The caste system

To my darling mom,
Yesterday morning I had an emotional moment I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

The day before we had cleaned out some boxes and I found the clothes you and other guests had left behind.

I put the clothes in an old bag and when I turned on the water pump Tuesday morning and was going out with Angel, I ran in to the garbage collector.

I went back inside, got the clothes and showed him that I wanted him to have them. I’m sure he has family or neighbours who need clothes. (I’d like to add that he had bandanas on his head, nose and mouth, so I could only see his eyes.)

He looked me in the eye and thanked me by putting his hand on his heart. It was such an emotionally moment that I couldn’t go back to sleep.

At that time I actually hated the India I love so much and my heart was broken.

Garbage collector is the lowest caste in the community and I don’t know if he was dumb or taught not to speak to people above his caste.

They do a fantastic job, which only shows the days they don’t work.

The women on our street are generally less educated housewives and they throw trash right out into the street.

They would never sweep up the garbage and put in a garbage bin. It’s beneath their dignity.

Still, when I close my eyes, I can see the man’s gaze and his hand on his heart.

I wonder if the caste system ever will disappear.

Love Annie

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