I cannot imagine your dinner table conversations.
I cannot imagine how it feels when you go to the mosque.
I cannot imagine how that burkha would give you more stares than usual today.
I cannot imagine.
I don’t know your pain.
The anger. The confusion. The ignorance of the community.
I know, that when I see Indians being rude to a waiter,
or driving badly,
or talking loudly on their phones,
or dressing garishly,
I feel awkward and embarrassed – I want to leave that picture.
And deep inside, I know I should be kinder, I should help them instead.
I see them as my own.
But I don’t.
I know this is nothing in the scale of your everyday.
But I know.
You are you.
They are not you.
There is love in the Koran.
It was not there that day.
It was not there on all of those days.
When your faith was torched and labels made it more about your faith than about people who are deeply, deeply tortured from so deep within.
There is no love when you are stared at.
There is no love when you become a judged dinner table conversation.
There is no love when there are shades of doubt in your friendships.
There is no love when the finger points at you.
There is no love when for once, you don’t want to talk about faith, but they keep pressing on.
My home is your home.
My rotis and my curries are yours.
And if you don’t want to talk, we don’t have to.
I can talk about banana cakes and the roofing issue.
My hugs are yours.
My acceptance of you, is yours.