ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Jealousy of Possessions

Jealousy of Possessions Deena Khatkhate The Indian (from Bharat, that is India) comes to the America of Columbus aggressively determined to establish his identity, but as he begins to feel increasingly American his obsession with his Indian identity evaporates and he strives constantly to disidentify himself with Indians, A FEW centuries ago, Columbus came to the shores of what is known as modern America and called its nauves 'Indians'. It was sacrilege then, as it is now. How could anyone call the cultureless, 'tribal' people, steeped in ritualistic cannibalism, Indians? The people of Aryavarta, who created one of the greatest civilisations of the world and enriched a philosophical domain, deserved better than to be identified with the barbaric natives of America of some mere four hundred years ago. The Indian (from Bharat, that is India) now comes to the America of Columbus, besottedly trying to establish his identity. When he meets an American, he harks back to his Indian prototype and then curses himself that the American does not behave like an Indian. He is distant, callous, artificial, synthetic, outwardly pleasant but inwardly rude. He visits a department store, but what troubles him is the 'deafening discord' he hears from the metronomic beep and stutter of the cash register. That evokes in his mind the picture of a "wizened old man back home who gingerly put the weights onto his scale, weighed the potatoes, counted the change, and talked about his son". He goes to a bank to open an account and feels put off by the bank which identifies him not by his name, but by an alphanumeric symbol. He is disquieted by his alienation, but he wants to remain in a society where he sees neither his past, nor his present, nor his future; he consoles himself that "maybe constant alienation is a healthy antidote to the threat to individualism in a foreign culture".

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