A-to-Z blogging Challenge:
AN AIDS VICTIM
We can’t figure out the severity of a disaster until it knocks at our door. The news regarding them disturb us for a while, we sip our tea or eat our meal a little grimly after hearing the news about the disasters in another country, state, district, province or city. At the most we show our sense of fraternity by sharing some part of our earnings to the rehabilitation funds. But the core sufferings, the wound of those people who actually lose their very reason of living remain a foreign entity for us.
But nothing seems irrelevant in this arrangement of nature. To run this circus of the world [what is called as ‘maya’ by ancient Indian sages] little more smoothly, the nature has made our psyche such that we are unable to feel the total grief of other. Those who feel the sorrows of everyone they see, are likely to get either insane or sage [remember Buddha when he saw a dead body, and an old woman?]. So the death becomes only news for us as long as it happens to other, a fatal disease remains only a topic of discussion as long as it took toll on others. But when they cross our threshold, we find the earth slipping beneath our feet.
One of the most fatal diseases on earth- AIDS when entered our small village, its arrival brings many ugly faces of the society into the light. Tara, the elder and only sister of my childhood friend Raju caught with HIV. The virus entered her body sneakily from her husband’s. Tara had become the victim of the utter negligence of her family and her own blind faith on the great Indian male dominated society.
The plight of Tara would have been neglected, hadn’t all happened by the will of her husband. He knowingly hid his disease and turned the life of an innocent girl into the hell.
The smile, the gleam on her face when she was going with her groom to start a new life, had become the part of past memories when she came to her mother’s home on the first Diwali after the marriage.
In the same Diwali vacation Raju came to see me. I was expecting a long hours meeting full of pranks, jokes and stomach-churning laughter. I had never seen a line of sadness on his face till then. His glittering smile which was his identity had faded as if he had never smile before. In our friend circle he was known as ‘battishi’[ the teeth exhibitionist]. When Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome attacked his sister , Raju too had become deficient of the love for life. In our meeting, he was blaming himself for the condition of his sister.
When you realize even a half of sufferings of someone, you daren’t try to give sympathy. The words become meaningless. I was silent as a stone for half an hour. Raju was sobbing bitterly and cursing himself giving me the details of what actually had happened.
The base of the marriage was wrong. Her parents, her elder brother, her relatives, no one had even bother to take detail information of the groom before marriage. ‘They didn’t demand for the dowry’ was the best reason for them to get rid of her daughter.
I couldn’t show my face to his sister after my meeting with Raju.
In the next month of Diwali, Tara died in ‘the government rural hospital’.
Aids alone didn’t kill Tara. But the dowry system, poverty, our approach toward women and most of all carelessness all were accomplice in the crime.
Last year, after much persuasion of Raju, the people of my village agreed in unison on making the HIV test compulsory before marriage.
‘der aaye durust aaye’[ better late than never].
And I heard,Raju regained at least half of his iconic smile.