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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Park Street rape: The only person I dreamed to be like is my mother, writes Suzette Jordan’s daughter

Reah Jordan writes, "My Mama taught my sister and I to live for the small moments."

Written by Aditi Malewar | New Delhi |
March 18, 2015 4:07:49 pm
suzette jordan, park street rape victim, park street rape, kolkata, west bengal Park street rape victim Suzette Jordon during the walk with the research Scholars of Jadavpur University in Kolkata (Express photo by Partha Paul)

The daughter of Suzette Katrina Jordan, the Park Street rape survivor who died of multiple organ failure in Kolkata, throws light on the life on her mother in a essay that she wrote shortly before her death.

Jordan – a mother of two, a rape survivor and an activist – was the first who stood against having her picture or name “blurred”. She boldly appealed to the public to refer to her as a “survivor” rather than a “victim”. No wonder she stands as an inspiration for her children.

Jordon was in her mid-30s when she was raped in a moving car on Park Street on February 6, 2012, by five men who picked her up from a pub. While three of the accused are behind bars, two others are still at large. The verdict of her case is likely next month.

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Recently an essay written by Suzette Jordan’s daughter, Reah Jordan was published by The Ladies Finger. The first copy was written as an assignment for her school days before her mother passed away due to multiple organ failure.

Reah, being an insider knew her mother the best, she was aware of her mother’s ups and downs and all about her struggle as she bravely mentions in her essay, “She had her bad days, never completed her education, she’d drink, she’d smoke, she’d sometimes get into my clothes too, she had 21 tattoos and a whole lot of scars from mutilation, she was a rebel, she never had a permanent job. But my mother was one of a kind.”

As mentioned in the essay, Suzette taught her children to believe in themselves. She said, “Never is it important to fit in, it’s okay to stand out, and enjoy the view.”

Reah’s essay highlights the struggles of her mother as she writes, “There have been days where we never had any money, not a rupee at home to eat. ‘It’s okay’, she’d smile reassuringly, ‘at least we have each other.’.”

From her essay it is evident that Reah is proud of her mother’s boldness and practical approach towards life. In her essay she writes, “She had her own perspective, her own logic as to how life should be lived. She was incontestably stubborn and unbelievably broad-minded. She believed in being real, like the beauty of waking up at noon and looking ugly from the smeared makeup, she believed in the twinkle of someone’s eyes and the glow on their faces, when they spoke of something they loved, the truth, like a visitor at our place and their reaction to an untidy house and an unmade bed, or a sudden skip of a heart beat when the favourite character in a movie died.

Once denied access to a restaurant because she was a rape victim, Suzette was an inspiration for her daughters, “My mama taught my sister and I to live for the small moments, moments like our first kiss, the adrenaline rush during a thrilling moment. She taught us to work hard just to be Able enough to fight this world. She taught us that no work makes you big or small, and no job defines you. Mama taught me to stay humble, ‘No matter how much money, pride or ego we have, all our coffins are made the same size.’ “

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