Thursday, July 14, 2005
Bindi not required
Old pal Ammani, who writes an exceptional blog of micro-fiction, emails from London:
On Monday, for the first time since we came here, I worried about wearing a salwar kameez and boarding the tube. Would the public know that I'm not an extremist? Should I wear a bindi so they don't take me for a Muslim? (I have no problem in being thought of as one but in the present islamaphobic climate, I didn't want to take a chance.) Will they notice the difference? Will I be sized up when I get into a carriage? Will the co-passengers wonder what I'm carrying in my bag? Will they be wary of me? I worried and worried before slipping into my kurta. I needn't have bothered. The evening was smooth as ever. There were no hushed whispers or racist taunts. People were polite and went about their business. Someone even went out of his way to give me directions. I don't think he noticed my bindi.It'll take more than a few bombs to shake London. Or to change it.