This New Year would have been a great celebration at home for Hrudaya, elder sister Bhagya and their loving parents- Lisha, the mother and Renjith, papa.
She is in Class VI, good at creativities, hence a lot goes in to prepare for festivities.
Her mother Lisha is a practicing Roman Catholic who married Renjith, a devout Hindu and a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker.
We decided to visit her soon and it happened to be the first day of the New Year.
DIFFICULT TO CONTROL EMOTIONS
The afternoon was a bit hazy and the lane leading to her home was deserted. As they say the entire area was enveloped in a deafening silence.
Hrudaya’s papa, Renjith, in his early forties, was brutally murdered on December 19th, before his mother and wife. It was difficult for us, me and my family, to remain composed and convey our heartfelt condolences.
Come Hrudaya, please sit with us, my wife said. She was shy but her mother Lisha encouraged and Hrudaya came and sat with us on the sofa. You are brave Hrudaya, I said, what do you wish to become after education?
Judge- Hrudaya replied without pausing for a second.
Wow, that’s great. And you, Bhagya (Hrudaya’s elder sister)?
I want to join Foreign Service, she said.
Both the girls were confident, sad and yet very graceful in their grief.
NEIGHBOURS IGNORING AGGRIEVED FAMILY
What could have been the reason for the mountain of the grief that befell on this sweet, little, family?
Renjith and Lisha, both practicing lawyers, had no animosity with anyone. On both sides of their home lived Muslim families. They had normal neighbourly relations. Never even a smallest scuffle.
He helped everyone.
But when tragedy struck their home, none of the immediate Muslim neighbours came to condole or say a word of sympathy.
May we all stand up and choose those who care for Hruduyas and make a society when none of the Hruduyas have to lose their dearest papa. And none of the mothers is forced to see her child being killed by anti-national, anti-Hindu elements. There is no torture, more excruciating than to see our child helplessly being murdered before we bid adieu to this world
In one moment, the lives of all got shattered. Mother and wife were made to see their beloved Renjith die a brutal, painful death. Seeing Renjith writhing in pain and helpless will never be forgotten. Each moment becomes heavier than death.
TARGETING HINDUS IN GOD’S OWN COUNTRY
The Hindus in Kerala have been facing such incidents- first there were CPM, workers and now Communists have ganged up with Islamic Jihadis, Popular Front and their political arm SDPI. Some SDPI goons have been arrested in connection with Renjith’s murder but how can that bring any relief to the family?
Hrudaya wants to be a judge and Bhagya an IFS officer. Who is going to help their education and upkeep? Life is a cruel joke on them now. They don’t know what was the reason their papa was killed. Is being a Hindu such a crime in this independent country? None of the secular media paid any attention to them, no interviews were done, no editorials were written, no leader came to their home to condole Renjith’s death.
The loneliness in such cases is more killing than the death itself.
Neighbours don’t visit. Relatives are hesitant. Friends get too busy.
In these COVID-19 times, schools have become online again.
Little Hrudaya has to do her homework, look for answers, be online, and take care of her daunting mother.
The family, Lisha, elder sister Bhagya, Grand Ma, Abhijit, her papa’s younger brother is suddenly in a situation where questions are becoming more difficult, answers are elusive.
Lisha’s sister Lini is helping graciously with them, she spends her entire day with them, trying to be as ‘normal’ as possible.
The place in their home, where Renjith was hacked to death, terrifies all.
But is there any corner of succour and a light to move on?
Yes, that light comes from the strong resolve of Lisha.
There are many stories to tell, more to weave and retold.
Stories of her papa’s smiles, laughter, tight hugs, picnics, and the RSS work. Hruduya knows it all. She even knows the work of Haindav Keralam. When I just mentioned in the passage about an article, I had contributed to their magazine she said, yes, I know.
When Hrudaya grows up, and Bhagya becomes an IFS officer, will those who are coming and sympathising would know about it? She is sure her papa will bless them from the heavens. But would she also know the difficult part of life, maturing before her childhood dreams have even flowered, becoming an adult when she needed a shoulder of her papa, is full of thorns. The questions she will have to answer when schools open finally and her classmates come to her and ask difficult lines.
When she goes to market and suddenly a shopkeeper, perhaps known to them since Renjith’s happy times, says something that brings tears to their eyes.
All this and much more lies ahead.
We can only pray to God to give more strength to Hruduya and her family. May Shiva bless them and fulfill their life dreams. May we all see Hruduya becoming a great judge and Bhagya a smart diplomat.
It's for us, the citizens and the Government we choose, to answer the ‘whys’ of this story.
Politics is very ruthless and thick skinned. May we all stand up and choose those who care for Hruduyas and make a society when none of the Hrudayas have to lose their dearest papa. And none of the mothers is forced to see her child breathing being killed by anti-national and anti-Hindu elements. There is no torture, more excruciating than to see our child helplessly being slaughtered before we bid adieu to this world.
Till then the National Anthem remains incomplete and the famous song of Tagore— “where the head is held high and heart is without fear’ is meaningless.