The Megumites were yellow. The Tituwongs were green. That was the only discernible difference between the two kinds, except for the Tituwongs' elongated front teeth. Yet the Tituwongs referred to themselves as “the higher kind” and called the Megumites “the lower kind”.
And the Megumites were not allowed to sow until all the fields of the Tituwongs were sown. And the Megumites tended the fields of the Tituwongs without pay, except for a simple meal at dusk. And the Tituwongs lived in wealth and splendour while the Megumites crowded in ramshackle shanties.
In one of these shanties there was born a Megumite girl, the colour of the sun and with a mood that could swing from joy to serious concentration in a whiff. Being a Megumite, she was not allowed to go to school but the family had a tradition of surreptitiously teaching algebra and reading and writing, so her mother taught the girl what she in turn had once learnt from her mother.
And the girl grew up. Her name was Sundri and she worked the fields of the Tituwongs like everybody of her kind. Like most Megumite she sang at work but she sang new songs, songs about yellow and green being equal, about justice being long overdue and masses gathered around her, both at work and at home, where she led discussions almost every night about how justice should be won. There were two groups, one opting for fight, the other advocating non-violence. “Enough harm has been done to us. We shall not harm in turn” said Sundri and some agreed with her, others flocked around Wispa, a man who already had started to pile up makeshift weapons in desolate huts.
Sundri asked for an appointment with her employer. She had worked out a salary system and she wanted to discuss it. She was smacked.
She went to the President. She was flogged. She told the President in a letter afterwards that she forgave him.
Sundri could do nothing on her own. She gathered the masses, agreed on a day and an hour when work in the fields would stop. That was the first step. After a year, after a lot of singing and standing in circles holding hands, a law was passed which declared that both kinds should earn wages for their work.
Slowly, steadily the movement was built up. But Wispa and his crowd distanced themselves more and more. There were people who got strangely aggressive on hearing about non-violence. They liked and respected Sundri but her ideas drove them up the wall, although these ideas had brought them further than the use of machetes and hatchets would ever do.
One cold night, when Sundri went home from a meeting, she met her destiny in an alley behind her house. In less than a minute she was strangled. It is said, that her last word was “Peace”, that she was about to say “Peace be with you” to her killer but that he was too swift with his cord to hear her greeting. Then again: how does one know? Is it important? Some say it is. Some say it is more important than knowing who the murderer was.
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