Looking Sideways

What does an idealist do when her maid refuges to take out the garbage (citing her brahmin caste)?

She hires, a willing, low-caste, part-time servant for that particular job. She observes and analyses, imagining her book when the former maid reminds each time her ‘higher birth’ over the later.

Foreigners who romanticize India and Indian traditions become so overwhelmed by all of it, that they tend to accumulate and display the telltale signs of India pathology called, casteism. When Miranda Kennedy writes in the guardian,

Reading them – “Brahmin girl, 23, from well-educated, traditional family. Pure-veg household. Girl is homely, slim and fair-skinned” – I tried to imagine the partnership that would result.

I wondered, what exactly made her pick a brahmin. Was it her fairly reliable producer, journalist eyes, that made her pick the most well-known indian social category abroad? (btw, I wondered the same when Amartya Sen, in “Identity and Violence” wrote among many of his identities “Non-Brahmin”), or simply she had started to accept the brahmins’ (if not the brahminical) view of Indian traditions.

Reading on, her years-long stay in India and the book “sideways on a scooter”, I doubt have anything insightful to offer.


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