Bhagyam was busy in the kitchen. She had just returned after an errand and was in a hurry. It had been a tiring day. The summer had been unkind and the rains had failed. Damu had just entered the house and was refreshing himself up. He washed his legs and arms before having some water in a silver tumbler. Bhagyam smiled at him and suggested that he keep himself occupied until the food got ready. It was dinner time. Both Damu and Bhagyam had an early dinner. Bhagyam was conjuring a nice gravy or kulambu for the idiyappam. Hungry Damu was waiting eagerly for the same.
A silver plate was ready to receive the food. The tiny piece of Aparanji ( pure gold ) was adding to the uniqueness of the plate. Bhagyam began to serve steaming hot kulambu and a few idiyappam. Damu poured himself some water from the silver jug. He began to eat the piping hot idiyappam. Hunger made him devour it in no time. He tried to serve himself but Bhagyam rushed in to serve him. Damu chuckled and spoke , " Oh, Bhagyam. I forgot about the process. We are not supposed to serve using the left hand , right ? Bhagyam laughed and stated that it was okay once in a way.
Damu completed his dinner and waited for Bhagyam to have hers. He served her and the couple cleared the table thereafter. Bhagyam brought the betel nut tray to the table in front of the television. Damu had meanwhile turned it on. An anchorperson was rattling away some data. " Look at this guy Bhagyam. He peddles half truths and lies everyday. In spite of having been exposed, he acts in a shameless way. He propagates anti Indian culture all the time. I think he is against women too. Otherwise he would have supported some of the bills brought in by the Government. Were not these bills in favor of women ! Anyway let us shift to watching channels which support our country and culture, " stated Damu.
Meanwhile Bhagyam clipped the betel leaves, rubbed some chunnambu on them, placed a few betel nuts , rolled it up and gave it to Damu. He collected it with his right hand and put it into his mouth. His mouth turned red on chewing. The love between a couple was known to add to the reddishness. " Bhagyam, I remember my grandmother telling me about a place for everything and everything in its place. She was strict with the use of hands too. We were supposed to use the right hand for giving, taking, serving, eating and brushing our teeth. It was considered to be inauspicious to use the left. Hope you remember all this. Your serving the food has reminded me of our old customs. These neo liberals who call themselves as left liberals have been trying to denigrate our culture. In fact the word left liberal is an oxymoron. The leftists do not believe in economic freedom and therefore cannot be called liberal. We should correct the narrative from the individual level itself. Otherwise they will spread anarchy, " chuckled Damu.
Bhagyam nodded her head while chewing the betel nut combination. She spoke thereafter, " Yeah, you are right. The left hand is used for cleaning and the right is used for other purposes. Our elders were smart but we are quickly losing wisdom. This is making our culture lose its steam. The elders were not superstitious like the people of today. They had created an SOP ( Standard Operating Procedure ) for the day to day activities. The so-called liberals are calling all this fanatic. But they seem to be blindly agreeing to the practices of the foreign religions. And they call it secularism. I am fed up with such one sided people who call themselves liberals. "
Damu agreed to her views and they were alerted by a ring of the doorbell. Bhagyam opened the door and welcomed one of their neighbors Nandita and her husband Shatrugan. " Hey guys, nice to see you. Come on in. Have some betel leaves and supari please. Hope you have had your dinner ? " queried Damu. Shatrugan stated that they had enjoyed a nice mud pie after their dinner and would feel content after the betel leaves and the supari. What's going on these days Damu, the neoliberals are destroying our culture. They are promoting a welfare state by encouraging broken families and the hard core capitalists are making money with single parents by selling more. This is their meeting place. The leftists send their kids abroad and then blast people like us. It is going a bit too far. These guys want to seize power by creating anarchy. All these guys are oligarchs and not liberal at all, " spoke Nandita with a worried look on her face.
" Yeah, yeah, we are at cross roads. Our civilization has been wounded and we need to apply some balm. India has been the Vishwa Guru. Those days we were the greatest economic super power. Our status was achieved peacefully. Today the economic superpowers are predators. They are destroying the local economy in order to earn more and more. On the other side the leftists want money only for Government employees and do not seem to care for the poor on the streets. Decades of this kind of approach has ruined our country. Thank God that we have a sensible leader in Delhi these days. Otherwise, God knows what may have happened. The communists and the capitalists are in the same boat. They are out to destroy our family structure and customs. Gosh, they are even attacking our use of our hands. They are saying that the left and right hand usage promotes class inequity, " sighed Bhagyam.
" Bhagyam, these guys are not interested in our country or our culture. They want money in the hands of a few and they want a share of those spoils. It is a method and we have to understand all this. Attacking the usage of the right or the left hand is just a ploy. There is a larger narrative. They have a tool kit for all this. We have to be careful. Our doors are open and therefore we need to pay attention to our cultural security. People have to be told that we hold our women in high esteem and believe in equality of opportunity for everyone. That is very important. We cannot just keep quiet and lament later. It is now or never. Let us be proactive. We are not here to destroy other cultures but we are only seeking equality for ourselves in the global arena, " stated Shatrugan.
Damu, Bhagyam, Nandita and Shatrugan agreed to add to their numbers by creating a small group. They felt that India could not sleep because its civilization was under threat. They understood that the culture of India had been the bedrock of global contentment. Therefore it was important to preserve rightfully what is ours. The Now or Never moment had come. They realized that the ' left hand , right hand scene could be one of the many issues.
Damu and Bhagyam had begun by striking the right chord and they were hopeful of succeeding.
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