Friday 4 January 2019

Colours of Kashmiriyat - The Eastern Eye: Column by Dr.Utpal K Banerjee

Are the agonies of displacement to be experienced in perpetuity by humankind? What happens when a long-settled community of social beings are suddenly ordered out of their peaceful living environment - on grounds of ethnicity, religion, language or whatever -- and thrown to the four winds? Years of happy existence are forgotten and the simple, contented folks are suddenly made homeless, without any address and become a drifting mass of humanity, like flotsam and jetsam of the high seas! Who accounts for their uncalled-for distress and disarray? 

Fiddler on the Roof penned by the Jewish author Joseph Stein, is just one such saga from the beginning of the twentieth century, when Jews and Orthodox Christians lived in a nondescript little village of the pre-revolutionary Russia of the Czars. In episode after little episode, the tale of the poor dairyman and his faithful wife - with their five growing daughters - unravels how life holds for them its joy and sorrow; its rituals of orthodox matchmaking and avarice of the rich old men for the hands of the nubile maidens; its little escapades of love and amour between the indigent tailor and the dairyman's daughter, and again between the visiting student from Kiev and yet another daughter, and all hell breaking loose in the final liaison between the Christian youth and now the third daughter. 

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