Posted in Extempore, Movies

Bombay 70 | The Hundred Year Old Shaikh of India

This is the story coming from the heart of India where the Real Change is occurring as we speak. It is Change the ancient country was long due for. It is the Change in line with its ancient past from where comes a forgotten lore of the 100 Year Old Knife.

Once upon a time, in the land of India, lived a barber. He ran the family business of running a barber shop in the area. He wished for his son to continue the family legacy and become the next barber chief. So he would tell the son everyday how he used an 100 year old knife to do his job. The son would be amazed at how the shining piece of metal lasted for a hundred years!

He would ask, ‘Dad, but the blade looks very shiny! How does it continue to look so new?’
The barber would reply, ‘That is because I changed it last year.’
The son would then ask, ‘But even the handle looks new and shiny as the blade.”
The barber would reply, ‘That is because I changed the handle two years ago.’
Confused, the son asks, ‘So the blade is new and so is the handle. Then how is it the same knife that your great grandfather used? How is it 100 year old?’
A knowing smile replied back, ‘My dear son, the day you understand how, you will be fit to earn it from me.’

What the barber is trying to teach his son is the nature of any object or person. It si called in ancient Indian texts as chiti. It is the nature of the object, the characteristic of the object that is irrespective of its physical features.It is the thing that remains the same in that 100 Year Old Knife that remains the same even after every part of the knife has been replaced, multiple times. The replacements of the physical are necessary in order for the knife to remain functional, in order for the chiti to remain the same.

Here we learn that when the physical aspects of any object, person or even organisation begins to rust and rot – it needs to undergo a change. The change is not of the chiti but of the blade and the handle. People often mistake the change for a loss of this chiti and deem the necessary physical adaptation as immoral. But it is in fact unavoidable if the chiti has to survive.

And what is the chiti of the knife? It is to do its job. Cut. If it rusts or rots or is stored away to prevent it from wearing out – it automatically loses its chiti – the job it was originally intended for. That is what is immoral.

This si the precise nature of Change that my country is undergoing at present. And at the heart of this Change sits Internet. The new face of the Democratic Dream. Equality for all. Freedom of speech and expression. Irrespective of any bias of any kind that is any number of years old.

This story is one of the many unfolding on the face of my country and one of the few being heard. It is the story of a boy rising up against the world he has inherited. He is refusing to be limited by the matchbox house and the matchbox minds he has inherited from his older generation. He is defying the standard expectations of his caste, creed, colour and other such physical rusting and rotting. He is daring to Change in order to Live.

The chiti continues. The bold heart, fearless eyes and a humble head held high are still right here. But instead of instead of standing up to wage a war over petty- physical-rotting-differences, he is standing up to declare his written-word-rebellion for Change.

Here is Naezy – the 100 Year Old Shaikh of India.

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