From kindergarten to 10th grade, I saluted the Tri-color Indian national flag while reciting a national anthem every Monday through Saturday. Every Sunday, I saluted the Tiranga with Abu at his posting location. I had seen pride and some strange brightness in Abu’s eyes when he saluted the national flag. Finally, I faced the tragic day when Abu died saving the pride of his beloved Tricolor flag. Abu, who was a real Khan, the true Muslim, and the real warrior, had always said, “My country and Tiranga are my real pride.”
I have left my native country, but I have brought my Indian patriotism, respect, and pride in Tiranga to the United States of America. I have unfurled Tiranga on my DP every January 26th, Republican day, and then August 15th, Independence day. In addition, the three countries’ national flag is unfurled outside the business plaza close to my house. My hand was used to raise automatically to salute my Tricolor.
Living in the USA, some radicalized people challenged my loyalty and patriotism. Some had discriminated against me because of my brown color. I used to laugh, “seriously, everybody pays thousands of dollars to get skin like me, but the almighty has gifted me.” I will give you a few examples here. After the 911 attack, I responded to the call as a paramedic. An old white gentleman was in severe respiratory distress. It was important to secure his airway in the field to save his life. However, the patient looked at me and refused to get treated by middle eastern because we had taken many lives. He cursed me with all kinds of F and Swords. Time was kicking. I looked at his son and wife, who told me, “Young lady, go ahead, do your job. He is confused, and we are with you”. I put the tube in his throat while saying, “Okay, You can sue me, but for that, you need to stay alive. I am an Indian, and I am proud to be Indian.”. Later, he came to apologize to our station.
My second incident happened at the Mcdonald drive through in 2013. My little one ordered a chocolate shake, but the server gave her a vanilla shake. The kid started to cry. The server apologized and went to bring a chocolate shake. Suddenly, I heard a white gentleman yell at me, “You f***king Indian came to our country to rule on us.” Of course, he used all the bad words he knew. I just got out of my car, grabbed the man by his collar, and told him, “Now, say, what do you want to say.”. Until then, my brothers in blue dresses had arrived. The radicalized person got so scared that he wrote on the paper, “I will never discriminate against anybody based on color or nationality.”
Nobody dares to insult my Tricolor or my native country; this was me. I also faced discrimination from my black patients when they didn’t get what they wanted from me. They will demand certain things which we can’t provide in the emergency room, or it is not irrelevant to their problem. They threatened me with “black lives matter.” I used to think, “Is it a curse being a brown in the USA?” However, those are only a few cases that happened to me. All my American colleagues supported me.
Let’s go back to my native country now. People do not fight over there based on colors. They fight for a nonsensical caste system and religion. Everything is on sale there. Each govt sector is corrupt. Nothing will happen if you don’t bribe them. The corruption rate is so high that some don’t hesitate to sell their country. While I was on the mission of finding my so-called estranged husband, I realized how the protectors are killing the innocents. The law enforcers and some army personnel don’t hesitate to sell the pride of my Tricolor. Reality is hard to digest. Why have politicians entered into law enforcement and the army?
Now, I feel lucky to be a part of the constitution of the USA. My aggression is gone. Now I don’t grab anybody’s collar, and I just walk away from the situation.
Now, I get confused or sometimes irritated when I face patriotic matters. People say, “No, it is hidden under your pain. It will come eventually out”. Some call me” Indian female agent 007, and some call me “a traitor.” My answer to those people is only one, “Look inside of your soul before you judge me or raise your finger toward me. I don’t hesitate to show them my middle finger.”
I remember saying that while “finding my bubby mission,” I had sacrificed my family, religion, profession, health, and everything for him. He was my priority. However, it took me a few seconds to choose the pride of my country and the Tricolor over the man I love more than anything else.
Now in the last two years, I could not unfurl my tricolor flag. This August 15th, I stood in front of my Tricolor and asked, “Should I salute you? or should I feel sorry for you?. Your protectors are busy selling your pride. There are few honest soldiers like my Abu left. Will they be able to protect you?”
“Unfortunately, my current country is busy fighting based on colors, and my native country is busy killing based on religion. To save its existence, humanity has gone to hell.”