This is a letter from a father of twin daughters that you will never read.
Now I am not the only one to have daughters but I am obviously better suited to relate to the emotional whirlwind that I have experienced since they first arrived as mere bundles of meat and skin with bleary eyes. I agonized over their incoherent cries not knowing what they wanted. There were times when they were sick and inconsolable leaving my heart in knots.
Gradually, they grew up and found their feet and mumbled their first meaningful words. They washed away the Tendulkars, Schwarzeneggers, John Grishams and Ghulam Alis of my world with their own being. There were only so many I could take.
When they started going to school there were times when I felt like whacking their teachers when they compared my starlets with the hoi polloi of the earth.
And such emotions were returned by the twins by an unconditional sea of love.
Then they grew up some more, developed their own likes and dislikes, hates and desires, started asserting their personality on people and surroundings. There were the inevitable tussles over Tom and Jerry shows and incomplete homework, Mcaloo Tikki burgers and ‘healthy food’. At times I felt like a recalcitrant General who has to concede territory to the very troops he has raised. But concede I did.
Today, I have no way to ascertain the bond you shared with your father but I am sure the core emotion would have been the same.
My daughters are yet to grow into restless teens but I am bracing myself for their introduction to social networks like Facebook, texting, tweeting, mobile escapades or God forbid, darker strains of emotions.
Sitting in a cavernous departure area of an airport in May 2008, I saw your face splashed around on news channels and learnt of your grisly end. As the events unfolded in the successive days, all I could think was ‘why’. Why at all, a human would slaughter a hapless blossom with the nonchalance of a butcher. No act of omission or commission by you, your parents or any human for that matter, can ever justify the sudden brutal end brought upon you.
There are some really disturbing questions about that night that need to be answered by your parents. And sadly, many of these point accusingly at your parents. Some say the media, the police and the CBI have all conspired to poison the minds of people. True, both the media and the police are bursting at the seams with morbid and corrupt clowns and the CBI behaves like the secret police of a banana republic at best. But the questions refuse to budge and have continued to torment the consciousness of an entire nation. A visitor to my outpourings observed, “one doesn’t want to believe that they (your parents) have meticulously done the deed, but looking at their faces, one can’t be sure they didn’t either.”
I have been directed to long write ups at the ‘Open Magazine’ titled ‘Worse than a Daughter’s Death’ and the ‘Tehelka’ of which I found the former specially touching even if it sounded hollow at places. It certainly drives home the exasperation of both the police and the CBI who feel annoyed when disturbed with such petty matters that withdraw them from more important business of wasting taxpayer’s money or taking bribes. There methods combined with the judicial system of this nation can put several Abu Ghraib camps to shame.
I also fail to understand why CBI has denied the LCN DNA tests your father has been hankering for.
Yet, I have not eaten back the words that I pronounced in the anguished courthouse of my soul, “Wake up Talwars. Time to die.” They will remain dangling in the eternity for none can expunge the first and foremost charge of irresponsible parenting from the Talwars. I have scoured for days for whatever was suggested to me: magazines, webpages, forums, theorems, thousands of comments, and also the recent closure report of the CBI. It certainly got murkier and murkier the more I read till I could not bear. I am afraid we may never be privy now to the sequence of those dark deeds buried in the bosom of a darker night. But nothing that comes to fall upon your parents, or the putrid intruder if indeed there was one, be it through the media or the police or the CBI or the unpredictable judicial machinery of this land, will ever wake you from the eternal silence you have been consigned to.
So, forget it all like a terrible dream and rest in peace, Aarushi, Rest in Peace.