Monday, June 20

‘It was desperation’

It was almost a dead end to my life as I had virtually lost every hope to live, says Taqweem Shah, who not only tried to kill himself rather his two daughters as well

In his late 50s, Taqweem Shah is a happy man now, as he is running a lucrative business. He was an addict 17 years back and his brothers had snatched his share of property and threw him out of his paternal home. He rented a house, but could imagine no life sans drugs. Here is the story he narrated while sitting on a roadside bench, drinking coke. It was a leisure talk though punctuated by emotional periods. He requested anonymity because "do tell others my story so that they could learn a lesson from it but make certain that people do not know the real man who is known to be a successful businessman in his circle." His both daughters are married now and his only son is studying to earn a graduate degree. He thus narrates:-
"I was into drugs even prior to my marriage. My in-laws never knew about it till I fathered two daughters. My wife had realised it initially, but she was ‘more than a human being’ and remained with me despite my all indulgences. Today she is one of the happiest women of the world. I think her patience has rewarded her with a blissful life. Moreover, it is because of her that I am a stable person now.
"It is pretty painful to think about my previous life, but it also gives me a lot of strength – if I had survived those days, I can face any crisis now. Yes! I was desperate to do anything to numb my mind. I took all sorts of drugs – from Bhung (hemp) to cocaine. Definitely, I was depressed because of my family’s attitude who took every inch of precious land and when I left my paternal home, I was virtually empty handed. I did odd jobs to sustain myself only and my wife was supported by her family.
So things went on, but domestic feuds were a routine. Out of sheer anger and desperation, I tried to kill my wife once or twice. I was bent upon killing my daughters as well, but my wife was always watchful. Probably, she had this in mind that I could go to this extent.
I tried to kill my daughters twice – once with a sharp knife and second, I made an effort to strangulate them. Both times, my wife raised hue and cry to save them and she was successful. I believe that it was sheer desperation – when I had no money to feed my family – and under the spell of drugs. Definitely, I hate myself for doing that, but you can never imagine the sort of circumstances, which led to do this. Probably I cannot explain that even today, as I don’t have words.
"I wanted to commit suicide though it is the most difficult thing to do. But your circumstances give you impetus to do that. I had nothing to lose; so death could have solved my problems. To kill myself, I over-dosed my body with drugs. To me that would have been less painful. To die in deep slumber is still the easiest option because I think death is terrible.
"Now I am a happy man and my family loves me more than anything. I reciprocate their love with all kinds of efforts to meet their demands. I love to purchase things for them. This is all because of the Almighty Allah, my wife and my mother’s prayers."

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