Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Adhesives and their adherents

Bonding experience
Triplicane, Madras, Tamil Nadu

At 7.45 in the morning, I saw Nagamma buying rubber cement-glue from the corner shop (I was just on my way to breakfast - no intention of spying).

She immediately insisted that the glue was to fix her foot (!??). Sure, everyone applies commercial strength rubber cement to the soles of their feet. Then she immediately asked for a cash refund from the shop man.

By now, I know that these kids are professional liars and con artists. I no longer expect any truth from them. But what's really amazing is that the shop guy, who is probably a college student, then very self-righteously said, "These are bad children, do not help them." I said in fact I do not give them cash at all, but for him to please NOT sell them the glue, for god's sake. He repeated his sermon like a robot, seemingly completely oblivious to his own role. "Do not help them, they are very bad." Well, do not help SELL them the freaking glue, then.

Sometimes I think this is a country of 12 year olds in which absolutely no one can assume any responsibility for their own actions. "What to do?" Grow a spine, maybe? The man is not going to go bankrupt by refusing to sell glue to teenagers.

Sorry for my anger. I have railed before against giving to beggars and this is a perfect example of what happens when you do. In the tourist ghettos I see well-meaning new arrivals to India (who still have loads of money since they haven't been ripped off by everyone yet) very proudly giving handouts to children. You can see the role ego plays in this for the tourists: I am such a big-hearted, generous person; I feel SO good about myself now. Nagamma and Vela go straight to the bookstore and buy glue with your money, even before food. Nagamma had not even washed her face; her eyes were still encrusted with sleep. She had not eaten any breakfast yet, but had to have the glue.

This is what happens to the money tourists give the cute beggar kids, so that they (the tourists) can go away with self-satisfied stories about how they "helped" the poor kids. If you want to give these kids something, give them your time.

I related all this to "MeestaRobett. " He replied that he would pay $100 for Vela's funeral and $100 for Nagamma's.


Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

Comments from nonBlogger readers via email-
from WillyB of Pennsylvania:
Caroline, This is the fourth time I have started this email. All the other time I have been knocked off. So, I will simply say that from my experience, glue is a monster to break. One good thing is that regenerative liver recovery does occur. Also, there is a noted tendency for the abuser to just put the stuff aside at a point when they are older. If they make it that long. I think the potential for the follow up articles is good. Will you continue with the series? Drop me a line. Love Willy B

And this from Darkhorse of Nashville:
As you've written and said many times before... no one wants to take responsibility, region-wide. Not far away, everything is blamed on some 2005 cartoons.

Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

Yeah, those cartoons are the cause of all our violence! Those cartoons are MAKING us kill others - even one another! (check yesterday in Pakistan). It's all the cartoons' fault! The westerners should KNOW that they are so all powerful, even a drawing can force us to kill one another. The Westerners have all the power. We are completely helpless in the hands of the evil west and its depraved ink pens.

Aadil said...

No one is perfect and I think both the sides are wrong in doing what they have done. An eye for an eye will only make the whole world go blind but then who is going to see that it does not happen again? There has to be some sort of self control and restrictions by the authors as well as the press (in what they print) whether it affects the freedom of the press or not is not the question but the after effects of what they print is what matters more as seen in this case!!!


Shinu Mathew said...

The cartoon rage is spilling to all over the world. The latest to join the bandwagon is Pakistan. And the violence already claimed 100+ lives and millions of dollars. As aadil said, both sides are wrong, but wasn't such a non-issue blown out of proportion? Nowadays it's a fashionable thing to protest and attack the west. And the fanatics would love to spread the message that all the evil things are done by west and they are muslim-eaters. Now who can quell this wide-spread violence? Is it going to die down or will it continue untill they satisfy with their bloodthirst?

Amod said...

Just so everybody knows, India is NOT an Islamic country (the recent film "looking for comedy in the muslim world" basically got the continent wrong). About 82% of Indians are Hindus (the same faith as that of Gandhi who said "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind") and the 8% or so muslims of India converted to Islam fairly recently and thus are in no way as "hardcore" as those in the Arab world. India has many problems but hatred of the West is not one of them. India is a secular democracy and the only in the world LARGER than the United States (with a population thrice as much) living in freedom. Some would actually argue that the quality of Indian democracy is better than that of the US since voter turnout is usually around 60-70%, about 10% more than in the US. Sorry this may be a little off topic but I thought I had to note some facts.

Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

Very glad my humble site is becoming a discussion for such weighty and worthy subjects...but I don't recall *anyone* ever suggesting that India was a Muslim country. Maybe if I had seen the film in question....Indian Muslims do tend to have a more liberal attitude toward many things including iconography and puja. I see Muslim adaptations of Hindu shrines (little street corner niches and so on) all over Madras and other cities. I understand that Eastern European Muslims drink liquor.

Aadil said...

Well, I have seen a lot of Indians, Pakistanis and many muslims from other Arabian states in the gulf including Saudi Arabia also drinking liquor, so what is this about only Eastern European muslims drinking it? I've seen it first hand and not just from hearsay!!! BTW, your humble site is doing a great job in awakening some people at least if not too many!!! Just keep up the good work!!! All the very best for your page on the world wide web.


King Amdo said...


"This is what happens to the money tourists give the cute beggar kids, so that they (the tourists) can go away with self-satisfied stories about how they "helped" the poor kids. If you want to give these kids something, give them your time."

If you wanna help India kids why not blow up an expressway intersection when you get back home!

(It will all be over soon eitherway(global warming)

King Amdo said...

Thats one thing in normal circumstances that you have to be careful about in India...religion...and respect for it, including others. People take it very seriously there. I think this is a very good thing actually..I mean I rememebr a mate years ago in Morrocc suddenly appeared in shorts and bare legs...out in the countryside...I told to dreess again...I kinda liked the thought of him, the 'western asshole' being threatened by gunshot unless he did so!

Lets face it, the average westener is a wanker as we say here in blighty...a braindead egoisig idiot who desevers being taught a lesson or two...I remember again walking into the Tourist only ticket office in Delhi railway station, switching into very full on Braham revenge mode...walking right up to the front of the queue, all protests from the foreiger were ignored, I recall even 'denaturing' some womans complexion in real time...thats what Inida is really like...real time magic. Sounds mad from the western viewpoint..but there Holy people/saints/Sadu's are respected in way that is unheard of in the west. There I was wearing the dress made for me by the ritual racist abuse survivor, giving the westners some pyscik revenge!

King Amdo said...

The cartoon thing was conscious act of facsist agent provacation ... one of the cartoonists drew a kid drawing in Arabic the words "the editors of X newspaper are reactionary facist agent provacators"

(or words to that effect)

...which is why really that people shouldn't fall for such agent provacation. On the subject of being the holy person in India...its amazing how open people are there by the way generally...always keen to help the westener...when perhaps the best option might be total until death armed resistance! Anyway Holy person, madman/saint anyway..I recall exposing myself , by accident to a group of woman washing in the river somehere in the country...when washing mhyself or soemthing or other. I was still close to the ritual child abuse thang, and well basically it had sent me rather seriously crazy, but the people knew the score...the dieties obviously made it totally clear what was happening...but in normal circumstances one would risk lynching for breaking cultural rules (but these rules, Islamic society or otherwise are always always broken for genuine spiritual poeple when at work type thing.

Only just worked out what is in front of you in the pic Siren...nice.

Blessed be.

Enjoy being outsida inquisition ritual abuse programmed maceworld.



Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

Sorry for the nonsequitur AAdil and Amod - that was written hastily.

It was my intention to say something more like - `Muslim subcultures vary locally throughout the world and orthodoxy varies accordingly.`Thanks to everyone for participating, it`s all good!

I`ve been offline a few days - my mouse hand was freezing up from overwork. She needs a rest!

Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

for King Amdo:
I sincerely do not understand the connection bet. blowing up anything and helping street kids, besides which I am nonviolent.

I have had an opportunity few western tourists do - that is, to see the long-term effects of handouts to young beggars. I can`t dictate behaviour but my heartfelt request is that we give in other ways.

King Amdo said...

Go up to a homeless and lunched out geezer and give him a few thousand roopees...its a fantastic buzz!



Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

My point exactly, KingAmdo...I'm not looking for a fantastic, self-centered buzz, but a sustainable long term way to help people.