PRIDE AND PREJUDICE - THE CONJOINED TWINS











I was, always, poor in Geography and, yes, in General Knowledge, too… I still am. So, in all my sixty-long years, and four-long decades of teaching, I had no idea where was Croatia located. Even my knowledge of football is limited either to some famous football stars or countries like Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Germany, France etc… But, certainly, not Croatia.

So, in my class, yesterday, I asked a twelfth-standard student, with whom I had difficulty drilling   in these Accountancy fundas, “Do you know where this country Croatia is?”

The floodgates opened! My boy tutored me for ten minutes on not only Croatia, but also on Senegal, Tunisia, Costa Rica and many such… I was pleasantly surprised, when he described to be about the state of economy, the culture of people, the religion the majority followed etc. As my boy was giving me this fresh ghyan about Croatia, Senegal and other nations, less-heard by me, I sensed in me an interesting thing: I stared liking this boy more!

Till that point, I, always, assessed him from the way he responded to the Accountancy fundas which I was unable to drill into his head. So, whatever he was in my mind was influenced by my prejudice about him. Putting it in a layman’s language, my dislike for him stemmed from what I despised in him. It’s only when I saw the good qualities in him, I started liking him… accepting him for what he was.


Pride and Prejudice! Jane Austen made these twins famous through her novel, over two centuries ago. The main characters in this novel are the sensible and intelligent Elizabeth Bennet and the rich and handsome Fitzwilliam Darcy. Elizabeth, at first, dislikes Darcy because of his pride, but they, finally, recognize each other's good qualities and fall in love.

I am really happy – and feel a sense of pride – that Croatia has entered the finals of FIFA World Cup – 2018. I, also, want her to win the World Cup! But, then, a thought comes in me: What if Pakistan was in Croatia’s place – Would I have felt the same sense of pride?

Funny people we are!

We all feel proud of others as long as it feeds our prejudices…

Pride and Prejudice… Yes, the conjoined twins they are!



GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Internet/The National

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