Sunday, April 22, 2007

‘Get Them Out,’ Came the message by Omair Ahmad

Omair Ahmad who chooses to publish his writings on this blog has written an essay in Tehelka, 21 April 2007 (Week April 15-21), Vol. 4, Issue 15. Omair takes his turn at the Personal Histories section of the weekly.

‘Get Them Out,’ came the message. ‘I can't guarantee their safety’

The first memory I have, fuzzy, uncertain, paradoxically exciting and full of joy, is of being smuggled out in the dead of night from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation colony in Ahmedabad. In my memory, the streets are empty and full of promise, there is this joy of an expedition, of an adventure, and the sense of a huge presence — the city, lost and lonesome like a dog without a master.

The reality behind that adventure was more prosaic. A girl had run off with a young man without the consent of her parents. To complicate things, the young man was Muslim, the girl was Hindu, and this was Ahmedabad, home to a hundred riots. The police inspector dealing with the matter had to attend less to the facts than to the emotional trauma of the distraught parents and their social shame. Young men armed with various implements and not much in the way of rational thinking soon entered, stage left, but they had nobody on whom to exercise their anger.

No READ MORE option available in this post. For the entire essay you are advised to purchase the issue of Tehelka or click on the link.

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