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Last Updated: May 17, 2007 - 8:46:52 AM
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My life can never be normal, says Kiranjit Ahluwalia
Mar 31, 2007 - 8:33:54 AM
And the laughter makes you forget this is a woman who has suffered the most nightmarish and inhuman provocation imaginable.

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[RxPG] Mumbai, March 31 - Kiranjit Ahluwalia, the abused Indian wife who brought a reform in the British law and on whose life the much talked about film 'Provoked' is based, says her wounds will never heal.

Kiranjit became a cause-celebre in Britain after she set her abusive husband on fire after years of being battered. Her life story made British courts recognise provocation in cases of domestic homicide.

But Kiranjit's spirit remains undoused. In the news for the Aishwarya Rai starrer 'Provoked', the film that recreates the horrific events that led to her shocking behaviour, Kiranjit strikes you as being surprisingly normal.

'After what has happened to me, my life can never be normal.'

'Of course, what's happening to me is unbelievably heartening - the support for my plight from women's groups and sisters in Britain, a book on my case and now the film... But the wounds will never heal. How can I be normal?

'What pleases me is that my two sons are doing well. They're in university now. And that makes me forget a lot of the pain I've suffered,' Kiranjit told IANS.

How does it feel to be suddenly at the vortex of all this media attention?

'Quite frankly, when I co-wrote the book 'Circle Of Light' with Rahila Gupta, it was a story that had to be told... When it happened, I thought I had said whatever I had to. I never expected someone to make a movie on my life.'

Kiranjit says 'Provoked' came as a pleasant surprise.

'I wasn't prepared for it -. When I heard Aishwarya is going to play my character, I was very pleased. Of course, I had seen her films like 'Devdas'. She's so beautiful and such a good actress.'

Kiranjit admits she wasn't as closely involved with the making of 'Provoked' as she was with the writing of the book.

'But the idea of making a film on domestic violence and about what happened to me seemed good to me. I'm glad that the film has been made. Hopefully, my story will help women like me trapped in such situations to come out and let the world know their plight.

'You're a journalist. I want you to tell the world that women, who have suffered like me, need not feel it's the end of the world for them. That there's hope.'

She pauses and then reflects on her long journey from innocence to alleged crime to martyrdom and now movie-made stardom.

'Sometimes I think how could a girl from a village in Punjab have come so far. It's all destiny.'

Asked her if she would ever consider remarriage, Kiranjit displays unexpected spunk and humour saying: 'After what I've done do you think any man would want to marry me? No man can trust me and I can't trust any man. It isn't as if I've been put off men for life, or that I think they're all bad. My brother and my brother-in-law are decent men and devoted husbands. I don't know why this had to happen to me.'

She admits her life has taken a turn for the better now.

'Maybe they will make 'Provoked Part 2' about what's happening to me now.'

And the laughter makes you forget this is a woman who has suffered the most nightmarish and inhuman provocation imaginable.

Kiranjit was sentenced to life for premeditated murder. After a sustained campaign by women's groups working for victims of domestic violence, a fresh trial was conducted and her charge reduced to manslaughter.

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