Joodee The Obscure
Posted August 22, 2009on:
His name was not “Joodee”, it was Dalbir Singh Sekhon. But no one called him that, not even “dallu”, or even “dalleya” or “sekhon” let alone “sekhon phaaji”. Ever since he was in primary school “Joodee” had somehow clung like an invisible weight. Someone might have tried the vagrant “gyani” or “phapha” or “sardaar” but something about him just bespoke “joodee”. Perhaps it was the unusually large bun of hair perched on top of his head, exaggerated further by the white kerchief tied around it, giving it the appearance of a cauliflower in a cauliflower patch. Or that’s just how kids are. It’s not as if other Punjabi children did not have to face the same tirade. But they fought off the childish sneers and scoffs with characteristic Punjabi boisterity and wit. But not Joodee. He was born in the wrong country. Sensitive of countenance and faint of heart, even his physical appearance seemed to complement his nature, with his pale skin, slight frame, graceful hands, peculiar gait and none of the bountiful hair of his clan. He couldn’t beat back the constant barrage of “joodee”,”teri joodich bumb fit karke tainu uda dena” (ill plant a cracker in your bun and blow it up), “teri joodi pat ke tere moo vich paa deni” (i will pluck your bun and thrust it in your mouth), and the snickers and guffaws which followed. With every ”joodee” something pierced the depths of his soul. He developed an almost irrational fear of the offensive word. Every time he opened his mouth, he feared he would be shut up with “joodee”. He stopped speaking up in class. His seat gradually started moving towards the rear end. But never at the very end.
And thus “Joodee” went deeper and deeper into his shell. He wanted to melt into the crowd and vanish in the air. But the more he tried to merge into the background, the more he felt he stood out. And so he grew up.
to be continued..