A Bleak Sunset of Vanishing Cultures

November 26, 2014

Yesterday as I walked on Carter Road in the mood for contemplation, I witnessed this totally bland sunset.

Grey, bleak, unnoticed, unsung and so gradual that visually one would not be able to pinpoint the end of the day.

The sun just faded ever so slowly until it could be seen no more, high above the horizon instead of taking a majestic bow to the ecstatic applause of colors, into the Arabian sea.

SUNSET

But, as I began to feel cheated, I reminded myself that the sun and the skies owe us spectators nothing. And they are free to do as they please. And today maybe the sun just wanted  a quiet exit from this world. Maybe it moved on to the next world hoping to have a better time … maybe it saved its dazzle for the other world.

Something like the vanishing tribes of today.

Vanishing slowly. Without a band-baaja (mobile orchestra attached to a procession) accompanying the exit. Just a quiet exit … that is so silent that we will only realise that their day is done, only later… years later.

But again, the tribes with all the beauty that we see in their costumes and their traditions, owe us spectators nothing…. they want the other world … they want the economic prosperity that is to be gained through conversions –  religious, ideological and others.

They say formal education is a necessity. They trade it for the non-institutionalised education from their tribe. My man Friday – babu is not educated formally but the respect I have for his intellect & his knowledge about the forest is exactly the same respect that I have for my surgeon. They are specialists. Yet they are not prosperous.

And so, like yesterday’s sun, they are fading away …moving towards a homogenous world of grey.

No aplomb, no salutes… just a silent walking away from a life that is no longer treasured.

vanishing cultures without WM

jm

Nov 2014

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