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The Gargantuan Wall

February 20, 2009

All the unusual activity on the antediluvian tracks that led to the wall reminded Mahalingam; it reminded him of an opportunity, a fortuity that he could not miss. It also reminded him of a past, a past that he could not get over.

For as long as he could remember, the mighty wall had always been a permanent fixture in his life. His world extended only up to that wall and he had lived his life happily as a young kid amidst the rustic settings. The wall contained memories, memories of his entire life as it had watched over him and his family. His mother, for his bedtime stories divulged to him the mighty tales of the Sangam Age and the fables of Raja Raja Cholan and he always thought that wall served as a fort to protect his section of the town.
As a young kid, by nature he was curious and he had always wanted to see as to what was on the other side of the wall. His parents told him stories of ghosts and devils which lurked on the other side and he did not muster the courage to actually scale it. When ever he accompanied his father to buy things from the market, the young kid noticed that all the shops had two tumblers and they were allowed to use only a single one but his young mind could not fathom the reason behind it.

As he grew older, his brain started grasping the things around him and the innocence that protected his delicate mind was lost gradually. He was the tallest in his age group and as that increased, so did the fecundity of his mind. By the time he was 14, he knew that the devils which lurked on the other side of the wall were in fact humans, humans just like him who belonged to much hated Thevar caste and that he was a Paraiyar. Even then, his young mind, which was at the doorstep of adulthood, could not apprehend the reason, the reason behind separating people based on a stupid reason.

As he grew older, as his mind grew sharper, he could make out all the hurt and the pain that his caste was put through all because of birth and he truly agreed with his dad that the people who lived on the other side of the wall were in fact devils!!

All that changed one fine bright day when he saw the tractor and the unusual activity around his town Uthapuram. A lot of people had come down from Chennai and the rumor which circulated around town was that they had come to destroy the wall. The whole town reeked of tension and the Thevars were totally against the decision of the government and they threatened to attack anyone.
Apart from tension, his ghetto also reeked of anticipation; in anticipation for what would be a joyous moment in their life’s and his gang spend the whole day watching, waiting as the government spent the whole day in negotiation with the Thevars.

Finally in the evening, the tractors engine was started up and the powerful machine shattered a section of the wall and the people in his ghetto started dancing in celebration, in celebration for what marked a joyous occasion for all of them. When he went back home later in the evening, he saw a smile on his mother’s face, a smile that told him that all was not lost for their cause and that as long as good Samaritans walk the earth, all evils can be vanquished!!

PS: If you guys do not know about this, then please read this link. A wall separated the dalits from the rest of the town in Uthapuram, Tamil Nadu and a section of it was demolished only on May 6th 2008.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Winnie the poohi permalink
    February 21, 2009 12:15 am

    Oh what crap!

    I cant believe this!

    I mean 2008??? :O

    Totally shocked!

  2. Ajit permalink
    February 21, 2009 12:17 am

    that is the sad truth… 😦

  3. Kislay permalink
    February 21, 2009 1:43 am

    The Dravidian movement is nothing but a mere continuation of the diabolical Divide-and-Rule of the Brits . Aryan Invasion Theory my ass ! “North Indians” are Aryans and “South Indians” are Dravidians . What a load of crap . When will we let go of it man ? Every time some one calls me a North-Indian , it is as if somebody robbed me of about a third of my nationality and nation .

  4. Ajit permalink
    February 21, 2009 2:23 am

    yeah you are right dude, but what i wanted to convey is that inspite of the movement, poeple still follow all the stupid customs

  5. Bones permalink
    February 21, 2009 2:48 am

    The Dravidian movement (like any other political movement) is not about the people but about power and money…Do you think politicians care about their constituents?They are only concerned about where their next Rs.1000 cr is coming from…

  6. Ajit permalink
    February 21, 2009 3:10 am

    you are right Bones… 😦

  7. Indyeah permalink
    February 21, 2009 6:43 am

    yes,had read this report in a magazine and then later in a was disturbing and to think that it happens in the India opf today!

    as you have described so beautifully in your story Ajit..”Even then, his young mind, which was at the doorstep of adulthood, could not apprehend the reason, the reason behind separating people based on a stupid reason.”
    no sane and humane mind can quite comprehend the causes behund such stupid man made barriers….human beings were supposed to live together as one,as simply people with the same history ,on the same planet..and look what we humans instead do in our foolishness…

    to deny access to a whole community because they are’ ‘dalits’ what a name what an absurd name to give!!this casteism is going to eat India alive one day!

    and you know what the so called ‘upper castes say?
    ”The upper castes however deny they practice untouchability. ”

    “‘There is no untouchability in this village. This wall has been built only on our private land,’ says one villager.”

    fools !idiots!!they dont deserve to be called human!or anything remotely human!

    and the tragic part is that the exact same story can be found all over India..from the north to the south and everywhere in between

  8. hitch writer permalink
    February 21, 2009 10:34 am

    Unfortunate…. at times I read some stuff and I almost feel I want to ignore… not comment, not write…

    Indyeah’s post on child marriage… now this…

    but no point in running from the truth either…

  9. Indian Home Maker permalink
    February 21, 2009 4:58 pm

    Another story that tells so much!
    Unbelievable that this is still happening.
    And then we are too proud to admit that here is anything wrong with our system … or that is what we pretend when we do not want to bother to change a convenient (for some) system.
    And I love happy, hopeful endings…

    In the Poll I voted for the last one, because although I love your stories, I also love everything else about this blog… funny posts (your cooking adventures!) and serious ones (time machine …) and the one about languages … all kinds – along with your wonderful stories, like the one about Orissa.. Christmas celebrations and the young man whose father lets him go…

  10. Ajit permalink
    February 21, 2009 6:22 pm

    fools !idiots!!they dont deserve to be called human!or anything remotely human!
    you are absolutely right indyeah…. such cases still exist in india… from N to S…..
    education is the key….. always…….

    Yes Hitchwriter, you can turn away from it or face the truth…
    I also come in the first category…

  11. Ajit permalink
    February 21, 2009 6:24 pm

    yes IHM,
    we are too proud to admit faults in our system and we always keep harping on our past….

    Thanks for voting… 🙂 and for letting me know your choice of vote…

  12. Solilo permalink
    February 21, 2009 11:19 pm

    I echo Kislay’s views.

    All these divides are about power.

  13. Ajit permalink
    February 21, 2009 11:25 pm

    :(…. yeah Solilo

  14. Aathira permalink
    February 22, 2009 10:36 am

    May 6th 2008!

    That is so crazy, and sad.

    They had two tumblers to measure the provision in!

    I guess one never questions what is set, unless someone from outside comes by and says that its all wrong. Its more about keeping our mind alive and questioning the right and wrong around us.

    More easy said, than done!

  15. Ajith permalink
    February 22, 2009 2:37 pm

    Its really sad, people need to grow up!

  16. J P Joshi permalink
    February 22, 2009 3:58 pm

    Yes, I was in Chennai when that wall was brought down….the upper caste people had migrated to the hills and camped there, as they did not want the wall to be brought down but had no option when the government did not budge. However, I agree that all this was about political calculations and not about actual human equality.

  17. vimmuuu permalink
    February 22, 2009 6:15 pm

    The wall wasnt constructed that long ago, it was only in 1990! Thats like 44 years after our independence. Sad !

    Btw, Beautifully crafted story.

  18. kanaguonline permalink
    February 22, 2009 6:57 pm

    First thing, I like to congratulate for this wonderful story 🙂 next thing I am not wondering about the truth.. I know it is in practice in some parts of Tamil nadu and in many states in India. Without the equality among the people whatever development we are achieving is just meaningless. By this we are faking ourselves. These political parties keeping the votes in their mind wont take strict measures. More than that change must take place at the minds of the humans. But some thugs in that castes still blowing these kind of things. Shame on them 😡

  19. Ajit permalink
    February 22, 2009 8:51 pm

    you are right aathira,
    unless someone from outside comes and questions it, none change…
    good point…

    yes Ajith,
    people need to grow up

    JP Joshi Sir,
    it is about political equations but in all these games, humanity is lost….

    yes Vimmuu, it is sad… and Thanks!!

    Thanks Kanagu, you are right when you say:
    Without the equality among the people whatever development we are achieving is just meaningless
    you hit the nail on the head… india should parogress with everyone benefitting, not just some people

  20. Quirky Indian permalink
    February 23, 2009 5:13 am

    It’s shameful that we still have things like this today. And then we wonder why we are where we are.

    You write well, my friend.


    Quirky Indian

  21. Chirag permalink
    February 23, 2009 6:21 am

    Well good thing is we are wall less now 🙂 and Kislay is said it absolutely correctly “Every time some one calls me a North-Indian , it is as if somebody robbed me of about a third of my nationality and nation .”

  22. Ajit permalink
    February 23, 2009 9:07 pm

    Thanks QI…

    Yes Chirag, i can understand your feelings…

  23. Renu permalink
    February 24, 2009 3:58 am

    You have been tagged !

  24. Happy Kitten permalink
    February 24, 2009 7:42 am

    ahh… another classic..

    remember reading it about it..

    I hope Kislay does not think that the divide stops with the North Indian- South Indian. Further South there are more reasons for divisions…there are Aryans and its likes within the Dravidians.. and there are divisions within the Dravidians..and multitudes of divisions within the Christian Community…

    OMG how do we Indians still exist? nd it is amazing when some people actually rise above all this!

  25. Ordinary Guy permalink
    February 24, 2009 6:23 pm

    yes Renu, will be at it soon…

    Yes HK,
    how do we Indians still exist?..

    is a good question but I would like to believe in unity in diversity is the answer 🙂

  26. Kislay permalink
    February 24, 2009 8:08 pm

    @Happy Kitten
    No . I know the division does not stop there . But this north-south one is the one which is shoved in our faces more often . It is indeed amazing that India is still one country .

  27. Reflections permalink
    February 27, 2009 6:14 pm

    Words fails me….:-(

    Beautiful story Ajit….esp the positive ending.

  28. Ordinary Guy permalink
    February 27, 2009 6:19 pm

    Thanks reflections…. 🙂 I just hope that the people have a good ending in the village as well….

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