Friday, May 01, 2009

55 Flash Fiction Friday #43: Chapter 35 - Mein Usko Maraa Hua


Some stories are the same in any language.
Her confusion was obvious, her interest more so. "My family are strict Brahmin" he explained, "And when I chose the army, my father himself broke my sacred thread and disowned me. To them I am dead."

"You? You are laawaaris?" she asked.

"Some say laawaaris, some even dalit." he replied, "I say I am Indian."

Notes:
Mein usko maraa hua: "to them I am dead"
Dalit: Essentially "untouchable". One who is of the lowest caste, or lives outside the caste structure altogether. The term is one applied by the subgroup itself and refers to a wide cross section of disenfranchised people who may be segregated and at times persecuted or discriminated against because of their occupation or social class. The term later came to be more broadly applied to all "oppressed peoples" including peasants, landless workers and women. The name is taken from the Hindi root word dal meaning "suppressed" or "held in check".
Laawaaris: One disowned by his family. Brahmins were/are teachers and priests. Warriors and kings fell into the Kshatriya caste. Thus a very strict Brahmin family might well have considered a career in the military unsuitable, possibly even to the point of disowning a son who chose it. However common or uncommon this extreme reaction would have been is open to question as Brahmins and Kshatriyas both occupy the higher rungs on the ladder.

Previously
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11 comments:

Asha said...

Laawaaris means Orphan generally. This story is probably pretty old! Now a days, any Indian will be proud to be in the Arm forces, thing of pride. After all the wars and attacks, we surely respect what they do for the country! :)

You are right. Dalit has become (politically correct) "oppressed" now. But a proud Brahman NEVER calls himself a dalit, even if he is disowned by his family (if Dalit is meant as "untouchable" to him).
We do have have many "dalit" senators/ministers in the Govt now, they are a powerful force but don't know whether they help their own people once they get the status! :P

Dr.John said...

Love your 55
Every week I learn something about India and the language.
My 55 is posted.

Eaton Bennett said...

I like that you have them talking, him telling her about himself. Interesting possibilities. Cool thing about your 55 is that there is not enough story to really guess where you're headed with this, gotta wait on you! :))

anthonynorth said...

You get the feel of the culture in your 55. Nicely done.

Fandango said...

Us dragons never been to India.
were in Indiana once.
You write with funny words.
English is bad enough.
Good 55

We have posted

Daryl said...

Always learning something here .. its a good thing!

Mama Zen said...

This is fascinating!

Mona said...

You got the perfect blend of meaning conveyed by using both the terms, Laawaris and dalit.

So he is not a black sheep, but one who breaks the shackles of tradition classification and casteicism

I like him more each time :)

G-Man said...

Oh...A rebel!!
Excellent 55 Mojo...
Yes, what we do without Monique?
I never want to find out....
Thanks for contributing so wonderfully again...
Have a Great Week-End...G

S said...

Oh man, I have to still go back and read my very own special all in one version of this story. Since it's going to rain all weekend, I will do it then!

Happy 55 Friday to you, Mojo.
Can you believe it, I actually played this week!

ciara said...

as always a great installment, mojo :)