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Mute – Screaming Silently

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I love this crazy maddening country India that I live in… however, as a  ‘firangi’ (foreigner), I cannot vote and therefore, have no say.

Often this makes me feel mute – not having the right to voice my opinions and frustration at certain situations. Or more positively, am restricted against playing a direct role in being part of any kind of political change. Fair enough, I chose to retain the citizenship of my birth – Canada, so this is the result.

This morning, my partner forwarded a marvellous film short that speaks to this. “Mute” is by a new company based literally around the corner for us called Handloom Picture Company. And while it directly talks of our circumstances in Mumbai, there is a universality to many elements in the message – it is worth checking out.

There are some real gems :

Potholes as big as the incompetence of the municipality see Sidewalk adventures… stumbling to work contrasting Mumbai where it is a constant obstacle course to Jakarta where there is an effort to improve

Always something to spoil your morning… like reading about the regressive Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – which makes same-sex relationships criminal. See Gay for a day (or more!)

Sabzi (vegetables) market doing better than the stock market – on the extreme rise in inflation of every day items impacting the lower & middle class

Can’t sleep waiting for my sister to come home safely (see ‘Eve Teasing’ – The other side of my love affair with India)

There is universal frustration from the salaried middle class who pay significant advance taxes deducted directly every pay cheque whereas the ‘services’ received are next none and much of government expenditure goes to line corrupt pockets! The sheer frustration is palpable when the young man shares:

What am I getting in return for all the taxes they suck out from me?

Good question! I can’t help ask that as I wrestle to prove – yet again – to the Income Tax Authorities that I have indeed fully paid my taxes! I’m strangely glad I received the nonsensical refund notices for pennies as it alerted me to a bigger issue. The cynical side of me wonders just how much time, money and effort it will take to prove for a third time that – The government owes me money! – and not the reverse!

Mute

Watch the film (just under 3 minutes) for the punch line… and think about it the next time you complain about the city / country you live in!

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8 Comments

  1. vidamanejo says:

    What a wonderful and brilliant movie! Sharing this with others. You know, I really hope things change with a contender like the Aam Aadmi Party. I don’t know how things will work out with them in the long run…but it’s a welcome change against corruption for now! And lastly…if you want to make a change, exercise the right to VOTE!

  2. ottominuti says:

    Thank you for sharing Carissa, it doesn’t happen often on this side of the world to watch something about India. Great video.

    • I wasn’t sure if the video would resonate outside of India… but hoped it might. Both from the perspective of insight into our every day realities and the universality of the responsibility for change. There really does seem to be a shift beginning.. exciting times…

  3. This video is fantabulous. simply loved it ! Infact whole article is fantastic and great thought to nourish.
    But i think my case differs, I have a voice, I can vote, still nothing positive coming out of it. Am I an uneducated person of hypocrite & superstitious Indian society? No, I am not. I am well educated, neither hypocrite nor superstitious, but Indian has limited people like me. Then why lots of corruption, traffic jams, terrorism, attacks, raps, murders, poverty, iliteracy is there?
    Questions haunts me and should haunt every other individual like me.
    Loved the very fist line of this article. when lots of Indian are not loving their country and leaving India, this line gives a great hope from the pen of “Not an Indian” – don’t wanna a say you a foreigner at all. 🙂

    I love this crazy maddening country India that I live in…

    Keep writing good stuff
    Love
    Deepanshi

    • Thanks Deepanshi! Given that I’ve been here more than a decade, don’t truly feel like a ‘foreigner’ either… Nice to have this virtually validated! 😉 Now… if that actually made a difference with the powers that be…. 🙂

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