This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 42; the forty-second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is “COLOR”

Bombay was one place my mind always fluttered to. Over the last few years when little had been done to bring peace to my soul, I often thought about the times spent there. My mother was a troubled human being, more on my account though. Last I saw her was when I was sixteen, I never returned home after that. What had she said which angered me so much? After sixty years I don’t even remember. But I do remember her face when I walked out of the house. It was a look of relief.

I can never quite get it out of my mind. Of course very recently my father told me that the relief was not for my departure but for my well being. She knew I would fare better if removed from the troubles in the house. There was hardly anything to do there. Day in and day out we haggled over a roti or a piece of cake. Things were bad back then.
“But babuji why did you never return back?” Rahul often used to ask me.
“Because I had come very far. So far that there was no going back,” my weakened voice spoke these words with some pain each time.
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America. The land of dreams. I had taken months to reach there. Often people asked me why I had chosen to walk so far. But then how could I tell them why, when I myself never quite understood it. The first of the pictures that flashed in front of me was the large sized Truman’s photo on billboards. America was seeing the turn of its world war activities. Country had just recovered from its worst corruption cycle.
Soldiers had died for their land in a different world and back home people had minted money at their expense. America was a young nation then learning the tricks of the trade rather quickly.
And in those years too they called you black. In fact they called you all sorts of names which today those very people have deemed “un-parliamentary”. Its the one thing that has not changed about them, they call you black and then when you call someone else the same you are hanged to death.
It was in such colorful times that I came to this land as a brown asian. My journey was against my own and yet with them I suffered in silence also. Indians killed indians, Pakistanis sided with Ukrainians and the Africans slaved. It was a rather black and white world. And in this world of blacks and whites us browns were asked to choose. To choose a life of have nots or to choose a world filled with abuse.
I chose the later. I decided to make a world of my own. A world where we all stood by together. 
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But then it so happened that I gave up. And in those weak moments I started to gear up to go back home, apologise to my mother and perhaps beg for some work in the local areas. I could no longer take the humiliation. I could no longer bear the pain of being an Indian in a white world. They spoke of Vivekanand, discussed Gandhi and yet their apostles were looked down upon. Made to work in depleted conditions, denied a decent wage and disrespected in a land where democracy thrived.
And in this world I met Angelo. 
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Angelo was fifteen and an Afro-american. His mother had been a slave and it was because of the liberal laws in place that he and his sister were saved. It amazed me to hear some of his stories. I felt better about my own life in retrospect.

“Man you walk like an India, forever slouching. The colonialism is in your blood it seems,” he would joke.

And then one day he walked in wearing a suit and a tie, “I am going to get a job tonight.” His words filled me with hope and determination. I felt infused with a sense of purpose. I quickly walked by and saluted him as a way of paying him homage.

He died a day later when his father was sent to jail for his murder. A white man had killed him in broad daylight and the entire company of men there had vouched for his alibi. When we said men back then it meant white.

Color. It mattered to us. It mattered to those who had it and more importantly to those who didn’t.

Angelo’s death should have thwarted my attempts to live a normal life. But it didn’t It infused me a strange sense of revenge. And it was in that revenge that I decided to become a lawyer. I started my career as a young apprentice and reached the highest rings of the court of justice. I had a purpose now, I knew what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to defeat color. I wanted to make the world a part of a spectrum where black and white were no longer different.

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And now I return to Bombay. I return to my world. Last night my son finally put the man who killed Angelo behind bars. He was eighty years old and had a lot of cash to pay to us. But justice has no color or greed. His imprisonment was the end of my own journey in here. Perhaps my homeland will now welcome me as a lost soul who brought redemption to it midway in life.

I will rest in the same house where my mother shielded me from my vices. Where she bid me goodbye with hope in her heart and dreams in her eyes. I am feel colored with emotions and yet happy to be bathed in equality.

Racism of all kinds have plagued the world all over. Its seeds have been sown by perpetrators of justice and humanity. Today things have evolved immensely and yet we find a few of us becoming victims of the age old evil. Each time I hear the word color I can only think of this. Here’s hoping we become a more liberated and united world, full of colors and appreciative of each. 

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 05

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