05 A Fine Balance - Omprakashu2019s grandfather Dukhi...

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-Omprakash’s grandfather, Dukhi Mochi, grew up as a chamaar (untouchable leather worker)-The hands or fingers of untouchables would be cut off under suspicion of stealing-Another was whipped for being close to a well-Women got heads shaved bald-Dukhi’s mother does not eat because there is not enough for everyone (poverty)-Dukhi marries a girl named Roopa and has son, Ishvar, after three dead baby daughters-She would giver her food to Dukhi and Ishvar and steal milk for her son (3)-Roopa gets oranges for Ishvar, and one day a man catches her. He stops her, says he will scream and the master will abuse her, and then rapes her and lets her go (4)-Roopa and Dukhi have a second son, Narayan, which makes other families jealous-Some upper caste families with newborn daughters would kill them-STARRED THOUGHT:“Something was wrong, the Law of Manu had been subverted”-The Law of Manu said that the semen creating men was superior to semen creating women, but the upper castes didn’t think so because Chamaars were having two sons in arow-Dukhi under suspicion of kidnapping a Brahmin’s kids-Dukhi was very cautious of everything he did because he was worried about the safety of his family-People suspect it is simply Kaliyug (the Age of Darkness) due to drought-People thought the only way to surpass this hardship was to abide by dharmic order, so many untouchables would be punished for even walking near a Brahmin-Roopa thought it was not stealing when she took butter because Lord Krishna always ate butter-Untouchables make jokes about how brahmins eat meat-Ishvar’s cheek is accidentally slashed by horn-Roopa says the evil eye of Brahmin women harmed Ishvar-Brahmin women are happy about Ishvar’s scar-In order to get all of the “slim reward” Dukhi takes the challenging task of grinding chilies for himself-The mortar accidentally breaks at the very end and breaks Dukhi’s foot, but Thakur Premji hits him and makes him leave-Dukhi takes out anger on Roopa-Dukhi goes to the city to repair shoes there, but doesn’t do much better-His Muslim friend Ashraf takes him to a different part of town, where Gandhi happens to be speaking against violence and untouchability-Ashraf tells Dukhi to move his family to the city, but Dukhi can’t think of moving away from where his ancestors lived-The harming of untouchables by upper-caste people continues-The boys, probably ages 8 and 10, knew where they were allowed to go and where their caste restricted them-They would play around the village school and listen to the alphabet-They were fascinated by chalk and slate-When the school was empty, they both sat with chalk and slate and courageously began

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