India: Scene Nine — Dead ends

12 11 2011

Mostly about dead ends.

This came to my mind last night as I was thinking of all the opportunities and options we have here in Canada.

When we were on our way to Varanasi, we were picked up at the airport by a taxi. The taxi driver, it turns out, was a Christian.

The thing that stood out about this man was that he was very well educated, as was his wife. I don’t recall exactly what his degrees (plural) were in, but both he and his wife had found a way to get an excellent education in the hope of improving their life.

But here is the thing: they were of a low caste.

He cannot get a job.

If he wants to get a job in the field of his study he will need to come up with an outrageously large bribe. And will that bribe get him the job? Uncertain. The bribe will allow him to place his resume on someone’s desk who will now look at it. Beyond that, no promises. The trail could end there.

So he drives a taxi and his wife also has some sort of menial work that she does. They have two children. They will not have any more children because they won’t be able to afford to raise them if they do and provide some kind of education for them.

There are so many things you still can’t escape in many parts of India, including the position to which you were born; Slumdog Millionaire is only a movie.

I am thinking about that and how simple it is, really, for us to get ahead.

How simple it is for us to change our mind about doing one thing, to do another.

How an ordinary person can advance if they work hard enough.

How we can move around from one city to another.

The choices we have that we expect to have and can’t imagine not having.

In Canada the roads keep going.

In India there are dead ends everywhere.

— Teresa Klassen

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