Saturday, August 12, 2006

Gross ?? I know, but I have to...


My previous post made so much commotion.
I am no war monger and I am no gun runner.

I felt sad !!
I felt bad !!
I am never for guns and never willing to compramise that priciple.
I believe that guns are terror and I believe that guns are horror.

Are you talking about war on innocents that started with in a short span ?
Are you talking about war on femine, war on poverty, war on thuggery ???

This is about a war on poor people, poverty sticken, undernourished and destituted.
This is also about woman and children, about blood and bones, food and medicine, real guns and gun powder.

This is about 22 years of relentless war. I don't know if any won the war, but I know who are the loosers.

I am neither a politician nor a self made messiah.
But I point out injustice if it is possible to do so.

I am not a citizen of the country in which I am working now.
Most of you already grasped from media reports that in some part of this country, life and property are not safe at all.
I am working here for almost three years and I would say that I was never threatened any where; logically so, because I have not visited the whole country.

When the present job was offered to me, I was afraid to come here due the media reports of atrocities. I also had the impression that, the war that was going on here is something to do with religion. After spending some time it has become quite clear that it is not so. Just like Nigeria, this country also is plagued by the tribe conflicts. With my limited knowledge, I am not going in to the issue, as I don’t want to argue on matters that I don’t know for sure.

But, this writing is not about politics but is about humanity and common sense. This is about innocent lives being punished just by the ignorance of others.

Today I want to introduce a woman to you… a Sudanese woman whose name I will not disclose. I will call her just ‘Xyz’ to avoid a misunderstanding about the names.
Let us call her Xyz.

I met her one day by accident, that too I don’t like to disclose due to a specific request by people involved.

In a crowd of people, she was sitting in a corner with lifeless eyes, alone and aloof.
I asked for a volunteer's help to explain all about her to my Sudanese companion. Her temporary village was on my way to one of my locations. My companion took notes on the detials.

She is 35 years old and I met her soon at her village during an assignment at a nearby area.

When I met her, I noticed that she was limping slightly and looked like a sick woman.
My guide and companion was with me. They chatted for a while I was introduced.

I asked her what happened to her legs and for a moment she hesitated to reply. With a gesture of resignation, she sat in the nearby chair.

“Did you ask me what is wrong with me, sir?” I thought I sensed a challenge in her voice which needs to be clarified in the beginning itself. So I moved near her chair.

“Yes I did” but I added immidiatly to explain,

“Look, Xyz ! I am not here from your Government and I am not here to make money.

Remember that I am here to listen to you and I don’t make money from writing up stories about you. I heard part of your story from some one else, but I need to hear it from you, so keep that edge from you voice.”
I told my guide to explain it to her in case she can’t grasp my Middle East Arabic.
She immediately apologised for her behaviour.

“Do you know about the law and order situation before a couple of years ?” she softened her voice.

“Not really… not more than what I heard from other people”

“Then you better take a look at this”
she raised her dress to her knee level.

“Do you know what it is” she was more emotional this time.
“Yes, but you tell me” I knew the answer.

“This is a gunshot, sir! And I have another one where I can’t show you” she was almost remorseful.

“They are gunshot wounds already operated and treated, but a good many parts of the bullets remain inside and the doctors are unable remove.” she went grim in the face as if resigned of her worries.

“I am sorry about it, but could you tell me about it” I wanted to continue the talk or else she become more emotional.

“Sure I can, but I don’t think that it will not give me back my health or my husband.” she said in a matter of fact tone.

“What about your husband? Is he too injured?” though I knew the answer, I wanted some thing to say.

“I lost him when I needed him most” She was so sad.
“But you showed me a man and told me that he is your husband” the volunteer didn’t say that to me.

“Sure he is, but he is my second husband. Fortunately there were no children at the time when I was shot at, and so no issues”. true, I thought myself.

“I hate any one pitying me; but that doesn’t fetch my food.
That poor man felt pity on me and married me.” logic was with her.

This made me to ask more about the incident.

She said it’s a long storey and asked me if I need a coffee before she starts narrating it.
I declined because I suspected that the village water to be contaminated.

She was married at the age of 24, since then she was staying in this village with her husband who was working in the nearby market.
That was a time when the civil war was on and killing and looting by armed groups were rampant.
The end result was same …woman and children were always at the receiving end.

One day in a summer, in the middle of the night there was a commotion out side her grass hut…of men shouting and woman and children crying.
A mob of men smashed her bamboo door and barged in. They carried new guns, knifes and machetes and she saw blood in their glistening knifes, daggers.

They caught her husband amid her cries and protests. He was taken out mercilessly and shot at point blank range and when she protested she was shot at close range. She doesn’t remember anything else.
When she opened her eyes fifteen days later and she was in a hospital in a critical care ward.
She came to know that she was alone in the third month, when her mind started functioning normal.
She also came to know that 31 people died on that night and many women and children injured seriously like her
She spent 6 months in the hospital with a numb heart and helpless fury at no one.

Her wound took time to heel. But the wound inside her refused to heal.

She had two major wounds, one in her hip and the other in the knee.
While she showed her injured knee joint, I was looking for her knee and finally she had to tell where her knee was.
She came out from the hospital with metallic crutch.
Three months later she exchanged her crutch for a limp, when she realized that neither she can do any work with a crutch, nor any will feed her free.
Mm. Xyz
Mm Xyz in front of her straw hut with her wounds


The soldier who is now her husband might be married many times prior, but he gave her shelter and comfort and they got married.
A month later she could work no more. Her pain in her back and hip made her to stay at home. Her knee becomes heavy when she walks and refuses to support her weight and buckles.
She now moves with a stick and she can’t work.
I was speechless when she showed me all the wounds… all cured, yet she can’t walk because of the pain.
The Doc says that they can’t do anything other than advising her to undergo special surgery, but that too with no guarantee of success.

When asked for consent to take pictures, she was about to ask, if she will get some money but I said ‘no’ before she opened her mouth and she smiled.

I explained that I don’t work with any charity but I can write in the internet to let others know, not forgetting to remind her again that there is no money involved.
Finally when I was about to leave with my guide who too was a villager, she told me that she has a message for others.
She didn't forget to sincerely apologise again for the edge in her voice earlier.

She told me that she wants to tell all, that war is bad, fighting is very bad and that it is a horror for woman like her. She was silent for a moment, then she added with grim face that she doesn’t hate the people who did it.
She told me some thing very touchy at the end… until this moment, she doesn’t know who they were and have no idea why the mob killed him and wounded her.

Here again, at a time when war mongers are being applauded for being brave, I would like to ask if anyone will see the world of so many hapless Xyz(s) ?
The seriousness becomes apparent, when you realise that this war continued for 22 years.
To those who fought and won, my question is how many Xyz(s) were perished in the process and how many saved? Who lost ?
I have read stories of wars, where soldiers are killed, an eye for an eye, but were these woman and children ever been soldiers ? Or mere lambs for slaughter ???

56 comments:

kat said...

When you say yourself 'why' and there isn't an acceptable answer it all seems so difficult to comprehend.

jac said...

kat
The war in this country is over, or I would say that it is almost over.
Peace has come after 22 years. Finally they found out that it is time to stop killing the lambs.

There are wars going on in other parts of the world. This to show that the pain lingers even after the so called wars
This is to show that it is not actual war but it is gross butchery.
This is to say that I am helpless here and in my country too.

Thanks, kat! for your insight.

Lorna said...

what really makes it sad is that there are so many Xyz's out there with so many similar stories. There is no glory in war.

jac said...

lorna

Precisely said that is no glory in war,
Sadly enough, some are glorified.

The Xyz's are made martyrs, later to be forgotten for ever.

V N said...

Jac

Thats one post that has taken me by my throat, jerked me up and down a couple of times, only to throw me down in a heap somewhere down the corner a few moments later. Sometimes, I am amazed at the human instinct to survive, hang on to a little bit of life that's left in the corpse that they carry about with them. Its astonishing that they have the resolve to start from the scratch, when one fine morning they suddenly realise that a lifetime spent in being soemthing that they never ever became, has been washed down the drain. Great post!

I wonder if u have noticed, but the sitemeter on ur blog is serving a different purpose altogther. I just saw it crawling across that brutally mutilated body. :) A soothing sight, indeed!

BTW, I have blogrolled u!
:)

starry nights said...

Jac there are no winners in any war.Its the poor civilians that are killed or wounded.A really sad story. I pray everyday for peace in this world.there is so much turmoil.I wonder when it will all end.

jac said...

velu
My pleasure to hear your thoughts on that.
Absolutely terrible !

The site meter, if you move and place the cursor on it, says some thing else too… sort of independent type. LOL

Delighted to be in your blogroll, velu. I am adding you later.

"Nanni veno panam veno" ? LOL

jac said...

starry

As far as I can see... never.

:(

Rose said...

I dont know wat to say.. I really dont.. Im totally at a loss for words.. My blood is still boiling in my veins.. And my head is still spinning with anger..

Not a notion in this world - the most phiolosophical or religious or political - can justify the wound caused to the soul..

..Me

Rose said...

I actually have tears in my eyes.. more out of helplessness than sorrow..

jac said...

rose

I do see the tears in you.

It is shameful to all.
They will be glorified beyond doubt in the name of a cause, a cause, that is justified as sacrifice.

That is a lot of crap for me, because I see this sight in almost in every nook and corner.
They remain that way, not knowing who has done it to them and why.


“In nature, a repulsive caterpillar turns into a lovely butterfly.
But with humans it is the other way around: a lovely butterfly turns into a repulsive caterpillar.”

-Anton Chekhov-


Is it not the truth ? A huge caterpillar !!

Mindinside said...

I join Rose here:

"Not a notion in this world - the most phiolosophical or religious or political - can justify the wound caused to the soul.."

am so sorry for wot happened to the woman and the injustice done to the thousands others.

jac said...

mind

I am happy that many people think the same way.
This shows that humanity and common sense are still not dead.

Thanks for the insight.

samuru999 said...

I am at a loss for words!
Hard to write with the tears!

jac said...

samuru999

Truth is hard to believe, and that is the truth.

Sarah said...

War is never the answer..but in a world where each one vying to be superior over another..women like xyz becaomes the silent collateral damage..

jac said...

immigrant

A silent collateral damage...
Yes, you are absolutely right
but..


"What goes around comes around… "
(You remember that?)

What did she give out to get that punishment?

Karma and Mukhthi? Or

Muggenma papam ?

Othersideblue said...

Nothing can ever compensate the loss, the hardship and the injustice done to her.

What can I say?
I'm so so sorry

Sarah said...

Life isn't a weighing scale, where you weigh and see what u did to get what you got.. Life is a journey, u get the bad, the ugly and the good..and the better..

The bullet could have gone through in such a way tht she could have been paralysed and been a burden to somebody else.. tht didn't happen..would you then not see that everything isn't as bleak as we think it is..

jac said...

othersideblue

Thanks... that was so good to hear it from you.

Words are useless in places like this.

Thanks again for the visit.

jac said...

immigrant


"What goes around comes around… "

This sentence itself is a scale… a give and take, a boomerang, or a sort of barter system that we followed in the old times.
You just give what you want in return. Is it not a scale?

Regarding the second paragraph about being contented, a story from children's books comes to my mind.
It is about a kind hearted crane, who managed to pull out a bone that was trapped in the throat of an arrogant wolf that was sick, infected, tired and hungry.

When asked for gratitude at least in words, the supercilious wolf replied that on the contrary, the crane should be grateful to him for not biting off the crane’s long beak while the bone was being removed from the wound.

But we are both agreeing about the perils of those neglected poor women, while the “dogs of wars” keep looking for new meek lambs to sacrifice.

Monica said...

hi jac, I havent really read this post but wanted to stop and say thank you and I am much better now.

samuru999 said...

Thank you for the belated b-day wishes!

jac said...

monica

Thanks for coming but get well soon please.

Missing you here.

jac said...

samuru

I am sorry about the "belated".

thequeen said...

The horror of this brings me to helpless tears. Jac is their anything anyone can do for the innocent people?

I love Munich said...

Excellent post Jac!! It is so senseless .. just to kill and mame - I feel so sad for these people, in particular this woman. What did she do to deserve that? Nothing!
I wish I could do something for these people! You're SO RIGHT - war and violence are ALWAYS bad!!!
Thanks for a GREAT post Jac!! :)

samuru999 said...

jac~
Nothing to be sorry about!
Any wish comimg from the heart is always most appreciated!
Thank you!:)

zingtrial said...

First time here and liked reading through will have to come back good work keep it up War is bad news anywhere,Sad story that it is grown up killing children
Wish you will

jac said...

queen

I think individually we can’t do a thing.

This will continue unless and until the politicians and religious zealots are made to understand that they no longer can manipulate the masses from their safe, glass houses. This will continue until we get back our voices. This will continue till we realize that poor people are not born poor because of their responsibilities. This will continue till terrorism by a small number, no more frightens the minds of a large number of innocents.

There is an easy way if you believe in God… just pray for them.

Thanks for the solidarity.

jac said...

i love munich

The answer is all in my replies.

Stop the glorification of killers of innocent people for any cause.

But then, who will tie a bell on the neck of the cat...the wise mouse mused.

Thanks for your insight.

mathew said...

DOnno what exactly to say after reading this...

Often such incidents are summarised by a statement of regret and usual rhetoric..

Only if humans learnt from mistakes!!!

fritz said...

yeah it's true...innocent people suffer because of this silly war that's been going on for soooooooo longgggg...and don't think it'll ever stop! :(

jac said...

Mathew

Which human have you seen learning from his mistakes.

Oh ! Sure, in words you mean? ...not in deeds.

jac said...

dancing shine :))

The funny thing is that one's who had it started doesn't want it stopped.

Thanks.

Jay said...

It's so hard to sit in a cushy North American home and fully comprehend the things that go on elsewhere.

jac said...

jay

That is why I am here. :)
Thanks to you.

Welcome back after your lovely vacation.

Nan said...

Living here in Canada has afforded me many comforts and luxuries. We have not known war in this country. We are sheltered and only know of what we see and read through the media. We do have troops stationed over there as peace keepers but only the families of those soldiers understand what is going on. It's easy for us to sit back and say what should happen over there but we truly don't know and understand because we have never expeienced it ourselves. The true terror of it all.

Inji Pennu said...

Jac! I dont know what to say.


“I hate any one pitying me; but that doesn’t fetch my food.
That poor man felt pity on me and married me.” logic was with her.


Oh, how I hate the word pity! I used to think maybe one day everything will stop and there will be peace. Now I feel I was so stupid to even think like that for a moment!

If you ever meet her,could you tell her she is a brave woman and she looks so beautiful with all that pain?

There are a whole lot of ugly people in this world!

jac said...

zingtrial

I missed you the first time while writing the reply. Sorry.

Welcome to the window to my soul. Come back and read again please.


Thank you for the comments and being here.

jac said...

nan

So glad to hear that about Canada.

I wish to visit it once, though I know that you have a severe winter there.

Here I am... to share the nature's beauty and also crude facts, from the other end of the globe.

Thanks for coming and to your sharing mentality.

jac said...

inji penne

Pity is a loathing word. But we do pity at things with out knowing.

Sometimes tenderness, forgiveness, kindness and even love are mistaken as pity. There is a very thin line dividing all this. There are some people who also take advantage of the situations.

Yes, I will meet her for something else soon and be assured that I will pass your message to her personally.

Thank you for the words, inji penne!
Really delighted with your presence and comment and realize that there is a kind heart in among all those chicken curries, thorans and aviyals.
Come again please, to share a word here

Wanderer said...

... bolt of thunder from the blue...
... justifiable by no means ...
... wish i could do something...
... always believed in ' small things making a big difference '...
you have done a commendable job in just sharing with us the agony of Mm XYZ..

Wish her good luck, the brave woman that she is..
and all the other who sare a similar plight

hellbunny said...

That was such a sad story.She is such a brave woman to have come through all that.Im glad though that she agreed to let you tell us her story.

jac said...

wanderer
Welcome to the window to my soul.

I will convey the message to her.


BTW:Now you know why rose calls me a kurumban kappiri ?

jac said...

hellbunny

She is so brave, I agree.

:)

Walker said...

In all wars its the bystanders that are the victims, pawns, the hostages and the true martyrs in the world while the war mongers, The gun deakers make the money

Dotm said...

War is such a waste of life and everything else that gets destroyed. Mostly power players willing to destroy everything and anything that gets in their way just to get what they want.
I feel for everyone who gets in their way, and also for most of the service people who feel they have to fight and obey orders or else--
Fighting to protect ones country is one thing, but fighting for more power is the worst.
Had a nephew in a past war , located on the bank of the Red Sea who- in his letters- said war wasn`t bad, and not to worry about him, but on the back of the picture he sent me of him standing by the Red Sea, he wrote - War is Hell. He knew others would read the letter and didn`t want to scare them, but the picture was for me and he never lied to me.
God Bless all the Innoscent people who get hurt and lose everything they own due to wars!

jac said...

walker

Absolute truth !!

jac said...

dotm

War is always hell, dot.

You see, he loved you and he doesn't want to lie to you.

*!~Faith~!* said...

What a story..
so sad =(

jac said...

faith

Welcome to the window to my soul.
Thanks for commenting.

If you find some thing readable here, please come back and be my guest.

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Anonymous said...

Hello. Prompt how to get acquainted with the girl it to me to like. But does not know about it
I have read through one history
Each of you has your personal story; it is your history. Keeping a diary or writing your feelings in a special notebook is a wonderful way to learn how to think and write about who you are -- to develop your own identity and voice.

People of all ages are able to do this. Your own history is special because of your circumstances: your cultural, racial, religious or ethnic background. Your story is also part of human history, a part of the story of the dignity and worth of all human beings. By putting opinions and thoughts into words, you, too, can give voice to your inner self and strivings.

A long entry by Anne Frank on April 5, 1944, written after more than a year and a half of hiding from the Nazis, describes the range of emotions 14-year-old Anne is experiencing:

". . . but the moment I was alone I knew I was going to cry my eyes out. I slid to the floor in my nightgown and began by saying my prayers, very fervently. Then I drew my knees to my chest, lay my head on my arms and cried, all huddled up on the bare floor. A loud sob brought me back down to earth, and I choked back my tears, since I didn't want anyone next door to hear me . . .

"And now it's really over. I finally realized that I must do my school work to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write. A few of my stories are good, my descriptions of the Secret Annex are humorous, much of my diary is vivid and alive, but . . . it remains to be seen whether I really have talent . . .

"When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer? I hope so, oh, I hope so very much, because writing allows me to record everything, all my thoughts, ideals and fantasies.

"I haven't worked on Cady's Life for ages. In my mind I've worked out exactly what happens next, but the story doesn't seem to be coming along very well. I might never finish it, and it'll wind up in the wastepaper basket or the stove. That's a horrible thought, but then I say to myself, "At the age of 14 and with so little experience, you can't write about philosophy.' So onward and upward, with renewed spirits. It'll all work out, because I'm determined to write! Yours, Anne M. Frank

For those of you interested in reading some of Anne Frank's first stories and essays, including a version of Cady's Life, see Tales From the Secret Annex (Doubleday, 1996). Next: Reviewing and revising your writing