone lyk dat.
    I have seen old ppl lie a lot..
    Swearing makes their lies converted into truths.
    So to make ppl listen to them and for getting attention by the lot which is always ignoring them, they start such activities.
    For sure this is wrong but u have nothing to do when such things happen.
    Not ur fault, neither ur grandma's nor was it GOD.
    It was just a kind of mindset.
    unishing like dat is obviously not good.
    i dont knw what u wud say but this is what i think at this time..:)



  13. one of those inspiring incidents again...i wonder if how many you have? and if can ever count them?

    It's good that you always have the courage to stand against what was wrong.....and yes, courage is wat it needs....

    there's always a rebel in the generation of a family......who does things differently but there will be ppl following have set an example ......

    abt hitting ....i can say....Indian parents can do almost anything.......i won't say it's bad cause we also need it...and i know that talking to somebody is not the best option everytime........or else India-Pakistan issue would have been resolved by now....... :)

    always a pleasure to be here.....

  14. I just love your writings and the way that you relate them on your blog!
    You have overcome lots of bad things in your life, and that has made you the strong woman that you are today.
    I totally admire you and your sometimes wicked sense of humour!
    Keep on writing, Farila, and don't you ever chance the loveable person that you are!
    Big, big hugs!

  15. Farila, I have left you an award on my site!
    Big, big hugs!

  16. Farida, superlative writing. From start to finish, I was with you. And if you ever publish your autobiography, I will be the first to buy and read it.
    As for the child's sentiments here, I can so relate.

  17. I'm glad you got this out here. No wonder you are so tender and loving towards your children. You know how it feels when children aren't treated with respect.

    Bless you,


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