Thursday, May 18, 2006

Jade Eyes!



This picture of the Afghan girl, whose rags were her only riches, is almost as old as me. I was two when this photo which mesmerised the world was taken. She stared right into the world's conscience and became its silent ache. 14 years ago, a girl from Kuwait, looked at me like this, and she became to me, what this snapshot became to the world.

I can never forget my sixth grade in 1991. Iraq invaded oil rich Kuwait and my many relatives headed back home, as paupers. In the middle of that turbulent term, to my class came a malayalee girl, scarred by war, terrified of the world. She was alien to us, for we never knew what war meant, though we played it every other day.

She sat in a corner, green eyes peering cautiously over glasses with a thick transparent frame, aware of every movement in the classroom. My female classmates tried to make her feel at home. For us boys, wrongly, she was the perfect alien, different from us and the way we grew up.

Our school was a strict vegetarian institution. It was sacrilege to even mention meat. On her second day at school, she brought an egg roll to class, neatly packed in her little pink Tiffin box, and all hell broke loose. Boys surrounded her and started chanting that she had committed a grave sin. The little face, with fear already writ large on it, swelled up with tears, but bravely, held.

All the while, I sat there, little and stunned and stupid, unable to move. Her eyes looked for an escape from within the growing, chanting circle. She looked at me for help with eyes I will never ever forget - It truly held the pathos of a hunted animal. I changed school soon after, completely losing track of her. Her eyes kept returning to me, on and off, for the next 14 years, reminding me of what I should have done, but never did.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 was like any other day, except that I met her on the net unexpectedly. The sad, unsure young girl had grown into a confident young woman. It gives me strength to apologise, for being the scared young boy that I was, who could not help her when she really needed help. That said and done, god knows - tonight, I will sleep the most peaceful man on earth.

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19 comments:

ajoy said...

really good stuff.

word of caution:check out the copyright before you put up stuff.although you probably know this already.

On another note,you hugged Gatlin!!!!!!!!!are you kiddin me.

Anonymous said...

Hi there

I believe you know Shemil? He is now in England and I am at the same college as him.
He pointed me towards your blogger, and I just wanted to say I appreciate a well thought out and well presented blogger! Some are, to put it as politely as possbile, not so well considered!

Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Another girl??? God save us!!!

You definitely need to find a girl and settle down real soon :-D.

Good posts Aju. Keep it up!

Sam

Crizzie Criz! said...

Ajoy, i have not checked anything about the copyright. Lets see how things work out. And no, i was not jokin about hugging gatlin, though i had to jump to hug the tall bugger,hehe.

Anonymous, thanks for going through the post. if you were kind enough to tell me which post was not well considered, i would only be too happy to make amends in my next. Thanks for the comments, anyhow.

DISCLAIMER - Sam is my cousin brother and my constant companion throughout my life when it came to confiding about girls. He has married now and suddenly he has this heavenly aura around his head. marriage makes a man wiser, he says. A lil more while before i find out, am in no tearing hurry. thanks Sammy, for going through and leaving comments. I'll look for you on Yahoo.

One word of appreciation for my sponsors (isnt it how they do on television?) Skype helped me find Jade Eyes, after all this years. thank you Skype, i love you! hehe

ursjina said...

here i am..as i promised..u quite shocked me ther..dats one of my hauntin snaps which i wud never forget..i guess the world is ther with me in dat...

and courage ..thou art the best when you admit ur mistakes

Susannah said...

hello, thank you for the kind comments you left on my blog today - it's good to meet you. i look forward to looking through your archives :-)
Sx

Anonymous said...

The picture sure is scary, I hope the girl didn't haunt you that much. Trust me she's doing pretty well now. And it's wonderful that your search has ended.:)

Gins said...

Reminds me of things that linger in our memory, even though we feel it shud be better forgotten. but u meeting her again had to be a plesant surprise... the world really is a small place!!

aarshi said...

isn't this the picture from the cover of the national geographic magazine...?

this is a touching post...

1:30 am guy said...

Hope that muse never leaves your side.

Anonymous said...

well, you're a wonderful narrator. I hope you keep a journal for your children to read some day because our children really never "know" us and your journal will show how romantic and insightful and sensitive you are. I really enjoyed how you put words together. though we are from different cultures our human similarities are closer than our differences. keep up the great work! the lady D is lovely

classmates said...

nice work
though i hav seen this picture many times but to see it in such a good presentable fashion its really commendable.

GREAT WORK>>>>>>KEEP IT UP!!!!



BLOGGER-CLASSMATES

classmates said...

i by really touched by this stuff. by the way i jaust wanted to ask u why r u a sports reporter in qatar????u should be in germany or maybe the indies
jake

Sharan Sharma said...

very very nice...in fact if i may say so, you're very lucky to at least get a chance to apologize...many of us don't!...i think God knows whom to give these chances to...

Anonymous said...

nice post!
just being curious, where is this school..? Is it in Kerala?

chandni said...

brilliant post...heart warming and very pure...

:)

classmates said...

hey this is just out of curiosity dat i am asking u . r u a keralite??coz by d looks of ur blog apear definitely south indian u kno the kerala express and all that stuff, but ure name well is more foreign
jake(jacob)

Magik said...

touched!

Dewdrops said...

Nice style of narration...Loads of sensitivity..but I feel the incident is blown out of proportion....Finally I was able to access your link.

--your critic from orkut