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Don’t judge a book by its cover

November 25, 2012

We do that often — judge a person by the way they look, the clothes they wear and their general appearance  I am guilty as well. But perceptions and assumptions are sometimes so wrong. I meet this elderly lady, a grandma, everyday at Cuddles’ bus stop. She wears cotton sarees, a big bindi, chappals and speaks mainly Tamil. We manage a conversation with my little knowledge of Tamil and her smattering of Malayalam. Usually school routines and home remedies form the core of our conversation. But one day it veered to the topic of marriage. I learnt that her daughter had met her future husband at work and had an inter-caste marriage. I asked her if there was any opposition in the families as usually inter-caste or inter-religious marriages are still not widely accepted in India. To which she said, “How does it matter which caste, language or religion it is. What mattered to me was that my daughter is happy with him and he seemed a good human being.” I looked at her with new eyes. I was wrong to have coupled her traditional attire with conservative views. Wish every parent thought like her in India.

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