Wednesday, June 15, 2005

And then there's this

It was about 11 pm last night, and I was walking back home from a friend’s
place. It’s dark, and the street is not crowded. I cross the street and continue
to walk. I hear a voice.

”Boy!”

Against my will I turn back.

”Yeah, you BOY!” he yells from his rusty Ford pickup truck, stopped at the traffic signal.

”This is for you, you fucking jihadi.”

The beer bottle lands 6 feet from where I stand, somewhat paralyzed.
I turn back, and walk away briskly.

This has happened to me many, many times. And each and every time, I have the same feelings of fear (terror?), contempt, confusion and anger.

29 comments:

charu said...

uh that can't be pleasant... jihadi seems a new one - the favourite in the UK used to be Paki... so abuse vocabulary is in tune with the times too...

Vishnu said...

No one called me a Jihadi, but I've been called an Indian drug dealer in San Francisco.

Michael Higgins said...

Hi Sunil
I really wish that had not happened. There are a lot of people in the US and some of them aren't very nice.

Srikanth said...

Is this xenophobia or is this racial hatred? In any case, sad.

uma said...

creepy.

Anand said...

Uma -- Perhaps Jerry Rao's next column might justify these abuses too!

Sunil -- Take care.

Suhail said...

Ok, now, I know you have a beard...but how come you never wrote from right-to-left. The lang. in which all jihadis write. I am guessing you are a modern jihadi ..the doctor/engineer type.

I'll have something more on this. You take care.

uma said...

anand - most probably! now you've got me thinking...maybe i'll have a post about it soon.

and sunil - i think my mom has sent you a reply!

priya said...

take care, sunil.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Sunil, I'm thinking, I might just have tried this: pick up the bottle (or the biggest piece, if it broke) and sweetly hand it back, saying sweetly "You dropped this, dude!"

Nothing quite like making fun of the goons.

Though if he gets out ratcheting a gun, all bets are off.

In an Austin restaurant (Suhail, Pizza Hut on Guadalupe), a weaselly looking guy once threatened us with a knife, saying "I hate you Hindus! I'm going to kill you! I hate Hinduism!" When I stood up from my seat, he slunk away. By the time we got a cop, he had simply vanished.

I felt rather like the Biharis do, who get beaten up by brave sons-of-the-soil when they travel to Bombay to take an exam.

Sunil said...

Thank you all for your comments.

It was a bit unnerving....but I view this as an one-off incident....and it largely is the exception and not the rule.....
Sad though that there's so much paranoia (i've talked about it a little in my latest post also)

Brendan Greeley said...

This was a bit chilling, and beautifully written. We liked it so much that we borrowed the post for a bit, to be read by actors over the radio on "Blogsday," an hour-long collection of posts written over the course of a single day. You can have it back now, but you can listen to the whole program here.

(Open Source is a public radio show, based in Boston and nationally broadcast, that is trying to capture the sound of the web.)

We like how the hour turned out. Let us know what you think.

Sunil said...

Brendan.....thanks for letting me know about this!

I listen to a lot of open source, and especially enjoyed the recent interview of Amitav Ghosh. A lot of my collegues listen to open source at work (over the internet)....its open source or NPR usually :-)

shaun said...

Simple yaar. Return to India.

RPM said...

Came here from AnTi's blog. Where did this happen? In Seattle?

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