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The Jealous Indian

11 Feb

Kaaviya Thalaivan is an old idea brilliantly shown in  a new way on the big screen. The jealousy of a man , how mystically it could be held for sometime and then shown with the thought of revenge, to kill, his fellow man, a brother equivalent, brought up by the same father, the same guru, the same school of drama, the same stories and incidences, only to grow the jealousy with it, to end one with the other, to end oneself in the end. The story is also projects a point of discussion for the discussion on lack of words in Indian language beautifully differentiated by the ideas of “envy” and “jealousy”.

The jealousy of  a person to another mostly involves a sense of revenge and intimidation that forces that person to hate the subject of jealousy. Why not be envious in the same instance, where there is also a possibility to be happy about the achievements of a person and appreciate it and then think why I could not be like that. This is a softer form of jealousy but without any enmity. It can also be argued that there is mild “Asooya” (jealousy in Samskrtam) that grows on and festers into the revenge-ful savage form that is associated with jealousy.The Hindi word for jealousy “Jalan” is very close to fire or burning and used so.

To be envious is a peaceful act, where one simply wishes to match the quality or skill of another. This helps to promote healthy competition. This in turn benefits both the subject of envy and the envious. This is an ideal form of emotion. But human emotions knows no bounds. There is always a wilder form. And thence comes the jealousy. Why Indian languages do not have an equivalent term form “envy” is mysterious. Are Indians by nature forced to have jealousy rather than envy. If that is so imagine such a large population dragging each other down because of this bad attitude, which later becomes a habit. It is not for joke that the story of Kerala crab (later scaled up and known as story of Indian crab was told). This is also a frequently told story in Indian speeches by teachers and politicians. Here, it is retold in my version for the record.

The story of the Kerala Crab

Kerala crabs are famous as a culinary item. I found a nice photo of one here.

 

(Image courtesy: http://www.shutterstock.com)

A foreigner from Britain found the crab being loaded in a ship. This was a regularly exported item to Europe. He had come a long way from his land to find how it is that they get fresh crab. The baskets on which the crabs were loaded were not covered. And he was surprised. If it was not covered then the crabs may come out and escape. How then will the basket reach full of crabs, as he has seen in his port-town. Then the loader explained to him. “Sayippe! These are Kerala crabs. It has mindset of Keralites. If one crabs climbs to top of the basket others from inside would pull it down. Like this no crab is allowed to escape beacuse of their behaviour, and you get fresh crabs to eat.”

The British astonishment vanished from the face and now it turned red and laughed.

 

Jealousy ingrained in this form throughout a sub-continent would be a surprise to a naive mind. This is but a working principle in this beautiful land of variety.

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2 Comments

Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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2 responses to “The Jealous Indian

  1. Lori D

    February 13, 2015 at 00:03

    This is interesting to read about the different languages and how there isn’t a comparable word for envy in the Indian languages. I agree, envy can give us a boost to strive to have success like someone else. Although, if we let that envy fester without working toward a goal, it could grow into jealousy. Thanks for coming over to my blog. 🙂

    Like

     

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