Sunday, January 30, 2011

In Parallel Worlds

Three days in a village in one of the poorest states in India.
Griding poverty. Governmental indifference. Regressive social practices. Ineffective education. No employment opportunities. No access to primary healthcare. No power. Unsafe drinking water.
Twenty-four hours after getting back home, I am struggling to come to terms everything I saw.

The nearest city is famous for silk sarees. On hearing where I had gone, a friend asked me if I had picked up a couple of them. One saree would keep a family comfortable for a few months.

Sometimes I wonder if my friends and I inhabit parallel worlds.

drabble is a story told in exactly 100 words.

The sarees from Benaras are undoubtedly beautiful- they are just far removed from where I was.


Will Burke said...

It's hard to not get on a soap box when people say things like that, eh?

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - I've often heard the saying that there is no-one so blind as the person who will not see. Your excellent and powerful Drabble is such an eloquent example of this...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That person will probably never see the truth.

Jan Morrison said...

I love how you illuminate your thoughts with contrast. You are a love dog like Rumi's poem of the same name. Keep howling, keep longing...

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Beautifully written, Rayna.

Jemi Fraser said...

The disparity is incredible.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Perhaps you do-or maybe it's because they have yet to see something so terrible.

KjM said...

We all inhabit our own worlds, sometimes intersecting, but not always. Our perspectives are formed by experience, and often informed by our willingness to be open.

And, we each get there in our own time. At least, that is the hope.

Al said...

I have to hang my head in shame and say this has been my experience in Oz when returning from outback Aboriginal communities.
The part that makes me frustrated is Australia is a first world nation. We have no excuse other than indifference for letting people live in abject poverty.

Hart Johnson said...

Such a striking contrast. I guess the question is, would buying the sari chanel resources to these families that need it?

I know someone in Portland who goes to Africa twice a year, buys art (and baskets and ceramics) from village people, then sends back the money to the villages, less his travel costs... I like the system as a way to spread resources where needed.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's a matter of people not knowing about these parallel worlds...

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ Will - very hard not too. Specially since you want to explain things to them gently.

@ Margot - thank you. And yes, that is so true. Most of educated India chooses not to see the rest, which is why they are still the rest. Had people seen more, change should have happened by now.

@ Alex - perhaps not. And that is so very sad.

@ Jan - thank you so much. That's such a wonderful thing to say.

@ Elspeth - thank you

@ Jemi - weeks later, I am still trying to process it all.

@ Oddyoddyo13 - a mixture of both, I guess. Till I actually went to the village, I never realised how bad things were, but even in our normal lives, it is visible.

@ KjM - so true. And the tragedy is that so few people are willing to be open and to see what they actually do.

@ Al - isn't it a tragedy that we cause this, and allow this to happen.

@ Hart - yes and no. Some money will reach some people, but not all of it, and definitely not everyone. More to the point, I am not sure she even realised it.

@ Fiona - sad, isn't it?


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