Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Poonam Muttreja

I was 31 last month. Age has calmed me down; I no longer express loud contempt and anger at people who litter, buy crackers, or are nasty to domestic help. The feelings remain, I've just learnt to rein them in. And yet there remains a list of realities that can make me cry every time I'm faced with them. 
The partition stories.
Holocaust stories.
Stories about armymen in Kargil.
It's a long list.

What this effectively means is that because I do not like getting upset, I avoid reading books about these stories and do not watch movies in which people wear olive green. I'm done with "Train to Pakistan","Is Paris Burning?" and "Anne Frank's Diary". Ostrich, did you say? Not really - I just like to keep a calm head and function efficiently. 

Which is why this page I landed on today hurt all the more - I just wasn't prepared for it! All I was doing was reading up about the Population Foundation of India as a potential future employer. The Executive Director is one Poonam Muttreja, and I figured I'll google her a bit before I do anything else. All logical and aboveboard. Just what a sincere MBA student ought to be doing in Term 5.

The first thing that popped up on google search was this affidavit. In 35 lines, it's the story of five days in a young woman's life in November 1984. No exaggerated emotional outpouring this - on a stark black background, in matter of fact legalese, it's a calm narration of what she saw and did these five days. And yet the painful drama of it manages to sneak through, as you read the whole thing with heart pounding and growing disbelief. I feel profoundly sad, proud and humbled at the same time. I'd like to work with this woman I think. 


  1. Reading that gave me a sinking feeling too...

  2. Wondering when was the last time that I hit the "comment" button on somebody's blog - but took forever to come up with what to write... A blog this good deserves a really well thought out comment. At this moment, I feel incapable of providing a befitting comment. So all I will say is that post after post, you continue to weave magic with words :-) But wonder why you had to lie about your age - why say '31' when you are only '25'? :-|

  3. Phew! You can write gal and how!

    Never thought I will come to say this to you, but(barring my taking exception to a few things here and there) this post of yours floored me. You awesome mAnJoT. Touching narrative.


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