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Friday, 11 April 2008

The view from outside

Yesterday, while travelling in the Delhi Metro from North Campus to I. S. B. T., I found myself in a compartment full of pro- Tibetan demonstrators. They were all Buddhist monks, and carrying Tibetan flags. Some of the younger lot had 'Free Tibet' and such like painted on them in black.

I debated with myself on whether to ask them some questions or not...
Do it!

No.. it'll just look strange...

Just do it! ! !

NO! Everyone's looking!

Look, just stuff it up your-

"Excuse me, may I please ask you some questions about your movement? If it's not a problem... "

Oh, right...

The guy I had spoken to seemed surprised, but agreed anyway.

Yeah, right, like the poor bloke had a choice, with you doing your Rita skeeter act... Skeeter never said ‘excuse me’. Oh, just shut up, and concentrate...

Well, yes, I did kind of ASSAULT him with questions, actually.

Q1. So, do you want independence or autonomy?

Ans. Independence..

Q2. But, the Dalai Lama says he'd like autonomy...

Ans. Yes, but we want independence...

Q3. So.. do you think the furore about the Olympic torch around the world will help?

Ans. Yes, I believe so...

Q4. And what about world leaders debating about whether or not to attend the Games? The German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for example, do you think it'll work in your favour, or do you think it'll make China more brutal?

Ans. Yes, I think it's good...

Well, I could barely wait for the guy to get his answers out, and I was already asking my next. Honestly, I didn't even know I was that interested in the subject... Meanwhile, he was getting more and more flustered, which I finally realised, and said thank you before moving away slightly.

Then I realised, I hadn't asked him a rather important question, and went on to do so belatedly:

Q5. Excuse me, I'm sorry, but could you please tell me if you're a citizen of India or Tibet?

Ans. I'm Bhutanese.

I later realised I should have asked him if they were all from Bhutan.

Maybe five hours after this I told a group of friends about my encounter, and though initially interested, one of them told me, "You know, you should not speak to these people, these chink- eyed people, they're mostly prostitutes and drug addicts. You should be careful."

When I reminded her that they were monks, she shook her head and said "No, I live in North Campus, I know all about this. They're all mostly Pro's and druggists"

I didn't point out the contradiction in her sentence, and in any case, I didn't really know what to say to that, so I kept quiet, and let them change the topic of the conversation.

Later, I wished I'd said something, anything- to defend these 'chink- eyed' people.


  1. hmm...don't know if independence is an answer...but we should start with boycotting the Olympics....

  2. thanks for the compliments on my blog. your blog is great !.
    you are free to do what you want with your blogs and links. no need to ask me :-)

  3. hope you can speak up against that kind of prejudice next time darling. not only because you must but you are such a bright, intelligent and sensitive girl, that is why...
    i have read 6 of your posts and i know that.
    the crink eyed people, also known as 'chinkies' , the north easterns ARE NOT sexually promiscuous. and chinkies/chinks actually is a slang used to denote female genitilia so is not funny either! even remotely.
    no i am not from the NE. i am a dilli punjabi girl. and i'd also admit that when i was your age, i'd have also changed the topic if a friend said something like that...
    so i apologise if it sounded like a sermon.

  4. It didn't sound like a sermon at all... it's just that when something is spoken with such complete conviction, there's little you can do to immediately contradict it.
    I let them change the subject because I really didn't know what to say.

    Thanks for the compliments, BTW :)

  5. you a journalist or a wanna be one ??

  6. Nah... I'm neither one, and nor do I want to be. WHy did you ask, though?