My Fifteenth Birthday

“I can’t believe I missed my fifteenth birthday party.

I had planned it so well so much. There was going to be great music, and we would all dance on the terrace .For the girls, it would have been the best opportunity to look their best. And of course, the guys were going to come with their hair all gelled and spiked up!

We would have laughed and laughed like there were no worries and partied like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately, for me, there was no tomorrow…

We were going to laugh and have so much fun.”

I know Aarushi is there somewhere, thinking…

About her birthday, an event which she was excitedly looking forward to, like any other school going teenager. She is there somewhere, trying to find answers to a million other questions, probably more profound…

If Aarushi Talwar was keen on keeping a diary, she would have probably penned down the above lines on the occasion of her birthday party. An event she had hoped for excitedly, like any other normal school going middle class teenager.

The questions, unfortunately, have had no answers till now. Perhaps, that is why her untimely and mysterious death has appalled the society and public sentiment. Imagine if one was to go to bed and never wake up. Imagine going to bed only to be seen with a slit throat the next day. An ordinary teenager whose dreams and aspirations would remain unfulfilled forever.

Delving into the investigation certain facts are clear. The media has in a good way kept the pressure on both, the investigators as well as public opinion. We all know the characters involved, thanks to the nation-wide coverage of the media. A father accused of brutally killing his daughter, a mother protecting him with a dead pan attitude and circumstantial evidence that keeps harping on the same question – why was Aarushi Talwar killed?

I must admit I agree with some of the women activists and psychologists who expressed their opinions in the general newspapers recently. To slander a dead girl is no achievement to an accused father. The ‘objectionable” position in which Aarushi and Hemraj were found seems to have been a story cooked up at the last minute.  A girl with no past deviant record and no violent outburst of adolescent hormones must be aghast from her resting place to hear such accusations heaped upon her. A case of blaming the victim, is it not?

I am sure many of you reading this have already quite believed that Dr.Rajesh Talwar carried out the gruesome crime and those who think otherwise must be pointing a finger at the other characters. It is easy for us to blame the Noida police, for their ability to fumble up details. But none of this explains the motive or leads us to the real culprit based on solid evidence.

The precision with which the girls’ throat was slit and the plot so far reveals Mr.Talwar to have played the criminal. The investigative angle apart, what perturbs this particular author is, “why would, or rather why should a young girl meet a bloody end like this?” What secret was she hiding? Or was there some unexplainable anguish that was destroying her head and heart?

The allegation that her father must have had an extra marital affair with a close friend can’t be completely rubbished off. What still shocks most of us, is whether that was a good enough reason to commit murder?

Are middle class families so oblivious to the feelings of their loved ones and the world outside? Have they come to the conclusion that violence can be the only solution?

If yes, then it is truly disappointing. Our new found wealth, urban status and education have failed to make us good human beings with sound judgment and reason. Our lack of sensitivity cannot be explained by the Prime Minister or any outsider. The incapability of the Indian middle class to transcend certain petty barriers and extend human compassion is a serious thought to ponder upon.

It is not just Aarushi, but other such crimes as well. We have heard innumerable horrifying tales, chopping someone into a hundred pieces, throwing acid on women who reject your love, hiring thugs to rape your own wife, stabbing the couple who adopts you, and most of all to almost turn into savage animals at the spur of the moment.

What causes this predatory violence? Is money and greed blinding us? And what makes these offenders even think for a moment that they could lead normal lives after having chopped the head off their own father, mother, sister, brother, wife, husband, son, daughter, friend, and teacher? Tell me, is there anyone who is left out, who is spared?

I don’t know what Aarushi’s friends are going through at this moment. The manner in which their friend was killed must have brought out their worst fears. Insecurities may have sprung up within their families and problems of trust would be playing havoc with their minds. It won’t be easy walking around not knowing the truth.

This case will go on. The Noida police, amidst rising crime rates will attempt to save face by tightening all loose ends. The accused will continue pleading not guilty. The residents of the city will stop flocking to the crime scene and move ahead with their lives.

However, what will remain shall be a thousand unanswered questions and the presence of a young girl, who lived with a jovial spirit.

The twinkle in her eye will unfortunately not reveal the pain she concealed within.

Aarushi’s birthday will come again. Perhaps all we can do is, to hope that no child ever pays a heavy price such as this.

Divya Kannan

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