Three months back Jerry Pinto was reciting on how we humans clutter and crystallize with each other based on our prejudices. Even the most educated and liberated mind have a queer screw which never bends on an idea. Our prejudices are the secret screenshots our friends enjoy. Sometimes in the company or on the online platform, we let our mind roll and like a Djinn in the bottle, our prejudices make an unwanted statement.
Four days ago, as I sat inside my pre-heated blue bus and waited for the driver to unroll the shirt down his hair nipples and pot belly and press the clutch with his slippers, some pretty girls took the front seats beside the driver and chatted away in their own tongue, a tone similar to my ears but meaning scarce to my ears.
The bus driver out of the sense of shame roll downed his shirt and smiled at the girls, exposed hairy chest are not everyone's wild fantasy. Two women dressed in sarees, sitting before me observed the friendly driver talking with the pretty girls who kept smiling and uncrossing their legs as the seats were burning pans.
Out of the blue one among them expressed how these friendly girls from the hills and North East India need a lesson or two on who to talk with. Like Jerry Pinto said our prejudice does make a small community of us, the other woman in saree agrees, this time it's specifically about North Eastern Girls and their lack of dressing sense.
The pretty girls sitting on the extreme front could have been from Himachal, they could have been from Darjeeling, they could have been from Delhi, they could have been from Kerala, but their pretty face and friendly attitude mark them as one of my own kind. I have heard it many a time from my friends, teachers, classmates and random people on how girls of North East India need to be careful of their clothing.
The women in front were nothing new to me, according to their analysis every northeastern girl wears huge T-shirts, have a weird hairstyle, wear choto-choto (Tiny) half pants, and entice the eros of men with their shapely milky white legs. This two women who had remarkably beautiful voices and clean Bangla pronunciation were getting on my nerves. But it's a lesson hard learned, fighting and talking back is not always the way. They continued on how the colourful bra straps that peep out is so indecent and the huge expensive bags the girls carry are filled with alcoholic drinks and pork dim sums. The choto-choto half pant being a regular complain and occasional praise for great taste in shoes, but how the shoes are a waste on those exposed white legs.
The fighting itch in me was rising, but I was controlling my anger and hoping desperately that someone from back home calls me, anyone even the most annoying friend would do. Like Coelho says when you desire something intently the whole Universe conspires to help you.
My weird ringtone exploded inside the bus, the driver now finally gearing up to drive and these two women break away because of my ringtone. My friend called up because like always he forgot few words in English, and finds me more convincing than google at times, which is actually an honour I don't deserve.
So as he asks and talks I reply in my best lucid Assamese accent inherited from my mom, a bit louder than expected and bit sharper. I happily see the shoulders in saree, stiff up for few seconds and my task to make a statement was done. I give away the important words my friend needs and disconnect the call, but what's a lesson served without a bit of warning. I call out to the conductor, "Dada amar ticket ta niye jaan, ami Kaache naambo" (I ask for the ticket as I would step down soon) in the best crisp Bangla accent my bearded beauty would have been proud to hear, as he has worked a lot behind my Bangla sentence construction.
P.S.- And fifteen minutes later I walk by the women in a long flowing skirt and definitely mocking them with my unruly hair.
thanking you for bearing with me