Sunday, April 28, 2013

AMERICAN DESI GIRL

Chapter 5


Historicity

“Are your chores done?”
“Yes ma’am.”
“Okay, I’m ready to help you with your history lesson.”
“And Mama, just so you know I did my chores to make the money to buy the green coat we saw at the mall. You know the one, the one you wouldn’t buy for me.”
“You’ve three coats in the closet that you’ll outgrow having worn maybe twice. Show some restraint. And how will you ever save any money for your car if you spend every penny you earn on things you don’t really need?”
“And why do I have to study?”
“Because you must.”
“Why do I need to know what a bunch of dead people did hundreds of years ago?”

Mama was getting very testy with the LP’s newfound sense of rebellion and the sassiness that came with it. It was time to explain a few things to the child.

“Because it is important to know how the chain of events unfolded.”
“How do I care?”
“Because you are because of them. The world is because of their world, and the future will be because of them and us.”
“But they are dead and in the future there will be flying cars. Besides, my favorite T.V. show is starting in five minutes. ”
“There will be reruns.”
“So?”
“Don’t raise the level of discourtesy in this household.”
“Don’t what??”
“Oh shut up. Just listen. You need to know the history of the world and its people. So it says in this textbook. So let’s get started. ”
“Why?”
“So that when you grow up you do not run around like a headless chicken trying to reinvent the wheel and rediscover fire in every area of your life. And just as important as knowing history is taking an interest in the daily news. Today’s news is tomorrow’s history. Try to see in your mind’s eye the continuum of history.”

They sat down at the table an eager teacher and glum brat. The LP was looking down and her gaze fell upon the book cover. It had pictures on it. There was one of an exquisite marble statue. It said “circa 3000 B. C.”

“That was more than two thousand years ago. How could they do that so long ago?” she thought amazed.

She opened the book to see photographs of Jericho, of Mohenjodaro, of Giza and of what are believed to be the sunken cities of Alexandria and Atlantis. “Whoa, folks were smart back then. Maybe the ancient Peruvians did have flying cars. Maybe.”

Hercules via www.flickr.com