When one travels by train (all Mumbaikars take it as a given that “train” naturally implies THE local train), one always has a bagful of experiences to share, some good, some bad, some simply…strange. Today’s experience was strange but rather pleasant!
I was sitting in the train, staring out of the window, when one of the ladies sitting opposite me, called out, “Ashish” (name not changed) in the direction where I could not see who this Ashish was. (Now, as a woman, when you hear a man’s name in the ladies’ compartment, the brave side of you immediately takes on guard while the timid side hopes it is just a kid that you will have to face). But I was completely taken aback to see that this Ashish was a eunuch! She comfortably came and sat next to me. I just kept staring at those two women (trying hard not to be caught while doing so), who were so sweet, so kind with her (I think it is only justified to say “her”). They started discussing everything from mundane chores to family matters to the flowers that Ashish had bought to offer at the temple).
Some time back I saw a student play, pleading the audiences to treat these marginalized individuals with dignity (if love and care were too much to ask for). It felt like they had succeeded in their effort, although it was quite clear that neither of the two women were learned enough to watched a play. But how does it matter? They were definitely more cultured than the “cultured”.
Today I saw India Shining!!