They Taught Us So
They Taught Us So2 mins 338 2 mins 338
It was in 2017 when I traveled all over Europe with five of my friends. Of course, it was a fun trip and I wonder if it was only me, but there were many destinations wherein we did feel some kind of discrimination directed at us. I mean, let's face it racial discrimination does occur at times, it is a fact.
I wouldn't name the country, but once it so happened that an unruly group of Caucasians happened to be seated adjacent to us on Europe rail. Within moments, there were some indecent, abusive and racial comments coming from their side, for Indians. Though they didn't look at us directly nor did we understand their language, from the broken pieces of English they spoke, and their loud laughter, we kind of decipher what it all was about. One person in our group did get a bit agitated, he kind of wanted to give an earful to the group, but then we all refrained. Let's face it, their group was larger and they were more strongly built than us.
When the train stopped at a station, an elderly couple, I guess well beyond their seventies got in. There seemed to be some problem with their ticket because it turned out they had got into the wrong compartment and thanks to their age, it was difficult for them to walk a long distance to their compartment when the train was moving. They looked around for a place to sit, but the compartment was packed.
That's when, out of instinct, all of us rose from our seats, to offer them a place to sit.
They sweetly refused initially but when we insisted, they did sit down, while two of us decided to stand, it was just a matter of a single station after all.
The 'gang' looked at us in disbelief, they were silenced for the remaining part of the journey at least. The elderly coupled talked a lot to us, and as they alighted at the next stop, they thanked us profusely, for our values and good manners.
Once we were back on our seats, we looked straight at the stunned gang and made our little speech,
"Don't know what you think or say about us. But our parents taught us to respect our elders, neighbors, and people around us. And their parents taught them so. It runs in our blood and we are proud to be Indian."