In my middle school there were a group of students who formed a club of their own. It started out with three students. They established the club for fun and exclusivity (the kewl factor) during one of the recess breaks that we had. The club literally served no purpose other than getting together during the break time and after school hours to play games together. The group was called - ' Kool Kidz Klub' (Triple K).
Very soon the popularity of Triple-K grew in our batch. They even formed their own secret language similar to the popular P-Language; yes you guessed it right - the K-language. They formed their club rules, such as dress code for each time they met after school hours in one of their houses, the kind of games they will play and the kind of games they will never play. One of them being proficient in artistic skills even drew out a logo for the club. They fixed a date for a monthly feast out of their pocket money.
The group grew as the participants increased. The cofounders were thrilled to have students from not only our batch but also a few junior as well as senior batches joining them. By the end of the second term of our sixth grade, their membership was around thirty-five people.
The most fascinating thing about the club was that the cofounders were worshipped - even by the seniors. Barring some minor changes to the rules, the club followed the same pattern of regulations as before. Anyone who failed to adhere to the rules; say refused to wear black because it is too hot outside or refused to listen to metal music, they were kicked out of the club. You were allowed to speak to the non-members of the club but if you were seen borrowing notes from them or having lunch with them, the members frowned upon you. The ego they carried with them was so high that anything rational - like what if the non-members notes would actually benefit us, did not matter. No one dared to break the rules lest they should be disregarded by the rest. Well this was middle school after all. How mature do you think a bunch of twelve year olds could be?
Let me press the flash-forward button as I skim through the innocent childhood days to the even more innocent adulthood. Dhanalakshmi and Victor were friends. Dhanalakshmi was a beautiful girl belonging to a popular club called 'Tamil Brahmin'. She was smart, sharp and very capable of leading her life. Victor belonged to a club named 'Malayali Christians'. He was smart, sharp and very capable of leading his own life. Dhanalakshmi and Victor found their intellectual as well as emotional partners in each other. However, when they broke the news to their respective club members they were frowned upon. They were put to shame for not following the 'no-non-member' rule of the club. They tried to convince their club members emphasising on how good their partner is for them. The only reply they got "Perhaps! But he(she) is not a part of our family and will never be. Allowing this would mean there are no sufficient good men(women) in our own community for you. It would mean, you disrespect us and strip us of our community's pride"
Juxtaposing the two situations I cannot help but draw the similarities between my childhood and what I see happening around me in my adulthood. The reasons I have mentioned in the short anecdote with respect to why the club members refuse this kind of union is just one part of the whole picture. Given a pen and paper to the community followers you will have pages or perhaps books full of information, myths and justifications against inter-caste marriages. Amusing enough the entire prose can be summarised to 'this is how it has always been and hence this is how it should be'. What is more amusing is when without further justification your emotional and intellectual partner is rejected with the final, assertive words - 'We know better than you do. This is for your own good.' Instead, the two perfect pieces of a jigsaw puzzle is ripped apart as each are arranged to marry the partner they barely know within their respective communities and are pushed into a room to consummate their relationship with that 'perfectly chosen' stranger. Club members smile; ego satisfied.
Sometimes I wish Dhanalakshmi and Victor were in my high-school instead. At least after I quit Triple-K I had a home to go back to.