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This freestyle Friday is again going to be a “Venting my Anger” section. I would like to share a real-time experience which I had a week ago while commuting from Guindy to Fort by local train. Here it is;
It was a fine Wednesday evening except that nothing was fine that evening. I as usual waited for my 18:53 train to Beach Station from Guindy. Unfortunately, the train which arrived around 18:52 was fully crowded and I heard people murmuring that this was the previous train which came late. I somehow boarded in to the ladies compartment since I can’t afford to wait for the next train as I need to catch a connecting train in Fort station.
It’s a custom in Chennai local suburb trains that four people sit in the three seats allotted. I dutifully followed the custom and sat as the fourth member next to the three ladies. I never actually care about who sat next to me on normal days. However the lady next to me sighed heavily so I turned and noticed her. She was a woman in her mid 50s. She was looking divine in her red madisar sari (a traditional Brahmin outfit). I always adored madisar since childhood, being a Brahmin which girl doesn’t?
As the train stopped in the next station in Saidapet, lot of college girls boarded the train. It is a usual routine that plenty of college girls board in Saidapet and they crowded the train further. I took out my Vampire Diaries book and started reading by bending myself a little down. The girls were so struggling to stand that they started to dash the sitting passengers and stamp others’ feet. Of course standing in crowded train is a menace. There were 3 Muslim girls in their burkhas (outfit that closes their body and heads) standing right next to me. The aunt who I mentioned about earlier was taller than me and since I had bent in my seat she was the one visible to those girls. When the train stopped after two stops in Kodambakkam, one of the girls lost balance and had caught the shoulders of the aunt I mentioned before. That’s it lot of things were happening in a fraction of a second. The Muslim girl was pushed back with full force. I and few others grabbed her. Then this madisar aunt swore at top of her voice in Tamil and she made a nasty comment (which I don’t want to mention here). The actual meaning was “how come another religion (low caste – from what she told) girl touches me?”
Stop Discrimination Now
I don’t know what made me to react but I suddenly blurted out in Tamil (I have translated to English for your convenience) “If you are so pure, you shouldn’t be travelling in train” to which she answered “Why are you asking me not to board in train it’s that female who shouldn’t be boarding the train.” The conversation went further as follows;
Me: Why are you now discriminating and what is your problem?
She: Girls like you don’t understand the purity of our caste (she guessed am a Brahmin too from my Slang).
Me: Why are you so concerned about caste? Isn’t there any room for humanity?
*At this time a few girls backed me up but unfortunately many aunties (whom I recognized as to Brahmins too and few non-Brahmin aunties supported her)
While all the aunts went on about how rude I was behaving I finally lost my cool and shouted at the main aunt “Will you please shut up? (This time in English)”
She started to complain to her so called fellow same caste aunties on how poor these modern kids are and this that, she even said I was only Brahmin by birth but I acted like a North Indian (seeing my Patiala salwar, left side nose piercing, silky hair and my English). Another one aunt told I am definitely in love with a Muslim or Christian guy (Wow! Someone give her a medal). Finally, I got back my coolness and called them by clicking my fingers and told that it was her fault that she wore such a divine madisar to a public place and I further explained her that humanity is the biggest thing a Brahmin should have and which she clearly is lacking since she abused another female and pushed her. I told her that people who discriminate others based on sex or locality (she was so sure that am from north India) was not fit to be human leave alone being Brahmin. One of the other aunties (who was a non-brahmin yet Hindu – She told it herself to us) told me that it is a great pleasure to sit next to that madisar aunt and she wanted me to fall in feet and apologize to which I replied falling in her feet will be as sinful that even my mother won’t forgive me (it is a well accepted fact that mother forgives her kids always). Finally, at Egmore all the aunties and the college girls (including the victim got down) while getting down she (the Muslim girl I supported) placed her hand on my head and told “Masha Allah! Let the god always be with you my dear bold Brahmin girl (she told this is Urdu-Hindi – which I understand since I have been in Hyderabad) with small dollops of tears in
I was upset of having shouted at an elder person but I was somehow happy in heart of heart that I stood up against something which was wrong.
Stand up against Discrimination – Spark a Positive Change.
Disclaimer: I am a Tamil Brahmin and I don’t accuse all the Brahmins or any other caste in general. All the religions, caste are created for beliefs and not for hurting others. This is a real life incident which I have shared and I oppose any form of sexual, racial, caste-based, locality-based, status-based discrimination and abuse.
Above all Yes, I am a hardcore Brahmin but a Human first who loves her fellow humans.
Love and Cheers,