Saturday, 2 June 2018

Pizza and the Village

A plea. To pause, to think ...
This is a story that it aches to put down. And I've been putting off writing it.
As we were walking to the beach Sasi asked what that scooter with a box on it was. Sruthi told him its 'pijja'. I asked her what pijja was and she said it comes on TV. She explained that its bread with something sticky on it and cut raw vegetables and. She said it is very costly and it is not for 'us'.
Shravanthi said that she had tasted it. Then her mother Roopa explained how she had had it. Her husband Seenu was working as a watchman in KFC. In KFC every evening the leftover food is thrown into the wastebin and the workers are not allowed to have any to take away. Shravanthi asked her father if he could not get her some as he worked there. So her father contrived to meet a waiter in the toilet, the only place that did not have CC TV. The waiter pretended to throw a leftover peice from a plate into the waste bin and smuggled that into the toilet where Seenu collected it and brought that to the village for his children. And they tasted the coveted pijja.
When the rich, in a country of deep disparities, indulge in excesses, it creates desire, envy, a deeper sense of poverty. It leads to petty theft and loss of dignity. It hurts many many children, and leaves them feeling inadequate. Each of our actions and choices has repurcussions - and it needs honesty and sensitivity and intelligence to seek and understand these.

Shashi Joshi It is not just we privileged. These kind of disparity was there all along in all societies. But the direct exposure was not there. A poor farmer wasn't feeling bad that Raja Bhoj ate in diamond studded gold plates. Today with advertising, smartphones movies, etc everywhere it is in your face.

That is even worst.

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