Friday, February 25, 2011

One Sunday

There’s an old funny song my kids used to love about ‘Jack the Peg’ who had an extra leg:

"Wherever I go through rain or snow
The people always let me know
'There’s Jack the Peg…
With an extra leg'"
sings the character.

Guess many of us ‘chinky’ Indians get the same kind of treatment in some parts of the country. It used to be like that in Kerala where we went for vacations. People on the streets would turn back to stare. Same in Madras where we stayed a few months. Eyes would glare till i was tempted to poke with a finger to see if they could blink! It was like that in Hyderabad. And so on.

It’s not so bad these days, at least not here in Mumbai. I didn’t get it bad in Bangalore either. Can’t say whether things have changed in general, or it’s just the cities.

And in this church we attend in Santa Cruz, i even forget that i’m different. Meetings are in English, mixed with Hindi. The members are from diverse communities like Anglo-Indians, Goans, Maharashtrians, Mangalorians, Malayalees, Tamilians, Telugus, etc. I’m the only snub-nosed, chinky-eyed, yellow-faced one in the crowd. But the loving, caring folks make me forget that i hail from a remote place and have alien looks and ways.

But one Sunday it was brought back to me in a funny way.

After the meeting, a little NRI boy came up to me and said, “Hello, i’m J, i’m eleven years old. I’m from Dubai….”
“Hello, i’m M,” i responded, and we got chatting.

After a while he asked, “Are you Chinese?”
“No,” i replied.
“Are you Filipino?”
“No.”
“What are you then?”
“I’m Indian” i said, curious about how he was going to tackle the question.
“But how come you look like Chinese or Filipino?” he came back.
“Many Indians look like i do,” i told him, still playing the game.
Then he got clever. “What language do you speak with your parents at home?”
I finally told him i’m a Mizo, from Mizoram, a state in Northeast India. I asked him to look up a map and find Mizoram in it.

Hope J’s knowledge of Geography or Social Studies improved a bit that day. Such a sweet kid!

8 comments:

kameswara srinivas said...

hi dear,
I'm from Hyderabad.These days the barrier b/w north eastern states and other parts has broken.These days we try to understand you and treat you as fellow Indians.I like to say a thing that one of my friend married your girl happily living and blessed with a child

Calliopia said...

Well, that's an encouraging response you evoked from Mr. Srinivas. May his tribe increase :)

mesjay said...

@Kameswara Srinivas, thank you for the visit and comment. That is very good, heartwarming news. Even those days, there were good people who were very hepful. Like 4 medical students a friend and i met while travelling - they sheltered us from what could have been a nightmarish trip. Such people are there in every community, though some others may have treated us as an oddity. The best thing is that the good side multiplies with more and more understanding. Best regards.

mesjay said...

@Calliopia, may his tribe incease indeed!

luliana said...

Hman te ngaihtuah chuan a zia ka ti tawh khawp mai. Mahse, a bikin keini Mizote hi, Hindi kan thiam loh lutuk bik reng chuan en hran loh theih loh kan ni reng dawn!

mesjay said...

@Lulian, a dik hmel. Mizo tawng bakah Hindi leh English hi chu zam lo tawka thiam ve atan a tha khawp mai. A theih chuan kan awmna apiang state tawng nen, tlem a zawng tal.

DayDreamBeliever said...

Well, good to see that your sense of humor is still intact, Miss Zozem! Me, I get so impatient that I fail to see the humor in these kind of situations anymore!! :D

mesjay said...

@DayDreambeliever, come to think of it, it's quite funny, isn't it? We seem to be such a rare variety in our own country!