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Papamma

July 21st, 2007

Hi! she said to me and then asked me the usual question of whether I had eaten food. I tried explaining to her that I had eaten, but somehow, I seemed to have something to her in our last conversation which makes her think that I don’t eat properly. She asked me to share food with her. I said I had eaten and would come back to her house after I had completed the works that I had set out to do in Ambedkarnagar.

Her name is Papaamma. She is dark, slim, slight wrinkles on her face and so far that I have seen her, she wears bright coloured sarees. I have no idea what does. But she lives in Ambedkarnagar and is like my local guardian there.

This afternoon, as I was passing by her house, I noticed that the bathroom in her house was curtained with a plastic sheet that was an advertisement for a bus company which runs buses for people to travel to places in the South.

By the time I got back, she had finished eating her food. She had thrown away some because she did not feel like eating. I told her it was too late to eat lunch and that she should eat earlier. She smiled. Then I said I have to go. She said, ‘yeah, come’ and then held me by my wrist and asked me to come inside the house. She directed me to sit and then went away. She came back with a glass of tea and as usual, she took some and asked me to take the rest. “You don’t eat properly anyway, so you must drink the tea properly and more of it than I have taken.”

Papamma’s house has a little bathroom, a kitchen area and then a bedroom which also serves as a living room. She has a television in the house, two bulbs and a fan. She said that the electricity was cut off for three months because she could not pay the bill and then it resumed again after she had paid back. “Bangalore is expensive,” she said.

I looked around and asked her if she goes to the Infant Jesus Church which is nearby. She looked puzzled. Then I pointed out to the photograph Christ and Mother Mary which was in her bedroom-cum-living room and immediately she understood. She exclaimed, “I am original Pentecostal, original. My husband is diluted Christian. This Infant Jesus Church is diluted Christianity.” “Original huh,” I exclaimed back. “Yes, original. Come, let me show you our Bible.” She took out a Kannada version of the Bible. Then she asked me whether I believe in God. I said no. She said, “Who do you think gives you food? How do you think you acquire work? And then you say you don’t believe in God? How come? Here, I will read out a verse from the Bible to show you how much trouble the Lord has undergone to ensure that you are taken care of.” She read two passages. Then she reiterated her point about how God is the provider and we must believe in him. “How did I come to Bangalore? How do you think I got this house? So what if the bathroom is small and there is problem with the toilet? What are you? Hindustani? No, no, I mean Hindi/Hindu?” I said I am Muslim. Then she said, “So you have a God. Then why don’t you believe? Believe, believe.”

I laughed out. She laughed too. then I told her I needed to leave. She asked when I was coming back. “Wednesday.” “Okay, I will see you then,” she said!

xanga

  1. July 30th, 2007 at 06:04 | #1

    believe,believe. I’m sure you believe, but probably like me, you have a hard time to believe what a certain group wants you to belive.

  2. August 21st, 2007 at 15:00 | #2

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