September 5, 2011

Shirin Juwaley : Winning An Acid Test

Shirin before the attack..youthful hopeful zestful

Shirin Juwale an innocent young bride who was the victim of a criminal act of the highest order, when her husband threw acid on her face , perhaps with the intention to disfigure her forever. Well he did succeed in disfiguring her face, to some extent but failed to make any lasting impact on her indomitable spirit.

Shirin today 16 surgeries later ..confident and whole.

Acid attacks need not always be from a bottle. The tongue suffices magnificently, as is evident when you further read the story of her struggle. The principal of a college, the name of which has been with held by Shirin, out of an act of kindness ( misplaced, I would think) on a request from her to speak to the students of her NGO Palash was met with ““We only want heroes to come here. Not survivors. It does not take courage to survive,” she was told”

Not with the intention of diverting from her heroic story, I do however wish to incriminate this Principal as a nitwitted, close minded, mean person who has the misfortune of being in a non compassionate consciousness that is so pitiful. In fact she is more deserved of the sympathy that is reserved for the handicapped.. a broken, unwholesome soul. I am intentionally using this harsh tone to underline the fact that such inhuman behaviour should be the recipient of a universal denouncement.

I shudder to think what may have been the fate of Shirin had she been a student of this college! Would she then have been rusticated, unceremoniously shown the door or compelled to leave the premises? It is also highly questionable what must be the caliber of the students who pass out from under an educationist who seems to have her fundamentals so wrong and regressive that it will amount to setting back our country and the thought process of our women by a century!

Shirin deserves our support for being who she is. The Divine conducts strange tests on us. In most cases it brings to light qualities that were dormant and which perhaps may have remained so, had the circumstance to evolve not arisen. Shrin perhaps needed to learn that life is battle that needs to be fought and further that she is well equipped to handle any adversity that comes her way with courage and determination that is the halmark of an unusual soul.


Some find Aishwarya beautiful some like me find Shirin even more so. What shines through her face is her smile that speaks a thousand volumes, not plastic or artificial but as if arising from the depths within.

It is important that we train our children to recognise a fiery spirit when we see one. Not just to recognise it but also to commend, support and encourage it to find its highest potential. After all beauty is only skin deep and so transient. Be lit from within and thus light up forever.



  1. Dear Kavita

    Thnx. I am indeed moved by the short story of Shirin Juwaley. After her story item, I wanted to comment but there was no provision. Hence this route..

    Well ! why Shirin does not wish to come openly against the prepetrator hubby , she may have her own or societal reasons. But being a Principal , is this an example she is posing before her students ? Sorry, with regards I disagree.
    Besides, expressing my pain, I can only say that I offer my whole hearted HELP in her cause , whatever way she desires..Ultimately it will be her decision which we respect..

    Mohan Siroya

    Comment by Mohan Siroya — September 5, 2011 @ 10:14 pm | Reply

  2. I agree Mohan Ji. To my mind there was no negative in exposing the Principal. If anything it could be a warning to other students.

    Impressionable girls at this vulnerable age need all the guidance possible to make the right choices. Mills and Boon and Rom Coms that paint such a rosy picture of life can be a huge culprit. At some point Shirin too was a young girl on the threshold of entering what she may have imagined a fulfilling life replete with a loving husband and kids, fun frolic and joy. Could she have ever imagined that the man she married would one day seek such revenge ? There are always signs of criminal behaviour and mindset. Perhaps if she had been apprised of the likelihood, this tragedy may have been avoided.

    I am all for educating girls on making the right choices and looking out for themselves. there is a time for rose tinted glasses and there is a time to remove the blinkers and live life with a 360 degree vision. Forewarned is forearmed.

    It is for this reason that the attitude of the Principal seem so disconcerting. She is the one with blinkers on who refuse to see the reality of the proverbial ostrich head buried in sand outlook. Its escapist, delusional, and fatalistic to say the least.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — September 5, 2011 @ 10:36 pm | Reply

  3. Back at last kaveeta.. have missed you. Her story does set one thinking..y couldnt she reveal the name of her husband? Maybe he is making another girls life miserable. I dont understand this sense of loyalty really. >>why protect somebody who has been so cruel. I rmember also reading of that woman in Iran or pakistan I think another burn victim..again by her husband for the same reasons. Couldnt take a no as an answer. She dragged him to court and then finally excused him..but at least the world got to know who he was. That is what I think..maaybe she has her reasons but I dont agree. But all the best to her and her strength..thums up

    Comment by Neha — September 6, 2011 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

  4. It is so nice to see you again after a long gap.
    She must lodge a formal complaint

    Comment by b k chowla — September 7, 2011 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  5. Hi Neha..Thanks and missed you too. I have missed being on the blog. Its just that sometimes one has to replenish ones inner world, invigorate, it, feed it with resolve and seek the one Truth that is the source of us all. I now feel opened up and ready.
    Neha the lady in question, the one you mention is Ameneh Behrami from Iran. You can read her story here:

    The startling part is that in Iran it is the law of retribution, that is an eye for an eye. Since she had been blinded, it was finally ruled that acid drops would be put in her eyes as well. He of course pleaded for mercy. And you know what. She pardoned him and he was spared.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — September 7, 2011 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

  6. Hello Chawla ji. Yes.. good to be back.

    I believe that the husband fled to Dubai or some Middle east country the very day that he committed the dastardly act. It definitely would not have been easy for her to cope with the aftermath of the attack. Financial constraints as well as the shock may have proved quite e deterrent for her to pursue any legal action. She is on her feet today is quite a blessing. He may have gone incognito. Cowards are defined by their acts and the consequences of it.

    Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — September 7, 2011 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

  7. The smile on her face is haunting. So many images of people in suffering, but none have I seen with such a sweet smile. It shows the true strength of her being. Battling with chronic ailments, I am often a picture of gloom around my house; her smile seems to challenge me into becoming a happier person. She is a hero and not just a survivor.

    Comment by sumitra — September 13, 2011 @ 2:12 pm | Reply

    • Well said Sumitra. If anything there are these real life heroes and heroines who can be a guiding force if we only stop to look and ponder. Like Mother Teresa said ” I cried because I had no shoes till I met someone who had no feet”. We must learn to look beyond ourselves and expand our horizons from the little ‘me’ that we have so blown into a gigantic ‘I”.

      Comment by Kaveetaa Kaul — September 14, 2011 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

  8. Very glad to see this blog

    Comment by bhargav — November 8, 2011 @ 7:20 pm | Reply

  9. Hi Shirin,
    yesterday i read an article about you it is very inspiring keep it up.. your story is like almost my sister’s her name Sujatha Burla who meet with an accident in 2001.


    Comment by Rajesh Shraddha — December 27, 2011 @ 9:55 pm | Reply

  10. The men who threw acid on the face of women should be put behind the bars for the rest of their life.

    Comment by — May 6, 2014 @ 12:59 am | Reply

  11. Oh my god this is really so shocking – i am sad and really depress now after seeing her before and after pics- she was beautiful – only thought come in mind is of all daughters i should really protect them coz such incidence can happen with anyone right?

    Comment by chillyads — May 13, 2014 @ 6:57 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: