Monday, July 16, 2007

Skin Trouble

Skin Trouble
© 2007, ShaKri

BEFORE YOU, dear reader, make the effort to decipher what mystical zone I attempt to explore this time allow me to tell you about this man I know. Let us call him – Scotty. Scotty is from New Zealand and is currently employed with a firm in the United Kingdom. And one day he decides to make a trip to the boiling curry pot - India. A few surprises and confusions later he boards the bus to see the Taj Mahal from New Delhi one bright morning.

What I have just shared with you might not sound too far fetched for a foreigner. Almost everyone who is an alien to our land pretty much does the same thing. With their backpacks laden with all their belongings from the hotel room, they roam each street and observe each corner trying to immerse themselves into that magic they seem to have been promised. They smile when we smile. They look away when we frown.

What made me think about these foreigners is my encounter with Scotty. If you haven’t already guessed then yes – I was on the same bus towards the Taj under a merciless summer sun last month. The moment we got out of the air conditioned Volvo bus, the air outside enveloped us as if we were being given a warm (quite!) hug. As I paced along towards the wonder of the world, I managed to get acquainted with Scotty. He was in India on official business and was traveling to Agra for the first time. He was married to a Hispanic girl from Colombia and was into database administration for a communication network. I, being a techie myself, found several dots to connect in that fifteen minute walk we took. It seemed that Scotty and I had several things in common. Both of us were living in countries away from home. He in the UK and me in Denmark. Both of us were global nomads. Both of us enjoyed the same professional choices we had made and yes – both of us were in love with our families. We exchanged courteous humor as we unconsciously bonded in this brief encounter. For a moment…we were so alike.

The moment we approached the main entrance to the Taj Mahal was when it happened. I was shocked to realize that ‘foreigners’ (read people with skin that did not look ‘Indian’) had to cough up Rs.750/- to see the same spectacle I would relish for Rs.25/-. Right then…with that one gesture we were as different as we could get. What made me sad was that we who whine about being racism targets abroad were doing the same thing ourselves.

Ironic, I thought and moved on.


1 reflections:

Anonymous said...

Ahem! I see that you have a person from New Zealand in your blog now. Yenu naanu hogo jaagagalnella upyogsva plan aa? ;) Anyway, good good. Santhosha aagthe :) - You know who!