This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 17; the seventeenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
|Image source - InstaBlogImages|
I was stuck in a small village. The car had broken down. Saw the chai shop nearby and went straight in. The driver was fixing the car. I ordered for chai and sat next to a well dressed young guy. At some distance, on the ground, sat a guy with a glass next to him. The chai boy served him chai in that glass, which the man carried back with him. During the conversation with the guy next to me, I got to know that the person with his own glass was a dalit, an untouchable. And the guy next to me was from an upper caste.
That night, i stayed in the small town nearby to visit the famous monastery. I met the same two guys in a hotel. The dalit was a chai boy in the hotel. He served me and the upper caste guy, chai and food.
Incident 2 - Friday festival
At the customer factory, is a rather unique tradition. Every friday, after 5 pm there will be a prayer and pooja ceremony for the machines they use. Every week a new worker performs the pooja. I was told that this is predominantly a Hindu tradition. On the day Harris Thomas performed the pooja, he distributed cake as the so called prasad to everybody. Like every friday that day was no different.
Incident 3 - Launch
It was the most ambitious satellite project of India. The launch date was nearing and the satellite was to be mounted on the rocket. Sheik Aslam was the leader of the project. He was supervising the operations. Just before the automatic machine was to be switched on to take the satellite to the launch vehicle, Mr Aslam performed a traditional aarthi to the elephant God of Hindus. He sprinkled the holy water on all the scientists around him. As we all know today, the launch was successful.
Incident 4 - Village dargah
My driver asked for a day off. Balwinder Singh had been a good friend as he drove me through India. He said that he had to go to his village dargah to perform the annual tradition. Mr Singh's ancestors had settled in southern India because of trade prospects. As a family tradition, Balwinder's family was to present a new peacock feather to the muslim dargah on its annual day. I joined Mr Singh's family in the festivities. It was amazing to watch more Hindus than muslims in the dargah that day. Sikhs were in small numbers but respected well.
Klaus Sebastian closed his diary and pen, in the flight back to his home. His stay in India was incredible. He was determined to de mystify the mystery of castes and relgions in modern India, when he is back at home in Germany.