Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Patiala House Blog

1979 - Southall, London, UK.
Gurtej Singh Kahlon, 34 years of age has just completed his shift at the Woolfe Rubber Factory. He will slowly walk back home. He will ignore the "gora kid" walking with his mother, pointing at him - the funny "brown" man in the turban. He will cross the street when the group of "white" disgruntled, unemployed factory workers will try and provoke him into a confrontation. He will enter his warm cozy home and sing "happy birthday" to his six year old son Gattu. He will shield his family when the shards of shattering glass will threaten to injure them. He will chase the "gora hoodlums" who threw the rock shattering the glass window. He will break open his "gora skull" with his bare hands. He will protect his family. From now on, he will protect his family.

1994 - Southall, London, UK.
Parghat Singh Kahlon (Gattu,) age 17 years old has just given his father Gurtej Singh Kahlon an official letter. He will watch his father read every word. He will watch his fathers eyes brimming with rage. He will hear his father reminding him of the struggle against the "gora's." He will see his father tear his dreams into pieces as the official letter is thrown on his face.

2010 - Southall, London, UK.
Parghat Singh Kahlon (Gattu,) age 34 years has just woken up like he has every morning for the last 17 years. He will walk across Southall. He will open the corner store across the tube station. He will tend to his customers. He will hear the neighbourhood boys playing cricket in the back alley. He will remember a dream that could have become a reality. He will tend to his customers.

He will watch his father ruling a house, a family, a community like he has for the last 25 years. He will silently tolerate the snide remarks and insults passed by a younger generation. He will pour his heart out to his neighbours adopted brother. He will understand the bitterness of his siblings. He will identify with their shattered dreams. He will participate to begin a change. He will finally summon the courage to challenge his father and start a movement that will shake the very foundations of Patiala House.

Patiala House Blog


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