‘A passenger has been taken ill on the train’

“The xxx line has major delays due to a passenger being taken ill on a train”

And as the tannoy shouts this announcement the entire platform unite in a chorus of sighs. How annoying! Such a nuisance! We shake our heads, our plans destroyed, our days ruined. I too found myself growing impatient.

Someone asks when train would start working. We find out a man has stopped breathing and an ambulance team were trying to resuscitate him. It’s only then did I snap out of it.

Wow.

How did I get so self-absorbed? Perhaps we will be late for work, late to meet our friends, wait a little longer to go shopping. But is that equal to someone being physically ill?

The capitalistic nature of the world engulfs us, and we forget our humanity. And in this small example I realise how easy it is for humans to become animals – described as cockroaches or swarms, for people in need to become enemies out to destroy our own resources, and the innocent become suspects.

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” – Malcolm X

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Being Woke

Thought I’d write a quick post on why I chose the name of my blog. Perhaps this should have come first – but I didn’t feel the need at the time and it’s here now.

Recently a friend and I were talking about the struggles of finding other Bengali friends who are woke. The context behind the conversation: traditionally, Bengali parents (and families in general) would prefer it if their child married someone who is also Bengali. In some families this is more than just preference and more of a requirement.

This angered me a lot as I was growing up. I could see the local boys hurting my friends, being immature and I guess being like all other boys at the age. But I internalised this as a Bengali thing and was determined not to marry a Bengali person. And slowly, as I realised my father would probably never allow me marry the mixed-race, tattoo covered revert of my dreams*, I decided I would never get married.  Continue reading