Untouchable: Scene 2 - Bakha’s Characteristic Features

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Scene II: Bakha’s Characteristic Features

Bakha’s Dexterity

      Bakha is hard-working, honest and punctual in his duty. He renders his services with conscience and devotion. He picks up his brush and basket and discharges his duty with unparalleled skill, efficiency and proficiency. Toilets glaze like mirror. He has to clean three rows of latrines which hardens the muscles of his body. His dexterity wins him applause from the Havildar who remarks, “Ohe Bakhya you are transforming into a gentleman,”. But his remarks are tinged with malicious and sinister caste superiority that: is; an inseparable part of Hindu culture. He asks him to take a gift of hockey stick from him this afternoon. He is overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude and betrays a humble smile.

      Master’s offer oblige him beyond limitations. Bakha who inherits his obsequious manners from his forefathers. His sense of obsequir ousness and servility is the outcome of age long deprivation, indigence, penury and poverty. These are the elements which subdued his ego and forced him to be servile. With master’s applause his zeal to work doubles and he goes on working and working with the same sincerity and agility For him his master’s condescension is more a matter of pride than happiness.

      Hard work exhausts his energy and he becomes tired. He is hungry and thirsty He comes back to his cottage where his sister is trying to kindle a fire between two brick but her efforts are abortive. As he is hungry for his breakfast and tea, Bakha sits and assists his sister in making a fire. The fire flares up. Unfortunately, there is no water to cook. Lakha is still asleep. Rakha is away Therefore Sohini is ready to fetch water from the well. Bakha foels frustrated. He rests on a broken chair which is the only article of European design he ever possessed. He is vanquished by the cruel and mighty hands of caste-ridden culture.

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