Eid Mubarak, all of you! I’ve been wanting to write for sometime now, but guess I’ve been overloaded with emotions, questions and just too much confusion in my mind.
But, while I sat to watch television y’day (which is a rare thing for me to do), I saw this news report on how a black Eid was celebrated across the nation. I saw celebrities who follow the Islamic faith criticize the recent Mumbai attacks; I heard repeatedly that the Holy Quran does not promote harmful acts, bloodshed or terrorism. I read messages of solidarity, peace and brotherhood on the television screen.
All this only reinforced my faith, the faith of being Indian. Not that of any cast, creed, community, religion or economic strata of the society, but of simply being Indian!
One word unites us: this was an email Natasha sent me last week
Last week, I was in Delhi meeting up with a group of bright entrepreneurs at a popular café in Connaught Place. The café was bustling with life, with many youngsters, tourists and families. The youngsters keeping tables and processing orders wore a welcoming smile as they went about their tasks.
Among them, I noticed one youngster who stood silently, alone in a corner. Wore a sad face, which screamed out “I don’t want to be here, let me go home”. But, I guess he had no choice, but to professionally go about his duties of keeping tables and processing orders. His colleagues spoke to him casually and he responded mechanically. Each time he had to interact with a customer or a customer looked at him, he got very conscious. He stood there covering his hand not to reveal his name tag!
I kept watching him, as I went about my meeting. I so wanted to walk up to him and ask him if I could help him in any way, what his troubles were and perhaps give him a “Jaadu Ki Jappi”. But, I just could not muster enough courage.
Finally, before I left the café. I happened to visit the restroom and on my way out, I crossed paths with him. I smiled at him, but he looked away. I noticed that his name tag read – Ismail.
As I walked out of the café I had tears in my eyes. I so wanted to tell him that it was not his fault that a certain group of people want to cause harm and destruction in this world! Just because he has a name that is similar to those who caused harm and destruction, he does not become one of them! I just could not go back to doing it. I did not want to hurt him more, if at all.
I’ve read a few events of people blaming the Islamic community in India after that incident. I have read of one instance where an airhostess was yelled and verbally abused at because of her name. I’d like to apologize on behalf of all those who may have reacted in helpless anger, without realizing what they were doing.
I am thankful to all those friends of mine who have made me what I am, among other things – a true proud Indian. And to all my friends who follow the Islamic faith – I love you all as much or more than I did before. You’ll are great human beings, many peace loving, many more creative than the rest! Thank you for being a part of my life!