I whacked my head last evening on the edge of a concrete window ledge with such impact that I immediately lost the clarity of my vision and instantly felt nauseous. I knew that driving my car at that moment was out of the question and all the practical training of being a no-nonsense mum kicked into place. I quickly scrolled to the number of my girl friend in my blurred state of vision, who in a jiffy drove from her workshop to take me directly to the emergency unit of the hospital we frequent. Perhaps being in a state of trauma I became reflective, and whilst sitting quietly with an icepack balanced on my head waiting for the doctor, I felt deep gratitude for the opportunities life has offered me, and the lessons of survival one has been able to learn over the years that make life less complicated, and perhaps therefore more manageable in some ways.
Today reading about the Naroda Patiya massacre verdict, the terrible story of Kausar Bano who was nine months pregnant, gang raped and who had her stomach slit open and the foetus of her unborn child ripped from her body and who was then burnt alive, is a chilling reminder of those who could not be protected; and who's survival others snatched away without a thought.
That hundreds of Assamese felt such an imminent threat to their safety, felt that their survival was compromised so severely that they felt obliged to flee, indicates how instantly we can create a panic to destabilise and wreck damage to the psyche of entire communities that may never really heal, despite time.
A young artist of the Collective Studio who teaches in a school told me the other day of a small act of intervention that she did which perhaps aided to protect the innocence of a tiny child. The child needed to be taken to her parents who were waiting in another section of the school. The school property being vast and with a lot of trees, the child would have to walk a long distance with a male attendant unsupervised and out of the vision of any other adult member of the staff. So my young friend decided that even though she would herself get late, she would escort the pupil to avoid any probable potential danger of the innocence of the child being violated.
My head still swims with pain and I feel like a new sailor with wobbly feet and sea sickness, plus I can boast of a rather impressive bump on the crown of my head! But apart from the frivolity I wrap it all in to make light of it, I have incurred an injury I could well have done without. And perhaps most significantly I still feel so fortunate to be safe in ways that I never can take for granted, knowing I am protected by the love and concern of those who really care for me.