I still remember that day very clearly. The sun brightly shining down, the sky as blue as it could possibly be and the salty sweet smell of the Bay of Bengal in the air. I was skipping along with my dad's index finger snugly held in my little hands, my floral frock swaying in the wind when I stopped in my tracks, looked at two white women and yelled - FOREIGNERS!! Jumping up and down, with my finger (the index one) pointing to the smiling ladies, I felt like I were in a different world altogether!! That's when my embarassed dad educated me about the nuances of the term 'foreign' and after a whole big lecture on the origin, meaning and usage of the word, when enlightenment failed to dawn on me, he finally said - 'foreigner is just a word, just like they are foreigners to you, you are a foreigner to them.' I don't know what exactly I did, I didnt really care, I WAS A FOREIGNER TOO, but I still remember the look on the tender coconut shop guy, with his sickle in a strike pose and 'elaneer' in hand, grinning at me as I (in my head, thought, wow, I must be so 'fair' too!) revelled in the new found knowledge of being a FOREIGNER!!
To clarify, I have definitely come a long way from thinking that being fair skinned is cool, I am proud of my brown skin (dark brown after a few minutes in the sun!) and don't really want it any other way! But just reminiscing about my innocent days when being a foreigner was being either white or black and nothing in between brings me to understand the ignorance that was me! Now the little girl in me is quite pleased, because, surrounded by the Pentlands, the Highlands and the Scottish people, I am now the odd one out, the 'foreigner'!! And when I see a blond haired, blue eyed girl staring at me (these kids are so weirdly quiet, I miss the brawling, yelling Indian kids!) I will understand!!


Vadapoche said...

Hmmm ok foreigner, good for u!

Gayatri Bhadran said...

Hmm.. =) Very well written post..

And yes.. the kid stage in everyone's life is the best stage.. Asking ridiculous questions and doing even more ridicoulous things are completely excused at that age.. I wish it was the same now.. *sigh* =P

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

I can relate to that. With all the imperfections of this country, I still feel like a fish out of water when I am traveling.
It is not about not having friends, and it is definitely not about the color of skin, I guess then it is because - all said and done, you become a foreignner everytime you leave this country.

Thank you for coming by. And I totally loved the stuff you have here.


!! Oxymoron !! said...

@ jolly
Likewise, foreigner! ;)

@ gayatri
for me, the ridiculous bit - still the same *sigh* :p!!

@ toothless wonder
Totally agree with ya, I think its the imperfection of our country that render it dearer to us! Thanks for the compliment!

Aarthi said...

Hey lucky u...even in Sydney I was never viewed as a foreigner...n thts y I like Indian kids..lol!!

What's important, again?

 Grammar is important. Spelling is important. The thought behind the words is important. Honesty is important. Integrity is important. Telli...