Friday, February 6, 2009

Mr Dave Comes to Tea- and some pressing concerns

The Mr had been wanting to ask his 'foreign' friends/seniors at office to tea for a long time. Finally Mr Dave arrived on Thursday making all of us quite excited! The children stared at this congeneal Englishman in great wonder, this is the first time we have had a foreigner for tea. I had no idea what he might like to eat- so I made some biscuit sandwiches with cream crackers and cheese slices and bought a box of Pringles chips and took out my fish kabaab mixture which I had kept ready earlier. The awkwardness was on both sides and we started to chat over tea and continued till it was almost eight! Mr Dave is married to a Thai lady and they are building a house in Thailand. He has really seen the world, and he loves to tell the most wonderful stories of his experiences. The most intriguing thing I learnt was about the Thai language-this is the first time I have learnt about a tonal language. The same word said in a different tone means something entirely different! For example 'my' said five times in five different tones means 'the coal is too hot in the fireplace' or something to that effect! The word for banana if said in a different tone means penis! So Mr Dave says he will never learn Thai for he is not too musically inclined! These and other such hilarious stories kept us enthralled all through the evening. Mr Dave liked my tea best for he had two cups of it!

Meanwhile the situation has become quite grim in Mangalore with the MLA's daughter being dragged out of a bus and abducted. What is the country coming to? Women cannot travel in buses and talk to people! The girl and her aquaintance (a Muslim boy) was slapped, abused, dragged out of the bus and taken to the hideout of these criminals and the boy's mobile phone stolen. Needless to say the people in the bus were silent spectators! The girl showed exceptional guts by attending the exam which she was going to appear for in that bus! Women cannot go to bars women cannot talk to men of the different religion- how can we stand the violation of women's fundamental right of liberty and equality granted by the constitution? As a newspaper article points out today, it is not about culture or religion it is about controlling women and enshrining patriarchy. Not a single political party has put it that way for the fear of losing votes. The BJP has declared yesterday that if it comes to power law or no law a grand temple is going to be built on the disputed site. This temple is going to be guilt on the grave of our constitution. After all what is a temple- and a grand one at that, it is the re-establishment of religio-cultural control of the upper caste Hindu male- it means power to the this class that has blatently insulted and maligned the Constitution of independent India. I appeal to all sane Indians to vote and let these politician know whether we can defend the Constitution and the rights given to us by it!

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