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What If Casteism Is Banned In India?

What If Casteism Is Banned In India?

Amsterdam – heaven for weed lovers. I had heard enough about easy access to weed in Amsterdam because it is legal over there. I had no idea how easy it is until one of my best friends visited this heaven and came back to give a firsthand account. It is as easy as getting into a cafe and finding your friends calling you to sit beside them to catch-up on life. But then, that is Amsterdam. Let’s zoom back into India. If you even mention weed here in our country, random passers-by will turn around to look at you in a way Tulsi Virani of Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi did. Shantham paapam! Did you just even think about weed? How could you?

In a place like Amsterdam, people have not gone rogue by smoking up. Maybe, it is only a thing in India. Also our country is fascinated with all things banned. For example, if you have written a book and it is not selling or you are not sure about anybody buying it, just get India to ban it. Voila! Your book will be a bestseller overnight. People will even risk importing it. Same is with weed. Though utilisation of weed/hemp/marijuana for industrial purpose is legal, smoking or internal consumption of weed is still illegal in India. Illegal, banned – conjoined twins. So, you go pssst in the ears of a shady guy with high hopes of not getting caught and low hopes of getting a few grams of weed. This will be the situation if at all casteism is banned in India, if at all.

Imagine casteism is completely banned in India. No one should ever mention about caste expect for educational purposes when you are trying to teach the next generation what a backward situation we were in. Everyone will be treated equally. Differentiation will be based on gender and disabilities. No quota anywhere for anything based on caste. If you discuss about your or others’ pre-existing caste, you will be jailed. Caste is the new marijuana. Since caste is banned, people will be more apprehensive, but enthusiastic about it. Even the mere idea of initiating an external conversation about caste will either excite you or make you sweat. Marriages will seem to be riskier than ever in India. It one thing that you will be spending so much money only to live with someone, and it is another thing that you will have to subtly find out about the caste without arousing suspicion of others. You need help. Here is where caste-pedlar comes into the picture. He/she has the knack of extracting the details of the pre-existing caste of the prospective bride/bridegroom. Bravo! New employment opportunity is created. It is like you will not let casteism die as long as you are obsessed with it.

I, for the life of me, have never been able to understand why caste is so important to people, especially while getting married. For goodness sake, you don’t even bother to check whether or not the person, who seems to be eligible to be your better half, has any kind of sexually transmitted disease. You don’t even check the blood group compatibility. Oh, you didn’t know such thing existed? Well, sorry, I mentioned it to you. And have you ever thought about the genetic complications that develop by breeding within your caste’s gene pool. Within your caste, you are somehow related to each other. Haven’t you heard the conversations when a new alliance is being made based on caste, how your family is distantly related to the other’s family no matter how new the relationship seems to be? You share genetic material in highest order within your caste’s gene pool. So much of in-breeding can lead to genetic disorders. You are literally killing your next generations. Expand the gene pool. Be rid of the caste because that is what hinders you. When your offspring picks up genes from a large gene pool, it has less chances of being mutated. No, don’t be happy about the prospect of mutation. These genetic mutations will not make your offspring part of X-Men, but will disable him/her, even kill.

Unlike marijuana, casteism damages a lot whether it is banned or not. A lot is already damaged. In ancient India, castes were made based on ones occupation. But how many of us still follow the caste-based or family occupation in this generation? Yes, there are few, but there are only few. You might argue that religions will still exist to differentiate us even after banning casteism. How about one step at a time? Let’s not go on a marathon before even starting brisk walk. It is unhealthy. Just like casteism. Let’s be proud of cultural diversity that we have in India, not of casteism. Well, it has been a long rant. Roll a joint!

Image Source: Gerd Altman

Meri 3 rupees waali Maggi

That means my Maggi of 3 rupees. Just like others tag it as “meri hostel waali Maggi” (my Maggi of hostel life), “meri camping waali Maggi” (my Maggi of camping days), “meri midnight waali Maggi” (my Maggi of midnight) and so on. So, when Maggi was being thrown out of India and everybody was posting their condolences, memes and debates, I thought for a while about My memories of Maggi and all I could think of was my Maggi of 3 rupees. No, Nestle had not announced a discount sale on Maggi before they were taken off the shelves. That was the most recent memory of Maggi I had. And what was it about?

Just a few days before a ban on Maggi was enforced in India, I had bought a double pack of Maggi which costs Rs.23. I gave the shopkeeper Rs.30 as I didn’t have exact change and it turned out that he, being a good person, didn’t give me Eclairs for Rs.7 and asked me to give Rs.3 later and gave me Rs.10 back. Soon, a ban on Maggi followed and I was left remembering Maggi. Not for being there for me when my mom prepared upma that I hate to eat, not for being there for me when I was in freezing temperatures of Ladakh, not for being there for me when I craved for something easy and delicious on lazy Sundays, but for Rs.3 that I had to give the good shopkeeper.

I know not if all those packets of Maggi which I consumed poisoned me or not. I enjoyed every strand of Maggi which left me with lip smacking taste, whether I ate it plain or with vegetable, or even scrambled eggs. At that point, nobody had an idea what Maggi had in it. We all simply enjoyed it. So, let’s bid farewell to Maggi that could never be prepared in 2 minutes. I secretly think this is the way karma works for telling lies about 2 minutes. I gave the shopkeeper Rs.3 as news channels flooded Maggi headlines. A total paisa wasool; to me, shopkeeper and news channels.

If you are looking for a moral in this blog, then no, it doesn’t have one. It doesn’t even have an opinion. This blog post is my tribute to Maggi, for being Maggi, for giving happiness to our taste buds at that moment when we ate it.