Monday, September 27, 2010
The 'logic' behind family honour
Once a colleague Ms.P, brought one of her wards,let's call her Sajitha, a girl from eight grade to me because her sister had confided to her that her she was worried about sajitha's behaviour. I want to put on record parts of the conversation I had with the kid.
Sajitha: Is it wrong to fall in love?
Raji: Fall in love? No.
S: I am in love with a doctor. He loves me too.
R: Are you sure he loves you?
S: Ofcourse! Wherever I go, he follows me.
R:Who? The doctor?
S: Yeah. When I went to the hospital, he was there; when I went to the market he was there. I told my aunt, "The doctor is here and smiling at me." She told me,"Keep quiet" I saw him in school too.
R: How do you know that he followed you? He may have come to the market by chance.
S: That was confirmed when I saw Pandi ( the cleaner of the school bus). He watches me through Pandi when I am in school.
R: How do you know that?
S: I was running up the stairs and stumbled and fell down; when I looked up, Pandi was there staring at me. That instant I knew that Pandi was his messenger. He stands behind the school wall and Pandi tells him what I do.
My sense of alarm started to rise three fourths way through this conversation and at the end of it, I realized that this girl was probably hallucinating. Although I was in my twenties, I realized that the girl needed far more than counselling. I spoke to the girl's sister and she told that her mother had suffered form mental illness, had undergone treatment and had committed suicide. She also told that her sister did many things just like their mother used to. She would sing loudly all of a sudden, in all sorts of places; she would hop in circles around the room for a long time and so on. I told her to bring her father. The father came. I told him of my conversation with his daughter and said that she needed help. He was silent. He left. I heard that he had removed his kids from school and they were nowhere in town. He refused to attend phone calls from any of the teachers.