I shocked myself yesterday.
At the children’s soft-play venue:
She: Hi! What’s your son’s name?
Me: Its ‘Rishi’
She: Oh, I know the name. Are you Indian?
Me: Yes (pleased)
She (to her son, the birthday boy): Give Rasheed a slice of cake
Me: (horrified) Its not Rasheed. Its Rishi.
She: Yeah, I got it. Rasheed, would you like some cake?
Me: Its R-I-S-H-I
She: Still gives a piece of cake.
Me: Rishi, say ‘Thank you’.
And then we part ways. I am still flustered about my son being called ‘Rasheed’. For all my thoughts of being tolerant and broad-minded, I still hated being thought of as a Muslim.
And realised that as long as we have this divide ingrained in us, ‘world peace’ can remain only a fancy term and nothing more.