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May 19, 2006   


Genius in the time of hate and bloodshed

Reportage: Sheela Bhatt

At the height of communal rioting in Vadodara last fortnight, a young girl walked from Nyay Mandir to Mandvi with one goal in mind.

Jhalak Subedi did not see, or if she did she chose to ignore, the pervasive signs of senseless death and random devastation. She did not realise, or chose to ignore, the fact that her own life could be snuffed out in a moment of impersonal insanity.

She wanted, according to a media report, only one thing of Life -- a chance to meet her idol, a chance to tell him that if he would have her, she would marry him that instant.

She had met Irfan Pathan once before -- but then, she had contented herself with talking cricket while keeping her feelings hidden. Now it was too strong, and if its clamor for expression coincided with a riot, well, so be it.

Photograph, courtesy the Pathan family


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