Point taken, Akshay. I did not mean to say it’s fine to shoot me if I am an Arab. Rascism is vile, but an ignorant rascist is beyond vile. It’s just so annoying to deal with people who are so insular that they can’t tell a cat from a dog, metaphorically speaking.

Like I used to work in Mumbai for a while, and there was a colleague from UP who used to call me a Madrasi, though I’m not a Tamilian or from Madras. Finally, I lost it, and started referring to him as a Bihari. He protested, “I’m not from Bihar so why are you calling me a Bihari?” I replied, “Why not? I’m not from Madras but you keep calling me a Madrasi.” He didn’t mean anything derogatory but in his ignorance he thought all South Indians were Madrasis. Once he was enlightened, he stopped calling me a Madrasi, and we got along fine.

Luckily I didn’t have any Bihari colleagues or they might have got upset at being equated with a UP bhaiya. Not that I mean UP bhaiyas are… oh, never mind!

it’s an odd world

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