Sunday, July 23, 2017

Brother's influence

Hi - I'm reading "Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India" by Sujatha Gidla and wanted to share this quote with you.

"WHEN THE TEACHER ASKED FOR a volunteer to use the English word while in a sentence, Papa raised her hand. The teacher knew she was one of the few students he had who was capable of answering such a hard question. But even so he was surprised by what she said: “The Koreans are harvesting while the Americans are bombing them.”"
That was around 1950 in the village Telaprolu in Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh. The girl Papa was the around 14 at that time who was influenced by her brother K.G. Satyamurthy. Carey mentioned below is the younger brother. The family were Dalit Christian.
But "Papa and Carey were especially drawn to the novels of Sarat Chandra, a Bengali author whose works were being translated into Telugu. Sarat’s novels typically featured a heroine who supported her weak husband, cared for her failing in-laws, and set her husband’s wayward younger brother on the right path. These books were modern in their depiction of a strong-willed female character, though she used her strength not to assert herself but rather to endure her unhappy fate. She strained to prop up the very thing that was crushing her, the patriarchal family. Papa and Carey each formed an ideal of life from these novels. Carey longed to deliver a prostitute from her wretchedness by marrying her and making her a respectable woman. Papa dreamed of becoming an exemplary wife, daughter-in-law, and sister-in-law. Above all, she would be honest. She would do nothing that needed to be kept secret from anyone in the world."

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