Untouchable: Part 4-5 (Pages 35-60) - Summary

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Bakha Proceeds to the Town

      Bakha comes out of his house and proceeds to the town out of his colony. He is in playful mood and rather jovial. He begins to sing to himself He stops when he realises that he is being watched by Ram Charan and Chota. He felt abashed at being seen absorbed in singing to himself They always made a butt of him, ridiculing the weight of his body the shape of his clothes, his gait, which was a bit like an elephant’s, on account of his heavy swaying buttocks, a bit like a tiger’s, lithe and supple’. Bakha is informed that Ram Charan’s sister is going to be married. Chota persuades him to work. But he declines making an excuse that he has a lot of work to do and that his father is ill. He is then asked to participate in a game of hockey the afternoon and he concedes. The two sons of burr a babu are to bring extra hockey sticks. But the outcaste children do not have any hockey sticks of their own. Bakha shows a strong yearing for learning alphabets of English and in order to learn alphabets he makes a bargain with the elder son of the burr a babu. He agrees to pay him an anna. Bakha proceeds and buys a packet of cigarettes from the betel shop. But Bakha is much humiliated by the shop owner. He joins his hand and begs to know where he could put a coin to pay for a packet of ‘Red Lamp’. The shopkeeper points a spot on the board near him. Reaching the main street, Bakha looks at the various articles displayed in shop’s windows. He buys some cheap sweets because he cannot afford expensive ones. He is relishing sweets and munching playfully moves on, carefree and absorbed in his fancy about English lesson. But very soon his fancy proves to be short-lived, unreal and illusions as caste Hindu begins to abuse him and accuses him of polluting, Bakha apologizes but the callous cast Hindu does not melt. He slaps Bakha and spoils his sweets rendering unfit to eat. Bakha tends to be angry but he soon comes to realise that he is an outcast therefore he has to shout and announce his approach when he moves on a public road. Bakha sets his turban again and proceeds announcing his approach. Bakha comes across a bull. The Hindus are touching the animal reverently The bull is emitting foul smell and excreting dung on the road. Bakha thinks and he is puzzled over the hypocrisy of the Hindu tradition that is more generous to an animal than to an outcaste.

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