the long search

When you have nowhere to go, go back to yourself.

My Post, His Story

As usual, this is my post. But this is not my story as usual.

I was struggling with my post. Then I took a look at my blog-roll. I saw most of my blogger friends, barring probably Agnes, have fallen silent. May be this is the season of slience. Then quite a few things came to my mind. Some dark, some cheerful. Some did excite me, some left me cold. I knew I was struggling.

This morning, I reached office when my colleague handed out a photograph to me. "Today is World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse and it's a related picture," he said. I should be honest, I did not know such a day did exist. These days, there are so many that one loses count.

Soon after, I logged into my Facebook account and saw a link from NY Times my friend Lala - he is pursuing his doctoral degree in Purdue University - had sent me. It had something to do with children in Congo. I read and did not just stop till it ended. At the end, it saddened me no end.

I don't intend to make any statement although I know I am sounding like a hypocrite here. For, such stories are not exclusive to Congo. Stories like this one abound in Asia and Africa where governments have failed; where civil war is the norm; where mineral resources have been plundered by outsiders, ably assisted by forces from developed nations. It's not as if we have not come across such tales of human tragedy before. Not as if it has not happened anywhere near I live. By saying all this, I am probably ridding myself of the feeling of guilt of not doing my bit.

Do read the following link. I just wanted to share what I call His Story.

15 and Broke in a Cut-Throat Congo Mining Town

This post is dedicated to the two blogger friends whose compassion in their last posts is still lingering around in my mind. To Mehreen (for that post on child labour) and Trevor (for that moving photograph on Children's Day).


WarmSunshine 19 November 2008 at 17:19  

Hi Sib!
I read the article. It was devastating. I feel ashamed for being unthankful at many different stages in my life despite having many luxuries so many others don not have.
People often ask if God is all generous and merciful, then why is there so much suffering? The real reason only God knows, but I think maybe it is there for us to be thankful to Him... to show us His Grandeur... He keeps the worse side of the picture so that We remain thankful and loyal to Him.

I'm honored for the dedication you mentioned in this post.
Thankyou tons!


Talking To My Soul 20 November 2008 at 02:18  


All I can say is: You were so very right.

We should be thankful for all that God has given us but I too believe that we need to give something in return for what we have got.

Thank you so very much for reading. Thanks indeed.


Agnes 20 November 2008 at 08:10  

This is either going to be the longest comment I've ever posted or I won't comment at all.

Ironically, my husband and I just got home from teaching 6 human rights classes today. We've done human rights work in many countries and I sometimes feel that my eyes have seen more than any of my friends will ever see, which is fine. In fact I happened to be in your country, India, doing a series of human rights lectures in various schools when the tsunami came and claimed all those lives. We decided to cancel our program and go help the tsunami survivors instead. I saw in Diana's blog that she was there too, that's why I started reading her blog... and I keep wondering if Diana and I met down there in Tamil Nadu.
Anyway, in the beginning, when I first started traveling, years ago, I had the honor of working with Pakistani and Afghani women who had been through the worst and yet never backed down. I was very, very overwhelmed by the inhumanities they had to face on a daily basis and cried over it many times. The most overwhelming part has never been the reality of the actual conditions some people had to face, but the fact that there are people, real people, just like you or me, who are knowingly causing these conditions to exist in the first place. It is very hard to conceive the concept of such evil yet it does exist. Child Traffickers. Dictators. Politicians. I felt that anything I could ever do would be nothing but a drop in the ocean. And it might be so, but through the years I learned that the ocean is nothing more than drops of water. I tell people to do what they can. Even if you only change one life. Don't get discouraged because you cannot change the world overnight. Do what you can. Start somewhere and you'll probably find ways to do more.

Trevor Penn 20 November 2008 at 10:39  

Thank you, Soul, for the recognition and attention albeit undeserved.

I read that article and i've read many more like that. In fact, if everything works to the plan, i'll probably end up writing many such biographical tales. Imagine talking to a 14 year old and trying to gain her confidence enough so she would share her story. Imagine being the first person to ever be told that she was pimped by her father. It's all very overwhelming.

One could so easily lose oneself in such a mire. But the trick to remain afloat in the mire is in not being burdened. And in not beating your limbs to death.

Maintain your poise and try to inspire. Do your 2 cents worth. And hope that the beneficiary would pay the deed forward.

Talking To My Soul 20 November 2008 at 14:24  


I am really glad that you chose the longest comment - it's a previlege to have it - over not commenting at all. I really am.

Must tell you something about me. Have been a journalist for over a decade and have come across such stories how many times I can't remember. There have been times when they overwhelmed me because most of the times I am reporting them. Sometimes, it can leave a sense of satisfaction but there are times when you know you need to cross that line. And that's what I was talking about.

I did not get a chance to work for tsunami areas but I travelled well during the 1999 super cyclone that ripped through the Eastern Indian state Orissa. I guess, I know how calamities can upstage life beyond repair and the way human trafickers that make a beeline. It is unimaginable, to be precise.

I'm happy to have learnt about the work you have done. It's tremendous, I say. We need more of the Agnes' and Geoffs to make the earth a better place.

Thanks for the patient reading, Agnes.


Talking To My Soul 20 November 2008 at 14:45  


Good to see you, Crooner. I agreed to your observations that "one could so easily lose oneself in such a mire. But the trick to remain afloat in the mire is in not being burdened. And in not beating your limbs to death."

That's what I was talking about. I have been a scribe for more than a decade and realise what writing about such issues mean to me as a professional. But what I want for myself as a person is different. As I wrote to Agnes, it's the line that one needs to cross. The one that divides the person from a professional. It's about that.

Do let me know when your plans do come true.

And yes, please allow me to decide if that 'attention and recognition' was derserved or not. To me, it was well deserved.

Thanks for being patient, mate.


Keshi 20 November 2008 at 16:55  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous 21 November 2008 at 13:42  

*leaves silver-dust trails of K*


Talking To My Soul 21 November 2008 at 14:06  


Dear Anonymous, thank you so very much. I know who left the silver-dust trail. I recognise it.

Thanks. Come back.


Trevor Penn 21 November 2008 at 15:45  

I know what you mean. Don't beat yourself to death. You're a human first and a scribe next. Do you believe in prayers, Soul? Then why don't you begin with a prayer.

I'm sure sooner rather than later you'll get to put your heart at ease. Hang in there, pal.

Btw, is someone heading down under? ;-)

Talking To My Soul 21 November 2008 at 16:16  


Thanks for understanding, mate.

I realised the significance of prayer when I was a kid. So I know.

I am not beating myself to death but there are times when I need to kick myself. Thanks for helping, Crooner. I deeply appreciate you understand it.

Heyy buddy, is anyone heading down under? Who? Do tell me.


Agnes 21 November 2008 at 21:30  


yeah, I do understand. You know, once I saw this lady from the Middle East, her whole body was on fire, I saw this on TV, not in real life. I couldn't believe that there were half a dozen reporters filming her and taking pictures of her but not one of them was actually helping her.

But anyway, I agree with Trevor, the trick is to keep your head above the water and keep going forward.

Talking To My Soul 22 November 2008 at 00:35  


I know such bizarre and unimaginable things have happened. Thank God! I have not ever been party to it. It's such a sorry side of the media.

Thanks, Agnes. Thank you again for appreciating everything. Also, for the Grandma post.


WarmSunshine 22 November 2008 at 03:13  

Replying to ur comment on my blog... plz send me your facebook email id in a comment and i'll link up to you there :) if you're okay with that i mean :)

Talking To My Soul 22 November 2008 at 13:29  


Hi and Thanks, Meh.


Anonymous 23 November 2008 at 04:59  

hopefully I'll come bak....:)

tnxx TC!

Talking To My Soul 23 November 2008 at 14:28  


You will, for sure. I am sure about it. And, it's about time, my dear.


WarmSunshine 24 November 2008 at 04:36  

Hi Sib!

Please see:

Agnes 27 November 2008 at 05:05  

I have an award for you here :-)

Anonymous 27 November 2008 at 07:09  


TC n tnxx!

Talking To My Soul 27 November 2008 at 18:07  

Hi Agnes.

I am honoured. That's all I can say at the moment.

Things are so bad back in India. I feel so angry.

Thanks again.


Talking To My Soul 27 November 2008 at 18:08  

Hi Anonymous K,

Thanks for dropping in.

When is the time to see you then?


Agnes 27 November 2008 at 21:53  

Thanks. I am so very sorry about Mumbai. I know it's hard. My advice is to please try and find something nice you can do for someone else that you wouldn't normally do and then just do it. Give a ride to a stranger. Carry the bags of a pregnant woman. Buy a beggar dinner. Just do something extra nice for someone else, and refuse to be brought down to their level, the level of hatred. I know it's hard.

On a lighter note, I answered your comment, explaining the "rules" of the award.

Geoff 27 November 2008 at 22:32  

Again, the world weeps as Mumbai bleeds.
I'm so sorry for the loss of so many innocent lives.

Talking To My Soul 28 November 2008 at 02:49  


Hi. The terror attacks on Mumbai are so disturbing that I at times didn't feel like talking about it at all. I can tell you there's so much anger around and it does not augur well.

God bless everyone.

Thanks again for the award. I will do as you advised. Put them up on my blog soon.

Let there be peace.


Talking To My Soul 28 November 2008 at 02:56  


Hi Geoff. You are right. I saw how extensively the attacks have been covered by the media across US, UK and elsewhere.

We all can pray for Mumbai and its brave people.

Thanks for dropping in.


CяŷştąŁ 28 November 2008 at 21:22  

I read the article as well..
All that I can concise and speak out is we're zombies living in this world who're pretty much immune to thousands of such children who're being rubbed and murdered in these thick walls of poverty!
As Meher said..we're so shameful of not even trying to thank God for all that we get..we just know how to smoke a fag,and not give a damn about what's going around the world..*sigh*
But anyway..even I had written a post on child labour..actually t'was an autobiography..
try reading it

Talking To My Soul 28 November 2008 at 23:39  


Thanks, girl. Thanks for reading. I read your post too. You seemed to have internalised the life of the kid. Touching stuff.

Stay good. Keep coming over.


Diana 29 November 2008 at 08:05  

Innocence of children is the first victim of a war. They are not just left lame and hungry but their parents are killed before their eyes.

Girls are raped, toddlers butchered and babies left crying among dead bodies. And the impact....after the war is over, these children area haunted with memories of mayhem unfitting for the most hard-bitten grown-ups. Soemtimes, its these children who turn into merciless killers.

The war might have spared them of their lives but they still die - a death of an uncertain future devoid of a much-needed...a normal childhood.

Diana 29 November 2008 at 08:50  

@ Agnes - Hi....Yep I was there at Nagapattinam, Cudalore and Kalpakam after the tsunami. It
wasnt immediately after the tsunami but probably...6 or 8 months later. I was in college then in Chennai and a group of us had been sent to these areas for a BBC assignment on rehabilitation
measures in affected regions.

I had come across some tsunami orphans. Then, their life was just like a blank canvas with the government undecided and various agencies debating to handle the situation it in the best possible way. All of them suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, symptoms such as sleep disturbances, flashbacks and bouts of depression and aggression. In some cases, victims were also inclined to harm themselves or indulge in substance abuse.

It was worse to the extent that there were even child traffickers who wanted to benefit from the situation. There were also instances where "relatives" turned up to claim children so as to get their hands on the compensation handed out by the government.

I did my part by highlighting their plight to some people (they were part of different international aid agencies who wanted to help) but I do not know if they did anything for these hapless kids. But as u said...this was another drop of water in the vast ocean.

Talking To My Soul 30 November 2008 at 21:35  


You did good, Di. Always keep that fire alive in you.


Diana 9 December 2008 at 00:20  

Being in a real life situation brings out the spirit of doing something good for someone. But editing stories about issues...where u can do nothing but just check grammer in a copy...kills the spirit...

Talking To My Soul 9 December 2008 at 00:34  


Someone had called it ARK - Act of Random Kindness. But I guess it's a duty.

At the same breath, editing a story on it should not kill the spirit. It is your job then, ain't it?


Diana 9 December 2008 at 14:52  

@ Soul - True!!

Talking To My Soul 9 December 2008 at 17:43  


Thanks, Di.


CrazyHeart 11 December 2008 at 18:36  

well nice blog..this is reaaly season of silence sleep vactions:)

Talking To My Soul 11 December 2008 at 21:30  


Thanks, CrazyHeart for dropping by and for the appreciation.

Keep coming over.


runescape power leveling 6 January 2009 at 17:32  

where you come from!

Talking To My Soul 6 January 2009 at 18:33  


Thanks. I was and am here only.


Anonymous 31 January 2011 at 05:54  

Hey, I am checking this blog using the phone and this appears to be kind of odd. Thought you'd wish to know. This is a great write-up nevertheless, did not mess that up.

- David

About this blog

If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed