Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Life Lessons - Discrimination.

Note: This is a very long post.So I understand completely if you don't want to read it. But if you have ever faced any kind of discrimination... racial or religious or if you think 'they' as a community are out to get you , then maybe you should give this post a try.Thank you for your perseverance and patience .

Discrimination seems to be the hip word nowadays. Racial, Gender, Gender identity, Age, Religious, Color, Ethnicity, Medical condition, Physical condition…. So many, So many. I think everyone will undergo some kind of discriminations somewhere in some point of life, if, they dare to cross the comfort of their home. Well, discrimination may be in there too.

I for one have had to face only two till now… Gender and Religious. And today I talk about one such time. I had told about this incident to a friend of mine sometime ago and he had told me to write it publically, he said people ought to know. I think he is right for more reasons than one.

It was the time I first came to Delhi for job. Fresh from college. I had accommodation in a Paying guest. My initial room was a four seater though the PG uncle promised me I could shift to the two seater as soon as one of the girls vacated, maybe in a month or two.

I made friends quickly. My hindi and English was good and I soon made friends with the very nice girls in my room. There were a lot of differences ,My dresses were all loose and old fashioned , I did not believe in makeup, I never threaded, I was in a place where non vegeterianism was supposed to be barbaric though drinking was ok, Where roti was a common feature be day, lunch or night. Well these were all ok. I could deal with it.


 I almost flipped when I learnt that the girl in the two seater told emphatically that uncle should not put the muslim girl in her room.  (i.e me btw …and she used a stronger word which I don’t remember now) She had not even talked to me before and I could not understand why she was so against me just because I was a muslim. There was another girl in the other room who used to admolish my good friend Shreya as to how she could befriend me, a muslim when she was a Brahmin.(!!!!!)

Anyhow this behavior was slowly getting into my mind and  I regret to say that within a month or two the seed of poison was slowly sowed in my heart and watered by my own self pity.  My friends tried to make me feel better by saying why I thought of those two girls, when they were there for me. Yes I knew…but I needed more affirmation and that came eventually.

It was around this time that Reema joined our room. She was a nice girl and we quickly became friends. After a month she confessed that at first she hated me (because???? Well by now you must know) but now she realized that she was wrong to do that and she liked me very much by now. I was too relieved that unlike the other two at least she liked me now and so I did not really mind the hating part.

And now comes the climax, Reema got her first salary after two months of working and she came to the our room .At that time only I was there. She asked me if I could please keep the salary in the deity’s foot as she could not approach the prayer room. I obliged (Though many Muslims would not so that, My logic is the supreme being who looks after me cares more about me not hurting her feelings than how much I show outside how much I love and honour  him/her/it. There is a interesting story there which I will tell later on). What she did next bowled me over.

“Rahmath ,Stand in front of me please “ She said.
I did so
Then she handed me over the money . I was puzzled and I took it. The she said .
“Now give it to me back”
More puzzled I did so
“We give an elder member our first salary. It’s symbolic. They give it back As I did not have either my mother or father here I wanted to give it to you”.

To say that I was touched would be an understatement. And with that move, in that instant, that seedling which was growing inside my heart withered and died forever.

And here is the Life lesson I share with you my dears.

If ever the attitude of the Bigots begins to change your mind about a community, remember Shreya and Reema. Bigots are there everywhere. You cannot change them and their approval means nothing. There are people like Shreya who accept you unconditionally and people like Reema who when guided by your behavior realize what they believed was not the truth. These are the People that matter. If you give more importance to the Bigots, you would be belittling them ,Why you would be belittling yourself

Now…That wont do … Would it?

1 comment:

  1. From Reema, that was such a beautiful action.
    I can understand the religious discrimination that you talk about. I hate it. But its heart-warming to see people like Reema and Shreya are very much a reality and that going forward we can expect more tolerance. Had recently written about equality in my blog. Heres the link.
    Do share your views.


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