Posted in My life

My Personal Black Day

I am rather ashamed of myself for this incident because, all my life, I had believed I wasn’t a racist. It shows me the mirror.

Bangalore, nearly evening…

I and my roommate had been shopping for several hours and I was fretting to return home. I was new to Bangalore, didn’t remember the roads, didn’t know the language, and had already lost my way once at night. My roommate knew the way, but we hadn’t been friends long, so I had a difficulty trusting her night-navigation skills.

As we boarded the autorickshaw, she asked me if it was okay if we visited a friend close by for a couple of minutes. She had something she wanted to handover. I said it was fine.

So we went to his rented flat in a posh locality. I was fine until he opened the door. Black.

I was suddenly on guard. I wasn’t able to place the sharp smell that came from the flat (a bachelors’ pad), I wondered if it was drugs. I can’t even give an excuse of huge built or towering personality. He was merely 5’8″, welcoming and cordial. My fear was only based on the colour and smell, which I later found out was the smell of sweat (bachelors’ pad, after all).

Even though I knew he was a highly qualified software engineer and a close friend of my roomy, I was scared. I held my breath until we were out. Those two minutes were the longest in my life. I knew that all those present there realised my discomfort since he didn’t stop us for chit-chat. I didn’t do anything, but still made him feel unwelcome.

I later tried to rationalise my reaction by saying it was being in a new place among strangers…but I had been in a similar situation before, but the guys were all Indians and we had a lot of laughs that day.

There are no two ways about it. I was prejudiced against a Black man even before he looked at me.

I met him later again in a GoCarting area. This time, I was genuinely happy to have received a second chance. Surprising my family, I went ahead and talked to him about everything under the sun. I still wish I had done it the first day, which still remains the black day of my life.

Author:

I am an Instructional Designer, avid reader, small-town woman and working mother with a fish-eye perspective. I have just published my first book, The Forest Bed and other short stories. If you like my stories on this blog, feel free to Like, Comment, Reblog and Share. You can reach me at shailygrwl@gmail.com or through my Facebook page facebook.com/shailyagrawalwrites/

5 thoughts on “My Personal Black Day

  1. itis very brave of you to come out in these times, in particular, and admit this racist feelings but, in truth, I suspect we have all had them though the circumstances may differ; well written, by the way

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kim. I have spent quite a few years try to end the biased around Islam and the caste I was born in. It was surprising how the smallest encounter brought out the biases built in my own mind.

      Liked by 1 person

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