I opened the door and stepped out. It was a cold day and I wanted to have some sun. It feels good to have some sunrays on the shriveling winter skin.

But what do I see. The shoe rack is not as it was. It was at a haphazard angle. The shoes thrown here and there. When did that happen, I thought. Yes, a little while back, I had heard the Ethiopian girl playing in the corridor. And I had heard some noise too at that time. But had not bothered. Simply because that girl was always into some or the other mischief. Well can’t blame her actually.

She lives with her mother and some ‘aunts’.  And these ‘aunts’ keep changing. I have a suspicion that they are not legally staying in Bahrain. Maybe they don’t even own their passports anymore. Illegal immigrants keep on changing houses to escape any probe. I don’t even know what profession they are into. The doorbell ringing at odd hours give me some hints. The others staying in the building avoid them. And so do they. They mingle with their own. No doubt the girl does get bored all alone without any friends.

I look here and there to see if someone is present to sympathise with me. At that time the door opens and the mother steps out.

‘What is all this’, I ask her. There is silence in the whole building and my voice echoes.

‘What’, she asks in her unique accent.

‘Your daughter was playing here some time back, it must be her work. Couldn’t she keep everything back?’, I ask.

She mumbles something.

‘I didn’t understand’, I say.

‘You don’t know English or what’, she yells.

That irritates me. ‘ I know English very well, thank you but your accent I do not understand’, I say and not wishing to hear or say anything I just keep everything back in place and leave for my walk.

Later me and my friend have a talk on Ethiopians in general. ‘Why do you mess with them. Their occupations are not known, you know they have this animal  culture, just avoid them’, she advice.

I do follow her advice.

Some days later I am putting the clothes to dry in the terrace. Something happens and I faint.

Sometimes later I come to consciousness to find myself in the lap of one of the roommates of my neighbour. ‘Are you alright?’, she asks me.

I nod. She makes me sit in the shade while she puts my clothes to dry.

Then she helps me get up. Leads me to my flat. Makes me comfortable and asks if I need anything. I mumble a no. Then she leaves.

Later when she meets my husband, she narrates everything and asks him to take care.

So often we brand people according to their nationality or their work and so often we forget to see our own deficiencies.


I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. The prompt for today People

vecchio libro con stilografica

Disclaimer: this post is not intended to hurt any one by their nationality, profession, looks, creed etc. It is just meant to show my own shortcomings.

32 thoughts on “GREY

  1. How true, all of us stereotype people based on the color of their skin, their appearance, their facial features, the clothes they wear, etc. It takes guts to accept one’s shortcomings in a blog post, and the fact that you have accepted it means that you have taken the first step in correcting this attitude of yours.

    Nice post, like how you tied it in with the prompt 🙂

  2. I agree with you! We do this with our own people…Bangaloreans are like this, Keralites are like that, Tamilians are like this etc. When I was in Hosur, I heard that TVS people never admit Keralites in their factory since they are famous for unions!

  3. all that we heard and grew up, wherever we have been come to stay in our minds, stereoypes about others about us, and it takes incidents like these to dislodge them .. conscious effort, that is, we need to try, otherwise every unjust on our part, and yes, can’t blame that others judge us this way as well.. fiction with a ring to the real.. and well connected to the prompt 🙂 Pins

  4. That’s so true we have these weird prejudices against people of specific nationalities or religions and slot them all together without realising that there are good people and bad people in every sect.

  5. Beautiful and sensitive story. At times, an action triggers an angry but unfortunate stereotyped idea about some people. I’ve been guilty of that and in a spate of anger, I labelled some people. But, it shouldn’t be that way!

  6. We tend to generalise behaviour based on stray incidents and common misconceptions, sometimes not rationalising our thoughts. A lovely story. 🙂 we do need to give everyone the benefit of doubt.

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