dimanche 4 septembre 2011

The Metaphor of Lotus in India


I have been visiting this part of India, in reality, one house in an area lying outside a major city, once a year, for reasons of umbilical remembrances. The person who had given birth to me had come to live in this area and my Hocank and Kickapoo Indian sisters always remind me that I must go and see her at least once a year.. so here I am..
This has been an annual ritual since 1999. When I am here my purpose is singular and apart from finding out some nice places to eat, I do not participate in the ambience or the culture of the city. I always feel that I am passing through a canvas of humanity and it feels like a panoramic view of the world around me. Being an anthropologist, a keen eye detects many items of pleasure and India is certainly a great treasury of wonderful visual and sensual stimulations.. and lucky are the visitors who are exposed to the barest of the human essentials in the purest of human emotional terms.. this is one such story.
Manjula and Mahaluxmi are two sisters, born into poverty but into a family who had seen better times in the past and thus endowed with a certain class of their own. Their single mother, father having died in an accident, was determined that only through sheer hard work she could elevate the girls out of their humble situation. The mother worked hard as a maid, cleaning houses and diligent, and attending to her duties with out any undue problems, with the two girls helping her during the weekend. She saved a little from her meager salary so that one day she could invest in the education of these girls. I met them as pre teenagers all those years ago and at that time we couldn't communicate well because they spoke only Kannada, the local language.
Imagine my pleasure and surprise when on this sunday morning, two nicely dressed young ladies appeared at the door wanting to greet me . they both are now in the first year of College studying commerce. The older one is a little more worldly than the other one who is determined to study hard and get a job after completion of her studies and look after her mother. Marriage is not on my mind, only get a job and look after my mother and how my appreciation for the hard work of my mother, said she. She spoke now to me in English, having added this important language to her pantheon of Kannada, Tamoul, Telugu and Hindi. they had also picked up a little bit of Malayalam since this suburb is full of expatriates from Kerala.
determination, duty to mother, responsibility to the society, a desire and determination to succeed.. this is the new India, two young girls, well born culturally but not economically.. a New India awaits them and they would contribute to it not only with their labour but their sturdy value system... so good to hear that from such young hearts.
My day started off well when M and M came to say Hello to me, on this beautiful morning with a bright sun shining and the weather that reminded me of Medellin in Colombia.. La Eterna Primavera..