Wednesday, March 28, 2012

4 Americans and 400 tonsured Indians (In search of humanity)

          "Fucking India. Why the hell I picked India for our research project?" yelled Anne.

           Mike (Michael Lambert), Anne (Anne Marglet), Adon (Adoni Iglesias) and Steve (Stephen Williams) are the Humanity Graduate students from Upper Iowa University, USA. For the completion of graduation, they have to visit one country and have to provide report on how humanity prevails in that particular country. Each group has four students. They have to select the country by lot system. University will take care of all the expenditures (food, travel and living place) during this period. There were totally 32 students. They had Switzerland, India, Italy, South Africa, China, Canada, Mexico and Fiji Islands as their options. Mike, Anne, Adon and Steve formed one group. Anne picked the sheet from the lot and the country they will be travelling is India. Martin Schelbert who visited frequently for India was allotted as their mentor and travel planner.

             The travel is for one month. Martin planned their travel in a way that they will travel in all modes and visit every part of India. "Buses, Trains,  Airplanes, Cabs, even a ship travel to a place called An-da-man. Wow!!" said Steve to his friends. "Pack up guys lets explore India!!!" Adon shouted joyfully. The day came, they started from USA to Mumbai, India. The tour plan had a flight trip from Mumbai to Chennai. A bus travel from Chennai to Chittoor, a small town in Andhra Pradesh. From there a train journey to Hyderabad. It continued to every part of India and finally, a flight back to USA from Kochi.
              They reached Chittoor by bus as a plan of their tour. "Fucking India. Why the hell I picked India for our research project? Everyone is staring at my cleavage as if they have not seen any girl's cleavage. Sex longing morons." yelled Anne. "Anne, if a girl with a beautiful cleavage walks on American street, even Americans will stare at it. But I don't know why these people are staring at your ordinary cleavage." replied Adon. "Shut up you Jewish asshole." yelled back Anne. " Even your Jesus is a so called Jewish asshole." replied Adon in anger. "Stop that fucking quarrel!" shouted Mike. He continued, "Even my experience for these 4 days is not good. The Indians always try to cheat us. Steve bought a beer for Rs.500. But the rate printed in the bottle was 100 bucks. I don't know why the university selected India as one of the research places." Steve put forth his experience, "Man! It is like standing in the middle of the sun. It is hot like anything. The Martin fucker has booked us a seat where AC is not available. I will come as ghost and kill that motherfucker if I die here. He said India is the mother of humanity. Fucking Martin. Fucking India."  
               The train to Hyderabad is at 5:30 PM. They reached the station at 4 PM itself. " Hey Sir! Where is the washroom?" asked Steve to one of the porters. "I no English. Station Master yes English. Randi" replied the porter and took him to station master room. "Good that you know English. Please show me where the toilet is." said Steve. "Toilet ah. Mundee chepachu kada. Ikkada randi. Randi Sir." porter took Steve to the toilet. Steve entered fast to the toilet. The toilet keeper stopped and asked him, "Padhi rooba ivvu." "What?" asked Steve. "Ten rupees one toilet, Fifty rupees two toilet" replied the keeper. "What?" again asked Steve. "Front side toilet ten rupees. Back side toilet fifty rupees" replied the keeper with action. Steve gave fifty rupees and entered into toilet. " What is this man? No tissue paper is here." came a voice from toilet. But nobody is there outside the toilet to reply. The toilet keeper and porter started to local toddy shop at the moment they got the money. Steve remembered a scene from the movie Outsourced  where the protagonist uses water to clean things and he followed the same.
                The train reached the platform. Anne confirmed with the TTE whether the train is to Hyderabad. 
They went in and took their seats. The train is empty. Only these four are present in S8. The train started and the Americans started to play cards. The TTE came for checking the tickets and warned Mike and Anne for smoking in train. He said, "Smoking is prohibited in trains and the fine of Rs.500 will be collected if anyone found smoking. I'm just warning you as you are foreigners." Steve enquired if the train will be this empty daily. " No. Wait for an hour. You'll see what is crowd when Tirupati station is reached." replied the TTE.
           6:50 PM. The train reached Tirupati station. People started to enter the train. "Hey Mike. See this. Most of the people here don't have hair." said Adon. "Ya Adon. I read that India is a place where people of different races live. May be these people belong to the race of people who do not have hair." replied Steve. "Hey. It doesn't seem that they are hair less. It seems like they have tonsured their head recently." said Anne. Most of the people entered in the train had their head tonsured. "See there. Even ladies have their head tonsured.  Funny people. What is going on here? They all look similar. No one can find the difference. Have you seen four Japanese who do Physics graduation in our university? It is tough to find the difference between them. The same thing is happening here." said Steve.
          Mike came back from the toilet and said, "Hey! On the way to restroom there are 40 passengers, out of them 28 have their heads tonsured. 70 percent. I have seen there is a connection to next coach through which people can go. If we check the entire train, we will find many number of tonsured heads." Adon replied "Is it? Shall we go and check the total number of tonsured heads in the train? We will ask them the reason why they tonsured the head? It may help in our project also." "I am in.", replied everyone at once. "There are totally 12 reserved coaches. We will divide it into three coaches each." said Mike and everyone started to their allotted coaches. 
          Adon had S1,S2 and S3 allotted to him. He first reached S3. There were only less number of tonsured people in the coach. Everyone came to him and asked if they can take a snap with them. Indians, if they have a photo with a foreigner in facebook, it is a prestigious thing for them. Adon saw a person who was reading an English novel. He asked him why he had tonsured his head. The person replied, "I got a government job in Public Works Department. I tonsured my head as a sign of showing my thanks to Thirupathi Balaji."  "Oh! Who is that gentleman?" "He is our god. Creator of everything. Like your Jesus." said the Indian. "Hey I am Jew!" replied Adon. "Then like Jewish Jesus", answered the Indian. "Yowah" replied Adon. "Yowah is our God." said Adon. He continued to collect information from the coaches allotted to him.
          Steve had S10, S11 and S12 for his quota. He was amazed to see all 72 persons in S10 coach got tonsured. There was a mix up of people of both the genders from all age group. He said to a old lady," Hi aunt." The lady shouted to the person who knows English, "Arey Rahul. Idhar dhek ek Londonwala angreji me bol raha hi". Rahul came to Steve and asked, "Sir. What do you want? No seat exchange. We all 72 one family." Steve replied, " No, I don't want to exchange seats. I am doing a research and finding the reason why people tonsure head. Can you please tell why you have tonsured?". Rahul started to reply," My father prayed God if he dies peacefully, everyone from our family will get their head tonsured. He died last month. So we have tonsured our head. The person you have spoken first is my mother. My father had twelve children and I am the last child. Everyone here is our family. She is my behen Ramabhai. She is...". Steve stopped him and said, " Its ok. Its ok. I feel very sorry about your father's death. May I know how your father died?" Rahul replied " Sirji my father was suffering from testicular cancer for three years. He slept at one night and did not wake up after that. He died.". "Oh! The testes which has successfully produced 12 humans had cancer. What a pity! What a pity!" said Steve sarcastically. Rahul shouted in anger, "Teri maa ki!! You are kidding my father. I'm leaving you since you're a foreigner. Run away." Steve vanished in few seconds.
          Mike had S7, S8 and S9 as his allotments. He was asking the reason from everyone. The old man who was sitting near him is watching him carefully. Mike came back after he is done. Anne came and she was wearing a red cloth covering her breast area. Mike asked about the dress. She replied that one old lady gave it to her and asked her to wear. She also said," The people are very friendly and one has even given this spherical shaped food. It is sweet and good. I already ate one. I requested the guy for one more saying that I have three more friends. Take this and have some for Steve and Adon as well. "I had a count of 103. How much did you get?" asked Mike to Anne. "113" She replied. "Mine is 112. One lesser than you" said Adon who came in just now. " Where is Steve?" asked Adon. "He is not back yet." replied Anne. Steve came in. Anne asked the count. "I went to only one coach and everyone is tonsured there. Count 72." replied Steve. "Why did you go for only one coach?" asked Adon. Steve thought for the best answer and replied , "Actually I had vomiting sensation when I crossed coaches. I did not want to risk my health since we have to travel for 25 more days. Thats why." Anne asked for the calculator and said, " The count of tonsured heads is exactly 400."
        They started discussing about the reasons. The old man who was sitting near him interfered and said, "I saw this red color shirt young man asking people the reason why they have tonsured. He said he is a humanity student.  This gentleman said entire family tonsured since a man died peacefully. This young man said a guy tonsured his head since he got a job. They are, of course, learned persons and they know that there is nothing in universe called God. But still they believe  that there is God.  If you catch some other train to some other place during December and January, you will find so many people with beards wearing black cloths. They go to some other God. Here people believe that God is a catalyst. They think everything happens because of God. A person who does a bad thing will fear that he will be punished by God. The Indian ancestors rooted the thoughts of religion deeply. That paved the route to humanity. Humanity will survive among humans until they believe and fear in God.". Steve was stunned and saw the faces of others. Everybody thought they got something.
        Everyday seemed better to them after the conversation with the old man. The days went by. The Americans returned to USA. They submitted the project book. The title of the project read, "India, mother of humanity". The first line of the book read," The Indian ancestors rooted religion deeply to everyone. That paved the route to humanity." The last line read, "Humanity will survive among humans until they believe and fear in God."