Yesterday while watching news on television I notice a woman crying and the doctors holding an x ray sheet with nails being shown inside the woman’s hand!
I, for a moment wonder what the hell is going on!
My dad is engrossed with the information emitted and is livid while the woman tells her story. I the emotionless one, look and try to absorb the situation.
Did she just say that she was punished by those who hired her as a domestic in Riyadh by hammering nails into her body??
Now that was a little hard for even my indifference to swallow.
She looks to be in her 50s, a common woman of the rural parts. One of those women who would go abroad to work as a housemaid wishing for a better life for her children.
Later I find from papers, that she is 50 years old, named Ariyawathie and a resident of Matara district.
I wonder what would have crossed her mind, at those moments of horror!
I remembered the couple I met at the airport while waiting to board a plane. The husband and wife spending their last moments together. The wife on her way to work as a house maid. All her belongings packed into one small bag and I had no clue for how long she was leaving. They did not know how to fill the immigration forms, and came to me for help.
Seeing her, and her venture, I could only think of whether she had any children. What her life would be on her return. And how her life would be where she was headed.
Ariyawhathie would have been like that woman I met at the airport. She could have been her for all that matter as I recall no face nor traits. Just the tiny bag she was carrying.
Why are we as a nation sending these women into hands of torturers?
Do we as a nation have more responsibility towards these people who we pack off with dreams of a better tomorrow?
What do we do when they return handicapped? Brocken backed or with 23 nails hammered into them?
Ariyawhathie back in her country, but unable sit down or walk. The doctors are supposed to have declared that they found 24 metal pieces in her legs and hands. And they are not sure of the ability of all those being removed.
The memory of the incident, the face of the woman, the wounds from surgery performed possibly to take off the nails flash in my head.
I scan through papers and click on websites to gain more information.
I am taken to be a lover of grotesque situations as my interested in the matter is not comprehended by many.
I don’t admire its malicious quality. Nor do I find its grotesqueness fascinating.
I, Miss. Indifference try to fill the void, the lacuna, the human face which the situation lacks.
For me a vital question remains unanswered.
What do we do after watching this on television? Switch channels on the plight of many Ariyawathies still out there whose silent cries though loud as can be fall on deaf ears?
Or do something worthwhile to mark a change in this vicious pattern?