I have a confession: through a convoluted turn of events, I might have something to do with the recent Indian terrorist attacks! (Dear FBI: my middle name is “kidding,” please disregard the confession on this blog, you have more important things to do anyway.)
Well, I’ll tell you what happened, and you be the judge of my connection, either way, I do believe it to be incredibly ironic. So this morning, as I was getting ready to head out to work, I was thinking: “why do most people mistake me for an Indian?” When I was first told I looked Indian, I was surprised to be honest. I did not think I looked Indian at all. Even though I still hold that view, I do see where people are coming from. In the States, I get asked if I am Indian 90% of the time, a lot of the time by Indians. The other 10%, I have been mistaken for Dominican, Brazilian, Polynesian, and the really sharp self-described “worldly” ones just point out that I am probably North African. So I said to myself: Self, you know it is actually better to be mistaken for an Indian, because then all the subsequent conversations will revolve around people’s proclamation of their love for Chutney, questions about Cricket, or if it gets really intense, they will want to discuss their friend Sanji’s arranged marriage, and inquire about whether or not my family is forcing me to marry “that Indian doctor.”
This I thought, was a lot easier than saying that I am Sudanese and getting either one of two looks: The “Aww I’m sorry” look, which usually comes from people who are generally sorry anyone has to be from Africa, or the Arab world (or lo and behold, an Arab country in Africa!) They then take liberty in divulging their views on the Darfur “genocide,” terrorism, that Arab restaurant they tried the other day, and how they would have never guessed I am Sudanese, because I look Indian. The other look comes from people who take it upon themselves to hate anyone who is not a disenfranchised African. Its more of the “you have no right to have that Gucci bag and enjoy life, while your people kill Darfurian babies, you Arab Sudanese murderer, you” look. That look I generally ignore, because it usually comes from the “omg, Africa is not a country?” crowd.
Anyway, I kept thinking about this while driving to work, and decided that from now on, if someone decides I am Indian, then so be it, because I am sick of discussing the politics of my country and neighboring train wrecks. I decided that some days, it’s just easier to discuss the deliciousness that is Masala and why I worship cows. That’s until, two hours later, India was all over the news for terrorism. Damn. No more “are you going to wear that red dot on your forehead” conversations. I am afraid I jinxed India!