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|Black Brother and White Master (standard:travel stories, 2457 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Nov 18 2010||Views/Reads: 1514/1143||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A brief biographical sketch|
Black Brother and White Master By Subba Rao Patricia or Patsy for short was a native of a small Caribbean Island known for volcanoes and is situated near to the island of Trinidad. She was of mixed race with white skin, curly hair and thick lips. While studying in England, she married Keith, a short, dark skinned native of Trinidad of African decent with a physique of a boxer. They both returned to Trinidad after receiving bachelors' degrees in England. Keith spoke with a typical Trinidad accent while Patsy spoke with an accent of Queen's English that baffled everyone including the British students at the campus. She continued using her acquired accent as a symbol of her overseas stint. On the very first day at the university, she inspected the laboratory with authority and made comments about its untidiness. Then, she pasted little, neat notices everywhere in the lab that read “Keep the lab tidy,” “Clean up the desk after you finish work,” “Put all the pipettes on the rack,” “This is an analytical laboratory not a pigsty,” “The lab refrigerator is not for your personal use,” and so forth. These notices gathered much attention, and became the object of fun, and ridicule. After few days, Patsy removed the notices when she noticed obscenities written on them. She suspected the two East Indian lab technicians for the nasty scribbles on her notices. One day with no expression on her face, Patsy casually said to me “did you know, there are lots of Indians in England, mostly shop keepers?” “No, I did not know that, I never visited England, I would like to visit one day,” I said as if I was not paying too much attention to her comments. “Indians are everywhere, they spread fast like fig trees popping up roots everywhere.” “There are lots of fig trees in India, but I didn't know they could spread all the way to England,” I said, trying to be funny. Patsy perhaps came across for the very first time a wide variety of immigrants in England, including scores of Indians from East Africa and India. These Indian immigrants in England were relatively self-reliant as traders, shopkeepers, professionals, and some even occupied affluent positions in the society. Back in Trinidad, the East Indians, native sons of the Island are self-reliant as small traders. Patsy came across as a person who never had the opportunity to observe this trend of self-reliance among the Indian diaspora, and perhaps this made her to remark about Indians spreading like fig trees. Patsy couldn't put up with the two East Indian technicians in the laboratory as they mocked her phony British accent. She moved to an adjacent laboratory to continue her work. I saw her husband Keith several times on the campus, and he looked at me suspiciously as if I were responsible for his wife's move from the laboratory where I worked along with the East Indian technicians. With her educational training in England, Patsy could have contributed more to the society in her small-impoverished Island nation. Instead, with her husband she chose to settle in prosperous Trinidad. On the Campus, she was more at ease with white students than native Trinidadians particularly of East Indian descent. Her remarks on Indian merchants in England and Trinidad, and her treatment of East Indian lab technicians showed that she considered her fellow blacks, and few whites - the former masters as true native inhabitants of Trinidad, and the others such as East Indians as transients interested in only making money. Tommy Towamba and his wife were happy to be in Trinidad as graduate students from an East African Country. They both were from an East African country ravaged in internal turmoil. Tommy behaved with utmost respect towards me, I was not sure whether it was because I was senior to him as a graduate student. Click here to read the rest of this story (194 more lines)
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