|June 15 2007 | Kalka Village, Parvati Valley, Himachal|
Everyone’s in fits of laughter when Jeevan’s around. He’s from the Thakur caste. This funny chap wearing jeans which was torn everywhere and without a zip, from the Harijan caste, visited us while we were having brunch. Jeevan explained that local people won’t visit their restaurant if they see Harijans entering the kitchen. The other restaurants don’t let them inside. Jeevan said he needs to do the same. Jeevan pulled down Leemu’s loosely worn tracks. Everyone laughs. Jeevan, Leemu, Sonu and me.
Jeevan says the government gives 50,000 to every upper caste guy (like Jeevan, Leemu & Sonu) who marries a lower caste woman (like guy-with-jeans-torn-everywhere-and-no-zip’s sister). Of course, he would then become a Harijan and would be outcast by the upper caste, including his close friends, whose loosely worn pants he once pulled down.