snapshots - two Indians

Tow separate incidents occurred last week and somehow stayed in my mind. To many they would have gone unnoticed and yet they say so much about the India we chose to ignore.

It was election day. We have a new live-in maid at home. A middle aged lady who hails from Eastern UP. She went about her chores but I could feel she had something to say but did not quite know how as she had yet to discover our ways. Her restlessness was palpable so I ultimately asked her what the matter ways. In a hesitant voice she asked whether she could have some time off. The reason was that she wanted to exercise her franchise and vote. She finished her work and changed into a smart outfit slung a handbag on her arm and went off to accomplish her civic duty. Nothing and no one could take that away from her.


Last Sunday was terribly hot. It was around noon and having a few errands to run I had to brave the heat. The usually empty road was filled with people and vehicles as some entrance examination was being held in the nearby government school. As I passed the school I saw a young man laying it out books on the pavement - actually the dust road -. The books were all sots of guides and help manuals that he was taking out from his canvas bag. In a short time aspirants started crowding around and a few sales were clinched. What an enterprising young man. I passed by that spot twice in the next few hours. The first time business was brisk. The next the man had disappeared as I guess a policeman must have come by and applied the sometimes seemingly absurd law. I felt a pang of sadness as I had wanted to talk to the young man. I hope he did make some profit.