October 24, 2005

Is this ten?

Train to Jaipur, and a blind vendor saunters through, selling cards, inflatable pillows, chains, locks, toys, you-name-it. What we do name is nailclippers, which we have foolishly forgotten to pack. He promptly reaches down to a specific spot in his array of wares and pulls out two or three for us to examine. How does he do that?

Anyway, we choose one. Ten rupees, he says. It later turns out to be so blunt that he should have paid us ten rupees to take it, besides which my fingers still hurt from being mauled by this instrument of torture, but I won't mention all that.

We give him a ten rupee note. He sniffs it, feels it, then turns to a guy in the next compartment and asks, "Is this ten rupees?"

The guy in the next compartment nods his head, then realizes nodding won't do, so says "Yes."

Then he buys something and hands over a note. Will the guy ask the next guy over to confirm its authenticity? And the fellow after that ... ? Does the vendor cascade like this through the train?


Vinod Khare said...

I can never make up my mind about such vendors in trains. I therefore never buy anything from them. It is in the trains that you get to see how a large number of people in India are forced to live. You have hawkers, kids willing to sweep the floor for a rupee or two, eunuchs traumatising you for money. When is all this going to stop?

Anonymous said...

lakkan (carry over from other post):

Our secularist card holders like Dilip have a deer-in-headlight look when asked as to what triggered the mobs to pull down Babri and not say others at Kashi, Mathura, Varanasi etc. They feign ignorance as to why Babri become a issue in late 90s when it wasn't one for about 40 years of our independence. If they had an iota of decency and wanted to earn a honest days wage, they could have easily seen through communal politics of a 'secular' govt which opened the locks at Babri based on a 50+ year old court case merely as a bone to hardliners on other side after the Shah Banu fiasco.

But then that would have meant calling the secular party communal and negating everything they've writing for past decade.

Yes, there is apparently no time frame when it comes to people feeling outraged and wanting others to feel it too. Our secularist like to remember Gujarat of March 02 but forget about over 100 communal riots in that very same gujarat in 70s, 80s when seculars administered the state. One wonders if they are stuck in some time warp, but then their memory makes giant leaps going back couple centuries to remind you of the hindu atrocities against "untouchables". Turn the clock to present, their mind goes blank again about riots that happened just last week or so with "oh I 'just read' about Agra!! "

Must be were nice warm and cozy in that secularist cave where time machine ports you over selective events to ensure the 'secular' credentials.
No wonder those living in real world are going Kya lagaya hai, yeh secular, secular?

Will look forward to 'Realpolitik'. Hopefully other seculars will read it too.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Vinod, I'm not sure what your problem is with such vendors. He's blind, he's earning a living, he's working hard. Deserves his custom, if you ask me.

But you're right, it's in our trains that you see a definite slice of India. When is it going to stop? Your guess is as good as mine.

Anonymous said...

The Guy is blind, yet chose to work hard and earn a living instead of begging. hats off to him.

Dont know why the lakkan bhashan is doing in this blogpost