- Hey, are you White?

- Oh Lord! Why? Does it matter?

- Not really. Then again, if Santa comes in Black and White, I want to know about you as well. Capish? May be I want you to be Indian! Hee hee hee….

-hee hee hee…very funny! Do you want me to wear a lungi then?

-Why not? You eat Curry-Chicken, don’t you? May be you should be Indian looking Jesus!

First time I noticed Santa as a White creature, when some people started complaining to have a Santa in another color. Santa is White? I thought Santa is just Santa! Who cared if he is White or Black! Apparently, some did care and thus Santa comes now in Black and White! In some Malls, Santa has a schedule maintaining when to be White and when to be Black! Really!

I want Santa to be Indian. I need lobbyists to assist me with this. I am complaining to Obama. I want Santa to look like an Indian old man. I don’t care who says what! I smell discrimination! Do you hear me?

There are stupid people everywhere! They always try to be with their own kind. They are deceived by their own kind and yet they like to associate with their own kind. Talk about compatibleness! Talk about comfortableness! Talk about stupidity!

When some complained and demanded Santa to be Black, another group complained that Santa can’t be Black because he is White and has always been White! If you don’t find this funny and pee in your pants, you ought to be laughing at yourself! 

“Get money from your father and get some fruits and sweets. Today is Jishu’s birthday,” my mother, a Hindu woman would order me. Yes, today is ‘Bordin’ means ‘BIG’ day as it is called in India. December 25th, birthday of Jesus! My mother would offer him fruits and sweets. And I get to eat sweets – good for me!   

My mother brings her friend from the neighborhood, a Christian girl – Anglo-Indian. She gets a slap from her sister-in-law – my uncle’s wife. “You can’t bring her here. She is Christian,” my aunt said to my mom. Their mother-in-law comes in the middle to save these two women from going to hell from two different angles! She would yell at my aunt to leave my mom and her friend alone. My grandma was very liberal. Considering the time (1920s or 30s), she was outrageously rich, I must admit! During that time, it was a taboo to be like her or my mom. You become a ‘taboo’ if you are like that! I was not lucky to see her. My mother would tell me stories of her life.

One day at the office, we were eating some Indian snacks similar to Chex mix. It was spicy – even a little spicy for me. A guy tries some and says it’s good, but hot!

As the young girl grabs the bag, I warn her, “Be careful, it’s hot and spicy!” After she tries, she says, “You call that spicy? It’s not spicy at all!”

“Good, now you can be Indian,” I joke with her. She looks at me and says, “Excuse me, what are you saying? A white girl can’t eat spicy food?”

We all cracked up laughing! It was amusing to watch her expressing the way she smiled when she spoke those words with full confidence!

I looked at her, smiled, thinking how lucky I was to have her in my team. By then she stole my heart by proving herself as a good worker and a quick learner. She always would come on time – eager to learn new things. I am not used to this – I am used to people coming late, arguing with me for this and that. I am used to people for not doing their required tasks, let alone learning new stuffs! Hey, you want to learn how to update the software? Sure! I would show her with one computer and she would update all the rest. Let me show you how to do the payroll. OK, no problem!

I looked at her smiling and said, “Of course, a White girl can eat spicy food, but not at your age! I am sorry; I didn’t mean it that way.  I said that because you are too young to eat all that spicy foods, not because you are White! My daughter doesn’t eat much spicy food.” She knows about my daughter. I told her when I interviewed her. Only thing I didn’t know then is soon I would want her to be my daughter as well!

I looked at that chirping girl and wanted to ask her badly, “Now tell me one thing, can a White girl be my daughter?”

I didn’t. I refrained myself. So many days I wanted to ask her the same question. I wonder if she had the same question in her mind! One has not seen her father for a while and another has not seen his daughter for a while. And yet, I couldn’t have the guts to ask her if I could be her dad!

A friend of mine told me not to do so because the culture does not call for it. She happens to be White and said, “No, don’t tell her that. She may not like it. Your culture is different. I know because I lived there and I know where you are coming from, but in this country it’s different.”

Perhaps my friend is right. A few months ago, another young girl told me on my face that she shouldn’t do business with me since I am not Christian. Go figure! I loved her so much and I still do although she told me that I don’t know anything about love!

We often ordered food in the office. When others would serve themselves, she would make a plate for me. Then she would give me something to drink before she would get food for herself. The other girl, the Indian looking one would do the same for her daddy. I call her mom. I would look at this one and think of her. My heart would bleed while asking God why this one can’t be my daughter as well!

I am White. I am Christian. I am this – I am that! We all have labels that separate us from each other when the same labels are the key factors for most people to conjugate with others. What an irony!

The immense impact of our categorical choice to associate with our own-kind is today’s biased based society, which apparently a birthplace of fears. Fear of unknown and it leads us to be in a comfort zone. This phobia leads us to many miseries. However, most people are far from the point to comprehend this! It may sound like that I am proposing for a utopia - I am not. All I am saying is if we could demolish our “own-kind” concept, the world will be a better place to live.

 And there are those stupid people who like to swim against the tide. I am one of them! People like me live in a lonely world - not so much by choice, but automatically manufactured by their defying characteristics. They try to determine their own kind using anything but religion, race, color, nationality, etc. And they stumble every possible way because at the end of the day, most people tend to go to their comfort zone! Yes, it’s sad!

 An employee comes to me in the back office and asks, “OK, this guy is asking if you could give him another discount and said that if you do, he would come here every year.” By then, I have had it with that guy! I was so tired of the guy that I told the employee, “I really don’t give a damn, just charge him whatever you want and close the damn file.”

 The employee left to take care of the client. After the client had left, he came back and said, “Do you know what he asked me?” I looked at him and for some reason I knew it couldn’t be something delightful!

 “He asked me if I could take the job home and do it for less on the side,” the employee said!

 In other words, he wanted to screw me! He wanted to cheat after what and how much I did for him! I shake my head! I say nothing to the employee. I say to myself – here is this effing Indian dude wants to screw me when this effing White dude remains loyal and yet we have to label ourselves by groups so we could feel comfortable while screwing each other of our own per say! Hindu temple tomorrow! No?

 I have ego. And I am not letting go off my ego! I have reasons why I have ego. I am the most discriminating person on this earth! And I am proud of it. I discriminate people – I don’t hate, but I do look down at people – boy, I look down at people! If you knew me, you would know how much I look down at people for their actions – behavior or activities! But I never look down at people for their religion, race, color and any craps that are insignificant to me. You step in my defined world wrongfully; I will look down at you! It’s that simple to me!

This employee I just talked about is on his way to be my partner one day not because he is effing White, but because he is effing loyal! If he can throw himself on the frying pan to learn a few things as an owner, he is on his way to join me. I hope he joins me one day!

One evening, I was working on something. I remember I was really into it, pouring my heart and brain together trying to get it done. This girl comes and says, “I heard what you told the manager. If it is OK, I can sign off and continue working!”

What did she say? I looked at her and tried to comprehend what she had said! I couldn’t say a word to her, kept looking at her innocent face. She just made me the richest man on earth and she had no clue!

I kept looking at her frowning. She said, “What?”

I told her shaking my head like a pendulum, “No, don’t sign off. Keep working. We will be OK, don’t worry!”

She left and went to the other room where she was working. I stopped working and sat at my desk dumbfounded! I couldn’t concentrate. I remembered a few years ago, a man cheated me and my partner in a business where we lost our dream of owning a studio. That incident had nothing to do with what just had happened, but I kept thinking for no apparent reason. Perhaps I was thinking how life can be so interesting that the youngest member in my business who needs the money most to go to school is ready to sacrifice her wages to help her boss because business is in a very tight spot when some people can be greedy to destroy you in a moment!

I remembered, a Native American man told me a few things in the middle of a night in Portland. That was my first night there on a business trip. He was pouring his heart out to tell me how he was deceived by some people. I was shocked! I was kept in the dark. I had no idea what was going on there. May be another day, in another context I will tell you of my business venture there.

Life is a collection of short stories – some are good; some are bad. However, none of those good and bad stories itself has religion, race, color, ethnicity, nationality, etc. Some people want their stories to have those elements until they feel comfortable! Fortunately, my stories don’t need them.

I had an ‘American’ mother when I came here. She was a Black lady from the south. She taught me how to bake an upside down pineapple cake, a turkey, and banana pudding. I was wondering if I could have a picture of an ‘imperfect world’ with three people in it – my ‘Black’ mother, my ‘White’ daughter and an ‘Indian’ dude in the middle!

Jesus has no format. Jesus is Jesus. Black or White. Red or Blue. He promised to build a place worse than hell for me, where I belong. Where I can be alone! Jesus is Jesus! Big mouth Jesus! Jesus is Shiva. Jesus is my mother’s Jeshu! I sleep under his feet! My mother got slapped for bringing her Christian friend at home so she brought Jesus along with her friend! Or, should I say, Jesus followed her!

 If my mother, a Hindu woman who didn’t even finish elementary school could defy her own world to welcome new thoughts, so should you! Especially, if you attended a University and still feel comfortable to associate with your own kind, you have successfully created your own place under my shoe. If you make decision based on your own comfortableness to be with your own kind, you are beneath me. You will never be equal to me. Yes, I do discriminate as I mentioned before. And I will as long as I live.

When we can’t even have a murder trial without bringing the ‘race’ factor in it and divide ourselves religiously, we sure can unite on one thing! Tax – this one item most people are bound to bond with, especially in defying to pay! Nope, we don’t want to pay taxes. When it comes to taxes, in God we trust and under not paying taxes we unite! How in the hell a capitalist country managed to create a society with people who would do anything if possible to avoid paying taxes, is an amazing fact to me! We failed to educate our own people about capitalism when we are busy about the rest of the world! No wonder, we are terrified of socialism or communism! We should be since we could not establish practicing capitalism in full phase in our own country!

In the meantime, I still dream may be one day she will come to see me and ask me if she could be my daughter!

(Was published in July, 2013 in the original site)

About the Author

Kumar Ghosh

Kumar Ghosh