vikram chandra's authenticity

My region is a hugely cosmopolitan place. Every single person who lives in my region is a cosmopolitan. I am of course a cosmopolitan; I travel away from my region every few months to make a living. My neighbors do also. There are the Gujarati diamond merchants who spend three weeks out of every four travelling from Africa to Belgium to Holland; flight attendants who fly to Beijing; businessmen who sell textiles in Australia; mechanics and welders and engineers who keep Saudi Arabia running; merchant navy sailors who carry cargo to Brazil; nurses who give care and nurture in Sharjah; and gangsters who shuttle between Bombay and Indonesia and Dubai as part of their everyday trade. But there are many other cosmopolitans in my regions. I mean the men who have left their homes in Muzzafarnagar and Patna to drive cabs in Bombay; the chauffeurs who send money home to Trivandrum; the road-laborers from Madhya Pradesh; the maids from the Konkan coast; the cooks from Sylhet in Bangladesh; the Tamil bakers; the struggling actresses from Ludhiana; the security guards from Bihar; the painters from Nashik who stand on roped lengths of bamboo three hundred feet in the air to color Bombay’s lofty skylines. They are all cosmopolitan. A woman born and bred in Dharavi, in the heart of the city, is a cosmopolitan because she lives and works in this city of many nationalities and languages, this city that has become a vatan or homeland for people who have travelled very far from their vatans.
very amusing. the americans in iraq, afghanistan, kuwait, panama, pakistan, central america must also think their regions are cosmopolitan, because the local cabbies, chaffeurs, road-labourers, maids, cooks, bakers, struggling actresses, security guards, painters- all fall over each other trying to sell their services to them, the americans, in whatever english they can muster. for dollars. what does that tell you? that the iraqis, afghans etc are cosmopolitan while the americans aren't.

vikram chandra, trying hard to say he's the real thing while arguing that authenticity doesn't matter. a poor advocate for whatever he's trying to advocate.


Yayaver said...

well said argument.

kuffir said...

thanks, yayaver. and welcome o this blog :)

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