Authors note : This is definitely a personal rant. There will be bad words, bad thoughts and bad intentions. Proceed with caution.


Many a time I write about hope in tough circumstances. This post isn't one of them. 
I live in an area filled with bas***ds. Strong words ? Don't worry. You'll agree with me long before this post is over.

Nearly a decade ago, there had been a watchman in our house who lived in our neighbourhood. One night, we were awakened by the sound of Ruby barking furiously. It was 2 am and she wasn't usually prone to such outbursts. Besides, the watchman was outside every night so it couldn't have been a burglar. Yet, when we finally got up and checked outside, we couldn't find him. Our gate was unlocked and he wasn't there. We didn't think much of it at that moment. Early the next morning, we got the news that the shopping store we owned nearby had been robbed. There was no sign of forced entry - the only keys had been with the watchman. He initially claimed he was sleeping at home all night and had never left. He had not known that on that early morning, we had gotten up due to Ruby's barks. On further questioning, he admitted to robbing the store with his friends and fell down on his knees, begging my parents not to send him to jail as his wife and kids would be destroyed. The biggest mistake my parents ever made was to fall for that line. Time has proven that very well. From that day when he was let go, today he sits in our neighbourhood with the same bastards who robbed us, taunting my dad in his old age and getting local rowdies to harass my parents. 

What are you going to do about it?

Over the last few years, robberies have become so commonplace in our neighbourhood that noone even bothers to report it anymore. A state of apathy has long set in. All of us, our neighbours included, have been woken up at odd times in the night by others alerting us that a robber ran through our/their yards while escaping. As of last week, these same ch***yas have started harassing parents of girls getting married demanding cash NOT TO come to the wedding. Sounds so filmy, and yet it's happening in 'Gods Own Country'.

The watchman is not alone in being an item, of course. Another old hag, over the years, has often thrown varied objects into our yard. Not so bad, you say ? Ya, well, it's the stuff she throws that makes it interesting. So far, I've seen cats skulls, chicken heads, coins, talismans - all smeared in red /grey ash and covered in regular paper. Apparently, she has a thing for black magic. Either that, or she has some weird recipes. Again, no inciting incident. She just feels it's a good old age hobby, I guess. We have never even stepped into her house in two decades. The only time we have talked to her is when we caught her doing it - and she just smirked and walked away. We still get our monthly dose of animal heads.      

What are you going to do about it?

Last year, my parents and I made the same mistake again - we let a criminal go. A person who sat on our floor and begged for hours not to turn him in when we caught him red-handed. As usual, history proved that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In the days since that day, a quotation group ( that's like a local version of a 'contract killer' group ) was sent after my 70 year old father and myself. That comedy ended once the police warned Mr Quotation that they had their eye on him, given his previous track record in the city. Ironically, a few months later, he reached where he was supposed to send me and my dad.

As for his master, we have recorded videos of him walking house to house, offering bribes to people to spread lies about us. He went around , enquiring who our family's decades old enemies were and individually went to each of their houses as though it were his pilgrimage. 

I've watched him spread the cheapest and most degrading rumours against each member of my family. Unknown to the idiot, I have recorded confessions of him admitting his guilt to me and my parents. There are videos of the neighbours and people he's visited admitting they were offered money to spread stories against the family. Videos. Audios. The whole package. 

Those who have heard/seen the videos have got a pretty good idea of the characters and games that have been played. 
Apparently, the theme of the party is 'spoil their names so that noone believes them'.  

The same neighbours who, decades ago, kept coming over to our house because my father could help them get an entry into 'the Gelf' now cannot spare a second to walk by, since my dad is no longer the golden goose with any contacts back at his old workplace. More than 40 families gained entry and access to a life abroad because he paid for their expenses and got them there. Today, only 2 see fit to even visit him in his final years. That, by itself, is sad. But when these same families then accept bribes from the next guy to destroy our name, what other term can you use to describe them than the b-word?

I was reminded of this because of an incident which was an exception rather than the norm. I was contacted last week online by a man asking if I was 'the son of so-and-so, who used to once work at XYZ. He claimed that he had been hunting for my dad since 1982 and just wondered if perhaps I was his son'. I emailed that indeed I was and gave him my father's contact number. An hour later, at 7 am Indian time ( 5.30 am in the Gulf where the man stayed ) he called my dad. My dad later informed us that the man burst into tears while talking to my father. The man emailed me a few minutes after the call.
This was the email :
"Dear Roshan,
I am very happy after hearing the lovely voice of Radha atten. He has recollected every thing after few seconds. When I lost my job in 1982 from XYZ ,Radhakrishnan chaetten , the only person helped me to get this job in ABC where I have been working for 30 years. I couldnt find him after that. Thank god for giving a chance to reunite with him. Me and my family have always been thankful to Radhakrishnan chaetten and always prayed for him. Because he took a lot of trouble for me, my family is alive today."

Having heard every cheap slander being said against him and us for awhile now just because we refused to stoop to such extremes and be a part of a criminal's activities, it feels genuinely weird to see this emotion - gratitude. A gratitude from 30 years ago. Especially when you are living in a land where people openly admit to taking money to slander you and you have a public that happily enjoys this. But it's hardly enough.

The problem with not fighting back is that you will come across uncultured bastards like this who will try to screw you over. And I don't mean it just at a personal level. Increasingly, this year we've been seeing some really sad crimes - public molestations, riots, rapes, driving victims to suicide - where the culprits are actually flaunting their identity. They don't care. They are sure they can get away with it. I was really sad to hear that another colleague of mine who, like me, tends to be a pacifist, was embroiled in a similar situation.   

Personally, I didn't intend to follow in my dads pacifist attitude initially. Why would I, when the evidence I have is lawyer-proof and more concrete than any rumours ?
But then, I keep thinking - why bother ? Those who know me and my family would realise there's too much masala in these stories to match the family: that this is a lie. For those who bothered to enquire, overwhelming evidence was available at a click of a button. For those snippy old post-menopausal b****es who once took gifts from our house and now shifted over to the next highest bidder and prefer to spread rumors because its more juicy, well - big whoop. Atleast prostitutes take cash only for a living. Speaks more about their culture than mine. 
Besides, I sure I'm better off without their presence in my life.  I save lives everyday. I do it for free, I do it 24 hours a day without a break and I make the people who entrust their lives in my hands smile the whole time they're with me. That is my victory - that the people who know me know who I am... words from strangers don't mean crap to me. If they didn't make me, how can they break me ?

Again though, the question arises - "What are you going to do about it?"
The thing is, you have to be really careful while flaunting your crimes - sometimes, you really don't want to keep poking an animal, especially when you aren't sure what the animal knows. 

I found a good parallel for my family's sense of resignation : albeit filmy, I see it as akin to the weariness of a constantly harassed and intimidated Dr Banner who's doing everything in his control not to get angry.
Especially these lines before he does finally give in.

Captain America : Doctor Banner, I think now might be a good time for you to get angry.

Bruce Banner : That's my secret, Cap: I'm always angry.


Ritika said…
Your dad reminded me of my grandfather, he was a lot like that.

I am not saying his nature was wrong anywhere, he was just trying to be helpful and kind, but that didn't work out so well.

A stranger had knocked on his door was some water, and he being him, invited him inside. That guy murdered my grandfather, my grandmother, my aunt and my cousin. I still shudder when I think about that incident. Its been 5 years but I still can't make myself to help any stranger now.

Roshan said…
I am really sorry to hear that. Sincerely. It's incidents like these that really screw up your beliefs.

But that's just the saddest part - when you try to help someone and they do something like that.

Again, really really sorry.
Ritika said…
You don't have to be Roshan

And you are right, we are better off without them. Its about taking the high road :)
Danny Simon said…
Sad encounters with people like these is what's made helping other people a cautious affair.
But even then, I think it's unwise if we indeed stopped helping people altogether! We need other people if we are to survive on this planet!
Roshan said…
True. When people hear of characters like these, then they corelate it to the general public and say 'whats the use of helping people ?'
And I still refuse to stop helping people - for better or worse, thats part of what makes me the dunce I am. Just gotta keep believing that everyone wont be an a$%#&le, right ? We've helped enough people over the years who have also been genuinely grateful.

This reminds me of an incident- there was a very very poor family whom we knew because they attended the same sunday mass with us. They had two grown up girls,of marriageable age. My Mummy came to know about their difficulties and that they cant afford a marriage and took initiative to start a fund among church members for them. Our car a maruti 800 at that times was decorated and used for the bride, the bridal bouquet was made by Mummy, we and many others gifted them gold. The wedding was very well organized. Years later, during one of those bridegroom hunts for my sister, we came across a decent proposal and my parents were enquiring about it. It took off further, and midway through the family of that guy withdrew and it was called off. Reliable sources revealed that some badmouthing about my sister happened which was initiated by that poor girl whose marriage we sponsored.That is some way to say thanks wasn't it?
Yes what you have mentioned is far worse than this, and gratitude is too much to ask from people whom we helped out of our way. It is also disheartening when such things befall our parents. I cant just believe animal heads and black magic in these times..that woman must be crazy.
Anyway, for people who have the habit of giving and forgiving, like your father, the blessings come in other ways. Surely it will not go unnoticed.
I've learned in recent years that getting angry is a good thing and sometimes acting on that anger even better! As for gratitude, I've learned to cut people off who don't show it. I know it sounds that doesn't sound nice, but nice is not always nice. We've got to learn to protect ourselves too. It always angers me when I see my parents being taken for granted by people - but then they allow that to happen. I used to allow that too - not anymore.
Take care, Roshan and stay angry!
Roshan said…
You'll find that such kind of backstabbing is a lot more common than you imagined. Have seen quote a few incidents in my times where really nice people have gone out of their way to help others ( paying their medical bills, helping their children get married as u said etc ) and once thats done, you'll see a prompt about turn - what do we chalk it up to ? Culture ? Attitude ? Morals ?

As for 'cat-head lady', well... if she wants to elieve in that nonsense, its her wish. A question I always ask my parents is - where the hell is she getting so many animal heads ??? Is there a farm for this too ?
Roshan said…
Oh, I totally agree. There is an upper limit for tolerance. I keep advising that to others - 'forgive and forget' doesnt apply to people who have intentionally harmed you... those kind will never learn. They just try to escape when they are caught and then start all over again, without learning a lesson.
How about informing PETA?
Roshan said…
you grossly overestimate the efficiency of PETA :) Atleast in our motherland...
amit said…
At first I was going to write that this is a very scary post but then I realised that my parents have gone through milder versions of it.
Sometimes it is not worth helping people because of such incidences.
And people who have harmed you must be given a piece of your mind. That will not make a difference to them, but it will make you feel light.
Roshan said…
That's just the point.. in their deluded mind, they justify all their actions - be it performing silly 'black magic' or sending hitmen - with some ridiculous statements about being moral and pious. There is no point showing a mirror to such people - they refuse to see their actions as wrong or criminal.
a-hem said…
Doctor, you're a lot more patient than a lot of people I know. I wonder if this malaise is typical of Keralites? My parents have gone through similar things (certainly, to a lesser degree) and all I can do is seethe and rage...

Your dad sounds like a great guy. :) I'm glad that there are people who still see the importance in taking the time to look for those who've helped them, and thank them.
Nisha said…
I can't believe such people exist. Really, are they human? Day by day it's becoming more scary to even roll down your window glass to hear someone out. Where the hell are we going?
It's important to give these people a piece of your mind or do something about it. Because if you don't their breed will grow without any fright. And that will do no good to our society. By being quiet, we are accepting their crime as a part of life.
I know it's easier said that done because these people can do anything. Wish we had a way to set them straight.
Roshan said…
I've always heard that about my patience... now, I can frankly say that there is no point being patient around such a-holes.

And yes, we were all shocked that there was someone to found him 30 years and actually cried while thanking him for something he did back then... so unlike the people we see in everyday life today
Roshan said…
I can assure you they are human only because of the skin they adorn... and yes, it is getting to a state where you should think twice before doing a selfless deed.

It is a cultureless breed - you can't reason with fanatics and crooks, I realised. As for what to do, well - time will tell when a breaking point will be reached.
Rohan said…
The time has been so bad I feel. . People take others good nature for granted. . Many a times I give my seat to old people but not once in my memory a single has thanked me. . Forget thanking, most of them don't even look at my face. . I am not demanding a thanks or anything but is too much to expect a smile? We like appreciation and that motivates us to do more. . Nowadays I don't feel like getting up only. . So the attitude of the people who we help has indeed a role to play in us helping others also. .
exactly true, Rohan.. if people are grateful , it is different. But when they just try to escape and then screw around with you, those kind of ch***yas spoil our beliefs in helping genuinely nice people.
broca's area said…
i liked this post.....

my regards to ur dad :)
Hi !! Ages since I've seen you here. How's life going ? Pg or done ?
broca's area said…
life is moving fast..2nd yr now.....
dont worry.. once u get past 1st year blues, 2nd year will pass by super-fast.. then comes 3rd year with thesis and final year exams - thats when you'll wonder what on earth u were doing all this time :)
D.Nambiar said…
I'm going to have to 'agree' with you. :)
Sad to say, but these kind of people actually exist in our own land...
SS said…
i kno those guys well roshan and dey have always been bastards hiding behind their illegal cash and bribes. ur familys mistake was letting them go when u all had a chance.still im glad u have proof against dem. keep it and use it properly wen the time comes. as for relatives and neighbours who chose to turn their back on u and instead participate in this, tell them to f off. theyve shown their true colours. when their bad days come, den you do the same to them.
Riyaz.Sheena said…
Hi rosh
Nice way to blast the world... true at some point or the other all of us have gone through the same situation. We feel like burning the bastards in the middle of the road. If u analyse the situation clearly you know that the mistake is ur dad's. no offense! you should never pardon any bastards. Screw their happiness, forget their families, dint they know that they had families when they were committing the crime. Why their family dints stop them from doing it? It makes them eligible to suffer on roads. I thing I have learnt from my personal experience is you have to react properly and screw their happiness the first time itself. Next is the fellow who was pleading your family should have been taken to police immediately and statement recorded. What prevented you? That old bastard should have been dragged on the road and bitten by your dogs. Anyway be smart next time!
you are right, Pada. the mistake was not slapping the bastard that day when he was on the floor begging like a dog.
they knew very well they were cheating us and only when they got caught, they bothered to pretend to say sorry and beg.
And for forgiving them, what all crap we have had to hear. But believe me, this is the last time I accept an apology of this kind. As for what to do, dont worry - evidence of them giving bribes and of their confessions has already been verified by some pretty prominent people.. now its a matter of letting them take the bait and trap themselves.
After that...