I just finished reading a book. It is titled The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, written by a Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid.
Initially I was angry at his words at the way he had described his emotions when the Twin Towers fell. But then as I got into the book, I recognized his feelings. I understood his ache. The way he had left his family and come to the U S and graduated with such high honors from Princeton, and employed by one of the prestigious firms in New York, and feeling lonely because his parents were just barely making it at home. His lavish life was a mockery to the life they lived. US was aiding India in trying to find the terrorists in Pakistan and while telling the government and the people that it was their ally.
His home and the city of Lahore with its beautiful gardens, the Royal Mosques, the Forts that were built almost a thousand years ago, while the American people were hanging on to the coast lines to establish themselves in order to make some impact on history just a couple or three centuries ago. Now those beautiful buildings in the North West Frontier have ruins scattered all over that great country, and they remind me of a saying in Urdu that “The ruins always proclaim that the buildings were once majestic and beautiful”.
He talks about the racial profiling and the prejudicial attitude of the average and common people in a city called New York, which is supposed to be the melting pot of the world. He contrasts it to the kindness and hospitality of that other nation, where a guest, a tourist, and a stranger is revered and welcomed in the home and allowed to sit at the dining table and share whatever fare the hosts have.
I wonder about this precious gift of respect that this young author bestows on his people and his homeland which has now fallen on evil times, and how the other nations of the world ignore and humiliate.
Despite the big strides that Pakistan and India have taken in the field of technology, I think the real East remains unexplored. The blindness of contempt is more hopeless than the blindness of ignorance; contempt kills the light which ignorance merely leaves unignited. The East waits to be recognized, even today, and understood, yes even today by the Western races. The white races, who think that only a white lady can win the Miss America Pageant; and because the color of the latest winner is brown or dark, she should be humiliated. What logic is this that this nation of whites deludes itself in? Do they not recognize that the people of the East want to be understood and recognized and cheered, in order not only to be able to give what is true in her, but also to be confident of her own mission? Do we always have to sweep Human Rights under the carpet because the other race is not the white skinned, blond haired, blue eyed race? Where is the empathy of humanity touching the souls and the core of human beings? Has America lost it?
I started to talk about the book that Mohsin Hamid wrote, and I slid into the topic of racial prejudice and ignorance of the white people.
I am sorry if I have ruffled some feathers. You should know that I always speak my mind.