Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The colours of the rainbow...

I just love Sachin Tendulkar!! Well, so do millions of other Indians.... but cricket has nothing to do with my newfound admiration for this guy who is the epitome of maturity. Why, you ask me? Well, look at the statement he recently made on his country and his state of domicile. Could it have been better said than that?

This takes me to the time when there were attacks on the non-Marathi taxi drivers in Mumbai. Delhi was seething (as were many other regions in the country). Comments were varied. From "We should do the same with Maharashtrians" to "We are so cordial with all the other state people.... why are they like that?" many viewpoints and cross comments were raised in every medium possible - newspapers, television and even FM radios.

Fast forward to a party I was at last weekend.... over some delicious fattening stuff we call "snacks" in Saddi Dilli, a few friends were discussing the crime rate in Delhi NCR. Now, we all know that this is the favorite topic among social circles. It proves many facts - that you read the newspaper, that you are a socially responsible citizen condemning the act, that you really live in a posh part of the city, but empathize with the others..etc.

The most garrulous of us decided he wanted some controversy to heat up the discussion - so he goes ahead and says something he would want to kick himself for - "Arre, Delhi was not always like this! Its these immigrants from the other states". Instant reactions are difficult to explain here... lets just say time froze for a few seconds, the only sound that of his teeth chomping the crunchy deep fried baby corn. Then he realized something was amiss, and he cared to look up from his plate. We are a bunch of young, well dressed, pretty looking people; but let me tell you, we looked nothing close to pretty right then.....

Damage control came by way of a stammering explanation "O come on, guys, I don't mean you - u're cool! Its these ricksha-wallahs, and the slum fellows I mean...." Well, conversation slowly came back to normal, but I came back home thinking of the comment..

Lets see now.... my family doctor is a sweet Bengali gentleman; my daughter's favorite teacher - the one who teaches her the exact way to pronounce 'envelope' - is a crisp cotton Saree clad lady called Mrs.Rao (for the uninitiated, Raos are from Andhra Pradesh), my best friend (atleast in this city) is a Punjabi (brought up in Rajasthan and married to a Himachal chap brought up in Delhi....). My domestic help (yeah .... they are in my list of VIPs too!!) is a Tamilian who hasn't seen Tamil Nadu - she was brought up here, the security guard is from MP.... and a million other people who make my life easier each day - the rikshawallahs included - come from all over the country!!

And they all came to better their lives...they have a right to do that in their country, don't they? Wait a minute.... we ARE a "democratic, socialistic republic". ARE we?

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