He was the real hero, Tenzing," Gyan had said, "Hilary couldn't have made it without sherpas carrying his bags." Everyone around had agreed. Tenzing was certainly first, or else he was made to wait with the bags so Hilary could take the first step on behalf of that colonial enterprise of sticking your flag on what was not yours.Sai had wondered, should humans conquer the mountain or should they wish for the mountain to possess them? Sherpas went up and down, ten times, fifteen times in some cases, without glory, without claim of ownership, and there were those who said it was sacred and shouldn't be sullied at all.
The Indian gentleman, with all self-respect to himself, should not enter into a compartment reserved for Europeans, any more than he should enter a carriage set apart for ladies. Although you may have acquired the habits and manners of the European, have the courage to show that you are not ashamed of being an Indian, and in all such cases, identify yourself to the race to which you belong.- H. Hardless, The Indian Gentleman's Guide to EtiquetteA rush of anger surprised her. It was unwise to read old books; they fury they ignited wasn't old; it was new. If she couldn't get the pompous fart himself, she wanted to search out the descendants of H. Hardless and stab the life out of them. But the child shouldn't be blamed for the father's crime, she tried to reason with herself, then. But should the child therefore also enjoy the father's illicit gain?
But while the residents were shocked by the violence, they were also often surprised by the mundaneness of it all. Discovered the extent of perversity the heart is capable of as they sat at home with nothing to do, and found that it was possible, faced with the stench of unimaginable evil, for a human being to grow bored, yawn, be absorbed by the problem of a missing sock, by neighborly irritations, to feel hunger skipping like a little mouse inside a tummy and return, once again, to the pressing matter of what to eat...There they were, the most commonplace of them, those quite mismatched with the larger-than-life questions, caught up in the mythic battles of past vs. present, justice vs. injustice -- the most ordinary swept up in extraordinary hatred, because extraordinary hatred was, after all, a commonplace event,
How could anything be the same? The red of blood lay over the market road in slick pools mingled with a yellow spread of dal someone must have brought in anticipation of a picnic after the parade, and there were flies on it, left behind odd slippers, and a sad pair of broken spectacles, even a tooth. It was rather like the government warning about safety that appeared in the cinema before the movie with the image of a man cycling to work, a poor man but with a wife who loved him, and she had sent his lunch with him in a tiffin container; then came a blowing of horns and small, desperate cycle tinkle, and a messy blur clearing into the silent still image of a spread of food mingled with blood. Those mismatched colors, domesticity shuffled with death, sureness running into the unexpected, kindness replaced by the image of violence, always made the cook feel like throwing up and weeping both together.