17th August 2005-
Nationalism and Language
(In Hindi ) Saw the movie “Mangal Pandey –The Rising” today. Kaaphi teekh taakh tha! Not wonderful and all but history reconstructed. I haven’t got inspired to write in Hindi seeing the film-it wasn’t that touching or anything. But of late I have been realising the need to use some of our own languages! Truth to tell, I’m not so crazy about all these foreign languages. English has become part of us and we can’t live without it. But why other foreign languages-French? Can hardly say this now just before my French exam…
(In Tamizh) I’m afraid Hindi is the only Indian language I can use to a certain extent. I cannot write what I wan to say even in my mother tongue, Tamizh…
Sensitivity to Others
(In English) My actual purpose of writing was different. Today there was beggar outside and I was sitting in the car and eating chips. Since a chip was readily available, I just showed it to him. He didn’t seem to mind and put forward his tin-he didn’t have palms-and I put it in. Just that ONE chip and I didn’t feel bad about it-it seemed the natural thing to do…. The beggar didn’t seem to mind either….I didn’t observe his face expression or even his face properly.
Immediately Akku said “Chee, How can you do that, Suku? That’s like insulting him.”
That time I did it WITHOUT feeling I was in the wrong. My first response was to argue –to say he didn’t mind. Only much later did it strike me that I didn’t even give the entire packet. I brushed it off my mind. I’m sure I can even now….but what about for him?
I lie here comfortably with two pillows and a full belly talking of my guilt-mild though it may be and soon I’d forget the beggar and the incident.
But what about him-out in the cold, the rain, and the urine drenched footpaths, with barely enough clothes, with no fingers, a rod and a bowl. What about him? How horrid it must be everyday to take little bits of money-50p or 1re from grudging people. And some idiotic bourgeoise kid sitting in a car and munching far more than she NEEDS to...a bloody selfish thoughtless kid had the audacity to him a chip. A CHIP and went off munching, munching, munching. It is unfair, so UNFAIR. I would have cursed her punished her if and only if she were not me. Save me from the consequences of my actions! Yes I feel bad, but so what? What will the beggar get?
And why did that autowallah thank me? I DO NOT DESRVE THANKS. Savaari karne ke liye he said when I asked him, kyaa hua jyaada paisa de diya kya…is it just customer service spreading to auto wallahs? Could he read my mind? Did I pay him extra? I don’t know and I don’t know if I ever shall. I have too much and yet I want more.