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Beneath the anger and the fear, I am sure my thoughts and feelings, resound in the minds and hearts of most others.
The current political weather in India seems to demand from a certain section of its population to feel alienated, cheated, scared…
And I belong to that section of India’s diversity.
I do not wear the Hijab and I do not ban alcohol. But being a Muslim is as much me, as being a Gujarati, as being an Indian.
And with all the insecurity that being a Muslim should make me feel, it does nothing to what being a Muslim from India has given me.
It has given me an individuality which no one can take away from me.
We come from households where Dhoklas and Jalebis are relished as much as Butter Chicken is.
Bollywood has given us enough exposure to Punjabi over the years, that using Balle Balle and Chak de Phatte in conversations is normal, is me.
A decade of my life was spent in Maharashtra. I have lived in a hostel with friends, who woke up with me when I was doing the ‘rozas’, to accompany me in making my breakfast at 5 am in the morning.
I learnt Marathi from them, fluent enough to hold a basic conversation in Marathi.
With Balle Balle, Kai Zala and Ikede ye and a lot of other such usages became a part of my regular vocabulary.
Having lived outside India for close to a decade now, my sphere of diversity grew; only for me to learn that being an Indian gives me an amazing perspective on differences.
Everywhere I go, I find common ground.
A group of people speaking Arabic, feel like my own, as I read the Quran in Arabic.
My love for Yoga, has connected me with people, who do not belong to my country or speak my language, or eat the same food as I do.
At the risk of losing some modesty here, my ability to accept differences and feel absolutely comfortable in its midst, is enormous.
The moment I find myself in an environment I know nothing about, I accept it as my own.
And when I wonder how come it all comes so easy to me, without doubt I trace it to my roots, and only to my roots.
What India has given me, being born anywhere else in the world, could never have given me.
Beneath the anger and the fear, I am sure my thoughts and feelings, resound in the minds and hearts of most others. And it is this voice, which will get us through.
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