Friday, December 18, 2020

Stories from Sirohi- Identities

 I walked into the BRCF to help an official regarding an online meeting. 

"Welcome. Have a seat. Would you like to have coffee or tea?" asked the stranger. Warmth and welcoming, I assumed. 

"Will you able to visit us on monday and help us with the meeting?" He asked.  Polite, I assumed. 

So, Abhinay ji, Kaha se ho, aap? He asked. Curious. Breaking the ice, I assumed. 

Aapka Pura Naam kya hai? He asked. Abhinay Thummaluru. I replied. 

Matlab Kaunsa Jaath ke ho aap? He asked.  I mumbled to blurt out my caste. 

I'm a minority. 

Papa kya kartha hai? He asked further. 

I replied but, my spirit was bashed up, my self-worth was questioned. What do you have to do with the caste? I wanted to ask but, I couldn't blurt out the words. I was inferior of my status. 

I mentioned the same to my colleagues. He is not a bad guy. they said. 

 I felt the same till he tried to identify me through caste! I thought. 

Silences. Pauses. Colleagues got nothing, as they feel privileged to talk about their identities. 

Once a person wrote Shashi Tharoor, discussing Caste and privileges, "Oblivious to the caste is the luxury of the privileged."

Well my privileged friends were oblivious to my confusion and plight of the 'fuss' I make at them. 


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