Wednesday, January 24, 2007

oh brother

in case you were wondering, the biggest news in india since we arrived has been the bollywood star shilpa shetty's misfortunes on the british reality show big brother. even hindu-muslim tensions and subsequent riots in bangalore didn't overshadow it. ?!?!?

meanwhile, bangalore is a beautiful, beautiful city. aside from the traffic and heavy pollution, it is a quite pleasant and interesting place to be. a german woman i met last night, upon hearing that it was my first time to india, said, "oh, well this is india 'light'." that and everything else a friend from bombay was saying made me a little nervous and strangely compelled to visit other big indian cities. compelled because i've already witnessed some pretty extreme acts of abuse (even surabhi concurred) in the first week of being here. on day 3, while in a rickshaw stopped at a red light, we noticed a man on a two-wheeler pull up to the curb next to us. even though the light was red, and he couldn't get much further, he tried to get past a very young crippled girl (4 or 5 years old) who was sitting on the curb. he spat on her and yelled for her to move out of the way. she had nowhere to go, as she was backed up to the railing and was physically unable to walk. he started threatening to run over her and began ramming the front wheel of his scooter into her legs. at this point i started sobbing uncontrollably, and surabhi yelled at him in kannada to leave her alone. the rick driver chimed in, too, saying, "look what you've done," and pointed to me. to draw attention to me instead of to the terrified child speaks not only to my privilege as a foreigner and a person with money (i.e., not a beggar), but also to the enormous amount of oppressive and insidious conditioning it takes for us as people to be able to treat fellow people (not to mention children) like rats.


i'm trying desperately to figure out how to upload video to youtube and then link to it on the blog. have some snippets which i'd like to share. sunila, help?

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