You seem to be in a reflective mode, observed my husband looking up from the newspaper he was reading.

You mean to say reflective” mood”?  No wonder  you  slip into your mobile jargon,  keeping the  tiny  device glued to your ear  all the time,   I complained.

Well,   there is a difference between a mobile and you, he teased.

How dare you compare me with that inanimate nuisance? I shot back.

Don’t be so touché, dear. I  only wanted to say I can keep my mobile in a silent mode as long as I wish but   can’t do the same with…

I know what you want to say and it is probably the 100th. time you said it, I accused. 

O.K. Tell me what  is occupying your thoughts, is it something serious where you need my help?  He offered   trying to change the subject.

Well, it is indeed something serious  and I don’t think you can help me, even if you wish to, I said.

Again typical of your gender, always under estimating  men and their capacity to solve any kind of problem, he boasted.

I appreciate  your  confidence  and the spirit, but I am afraid there are some problems which appear  to have no solutions, I lamented.

It is all in the mind and women have a closed mind for all I know. You cannot solve problems if you have a one track mind, he reiterated. 

Now, you seem to be passing  unwarranted  judgements,   I  rued.

You haven’t still told me what’s bothering you, he said.

Well, it has something to do with what I read  in the newspaper  recently, I informed.  

You mean  the  break ins  that have been on the increase?  Robbers making away with    jewellery and cash   amounting to lakhs?  He asked.

Not exactly.  I was  thinking of something else, I said.

Why don’t you say what it is  instead of beating about the bush?  He asked sounding impatient.

I am just wondering whether unity in diversity is possible in the present state of affairs,  I said.

Which  affairs    are you referring to  ? cultural, social  or economic?  He asked  getting interested.

All of them   as  they  are    intermingled  with one another. Infact  it concerns you and me as well, I said.

Now  you  appear    crazy. How on earth  can it  concern you and me?  He looked at me as though I  was talking through my hat.

Unity in diversity  begins at the micro level, don’t you think so ? I  said.

Noticing his  expression  of bewilderment  I decided to explain things.

Let me begin at the beginning.Take our own case for instance. We hail from two corners of   the country  which  not only differ in  language   and culture but  the parties  which are  in power as well.  Marriage united us   and for economic reasons  we chose  to  move  out of  our  states  of origin  to an altogether    different  state   which means  there was no “domicile divide” of any kind.  Now  do you understand   what I meant  by unity in diversity at the micro level? I said  feeling proud that  I was able to put things in a proper perspective. 

A very good analysis  ofcourse  and your logic sounds  quite convincing. But I wonder  who are the ultimate  beneficiaries  in this whole exercise of ours?

Everyone, you, me and the state, I emphasized .

What makes you think so?  He asked raising his eyebrow.

The organizations we work for  have immensely benefited from our skill and expertise  in our respective fields which in turn  have   contributed  to the economy of the state and ultimately resulted in boosting  the  economy of our  country! When unity in diversity is possible at the micro level, I am sure it is possible at the macro level also?  Am I right ? I said all in one breath.

You are but you have forgotten something  very important  that is required for unity in diversity at the macro level?  he said.

What is that? I asked  puzzled.

The political  will  to silence the fanatics in the state, he whispered.

Perhaps it would be right to say “unity in adversity” to start with , I suggested.

I can’t  agree with you  more, and “we”  happen to be   a good example at the micro level,  he  stated.

I asked for it, didn’t I ?

n.meera raghavendra rao


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