Before I tell you about the two incidents yesterday, l have to say I had a mildly interesting week: Lost all my belongings (that included about 12 years of piano sheet music, music notes in general) that used to be in my store room, (thanks to a highly incompetent group of managers at my housing community), only to have this burning intuition very soon that I’ll never see my stuff again. I am actually quite fine with losing everything that might have been in that store room (if you don’t even remember the contents, how important can they really be?), except for my music notes, the only misplaced item that I happen to remember, which kind of proves its sentimental value. I am left with the arduous task of deciding if I want to sue those bastards, or escalate the matter to the Upper Management, or drop it completely. The lawyer in me wants to exercise Option No. 1, the lazy-do-I-really-care part of me wants to go with Option No. 3. Which means, Option No. 2 it’ll be for now.
Then, yesterday, took my dog, Sasha, to see a “dog shrink” (Read: Behavioral consultant) for the first time when it should really be me who should pay a visit to a shrink (more on that later), but we do all we can to keep our dogs healthy and living for as long as possible, fully aware of their short life spans, and yet, we let ours fall into disrepair. Or at least I do.
Now that I have these thoughts out of my head, let me move on to the two incidents themselves.
Incident 1: Happens while I’m out grocery shopping.
Random desi, catches me just when I’m about to check out. You have to realize desis DO NOT just walk up to each other in the US and talk about Bharat desh, mangoes and Indian politics. In fact, desis will go to great lengths to avoid each other in public places. So, you can imagine my surprise when this mans walks up and says, “I think I’ve seen you somewhere?”. Umm, sir, no you haven’t. He probes a bit about my profession, where I work, and how long I’ve been here, and volunteers the same information. But this is not what was offensive. What’s offensive is this -
He: So, which state are you from?
He: No, which state are you from?
Me: I’m from Calcutta.
He: Oh, do you speak Tamil?
Me: (WTF?!!!) No, I don’t.
He: I will introduce you to my wife. Both of you can go shopping together.
Me: (faking a faint smile)
He: Oh, by the way, I have this family type business. Let’s talk about it.
Me: Sorry, gotta rush. Let’s catch up again. (And on my way out, cursing myself for giving him my phone number. Should place him on the block list ASAP).
Incident 2: Late at a party, same day.
Friend 1: Where are you from in India?
Friend 2: I’m from Bombay.
Friend 3: No, no. He’s not from Bombay.
Friend 2: What do you mean, men? I’m from Bombay.
Friend 3: You’re Tamilian noooo…So, Tamil Nadu.
Friend 2: WTF? Are you crazy? I was born in Bombay. Always lived there.
Friend 1: (Stunned. Cursing himself for asking the question)
What is wrong with the people of India? So many blogs, so many Tweets, so much of awareness online. All for nothing. Yet when most folks of my generation look to marry, they will first look for a girl or a boy of their “caste/religion/state” and if for some reason, this is not a possibility, then they’ll go look elsewhere.
Edited to add: Sometimes, people won’t say it aloud, but they’ll silently calculate the “mother tongue” of the person based on his or her looks (especially the color of the skin), the first name, and maybe the last name, if they’ve had the balls to exchange this information.
Current mood: Pensive.