September 18, 2006

Thorn time

Mid-day today, there's a little knot of people -- a teacher, the girl in question and two other girls peering over shoulders. They are picking through the hair of the first girl, and she has her head down and ... is she weeping? And what is that in the teacher's fingers, a safety pin? IT is.

I get up from the bench I'm sitting on, and I go over to see what's going on, I find the teacher picking at a spot on the girl's head with the pin, and the girl shakes a bit with the pain.

The teacher tells me there's a thorn that's buried in the girl's scalp, and they're trying to get it out. "Isn't that dangerous," I ask. "You shouldn't use a pin for something like that. Might cause more infection."

"But we've tried with our fingernails and we can't get it out, she feels a lot of pain," the teacher says.

I ask the girl, how did you get that thorn in there?

"This morning," she says, tears running down her cheek. "My mother hit me."

This evening, I meet the girl at her home -- one in a depressing colony of post-tsunami shelters, one end of Nagapattinam. She still has the thorn in there. "I'm going to the doctor tomorrow morning," she says, a shy smile on her face. "Want some tea?" When I say no, she opens her fist. "Want a piece of mosambi?" she asks.

(This school).


Anonymous said...

Probabily your friends at DYFI and SFI have run away with the tsunami funds and are to blame. Enjoy your mousmbi nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm no fan of Mr.DDS, but why drag DYFI and whatnot into what is presumably an innocent post?

Red Watch

gaddeswarup said...

Very moving post.

Anonymous said...

I moved as I read this post. I moved my mouse and clicked the back button.

Anonymous said...

me too. i moved as well. i read nikhil's nitwitted comment and moved my head in despair.
more seriously, nikhil, it is the same old story. if you do not like the post, explain why (cogently, logically). otherwise, spare us the snide comments.

Anonymous said...

>> Hey I'm no fan of Mr.DDS, but why drag DYFI and whatnot into what is presumably an innocent post?

DYFI and SFI supports AID - Dilip's favorite charity. You missed his series on Tsunami on all the money scams around tsunami?

Dilip D'Souza said...

Thanks Swarup. Met the girl next day (yesterday) and she wasn't in any pain, apparently the thorn fell out by itself during the night. Hope they're right about that!

RedW, thanks. But there is a connection to DYFI after all. The thalaivar (leader) of the little community this girl belongs to gave me his address book to write down my phone number. As I took it, a visiting card with a colourful portrait of Bhagat Singh fell out. Caught my eye, so I looked at it, turned out to be of some guy who listed DYFI membership among various other acronyms (MBBS, etc).

From that mention of DYFI, I have concluded that the thalaivar and the girl are criminals.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr DSouza,

Sorry Off-Topic comment, but I cant help but respond to these comments here.

Are there any of your crittics who are brave enough to use their names? (And not mine!!) I have visited your blog since some weeks, after someone first pointed me via his post to your "GOODBYE" post. Then read your later posts.

All your crittics wont use their names!! From Redwatch to nikhil to Confused to In Shadows to "dude", and also just plain "annonymous"!! And now they are using my name, I'm flaaaattteeered!

Actually I think they are all the same person. Congratulations to that person! Are you doing anything else in life?

Lalita Joshi

Anonymous said...

There's an intresting point , Ms.Joshi. Now, how does the fact that I know your name have the slightest effect on the quality of your posts? I call myself Red Watch, but would it matter if I started signing my name Sahil Das? Or Raju Shah?

Boutros Boutros Red Watch

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dilip on that girl DYFI connection. I mistook a saffron connection for a minute with that saffron mousmbi and all.

And Lalitha Joshi, we might be related.

-Lata Doshi

gaddeswarup said...

I hope that they are right about the thorn falling off. This kind of thorn incidents (though not in the head) were not uncommon in my childhood. Sometimes, it would not come off completely and those days we would rarely go to a doctor. After a few days, the thorn would disappear. Either puss formed and it came out when one was unaware or due to some other unknown process (we used to think that blood somehow swallowed it).