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January 17, 2019

We Don’t All Live In Parklands

I get annoyed sometimes but most of the times I just roll my eyes and move on when I meet a non-Asian and they think I live in Parklands. Granted that there are many Asians who live in that area, do you really think you’re being funny or insightful when you laughingly claim which side of Parklands I live in?

I think Asians have done a lot in this country to be recognised as ‘one of our own’. The struggles from pre-independence to today have been phenomenal and it’s not just about being an Asian that will make you want to fight for all things right. In my opinion it is in the core of every human being and it’s up t us to get that out and do something about it. Sometimes, some people are more adept to doing this than others.

Last week I was talking to someone and he seemed to think I live in Parklands and when I said no I don’t, he again automatically insisted I live in Gigiri. Nope. I don’t live there either.

I couldn’t understand why he kept placing me geographically. Don’t we all live somewhere or the other? Don’t we all have our own clusters of the same language and/ or tribe setting up homes in one place? In fact with this age of high-rise apartment buildings, are you even going to think of getting just one kabila into the entire apartment block? Please don’t tell me this happens. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t!

I’m not the type of person to be bothered about anyone’s tribe. You may think this is far-fetched but to date I have no idea what tribe my house-helper is. He’s been with us for years and I have no clue about his tribe because it has never been important to me to know of his tribe.

I’ve been told I’m delusional and live in a bubble when I say things like that but I’m not going to lie to fit in. The truth of the matter is that I’m really not bothered about your tribe, colour, race, age, creed, religious standing, sexual preference or anything else. What you are and what you do is your business. My business is to respect that and hope for a reciprocation of the same.

We can’t spend our lives living under labels and being stereotyped over small things that make me blink my eyes in wonder as I absorb what is being said to me. Where I live doesn’t matter (also FYI I don’t have muhindi neighbours at all) and forming cliques is not my style.

I think it would do you a lot good if you got out of your comfort zone a bit and learnt a bit about what goes on around you and the people whom you meet. Early this week, I decided to wear Indian attire to work and even adorned a bindi on my forehead.

(That sticky, decorative dot thing). I was standing chatting with Cynthia who is a newsreader and a young lady came up to me and admired my outfit. I graciously accepted her compliments as I do not often wear such clothes to work so I was quite enjoying the attention. Then she looks at the bindi and starts asking questions about it.

I told her it is reusable as it has glue at the back and I have many to match my different outfits. She said she knew of all this and then asked if she could touch it. I thought it was a bit of an odd request but I let her do so. As she approached my bindi rather gingerly with her forefinger I suddenly roared loudly and scared the life out of her.

I couldn’t stop laughing all day and I think she might have suffered a mild heart attack. Nevertheless, she’s been walking quite far off from me, and not making much eye contact and I burst out laughing at the memory of how she got scared every time I think about it.

Small, petty but funny. It always helps to learn a little bit about the people you meet everyday on the walk of life. It stops you from getting such minor heart attacks.

I’m still laughing.


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