Vantage point

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Here's something a friend of mine called Kabir posted on a forum I am a member of. I feel like sharing it with you all.

It takes a lifetime to understand Indian Ethos.I am exaggerating.One lifetime is not enough.EVERYDAY is a learning experience.Yesterday's story.On street opposite to mine is my regular Kirana Merchant's shop.I know him for 18 years now. Funnily neither I knew his name nor did he know mine till yesterday.He knows me as so & so ( my daughter)'s father.He is a Muslim.We meet daily.I buy my ciggarates or pipe tobbacco, and he keeps telling me AFTER ringing the sale to give up smoking!!Wonderful man.Yesterday he asked me for a Donation that he is collecting for poor feeding in the mosque during Ramzan.I gladly contributed.And then made fun of him.Miyan, I asked him, there are hardly 10 or 12 Muslim households here, how will you finish your target?.He whipped out the receipt book.Told me not more than 4 muslims had contributed but his book was bulging with donations from Hindu & Christian customers of his.I know his clientele.There are hundreds of VERY ARROGANT Brahmins in my area.I tickled him up more.You dumb Mossey you go about taking money from Bamman buggers do you ever do anything in return.He was silent for a while.

Finally with great reluctance he showed me a receipt in his name ( after 18 years first time we got to know each other's name due to these receipts)issued by a nearby Ayyappa (a Deity popular among Southern Hindus) Temple for a VERY large sum he had donated. Come December the Temple will have a big festival; they will need money and none other than YESUDAAS- a SYRIAN CHRISTIAN- will be singing devotional songs in praise of a Hindu Deity, during a Temple festival partly financed by a non-idolator Muslim who has gratefully received donations from Brahmins for commitments to his Mosque.

For a cynic like me all this means is that two dumb jackasses who have shared many a Biriyani together, found out each other's names after knowing each other for two decades.That's all.

I mean to hurt or insult none.I only request you, humbly, look at me and my people or don't look.But don't judge,blindly.I will lend you my failing sight if you need it.I know a swallow doesn't make a summer.I know one should look at LARGER picture.I know for one good thing you can quote me a thousand bad things about my country.I know small men discuss events; the Savants must dicuss ISSUES..........I know.