Thursday, 19 June 2014

Hospitality to an anemy or to a stranger ...

 'To be absolutely simple in one's hospitality to one's enemy or to a stranger takes generations of training' - Tagore.

What all I have learnt from a village of goodness and civilized living, I never even realized. In a village, the stranger and the enemy who comes by has to be, and is, welcomed.

Manohara was our 'enemy'. He was our field neighbour, and there were eternal boundry disputes, his sending his cow in to graze on our lands to provoke ... He was also a crook. Things got bad between us.

When I passed him or his wife in the village I would turn away. When I passed his house, his wife would call me in with all warmth. For that moment I was a guest in her house. On a festival day she insisted that I take six vadais that she packaged into a crumpled newspaper and pushed into my hand.

Slowly I learnt the tenets of civilized behaviour - and slowly I learnt to genuinely call her in when she passed by our house in the village.

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