Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shiney Ahuja speaks to Media: I am Innocent, been framed

Shiney Ahuja talks to the press and media, stating about the trauma following the rape case, the isolation from Bollywood and his resolve to get justice.

It's been a traumatic two years for you. How do you look back on the experience?

With acceptance, as a decision from God. Since I am innocent, I just knew that being inside the jail was a part of my karmic journey. I experienced the world as a silent recipient of accusations, mud-slinging, was a butt of jokes– and, at the same time, experienced friends who stood by me, several unknown people who walked up to me and gave me tremendous support with encouraging words, the Tarapore Society, where my home is, who refused to let me give up and gave me and my family the strength to stand. I learnt who my true friends are. I saw a range of people use my situation to their advantage – openly or in guise of help. I saw people come forward and help me selflessly. I learnt the power of positive thinking and applied it to sustain myself everyday. I learnt about life in a way I never could have. All in all, its been a life-altering experience – one that I humbly accept as part of God's plan for me.

For a person who has probably never seen a jail before, how did you cope with life inside?
It is a place no innocent man should ever go to.

A lot of people believe you were dealt an unfair blow because you are a celebrity. What do you feel?
I paid the price of being a celebrity. Right from the first day, a number of selective false stories were planted in the media everyday. As a result, even before I took my first step inside the court, or my lawyer had spoken his first word, I stood convicted in the eyes of the general public. False illusions had assumed the colour of truth at every crucial stage of the legal proceedings.

What were your constant thoughts while you were inside? How did you spend your time?
Initially, I was plagued with a lot of "why" and the terrible pain that my family was going through – that was the hardest part. I meditated and prayed a lot. I read books.

How did you cope with the long periods of separation from your wife, daughter and parents?
It was hard. I am a son of an Army Officer who willingly put his life in the line of enemy fire, fought three battles for his country – he was and is my inspiration – he is my hero. I was particularly worried for him – I had only seen him a strong man, and for the first time, I could see through his pretense – I realised how broken he was. I saw my mother give my father strength while putting up a brave front and hiding her tears. I felt terrible pain and prayed incessantly for their health. I missed my wife and precious days with my daughter – I missed her second birthday and could not eat that whole day. I made a conscious effort to not think about my daughter to remain sane.

During this period of tribulation your wife Anupam has stood by you like a pillar of strength.
She is God's precious gift to me. In her eyes I saw a reflection of my innocence. The purity of her love for me kept reminding me of the good in the world. Her belief in me gave me the maximum strength. Every time I would meet her I got the will to live. And a reason to smile. She is my life.

Why didn't you present your side of the story before?
I did everything by the book – followed every rule. My lawyer always told me to trust the judiciary as the truth is on our side and we have a meritorious case. I could not present my side of the case as it could tantamount to contempt of court - in any event, my lone voice would be drowned in the shrill of falsehood.

Do you feel isolated from the film industry?
I have not felt isolated. The film fraternity has always stood by me, but for a few exceptions, which were the only ones highlighted. I do not blame them as they were reacting to the false publicity

What would your message be to people in the film industry?
The distance between truth and falsehood is four inches – eyes and the ears – so do not be judgmental unless you personally verify the truth.

Now that you're with your family again how do you plan to spend your time?
Cherishing every moment and valuing very second I have with my family and making sure I have many more.

Would you like to return to your career?
Acting is my life and passion. I have never considered doing anything else.

Wife Anupam says "My belief in him never faltered ." Wife Anupam pointed to the lapses done by the laboratory staff, as it admitted that led to erroneous DNA evidence .

A Changed Shiney Ahuja
"After my arrest , I was very low one day . I kept thinking while being taken to court how I should jump before each passing vehicleor howI mustjump off the sea link . But God is always there to help . At Mahalaxmi station , I saw a college boy on crutches struggling to climb two steps and I wondered what I was complaining about ."

Life in Jail
"I was in jail for 142 days . There is no life there . Life is outside," he said , adding , "That's when I understood that hell and heaven are on earth itself. We don't realize while we are leading normal lives with our family , friends and loved ones , how precious each moment is.The freedom to be able to make choices in things we do everyday , a life of freedom is only valued completely once it's taken away from you."

"I spent my days reading a lot. There were many good books that others had I read What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Richard P Feynman and Your Life Is Your Message by Eknath Easwaran .Each day , I would pack my tiny bag . I never did any acts connected with a long-term stay like take monthly milk coupons or ask
for the newspaper."

source: Times of India


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