What’s with mallus and news?
There are few things happening around the world a prawn state citizen is not aware of. Except perhaps what ever happened to Sukumara Kurup.
Don’t know who that is? Ask any mallu. He is what legends are made of. He is a real life Harrison Ford Fugitive. He could be anywhere; be any one....he is the one who got away. Well, not the only one. This is Kerala we are talking about. We get away on a daily basis, with a lot more than we care to admit.
The distinguishing feature of a mallu is not his pot belly or his mustache; it’s his ability to have an opinion on everything. Recession? Not to worry. Just hear Gopichettan's solution. While you are listening, please order another chaya (it’s not chai, recall what I told you about our fixation with not having any words hanging around aimlessly) and finish the paruppu vada.
Some time back I had stirred up the hornets’ nest by saying we Indians are racist. From the reactions I got, I guess I was right. Moreover, what amused me (yes, that's the wrong word, go on and sue me) was a reader, who claimed mixed parentage but was clearly black who, to put it mildly, didn't really like the way he was treated due to the color of his skin. It, very reasonably, made him a tad miffed.
So, though he liked curries, he couldn’t stand the smell of it. This is perfectly justifiable.
If I go to a club (which I have) and am turned away at the door (which I was) unless I pay a cover charge which cannot be claimed against drinks inside (which it wasn’t) while others of the lighter skinned race walk in with no such condition (which they did), I too would feel slightly miffed. I would vow never to return, and for good measure flood the hotel's toilets (it’s amazing what a toilet roll is capable of).
So I set out to learn about how blacks are treated in India.
And after 2 weeks of research, I have come up with nada.
I have no freaking idea.
I am sure we treat them as outsiders. I don’t think we do it intentionally but we do it nevertheless. But I think we do that to everybody. The truth is I have no black friends. Last time I was in Kerala, I stayed in an NGO run by a blind German lady for a week. They run a course in empowering people who have overcome adversities to set up successful social projects in their own communities. Most of the students were black. Truth is, them being black was a non issue. Those guys had survived situations that nightmares are made of and to top it all, they were heading back to the same places to face the same situations, to try and make it a little better. They didn’t have time to be bothered by their color. I was in awe of them.
I had been called there by my brother who had come to know that I was going through a dark phase of the soul. This is the annual event, which involves me wanting to kill myself - aka, the time when my head is stuck deep within my arse.
Going there, hearing their stories made my problems seem like chicken shit. My so called spiritual and philosophical decline a mere indulgence. These boys and girls were heroes. They were beautiful. They were also very clearly human. Very human.
I actually made a lot of friends in that short while. Me being me, also lost touch with all of them once I left.
But the point is this.
Not for a moment there did I see them as black or blue or yellow.
Now, I know what I am. I am your typical normal run of the mill kind of person. If I didn’t know, then I am sure you wouldn’t either. Because, my friends, if I can trust me, anybody can. I am the biggest jerk of em all.
I still don’t know how a black person feels in India. Is he/she discriminated against? Do we treat them badly? I never did ask. I was caught up, trying to get my head around stories of child soldiers made to kill and rape, of albinos being body harvested because they are considered lucky charms, of blind Tibetans who are considered as demonic curses and are social outcasts.
This is what I think. Any sort of discrimination comes from a sense of a complex. Its source originates from something as simple as the need to have a difference between ‘us and them’. Any enforcement of this by us will be at the cost of them.
There you go. Racism in a nut shell.
Want another chaya? Have a pazham pori while I give you my opinion on homosexuality.