I seem to be far from reality.
Between acquainting oneself I found
A question that left me dumbfound.
What can caste possibly add to me
The very interest in it I fail to see.
I thought we’d come far from that
But it still found a way in an idle chat.
A plastic smile plastered on her face
“Inter-religion”, I said, in her slow pace.
Disturbing as it is but some still ask
Caste, religion, behind a progressive mask.
Labels, boundaries, presumptions et all,
The things that make us humans small.
She happened to ask about my husband and then went to know whether our marriage was an inter caste marriage. (This is surprisingly very normal in India, keeping in mind that our society is so horribly conditioned to the caste system that was prevalent long, long ago and most people are making serious efforts to eradicate this thought process). So anyhow, I corrected the said person with my reply..”An inter-religion marriage-Jainism & Hinduism”. The reaction, “ohhh”, followed by a plastic smile.
As expected, the next question was, “So you haven’t changed your name after marriage?”. I very patiently said, “No.” But that wasn’t enough, she wanted more than a simple “No”. Then I turned to this senior, very experienced person and said, “No, because I didn’t want to and because it’s a legal process, the changes don’t happen overnight, it is a change of identity.” I was shocked to hear that this person had no idea that name change after marriage, is indeed a legal process.
I felt so sad because this person actually engages with students and I’m scared of what they’re going to learn. I wish I had a genie, my one and only wish would be radical change, before our “civilized society” crumbles .