Friday, March 9, 2012

Today’s news. I opened the paper, apparently if it is not bad then it is not worth printing, one of the head lines was about the teen age suicides in Russia. I was shocked to learn that Russia stands only behind Belarus & Kazakhstan. About a decade ago I was in Canada & surprised to find that overall suicide rate in Canada was very high. I remember reading Viktor Frankel, a holocaust survivor that in the Nazi concentration camps suicide rate were very low! So I had to read the news all the way through. It was sad to read the logic behind these suicides. Two main reasons were cited a) strict family rules & b) harsh school environments. I decided to write something about it with the hope that some one will translate my blog into Russian & post it where teenagers can read it, if I can save one life it will be worth it. Any where in the world teenagers should think about one fact that all the grownups went through the same phase (we the old ones were once teenagers, too). Dear teenagers, go to a funeral home & look at the dead person, even though the person may look good because of a lot of professional work, once you have viewed the person, no matter how pretty this person is, they will close the casket lid, and it will be buried. Despite of all the chemicals injected in this person’s corpse the bacteria will eventually win, and the beautiful person you saw will be a rotten stinky mess. The beauty you saw was very short lived; if you think I am making it up then get on the internet & check the pictures of the Egyptian mummies; they perfected the art of body preservation 1000’s of years ago, it does not matter how they looked when they lived & embalmed, today they look ghastly, is that what you want to look like ?(if you are lucky & someone try to preserve your body). Now, let me share a story with you about a child who grew up as a very poor & deprived kid, he was hungry most of the time, he has to sleep on hay during winters(there were no beds available), he lost his mother at the age of 7, the grave diggers came to the house, there were no funeral homes, no morgues, the dead person has to be buried before the night falls; so this child has to go to a scary unkempt graveyard & he pointed towards an empty spot. The grave diggers dug the hole. By that time some old ladies from the neighbor hood had washed the mothers body & wrapped her in white fabric(no wooden or fancy coffins), before the evening shadows started lengthening this child’s mother was in the grave, and the hole was filled back with the dirt. This child knew what was going on, he loved his mother, he used to pray to the god, “please do not take my mother away”, his prayers were too weak to reach the powerful god’s ears. This child along with his siblings was at the mercy of a ruthless father, a hostile society(he was called Panahgeer, a derogatory term for those who came from India to Pakistan, they were not refugees, they left India as a part of the political deal that non Muslims will go to India & the willing Muslims will go to Pakistan, these new comers never took any thing from the natives how ever they were hated-their real stories will never be known ); and a dangerous school system. I am calling the school system dangerous because here the students were beaten mercilessly. This child was small & weak, the teacher in the 5th grade looked like a Taliban(a wild looking man with a bushy beard), he will grab this child by his ears & pick him up, the child will be hanging in the air the pain would be excruciating. Other children will be punished with sticks, these teachers will choose to hit the skinny kids with a solid baton, but if there was a chubby child then he will be beaten by thin freshly broken tree sticks, that is how they incur the maximum pain (you thought you knew the meaning of sadism). Older & bigger students will not only bully the little children but they will sodomize the weak ones. Could you report it to the teachers? No , because some teachers did the same thing, they will rape whom so ever they can. Entire town knew it, in my knowledge no one was ever punished. This was just normal. Once this child did not go to an art class, the teacher was a pedophile & the child was trying to avoid any encounter which may lead to this fate, one day this teacher saw him in the courtyard of the school, teacher asked him to come close, child did not have the choice, as he got close the teacher slapped him hard with open palm, the compressed air entered the ear & yes, I could not hear from that ear for days, that child was me. Children of the world & especially the Russians, I am opening my wounds so you can see that some one else had bled too. I do not know why I did not commit suicide, if you are thinking along these lines then please read this entire story, it might help you going through your pains. I wish I can be with you when you are so desperate to throw yourself from the balcony of a high rise building, probably I can talk you out of it, while I am writing this the tears are flowing from my eyes(literally), I can feel your pain. I really do not know how you celebrate any festival(let us say Christmas), what you are going to read now may horrify you, nothing is exaggerated. It was the most important festival of Muslims, we used to get a pair of shoes(only once a year), new clothes, and 2 rupees(consider $2.00), no toys , no gifts. I and my siblings were happy, we went out to play. Dadu is a dusty town, we got some dirt on our clothes, we came home, our father saw that & he got upset, he stripped all three of us naked and pushed us out of the house. We 3 naked children were huddled together, crying in a deserted street, while every one was having fun, we had to walk totally naked to our aunts house(I do not remember how we did it, I wish my younger siblings do not remember it), My aunt was the only relative we knew. It has been so long that I can not recollect all the details of that fateful day, however, that episode is burnt in my memory, I really wish my sibling have forgotten it. There is nothing which can erase my memory, more than 55 years are gone but the pain still hurts. Where did I go from there? I focused on my education, some one told me that I can break this cycle of pain only if I can educate myself. I endured the pain of poverty until 1971. Today, I am 66 years old, I am retired from my last job of 27 years, I am moving out of the state & probably out of the country but I still want to go back to school(University in my case) & continue my education. Most of the readers may not understand my obsession with education. Today if I have few worldly processions then it is because of my education & I did not try to kill myself. It does not matter where you are, please do not cut your trip short, live one more day, just one more (see I am dragging you out, if you live one more day & day after day, these days will convert into months & years & then you will be free), death is not glamorous, problem is if you successfully commit suicide you will not be able to regret. You kill yourself you will not be starting a new life somewhere else, what makes you think that way? Let us say you are right & I am wrong then what is the guarantee that it will be better there? You & every one who lives on this Earth is given only one chance. Just because some one says there is life after this one does not make it right. No dead person has ever come back. However, if you tough it out then chances are you will eventually have a beautiful life because you are beautiful & you deserve a good future. If you want to talk to me then I will be there for you as long as I live …it is not easy, you will have to find me in the cyberspace, then I may have some other stories for you