He looked exactly like me
His black hair and pale brown complexion
Shone under the hot sun of Rajasthan’s Desert
He couldn’t be American, could he?

Being born elsewhere didn’t mean much…

An ice cream cart pulled over
We got two coffee topped chocolate cones
No more baking in the Jaipur summer
He couldn’t be American, could he?
Being born elsewhere didn’t mean much…

Eeks.. My hands felt sticky with the chocolate on the wrapper
I saw two recycling dustbins in a distance

But he had thrown his into the mud

Staring at the melting remains of the coffee ice cream,
I asked him, “Would you do this in America?”

“Oh someone will come clean it in India,” he said
I looked at him in disbelief as he expected me to do the same

But I wouldn’t do this in Dubai or Delhi,

Then how could I come dirty “his” state?

But was this historic Indian city more home to me than it was to him?

Was he one of those who didn’t want to visit his land
Because it was “too dirty,” but didn’t bother to clean it himself?

He wasn’t really Indian, was he?
Being born elsewhere shouldn’t have made that difference…

 

Written By: Radhika Marwaha

othercollective
weareothercollective@gmail.com

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