13 November 2007

My Journal - Part 5: 23 December - 25 December 1984

Click here to read the whole unexpurgated journal

Please read Part Four.

23 December

I broke my rule. I never read a journal before writing in it. I did today, though. This whole book from the beginning. It is hard reading. Some of the pages have dried tears, others dried blood. Some are incredibly nasty. But I will not break my second rule. I change not a word.

Suni and I did make an agreement. We will not live our lives as victims. We are alive. She has Hope to raise and I promised Mani that I will remarry. What a horrid, dreadful thought. However, a promise is still a promise - and somehow it will be kept. (The Nihang smiles at me.)

(expletive deleted)

The Pedersens are staying through Christmas. My feelings about Laura keep changing. Sometimes I look at her and it's almost like having Sandeep back. Other times I almost hate her. No, other times I do hate her. I want to gouge her eyes out. Oh, Waheguru! I don't know how I feel. Or even if I feel.

Where was I two months ago? 23 October. A village near Delhi. Suni and I away from the luftdreck (2007, literally, airsh*t, a word for smog I picked up somewhere) in the city. Two pregnant ladies without a care in the world, happy, giggling, eating too much and not exercising enough. Both happily married, our husbands spoiling us and trying to keep us happy. Two young sons, just starting life, with big plans and bigger hopes.

Now I am torturing myself. Nihang Singh Ji, come save me!!!!!!!

24 December 1984

Christmas Eve. Yippee. I'm overjoyed. How about a Christmas carol?

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

There is something unbearably poignant about this song, even in the best of times.. And these are the worst of times. A Christmas song for Sikhs??!!?! But the next verse could almost, ALMOST be from our Guru Ji:

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

I don't think so. I don't believe it. I used to believe it. (The Nihang looks grim.) I want to believe it, even now. But I see that (expletive deleted) Hindu smashing my Sandeep's neck and I hear the crack of his neck breaking and the grin on the (expletive deleted)'s face. And I don't believe in anything at all. (The Nihang hangs his head for a moment, then looks at me with - compassion? love?) Nihang Singh Ji, be angry at me! Please. Yell at me! Tell me off!! Excommunicate me or something!

Why do I feel so guilty?


25 December 1984


Up on the rooftop reindeer paws. Out jumps good ol' Santa Claus... Daddy looked like Santa Claus, only with a turban and not fat. I wish he were here. He could always make sense of things. I bet now all could say would be the hukam of Waheguru.

(expletive deleted)

I don't want to celebrate Christmas. I hate Christmas. We never had to celebrate Christmas because of Sandeep's objections. Wasn't he a purist? Devout. Made the rest of us look like amateurs.

But he's dead and everybody wants to give us presents. EVERYBODY. I honestly would rather do the Jain thing. Go meditate myself to death. Go sleep naked in the snow. But try to be nice. Why?

Because we agreed to be survivors, not victims. I don't want to survive. I curse those (expletive deleted) brahmins that rescued us. I could have died softly in the flames beside my Mani. I could be shaheed at his side.

Today I hate everything, everyone. I want to crawl under the blankets and hide my head. Wrap my hair around my head. My hair is still mine. Still that. (The Nihang touches his turban and smiles.) But I try to smile. I envy Laura. She doesn't even try. Just sits and stares at the Nihang. I don't think she can see him though. Her mother asked what's she looking at and she shakes her head and says, 'nothing.'

She is beautiful. Even with her eyes red and swollen and splotchy skin. Shiny blonde hair almost to her knees, not cut in how long? She keeps it covered all the time now. Surinder is right now tying it in a bun for her, a proper Sikh bun. Can a proper Sikh bun be yellow? She wears all 5 Ks now. Why don't her parents object? Sandeep is dead. They should help her get over him, not encourage this Sikh thing. Shouldn't they?

Oh, (expletive deleted). I don't know anything any more.