At first glance, he seemed a friendly sort of person, yet there was something which made him feel uncomfortable around me.
“What could it be?” I wondered.
It would be awkward asking him what it was, for I had only met him a while ago. All I knew was that his name was M.W, he was from a foreign land and had come to India for a change of air.
At his request, I was helping him locate his hotel. There began our introduction and we normally began chatting. Deep down, however, I knew things were not all sunflower and sunshine.
Courage found its way and I finall asked him the cause of his affliction.
He took time to absorb what I had just asked, and trying not to sound rude, he said, “You are Indian.”
Yet it was rude. Excessively rude. Racist! What was he expecting, to find Japanese in India?! I wanted to leave him there and then, yet, our culture teaches us to treat our guests equivalent to God. (अतिथि देवो भवः)
I smiled and said,“I beg your pardon sir, but I suppose that you had least expected to see Indians when you first made plans to visit India.”
Words abandoned him.
I started again, “though this is the 21st century, discrimination still has not drained away from the veins. The world has learned to swim in the water like fish, has learned to fly in the air like birds, but has forgotten to live on this earth together like brothers.”
Shame was reflected in his eyes. When I had give up on him, that’s when he bent his head down to apologize.
Wow, that was some reaction. I was glad that he realized his fault. It’s never too late if you accept where you went wrong.
Next day, to my surprise, the first thing that I saw on my facebook was a friend request from M.W. My first thought was to reject it, however then, I finally accepted it for the only reason that I knew I wasn’t a racist.