Sunday, December 30, 2012

For Anonymous

Just like every soul on the planet who has had access to media over Christmas, I have been sensitive to the ordeal of the Indian woman and her boyfriend on the bus with darkened windows. I've been avoiding the details because they are so unspeakable, so commonplace, so awful. It hurts my heart to go there even for a second. But when I heard the news on the radio this morning that she has died ... well. Tears.

She had not asked to become a symbol or a martyr, or a cause; she had intended to lead a normal life, practicing medicine, watching movies, going out with friends. She had not asked to be brave, to be the girl who was so courageous, the woman whose injuries symbolised the violence so many women across the country know so intimately. She had asked for one thing, after she was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital:
“I want to live,” she had said to her mother.


  1. Something is happening, finally (probably since the day the Mayans gave up their calender). Jill Meagher's death, the Newtown primary school and now the anonymous woman on a bus in New Delhi. It's my personal grief, the family's grief, the neighborhood's grief, the nation's, the nations'.

  2. Tragic. Things will change slowly but I don't think there will be any turning back now.

  3. I know what you mean, Sarah, about trying to avoid the details. I think that when we lived in villages and small communities, we shared each other's sorrows and joys, but because of the scale, it was manageable. Today, with us able to learn the minutest details about what sometimes seems like The Pain of the Entire World, it can be overwhelming and just make a person really really sad and very very small and completely powerless. I stopped watching television news years ago, probably around the time my now 16 year old daughter was about 18 months or two years old. I don't watch it now, mainly because it's not news. I stopped listening to ABC radio about 8 years ago - it was too much. My mother, who has gone through cancer, was advised not to read the news because it makes you too sad and can have an effect on the immune system. This makes sense to me. I read the newspaper and like most people am drawn to the dark, tragic stories, but I limit my exposure and I feel so much better for it.

    I really hope there will be change, but there is such a long way to go.


  4. Melba, your comment was spot on and I like the idea of the constant assault on the immune system that is 'news'. On reflection, I can see how that has done some friends in. As well, I've done away with television for five or six years now. Some folk come into my house and can't work out the lounge/table living space fengsui because there is no central focal point. Others offer me tv's because they feel sorry for me and my kids!
    Most of my media comes online or through radio national and sometimes even that is too much. The details can do me in.

    All of that said, while in the city and subjected to constant television over Christmas, I was hyper aware of what was going on in the world. The story of the Indian woman was galvanising, not because of the morbid voyeur thing but seeing the men and women who took to the streets and completely freaked out the government. It's a new age, where folk are not going to accept the status quo dictated to them by the old media and ruler guard's 'prostatariat'. (Fuck, I love that word. Bernard Keane.)

  5. Yes I saw 'prostatariat' on your other, more recent post. Hadn't seen it before, it is a good word. Fantastic to see people protesting in India but the latest thing about what the defence lawyer has said: makes my head explode and I cannot dwell on it.

    People can't handle it when you don't have a tv (we do) or don't have it on all the time (we don't) just like they can't handle it when you don't drink alcohol (we do too, but any time I haven't, people have noticed, commented and disliked.)