A sour afternoon

Sometimes you almost forget that people can be racist. So like an idiot I smile at everyone deeply unaware of just how much hate can simmer inside someone.

Mind you, I can deal with doubts about my intelligence just fine. I can deal with ignorance fabulously well. But today as a White man said a few things to my face as I killed time in a pub between two work visits I found myself unable to respond. Just how do you respond to vile.

All the hundreds of tolerant and indifferent folk I meet everyday but it takes one motherfucker to make me feel sick to my stomach. It’s a safe place and I will be off in some minutes. But I taste bitterness and anger in my mouth.

But this sweet dog comes to me. Sits on my lap and licks my face. And in that moment of tenderness everything is alright with the world.

I am happy to go back to London … Where somehow it feels easier.

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17 Responses to A sour afternoon

  1. Nithya says:

    Sorry you had to go through this.

    It happened to me once in the US and it still brings a bad taste when I think of it (like now).


  2. buddy says:

    and when its most unexpected one has no idea how to react at all!
    my friends say im a little dumb when it comes to identifying racist behaviour..id like to think no one is being racist…u never know


  3. rads says:

    *hug. Sorry you had to go through that crap, but yeah, we are left speechless with the most unexpected intensities at times.


  4. Kama says:

    Oh, that won’t make you feel any better, but well, I live in Peterborough, Canada, where 97% of the population is white. But besides being white, they are all overly trying as hard as they can to be “politically correct” and for me, it makes it so much harder. I wish they would come to my face and just shout racist comments or spit on me… I don’t care. But no, they all look at you and smile at you, while at the same time very discreetly holding their kids’ hands tighter in case I may be carrying a bomb in my back-pack or something.
    I am tired of racism taking such a politically correct form with it’s lapses and its silences that speak much louder than a middle finger or an f-word in your face. I’d rather taste the bitterness in my mouth than the way it brews in my stomach (and theirs…)
    Well, I feel your pain.


  5. Aparna says:

    i faced it a week back. My first ever. wanted to spit on the woman’s face. Wanted to go back.


  6. Gauri says:

    Neha !! Can well imagine… the audacity of some..in your case its a foreign country (not that that makes such incidents justifiable) but imagine the guts of those who do the same in India :(:(


  7. Nikita says:

    Such people are nothing but ignorant a******s!! Chin up lady!


  8. yuva says:

    what was the background.!? why did he have come out on random..without context !?

    well anyways..shit happens and will happen in future too…
    move on. dont give attention to places/things/people/words- where its not needed or deserve.


  9. Shefaly says:

    It won’t give you any solace to know that friends in different parts of London have reported this sort of behaviour growing at an alarming rate.

    In economic downturns, obviously-not-from-here people are easy targets. So be careful but don’t suspicious. The difference lies in your essential humanity and the need to preserve it.


  10. Madras Chick says:

    Sorry to hear that!
    And I can totally understand your anguish and sentiments.

    For years I got the “politically correct thing” that Kama mentioned from a couple of White co-workers. May be, it’s the law firm mentality. I’ve felt like doing what the “stapler boss” from the movie “Wanted” did – staple all those mo.fos with it. (not that I’m the boss). Esp, when they very well understood what I was saying, but would always repeat what I said in an American accent and like “oh.. you said that”.

    Also it’s funny that I almost always got it from Irish immigrants whose family history in the US does not go beyond a couple of hundred years!

    Oh, but the 9/11 incident made me a victim of racism in varying degrees, of all places, in NYC subways for the next few months. One time a White woman who I suspect has Eastern European roots (yes, I can read accents), almost sat on me and when I politely told her what she was doing, she said, “go back to your f*ing country to ride the train and leave us alone” and almost spat on me. I thought at that time I was having a heart attack and when I wanted to say “shut the f*** up and you go back to yours”, my lips just won’t move. Thankfully there were others who asked me to ignore the sicko.

    Who ever said NYC is a tolerant melting pot?! There’s so much racist White trash like you can’t believe!


  11. ashok says:

    have not faced something straight on the face but having worked in an american MNC i have indirectly felt the racist undercurrent with some folks…can understand ur anguish…cheer up!


  12. ilegirl says:

    Sick, isn’t it? I am caucasian and my entire family (with the exception of one very ignorant grandfather, long deceased now) find differences intriguing. I am convinced that this type of attitude is a function of how one is raised. Even now as I am in my forties, with enough life experience behind me to have perhaps become unconscious, I find myself shocked and sickened when I hear a white person say something racist, and I have to challenge it.

    I am so sorry to hear that you were attacked in such a way.

    I love animals. Particularly dogs – they connect with our souls (and with whatever signal we may emit about our potential to give them a snack).


  13. ra says:

    Very sorry to hear that you had to go through this. It makes you one want to vomit-it’s like a physical violation. So glad about the doggie.


  14. tarantismo says:

    That’s terrible… I don’t think I would have responded either. More out of fear and being a minority. And I hate myself for thinking that way….
    I live in fear of these kind of moments which is why
    -I’m yet to go out shopping on my own
    -I’m yet to go to a pub
    here in Bristol…

    And we treat them like such kings/queens when they come to India…


  15. Vinod Joseph says:

    tarantismo, the reason why white people are treated so well in India, is primarily because Indians are also racist. When I used to live in Colaba, Mumbai which has a huge floating population of Arabs and Africans, I’ve seen poor Africans turned away from restaurants. The princely treatment of foreigners is restricted to rich, white folks!

    Neha, it’s such a pity you had to go through such shit! I have a feeling that as the economy deteriorates, such incidents will become more frequent. (Theoretically at least) if you had complained to the pub owner and he failed to do anything about it, you could have made a police complaint against the pub owner for running such an establishment.


  16. Thanks …

    I guess it was an exception. I was in the wrong pub. Bad choice. But hope that bastard fries in hell.


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