“It is none of your business, lady. Go home,” the man was rude to Radha.
“No. I’ll call the police, if you don’t stop,” she threatened.
“Who are you? A social worker?’
“No. I am just a citizen of this democracy…”
“Pooh, don’t give me that crap about democracy. Democracy has gone to dogs.”
“Why do you say so?”
“Democracy cannot provide the basic necessities of life.”
“How can you say that? You look like a decent young man probably educated. You might even have a roof over your head. What more do you want?”
“What else, but a job? Or that roof will not stay above my head. I have 3 more mouths to feed. This is the only decent pair of pants and shirt I have.”
“Do tell me your story,” she insisted compassionately.
“My name is Brahm Bhatt. I am a brahmin. My father used to be proud of his Brahminhood. I say this with shame today. I had just completed my 10th standard when I lost my father. My distinction marks brought me a scholarship for my further studies. Science fascinated me. I completed 12th standard amidst hardships. I had to earn, too. How much money could my mother’s sewing bring in? As a result, I lost marks and could not make it to the merit list.
“Medicine posed another challenge. Neither did I belong to the reserved category not could I shell out the capitation fees, with my kind of marks. Finally, I opted to do B.Sc. in Chemistry. Today, nobody cares for graduates. People ask for additional qualifications in most places or experience. I had neither. Unless someone gives me a chance how can I prove my capabilities?
“One man, who had known my father put me up in his lab as a packaging boy. But, I couldn’t keep that job.
“Is it my fault if I am a brahmin? My name gives me away every time. Granted that Brahmins have tortured the scheduled caste people. But, that is an old story. The reservation has avenged all the atrocities of Brahmins of the olden days had meted out to the lower castes.”
“Yes,” she agreed at that. “But, how does that connect with your losing the job?”
“My supervisor is a Buddhist!”
To be continued…