Everyone is present. No? You all know me very well. My name is Sruthi. My native place is Perla, a place in Kasargode district, Kerala. I belong to the Havyaka Brahmin community. Please don’t ask me more details about Havyaka, I did not try to find the root of this community. Anyway, I have heard that, it is a very important section in the Brahmin community. Because of that, we have got and enjoyed good respect from the society. Like Sahana told here earlier, rather than as a Hindu, I lived as a Brahmin, Brahmin girl.
From my childhood, I had seen many kinds of rituals conducting in my home. I started to say words like Isvara or God, only after came here. Till that, God was… just like in the cinemas and television.., we used to hear in the dialogues.. ‘Oh my God’. It was used in a humorous sense. I uttered the word Isvara, in a serious sense, only after came here. And, in concern with me, God belief means, visiting temples, participating in the ritualistic functions and festivals,… then attending Theyyam functions like Kaliyaattam, etc. These things marked my belief in God. In home, it was a must to enter the Puja performing room and pray. If I did not pray, or stand there without veneration, then parents would scold me. But they did not tell me what to pray, how to pray, etc. Instead, they compelled me to stand inside the Puja room with folded hands. After praying I must anoint forehead with Bhasmam (Ashes). Else there will be ruckus again. In this manner… nobody told me, what is the meaning of these rituals, why doing these all? But, there were lots of rituals and associated functions. That’s all that I knew. After getting matured, while studying in 10th standard, I saw in certificates that my religion column contains ‘Hindu’. Thus, I knew that I am a Hindu. Apart from that, I had no knowledge about anything related to Hindutwa or Hindu Dharma.
Later I joined the college for graduation. There, most of my classmates were Muslim girls. I was very curious about them. They wear partial veil in head, and they had a rhythm of unknown kind. There was something attractive in them. Thus I began to befriend with them more. Also, Hindu girls were very few in the class and I had a very reserved character in that period. So I was not ready to mingle with many people, close friends will be those who sits in the same bench. And they were all Muslim girls, wherever I sat in the classroom.
I regularly talked with Muslim girls, especially during interval hours… They used to talk topics related to religion. First, they will say that, a certain belief is in such such way in their religion and then will ask me how this topic is described in Hinduism. Their enquiry is in such a way that they have many things to ask to me. You all believe in multiple gods. No? Why is it so? We believe only in one god. Why you don’t have a single God? Why you all anoint Sindoor in your forehead? People in your religion have the habit of wearing too many strings in hand. What is the meaning of it? Hindus do Puja, use Mantras, and the base of the trees are protected by stones, and we have seen color powders are being poured around the base, then worshipping cows with garland and Puja. Why is this all needed? They will ask these type questions to me. What reply I can give? I don’t know anything. All I know is the rituals and associated function that are performing in my home. I will say that to them. Then they will ask further questions. I will explain further. But they will ask more questions on various topics. I don’t have reply to all of these. At last, due to their prolonged questioning, I will retort them – You all say about One God. Actually what is this One God? Whom you all worship? Gradually, through these debates and questionings, they were injecting their ideas into me a little by little. I understood this only in a later period. But I was late. The knowledge that I got from my friends, were already pulling me towards Islam.
After graduation, I joined for post graduation. At that time along with my studies, I was also a teacher. I was a teacher and student in the same collage. I was working in another school too. The schools, where I was a teacher, were Muslim majority schools. Majority of students and teachers were Muslims, school management was Muslim. In English medium schools there was a period named GK, General Knowledge. On hearing this term, we may think that teachers will give general knowledge to students in this period. I also thought so. But, actually, during GK class, they were giving madrassa class. Quran was the study subject. At many times, I was all in wonder, why is this so? When I asked this, other teachers said, that if we give general knowledge to these little kids, they can’t understand it properly. We shall give GK before exam. Why should we waste a period till then? There are many things that they must know about religion. So, is not it better to give such knowledge?
This madrassa class, ie., the GK period, is a combined class. There is a madrassa class between 08:30 – 09:30 AM. That is only for Muslim students. But these madrassa/GK classes were mixed, Hindu students were also there. They need to study Arabi alphabets and also Quran in Arabic. At that time, I was thinking positive about all these. I was supportive to their belief. They give very much importance to their faith.., many religious things to perform. They know many things about their religion, about spirituality, etc. They know their religion very well. But even born as a Hindu in Hindu Dharma, I am uttering the word Dharma only after reached here. I was not aware of the tenets of my religion. All that I knew was about the caste, I born. This inferiority complex, due to the ignorance about the tenets of my own religion, was always with me. I neither know much about my religion nor there a setup to enlighten me about Hinduism. I can’t ask to anybody because that liberty was already barred.
During childhood days, we used to visit temples. There is a famous temple named Madhur Vighna Vinayaka temple. Regular Vedic classes will be held there. When I was a child, whenever I visit that temple, I could see many boys studying and reciting Vedas. The rhythm of their recital attracted me to a level that once I asked permission from my elders to study Vedas and sought admission there. Then the aged people of my caste get astonished and said – “What a nonsense you are saying.., girls studying Vedas?! From where you get this idea, who said these all to you, don’t think anything like this, you must not think in such a way”.
Sometimes, others had explained about Hindu god concepts, in a peculiar way. That incidents evoked fear in my mind. Once, my elder brother planned to go to Sabarimala. Then, everyday, he will wake up early morning, take bath and call aloud various epithets of Ayyappa Swamy. Hearing those, I will get thrilled. I was a small kid then. I demanded to my parents that I also want to go Sabarimala, and wish to wear Mala (Rudraksha garland). Then, they replied by placing their hand on their mouth, with a feared gesture, that I must not tell anything like so. I was a small child then. So I got frightened. Their behavior was such that, I did a fatal crime. They said that, things like Sabarimala visit, are more of fateful and we must not raise such demands. Actually they rejected me because of the difficulties in taking me along with them to Sabarimala in that tender age. Girls up to 10 years old can go to Sabarimala. Difficulty in taking a small kid with them was the problem. Afterwards, I always feared 1-2 manifestations of Isvara, very much. Swami Ayyappan was one of them. Can’t I even utter the name Swami Ayyappan? Was that a big mistake from my side? These type doubts were always with me afterwards.
Once, we were seeing a TV Serial named ‘Om Namashivaya’. In it, Devi is addressed as ‘Maatha’ and also ‘Matha Sri’. Then I asked a doubt, because I did not hear anybody addressing Parameswara as ‘Pitha Sri’. So, I asked why Pramaeswara is addressed as ‘Prabho’? Why not calling him as ‘Pitha sri’? My home is in a remote village. Though electricity had reached in our area, television was rare. It is in our home, TV first purchased. So, by 9 PM, all women who are our neighbors will come to my home to watch TV serial. Everyone will come. Upon hearing my doubt, a grandmother among them, (she knew Kannada partially) replied, ‘what are you saying! Calling mother by a name, is not like calling father. We everyone have only one father. But we can call anyone as mother. But father is alone and it is who give birth to us’. You see… up to which low level they present Isvara concept. They were telling about Isvara… We have only one father, so we must not call Isvara as ‘Pitha sri’. They are feeding these to the brain of a little child… What a non-sense!
In the spiritual side, Hindu community must uphold Dharmic values. These values were given not to us only; they are not our personal property either. They are a boon given to us by Isvara and we must spread them everywhere. We must carry on this forward. But this is not happening; we are not providing these values to our successive generations in the right manner. I grown up by hearing all these kind nonsense talks, and I don’t think that I attained maturity by the time I was in degree classes. I was not a matured person in the spiritual area. What answers I should give to their questions? After asking about Theyyam (a festival in Kerala’s Malabar area), its internal meaning, about how these rituals originated, and do they contain truth, they will ask more questions. Then I will say that you must not dig deeper. All these are truth because these are things that we follow for many generations. Asking and digging deep into this subject is not fair, it is considered as rudeness. Girls must not be so. Then what is the way out, other than keeping mum, by suppressing all desire to ask more, to know more. Mind was full of fear because I was not allowed to ask about anything more.
Then rituals.., most of them are humorous. Now here, when sir took class on Christianity, there was a portion named ‘non-bathing people’. No? When girls from one part of the Kasargode district of Kerala (which is adjacent to Karnataka) came to this part, then, people will say that those girls don’t usually take bath. Actually, as you think, we are not such girls. It means, here in this areas, taking bath means, washing both body and head. But there, washing only body is also called bath. Head will be washed only twice in a week. It is a part of a belief; it is a dirty system. When we say, ‘taking bath everyday’, that don’t mean washing head every day. Fever or other deceases may come; head will be affected by something… these types foolish arguments were always there.
Our original problems will not get attention in this situation. There is no systematic knowledge about how to worship Isvara, among common people. No knowledge in these matters. People believe in some superstitions and give much importance to them. Taking birth and growing in such a society… These superstitions… I shall tell you two funny experiences, especially about two rites that my Brahmin community conducts. First – whenever Puja or Homa were conducted in my home, every family member will attend it. But those, who were married off to another family, cannot attend. During Puja, family members should bend on their knees, sit and then prostrate. Forehead should touch on the floor. They must remain in that pose for some time. Then priests will recite some mantras. Nobody assembled there, knew their meaning. If we ask to an elderly member, they will say – ‘It’s a mantra, associated with Isvara’. That’s all. If we ask which the deity of that mantra is, then they are helpless again. They don’t know the deity glorified in that Hymn/Mantra. Ok. Let them do whatever they want. After finishing the mantra recital, main priest will take some rice mixed with saffron power (this is called as Mantrakshara), and will drop it on the heads of the prostrated people, in this style. Rice may not fell on the heads of all. But on whose head rice fell, they should not take bath on that day, but next day morning they can have bath.
Now I shall tell another experience. Sir had indicated it in the class before. As mentioned in Manusmriti, there are eight styles of marriages in Brahmin community. Not eight kinds of marriages, but marriage style only. It is said that, there were more than eight. Now it is reducing. Sometimes it is confined to just one day celebration, nowadays. New generation invest much money into this. So… before the wedding function, turmeric anointing function will be held in one day. We call this function as ‘Nandi’ in Kannada. Sir said, it is a function about going to Kashi. The kernel of this story is as follows – a young man of wedding age is sorrowfully departing to Kashi because he is not getting girls to marry or unable to marry. He will say – ‘I don’t want to remain here; you all are not taking interest in my marriage; so I gave up the plan to marry and going to Kashi’. Long back somebody, an unknown Brahmin, had done so. That trait is still continuing, just like the effect of the original sin is haunting Christians even nowadays. The young man will also have a stick in his hand. After 3-4 steps suddenly an uncle will block him from advancing further. (Uncle means… not the father of the girl, but mother’s elder brother. Very rarely, the girl’s father would also attend the function). He will plead to the young guy not to go to Kashi, and subsequently promise to give his daughter to him. But, in marriage ceremony, the bride will be a different girl, not his daughter… Why this farcical trait is at all needed?
There are many such humorous functions. They will spend much money in this. It was way to show their luxury life. We cannot question and correct them. If we try to raise questions we will be labeled as a bad girl. Anyway we can’t correct or know the internal meaning of these rituals. Then, some information is coming from the other side, Islam’s side… The plants will bend to those areas from where light, sunlight comes. I was getting light from Islam. Christianity was not available in that area much. So I had no chance to get in touch with them. Had I become acquaint with it also, then I may have been end up in a mental hospital.
I began to get more knowledge about Islam. Very slowly I liked this. Biriyani has taste. I began to study more about Islam. I was totally attracted by it. It never allowed me to let loose. Then comes the Islamic descriptions about hell. I am very afraid even to walk in darkness. Descriptions about the hell shoot up my fear. If I worship many gods, then I would fall in the hell and there are all kind of dirty things to suffer, we will be forced to consume them… So… I decided I can’t be so, and thus my interest in my religion lost.
I read many many books on Islam and after each book my interest in religion increased considerably. Initially, my co-workers gave me some brochures. When they came to know that, I have good taste in this, there were many people to increase that mentality in me. They had nothing to lose here, u know. In addition, some of my coworkers were also much religious minded, a kind of mental case, we can say. So they gave me brochures.., then CDs. After reading a brochure, I approached them for more. Then they hesitated and said that they shall give better items – books. Later, they began to give me audios of 2-3 hour length speech. I will store them in my memory card and will hear them all, in night. I heard many speeches and most prominent of them were of two preachers – Noushad Baqvi and Kabeer Baqvi. They were very experts. They presented a religion which is cruel, despicable and negligible, in a colorful outlook. In this, they were very skillful. They did these all, with the claim of support from the science. When I heard their speech now, I felt that they are utterly foolish.
At that time, my coworkers would be giving selected speeches, only. Of them, I regularly heard the speeches on ‘Woman concept of Islam’. They describe the safety, a woman enjoys in Purdah. Hearing these all, I strongly attracted towards Mohammad. I became a big fan of him and wished immensely to see him. Mohammad, a noble person, gave very high position to women and I felt that I must see him. For that, and to see other Nabi-s, I have to go to heaven. There I can see him, Fatima grandma and Ayisha sister. I can see everyone. Above all, I will get a glass of water from the hands of Allah.
I worked very hard to achieve that aim. Do you know what kind of hard work was that? I broke a string and by taking its beads, I made a Daspa string of 33 beads, myself. Then I started chanting daily. What was I chanting? – Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. There were other lines also. But I don’t remember them now. So many years have passed. Every night till 12, I will chant these lines. One has to recite Swalath 313 times… lengthy 2-4 lines. This must be recited in three consecutive days. This is told by a sorcerer, a ‘Thangal’ by name. I came to acquaint with him through my friends. When new people embrace Islam, their character has to be listened and scrutinized. I shall tell something interesting.
When I went to see this Thangal for the first time, my friends had said that he has much knowledge in religion, so we must show much respect towards him. You need to behave in front of him like a Muslim woman behaves. You should never behave like Hindu women. Due to the special circumstances, I was not able to wear a purdah or even a partial veil in those days. At the time of my meeting with Thangal, I was already much attracted towards Islam. I was just like a muslim woman in many respect, apart from wearing Purdah or any other type veil. I had already stopped anointing my forehead with sandal or ashes, and after cutting nails I would deposit them in a small pit grubbed in my courtyard. These were my habits then.
My mother was watching me closely. She was all in wonder – what madness is this? This is new character. Digging a pit, and putting something in it, then leveling the pit. Next, I will frequently wash my hands, face, legs, ear, nose, etc, and for this I will use water pipe many times a day. In every morning I will take bath. Though I would not take bath in evening, I was always near the water pipe, washing my hands and legs. Mother was seeing these all – what she is doing? Washing hands and legs and running to room, locking the room and then no noise from inside. Mother will stand outside the room, with the hope to hear any sounds. But I made no sounds because I was praying in muslim style inside room. After meeting Thangal, my interest in praying had increased much.
I shall tell about my first meeting with Thangal. I couldn’t wear purdah when I met him. So I wore a Saree, veiled my face in this manner and kept my head in a bent style. I must not look at him or any other males. We are allowed to show face only in front of father, if he is a muslim. If he is a non-muslim, then must use veil. We are allowed to show face in front of husbands. But regarding brothers, there are restrictions. I reached there and sit in front of Thangal. Then he said, “Beautiful girl… Please raise your head. Let me watch your face”. I thought that Thangal may be an aged person, like grand fathers. But when I looked at him, he is not that much old. And in those days, I was not aware of the wrong side of this. I just thought that, I am a new one came to their religion. Thangal again said that, my face is good & beautiful and I am surely destined to live as a muslim. He also said many other things.
Because I was living like a muslim then, I wouldn’t heed the words of my father or mother. I was very much into Islam and entirely against Hinduism. Because of this type behavior there would be occasional verbal clashes in home. I informed this to Thangal. He utilized this situation very effectively. He took a book and told me to touch some numbers inside it. I did so. Thangal replied as if a great misfortune is about to fall on me. He said that children who believe in Islam should not stay in home, instead they must live separately from home. He advised that, it would be very good to me if I come and live in Islam formally. He particularly stressed on praying every day night, especially thauba. Living with non-believers and eating things that they give, are great sins. To avoid such sins from accumulating, thouba prayer is good. I prepared to do that also.
When I heard these all from Thangal, I was really afraid. Even among Hindus, if astrologer said anything about a particular issue, Hindus will run to make it up. In the same way, I was obliged to do what Thangal had said. The number of prayers increased. I skipped only the early Morning Prayer. All other prayers I did very correctly. I will do even an additional prayer, for the missed morning prayer. I collected a lengthy scarf to wear during prayer time because I can’t wear purdah. I took much care before prayer because if there is any hairs, that is najis. Then I need to change that cloth and use another one. Actually, I collect this type cloth with much difficulty, then what to do, if it becomes najis? But we must not express any of this anguish because everything is happening under the eyes of God. Going to bathroom, to wash face, was also difficult if the time is not proper. Then reciting ‘A’udhu billahi min ash Shaytanir Rajim’ is needed. Else there would be problem due to Satan. If we have to go to bathroom in midnight, we must cough, and then knock on the door of bathroom before entering. This is Nabi’s teaching. It may due to, during Nabi’s time, once, somebody may have sit inside bathroom while Nabi wish to use bathroom. I am not sure of how this system came to exist. I have read this in the stories from hadith. Knocking on the door of bathroom in night, coughing even if we don’t want to do it.., when I cough, others will wake up from sleep and scold me telling that you are not sick, even then why are you coughing?
There were many difficulties and quarrels like these. At last, this insane reached to a high level, at which I began to tell cursing words on seeing my father. He is a Kafir. And he is the reason why I born in this religion and caste. My mom will occasionally make sweets and give it to me. In my childhood days, I had liked my mother very much; I was always under her protection. But after embracing Islam, I used to yell at her. I never wish to see her. I regularly tell her that, they must go somewhere and die out with their religious belief, and I have my own faith and belief.
One day, I did something that is forbidden in Islam. I feared that Allah will punish me for this. I was totally exhausted then. At this time my mother came near me and saw me in panic. She was seeing me in such a violent mood for the first time. Mother asked me “why are you like this? Why are you crying? She approached me with motherly love. She carried me in her womb for 10 months and she was very font of me. Forgetting these all and enraged by religious intolerance, I kicked on the stomach of my mother using hands. The negative energy that I had then, did not force me to kick using legs. Else I would have been done even that.
This kind of religious intolerance started from those days. My family members will take me to temples forcefully. I will quarrel with mother, father and brothers then because they were not considering the change that is in me. I will quarrel for every simple issue. I was not the same Sruthi as before. By that time I became very courageous and confident. I don’t know how I become so. It was a wonderful change for me. I used to quarrel for all things. I thought, at the most, they may hit me. Actually I was waiting to get punishment from family members. You know why? I should leave my home to spread the religion of Allah. And to leave home, I need a reason and chance. To get that chance I began to irritate them as much I can. My final aim was to leave my family. They are kafirs. These all ideas I got from the religious literature given by my friends and co-workers. Thus a jihadi mindset started to root in me.
My father was working in Bajakudlu Sri Mahalingeswara Temple. It is a temple of Parameswara and is situated in my native place. Actually when we change home from there to here, we were transferring from a place of Parameswara to a new place where also Parameswara worship is prominent. During childhood, I would regularly visit and pray at Mahalingeswara temple for the success in exams. After changing my mind, I hurled many cursing words at the deity. I considered the deity just like a Satan or Iblis. I said to the deity that ‘you are a stone, you are a bad object, I don’t want to fold my hands in front of you’. I had used even harsher words at my mother – ‘Are you not ashamed? Aren’t the ladies in your religion ashamed? You all are coming here to worship the ‘thing’ of males’. I hope you all understood what I meant. The stories that I got from my Muslim friends are like this. I again fumed – ‘you all praise Linga worship and this is nothing other than worshiping the ‘thing’ of males. You could have sat in your home? You everybody have husbands, and so you all can circumvent him. No?”. These all are the words that I hurled at my mother. I had used these much derogatory words once.
On the day of my brother’s marriage, in a nearby temple, they could not keep the exact timing of the function (Muhurta). So, there was a rite of asking pardon, for the mistake, from the deity by the parents of bridegrooms. On that occasion.., it was my last visit to temple. I had already reduced my visits after embracing Islam. And this was the last visit. There, by standing in front of Parameswara, I said many bad things and those words are still resonating in my ear. I said – “I will never come in front of you from now on. I am not ready to stand here with folded hands. And I will save my mother and father from these idolatrous people. I will change their misunderstanding that you are God. You are not the Real God. It is Allah only. I will teach my parents these and will change their heart”. With folded hands, I said these all to the deity.
Some more weeks passed. I felt it very difficult to live with my family. Since living with them is akin to living with kafirs, I always felt unwillingness to eat the food that they serve. On the sight of my mother and father, I will get angry. So, I concluded that I cannot wait more; I can’t live without wearing Islamic style veil and becoming an ideal muslim woman. Obeying islamic laws and observing fast, alone can’t save me. I cannot promote Islam by remaining in the present condition. I should promote Islam and bring more people into it. Islam teaches that, if we bring a person into Islamic fold, then it will be rewarded equal to 100 Hajj pilgrims. To go to heaven, I have to bring somebody to Islam because I cannot go to hajj; I am not rich enough to do Hujj. So, the best way is to convert a person into Islam by teaching him Islamic principles. I searched in internet and contacted all friends to do this.
One day, I visited a nearby mosque in early morning and met the Islamic teacher of that mosque. From him I collected some forms and documents. I requested him not to reveal my visit to anybody. I was in need of an affidavit and I contacted a lawyer to get it. He explained many things and encouraged my transition to Islam. This advocate was also a muslim. He said that he did not have the right to give affidavit, but agreed to refer this case to other advocates. We talked about half an hour. He encouraged me very much.
I was sure that I cannot wait until I get affidavit. Problems increased in my home. So I wish to leave home. One day, I left home by lying to mom that I am going to a relative’s house. I urged them not to call me for some days because I was in need of solace. My destination was Ponnani (Malappuram). I had seen names like Ponnani and Malappuram in internet. But I neither know anyone there nor am I familiar with the place. I did not travel much up to that time. After embracing Islam, to see muslim friends, I began to travel outside my native place. Before that, I did not travel or live without my parents. I always feared strangers and unknown places. In spite of these, I left home and headed to Ponnani.
I reached there by night around 8 PM. It was a Muslim area. I had wore a veil, but yet everybody is able recognize that I am a Hindu girl. Every passerbies can understand it and they were giving some kind of signals to others. They said that they won’t take me, if I come alone. This may be upon a misunderstanding. I replied them – “What you are doing is not correct. I came here to receive a holy faith. I wish to live as a muslim. Is it fair to send back such a girl in this night? Can’t you give shelter to me here till tomorrow morning? I shall leave on morning itself. If you can’t accept me if I come alone, then next time I shall come with others. But where I will go tonight? Where are you sending me now? Is this your religious belief taught you? Anyway this is contrary to the teaching of Islam in which I believe’. When I said all of these, they seem to be convinced of my belief and then, they brought me to Ponnani Maunathul Islam Sabha.
I joined there to study religion. I handed over all of my documents to them. They also collected my gold ornaments; did not allow me to take them inside the premise. Then I entered the premise and after that I did not see the outside world for two months. All that I could see were a few areas that is visible through the window. Aneesh know it very well. They won’t show us the outside world. If we want to go outside, we must wear purdah. Purdah means, it will hide every body parts, sometimes even eyes. In case of serious illnesses, they will take us to hospital if no other options are available. Else they will keep us inside the premise only. Here, when you become ill, Chitra or Sruthi or Aswathy will take you to hospital. But I am narrating an experience, where none of my relatives including parents are available.
Even then, my rudeness did not compel me to rethink about islam. I suffered many difficulties there. But even while studying there, my interest in Islam only increased. Do you know how? In the classes that I attended, they used to denounce Hinduism much, but Islam received all praise. There are some drawbacks in Hinduism, I don’t hesitate it. But here, in Arsha Vidya Samajam, how are we managing things? We teach to make a good transition, by wiping out the misunderstandings in the minds of people and society. But it was not same there. They hided every drawback of this, and about islam…
My study was like this. When I get admission there, I had leaning towards Jihad. The classes that I attended there, were such that, they attracted me more to Jihad. Satan is being worshipped in the temples, it is the religion of Satan, participating in the festivals is a great sin, etc. I had shown a video some days back. No? The same matters are teaching there by them. Above all, I decided to bring my parents into the fold of Islam. However kafirs they may be, I wanted to bring them to Islam. This intention in me becomes stronger day by day. I studied the religion with the same aim. I want to convert at least 10 people into Islam because then I will get a reward which is equal to 10 Hajj pilgrims. I was very happy of that plan.
When my course is about to finish, the Hindu Organizations of my native place, created problems. While leaving home, I had destroyed my Sim card so that nobody can track my location. But every mobile have an IMEI number. They located me using the IMEI number and came to Ponnani with police. But police from any other locality cannot enter Ponnani. It is such an area. So they came with Ponnani police and picked me from there. There were two vehicles to accompany me. Unlike what Aneesh said now, nobody threatened me by placing sword on my neck. Police have to produce me in court because my family had given a ‘missing complaint’ in the police station and this is why more enquiries were done.
When the police brought me to court, my father, brothers and all other relative gathered together and surround me. My mother was not with them. She was in bed rest, since I went missing. They thought that I was in relative’s home, and I left home after a quarrel. So they did not contact me for quite some time. But then, a doubt arose in their mind that, I was lying. Soon they gave a missing complaint in the police station. They searched for me much. The condition of my parents was just like the condition of a father who came here some days back. Father almost withstood the pressure. But for mother, my absence was unbearable. Her health condition became worse and doctors prescribed full bed rest. She was unable to drink or have food properly. She had loved me to that much extend. She had never hurt me even by a pinch, till then. Even if anyone tries to provoke her, she would not mind it, and always keep her temper under control. My mother was very innocent. It is with such a lovely mom, that I quarreled, and left home forever.
I was very enthusiastic while leaving home. But people, whom I met outside, looked at me in a peculiar way. To me, to a girl like me, it was obviously uncomfortable. I entered the conversion centre, with this unhappiness in mind. At that time, for a moment, I re-thought about my decision. I felt that I could have taken one more person with me because others were looking at me in such a bad manner. Yet, I managed to go on with my study.
The police produced me in the court. There I was not ready to agree with any demands of others. Like the given statement there, I said that I will return to there after two days. The phone numbers of everyone there, including that of the religious teacher, were with me. I did not heed anybody’s request.
In my native place, Perla, there was a man who knows my character very well. As a last resort, he brought my mother to the police station and court, in jeep. In the police station and other places, I wore a partial veil and behaved in a proud manner. Everybody in that place was looking at me. But I was a hard minded muslim then and I had a jihadist mindset too. I walked into the police station premise elegantly. My name was changed to Rahmath, by then. Inside police station, one person was eagerly waiting for me. You know whom – my mother. She was very tired of crying and unable to have food properly. Just like our Vysali cries nowadays, my mom was crying then. She asked me why I left her alone. She tried to pat on my shoulder amicably, but due to the weak health she could not, her hands just touched my body. I said to mother that I have to go back. But mother was totally exhausted, and I was speaking about my return to Ponnani, not about staying with them. I tried to console mother – ‘Mom you need not worry. I am not going to any danger. I will come back’. Then, mother demanded me to remove my veil. I said – ‘I am not ready to do it. My religion teaches me so. Your religion… you practice as and how you wish. But my religion is not so. I have to cover my body. I am a muslim woman now’. I told her that I even changed my name from Sruthi. My mother became more uncomfortable then. The punishment that I inflicted upon my mother was indeed a fatal punishment. In that age, I should be the helping hands to my mother and father. But instead, in my young hood days, I gave them only pain and disappointment.
You all must not think that I am extending this talk. Actually, the exposition of my entire life here, in this manner, is with a clear intention. Even now, in your heart, if there is any affection or sympathy towards that religion or a person in that religion, then you have to rethink on it. I explained all of this with the intention to give this message to you all.
In the court, before the magistrate, I said that I shall go with my family for two days. I said so only on seeing the condition of my mother. Had I not seen my mother there, had I not seen my mother crying there, then most likely, I would have been living (solely because of the fear to commit suicide) in an unknown place or in a slum, nowadays. I may also have been doing an unworthy work. But nothing happened like so. Isvara manifested in front of me in the form of my mother. So I informed magistrate that I am going with my parents for two days, and after that, I will be returning to there. Magistrate agreed.
When you hear the succeeding events, you may feel funny, but it was painful to me then. All of my relatives changed their promised stands (my mother was OK) that they offered till then. They took me to Puthur, Karnataka. There I attended a class in a house. They asked me whether I had seen the origination of God. I replied them enthusiastically that God cannot originate and it is their false beliefs. Then they said – “No, it is true. We will show and convince you. You may please be ready to see it on tomorrow morning”. I had no means about what they are going to show me. I thought that, anyway I came with them, now it is impossible to escape by running or other means. So I accompanied them.
We reached in a home, which was in the centre of a plantation. There was a hill in one side of the house. They gave me a cup of milk to drink. Then they told me to climb the hill speedily. When I reached the half part of the hill, they gave me a glass of green colored juice. Its color was apt because I was the believer of a ‘green religion’, then. While drinking I understood that, it is the juice of neem. After drinking a few drops, I was unwilling to continue. Brother encouraged me – “You may drink fully. No problem with this juice. We want to ensure that you are not under the influence of black magic”. I agreed. And they gave me three more glasses of neem juice. Actually something had mixed with the juice and I was not aware of it.
I continued climbing the hill, till I reached the top. There were many people including the people of my religion. Then, I relaxed much. My brothers are here. But they were all vomiting. My brothers and sisters, all were vomiting. After some time, I too started to vomit. It was very severe vomiting. Till that day, I had the health problem of mucus. But when I vomit severely, mucus also came out. At last, all of these dirty things were lying on the ground like a sponge. Then some Havyaka people of my community ran to my side and said that ‘I was under the influence of strong black magic’. They took some photos of the sponge like substance that I vomited.
While descending the hill, I decided everything. After two days they will release me. Then I won’t stand even for a minute here. Their actions and behavior had disturbed me that much. My mother was sitting next there. I was angry even towards her. I threatened my mother with bodily gestures. Although you may feel funny on hearing my description, actually, my situation was very pathetic, then.
They did not let me off even after that. They took me to somewhere in a vehicle. I already saw the origin of God, now it may be to talk with God, I thought amusingly. The trip was very disturbing. Yet I had hope because after two days, I can go anywhere. We started our journey. When the vehicle reached kanjangad, I understood that I am going not to talk with God, but to somewhere else. I created uproar in vehicle and asked them that where are they taking me. They replied that, they are taking me to high court, Kochi because the case is not finalized yet. This is a missing complaint. So you have to report in the High Court. Court said so. I agreed and continued journey.
But during our conversation I got the hint that they are taking me for counseling. I was taken to the office of Hindu Help Line, Ernakulam. There, two people talked to me – an advocate and a businessman. They were talking under the pretext of false names because they knew that I already became a Jihadi mindset person. Some of the information that they had about me were false. They thought that I was a member of a particular organization; that was wrong. But it was true that I had a Jihadi mindset. I had an intention to convert everyone.
They said many things to me, like I should consider the condition and pain of my parents, and I must not go to them because it will create big issues, etc. I agreed to their arguments. They told many wrong sides of Islam – ‘Don’t you read the death of many people in daily newspapers. Can’t you check the history of them’, etc. Advocate also talked to me. I agreed to his arguments as well. There is a verse in Quran, that is, if you are among enemies, then you must use some strategies. So I did the same. I said to them that, ‘not just me, there are many more people for conversion’. It seems, then onwards, they trusted me some more, because a change was visible in me as per their opinion.
They said, ‘you need to study Yoga and know more knowledge about Hindu Dharma. There is a Yoga centre in Thripunithura. They expose the foolishnesses of Islam. There is a teacher named Manoj. If you talk to Manoj sir, then all of your doubts will be solved’, they said. I agreed. This may be their last attempt. Up to now everything they did was uncomfortable. This may be the last such experiment, the final one, I thought so. Also I decided to show my real nature from now on; preaching the religion and conversion was my aim. I did not wear veil up to then. But I wore it while talking to Sir.
The first person whom I met here was Sujith sir. He had a long beard then. He was a gentleman. I thought that, this is Manoj sir and I viewed him very silly manner. At first, Sujith sir asked me ‘What is your opinion about Swami Ayyappan?’. I don’t like Ayyappa Swami since from my childhood and now they asking my opinion about the same deity. I said that I had no particular opinion, but good opinion about Swami Ayyappan. After that Sujith sir started to narrate many stories about Swami Ayyappan. I was totally astonished of this. What all he narrated was same as that I heard before. Then I thought that there is something true in these stories. Yet my ego was unable to digest the truth. I took the position that I won’t allow them to talk about Islam. Then I began to talk to him in the pretext of asking a doubt, I addressed him as Manoj Sir. But he said that he is not Manoj; Manoj sir is the main Acharya and he will come only after two days; I can acquaint with him only then.
Then later Madhu sir talked to me, Madhu sir was talking nothing regarding this. Madhu sir is really smart. He was asking me, Why I didn’t write PSC? He was intimidating me by saying. what foolishness I have done by not writing PSC after studying so much. Oh! My God, what a crisis! After bringing me here to learn Yoga, these people are creating an issue on why I didn’t write PSC. There was another person here, another teacher. He is not here now. He took up another job. He was the one to teach me Pranayama. I was so tired. As I was fighting all along the journey, I couldn’t sleep at all. He made me to sit cross legged on the floor. Heavy eyed with sleep, I learned Pranayama. Ok fine.
So, on October 19, I stepped into Arsha Vidhya Samajam with my right foot. Not right foot, with left foot because Left foot was auspicious for me. During that time everything was towards left. The whole traditions were inclined to “left”, so I stepped in with my left foot. After coming here on October 21, I don’t know why, I was struck with fever. Since I was having fever and wanted to get medicines, the building wasn’t here, it was at another place. While I was returning back from the Homeo clinic, I was accompanied by a “chechi”, her name was Ambili. While we were walking, an auto came and two people got out of the auto. First was Madhu sir, when the second person got out, Ambili chechi said, Manoj sir has come!
That was when I saw Manoj sir, who was a Yogacharya. That was when I first saw him. When I heard Yogacharya, I was having a different expectation in my mind. To be honest, even such thoughts are wrong as per Islam. Still, when I heard about him the image that came to mind was different. . Someone really slim and with a flexible body. I was astounded to see a Yogacharya like this! Still he appeared very calm, very soothing, what to say, something very divine and spiritual, He gave me a smile, which created a divine/special feel inside me and then went inside. Then I badly wanted to talk to him. Anyways he appears to be a good person, perfect for me to convert religion. I waited for an opportunity but he didn’t call me that day. I was really sad. The next day I was called. Then I realized, there is no point in me intending to meet him. The Guru should also feel the same for the disciple. Recently when Madhu sir narrated a story, I had a flash back of this incident. So, when I was about to talk to him, since my mother was with me I couldn’t put on the veil nor carry a Daspa. When I came to meet him, I had Daspa on my hand and had put on my veil. I said, I am willing for a discussion solely based on Quran, and I don’t want to hear anything else. “And he said, fine, we will talk based on Quran, if that’s what you (Shruthi) are comfortable with, then let it be.” I said, Not Shruthi I prefer to talk as Rahmath.
I didn’t get you.
I said, My Name is Rahmath, I took up this name and embraced Islamic faith
After that, it was a two-hour long discussion. Conversations one after another. The speeches of the Baqavis which made me think that they were right. All the interpretations, in all ways and all type of Quran, he pointed out and made me read, He proved the absurdity/stupidity of all these. After two hours I was dumbfounded. I realized Islamic faith is Absurd, still my ego was not letting me come out of it. Then I asked, if so then which is right? I want to know the right one. If you say that Hindu religion is the right one, even it has many problems. Many issues and many such things. With this clarification of doubts, my study here continued.
Till then I was asking my mother not to go. My father had already left but mother was with me. After many days of class, I started doing “Sadhana”. After hearing the opinion of the people here, sir also advised to me to do Sadhana and that everything will be fine. After I started doing the Sadhana, I realized, I was following such a baseless religion, I was willing to do this much for such an absurd religion. Sins, which no daughter should ever do to her parents. I am referring to the visible sins. Visible sins. I was committing sins which no child should ever do to their parents. Beating own mother, abusing father and harsh responses to brother. Behaving in such a way, a girl should never behave in her family. All those rude behaviors for a religion which was so baseless. Not just that, what was I going to leave behind? The powerful lord Parameshwara, the one who is benevolent and merciful, one who forgives all our sins, one who take care of us like how the Mother Hen protects her chicks under her wings. I was to leave behind that Lord Parameshwara, the Dharma he gifted, and I was going to leave behind this great Hindu Dharma, Santana Dharma. I was filled with that remorse
Today when I see Vaishali crying, it reminds me of my state back then. Manoj sir took great efforts to lift me up. If I am courageously talking to you all, courageously talking about our Dharma. If I am talking about the greatness of God, about the Guruparambaras, the greatness of a Guru, The courage for that, people like Chithra chechi……
I have witnessed many cases after coming here. I have talked with many girls, many people, and many parents. If I had the ability to do all this it is because of the knowledge, our Gurunadhan Manoj sir imparted to me, this course “Adhyathmika shasthra” and its insights, The Sadhana and the Divine experiences which I gained through all these. Just like Lakshmi pointed out earlier. When Lakshmi said that I was reminded of my own oath. Once I realized my mistakes, then came the question, what is next? Once I gradually recovered Manoj sir asked me what is your decision? You want to go back home? Parents will call you, won’t they? so, what will you do then? Once I started recovering, my parent’s attitude changed. My parents who were hugging the feet Manoj sir and pleading him to somehow correct their daughter, once I started recovering, they were in a hurry to take me from here. But by no means, my mind didn’t allow me to leave this place. I told sir that, when I was following Islam, I took a strong stand for those concepts. I didn’t realize it was wrong then, I want to make this reach everywhere, reach to every human being. I wanted to bring many people to Dheen (Islamic faith). Today, when I realize that it was wrong and have realized truth, if I don’t stand for the truth, then why should I even live? It is better to do something worthwhile with this life rather than simply dying of a snake bite or of some disease. I am ready to submit my whole life for that purpose.
But because of the fact that I am a girl, Sir discouraged me a lot. Dear, you have many limitations as a girl. To fulfill my mission, I am not hesitant to welcome you to this organization, but you are a girl and you have many limitations. You have to fulfill your duty towards your parents. There are many things, they would want you to get married and live with your family and kids. He explained everything to me, but I told him, marriage is not in my thoughts. It wasn’t there even before. When I was following Islam, as the concept of Sanyasa was not there for the ladies, Maybe I was prepared then. It was just to get the wage from Allah but now when I have abandoned that and while standing at the right path, I have no interest in married life. I don’t want marriage. I completely submit my life for this organization, to spread this concept, like your shadow, how your other disciples like how Madhu sir, Sujith sir, Anil sir follow you like your shadow. I wish to follow you just like them, that’s what I wish for. I wish to follow your footsteps. To spread this Dharma, to make sure that this Dharma reaches everywhere, to fulfill your mission. I wish to be along with you for all these deeds. Please don’t stop me, I have come here with that strong decision.
I face many obstacles even today. I am ignoring all those obstacles and moving forward because I want to atone for the tears my parents have shed thinking about me. To atone for the sin of making my parents cry, I have wiped the tears of many parents in 3-4 years, Not just one or two but many. Even now there are many children here, their parents, their tears I stepped forward, to guide everybody to the right path. I don’t want to curse that situation and grieve that something like that happened to me, I don’t wish to do that because something like that happened to me, Today I know Manoj sir, I know this organization and I know each one of you. I could dedicate my life towards this noble cause and spread this great concept to all those children who have studied here. Even now, wherever religious conversions happen. Where people get misled and move away from Sanatana Dharma, I wish to work towards bringing them back. For that you all should be there with me. Not just me, but I wish you will be with all of us.
I don’t want to extend more. So, all I want to say is, I know all those misleading ideas presented before you are very powerful. It is not very easy to come out of it, but only if you put effort, and have the patience to listen, if you have the interest to realize and understand all this, only then you can come to the right path.
There is Shakespearean drama called Macbeth. Character named Macbeth and his whole life is bloodshed. And he feels that his life is ruined anyways and he lets it to be worse. Never be like that. If you did something wrong, you should take the responsibility to come out of it. I am not extending more, I am handing over the mic.
Om Namah Shivaya
Om Namah Shivaya
Om Namah Shivaya
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bavantu
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bavantu
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bavantu
Om Santi ! Santi ! Santi !