ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Big Fat Indian Stereotype

They see curry on my plate

And begin their sad monologue

About how Indian I am 

Wisecracks about my limited career options

And remarks on my “pre-destined married life”

Gaffs at “The Great Indian Nod”

Reflecting their inability to distinguish our yes from a no

Throw in a few Bollywood songs

And they are done for the day

Signing off with a Namaste

I don’t say a thing 

And sometimes laugh along 

Yes, my accent is thick

And my ‘T’s sound like machine guns on a roll

But that’s why it’s called an accent, silly!

I love me some curry with some red chilli

But on other days I’d rather kick back

 With some Chinese on the go 

No, we don’t dance when we are happy

Nor do we run around trees

When there’s joy, we laugh and smile 

Amidst hugs and kisses

We sing, badly, in the shower

And dance when getting rid of pesky roaches

You see, it’s very tough

To explain what it’s like to be Indian

To be an Indian Woman

To be an Indian Muslim Woman

My experiences are mine

and mine alone

So don’t put me in a box, 

along with your expensive pashmina shawls and ivory figurines

And label me “Exotic”

For I will break free and let you know that

I am you

Maybe a little browner

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