I did my post graduation from IIFM Indore, scored well and got through a campus interview. I never belonged to an intellectual category but I was not a dumb-ass either. I was smart and well spoken. That’s why cracking the interview round was quite plain sailing. The interviewer was impressed and offered the job instantly to me. I belonged to Gwalior, the biggest challenge with a small place is, there aren’t much job opportunities and career growth, and you won’t taste the same level of success which you would otherwise in a metropolitan city. I have always been away from my home and wanted to stay with my family but sometimes the perfect job isn’t down the city you live in but thousand miles away from your closed ones. I was very sure of relocation because of career advancement and a better future ahead, but deep inside I was missing my family.
Once I met with an accident during my college time and for close to two months I was bed ridden, I didn’t inform my parents because they would get worried and perturbed but every second I missed my mother around. I would think of all the good things my parents have done for me till date and how my mother would have taken care of my health in this scenario if I would have been at home. I was going through an emotionally low phase of my life. It was a long time I was away from my family; however the scope of my subject was more in a metropolitan city.
It was my first day in Mumbai and I was very elated with the kind of welcome I received. I hope you are not thinking someone came with a garland to welcome me at the railway station with a loud sound of band baja. Let me tell you frankly nothing like this happened. In fact as I landed in the city which offers plethora of opportunities, I lost my bag; luckily my documents were in my hand bag. There was nothing much to lose 3 shirts, 2 trousers, 2 shorts, 4 t-shirts but someone with no money everything is precious. But still the city welcomed me with open arms, there is something magical about Mumbai which I cant’t express.
I stayed for few days with a friend of mine as finding a flat is pain in the neck (a.. I meant). A colleague of mine helped me with a PG. One thing I realized Mumbai people are very helpful unlike what I have heard. They do mind their own business and don’t peep into other’s personal life. So, never go by hearsay. My landlord was very nice. They were a family of 5 members Aunty, Uncle, their 2 sons and uncle’s mom. I started spending my Saturday, Sunday’s with them. I would come back home from office and sip a cup of tea with them, chat, watch movies together, and help them with household chores. It wasn’t a PG for me; it was a home away from my home. Aunty considered me as her first son. She would keep taking my name all the time Sameer let’s go to market, Sameer what you want to eat? Sameer come here I will put oil on your hair. If your landlords are nice, life becomes easy and there is a happy atmosphere around. I remember having 103 degrees fever and aunty didn’t even leave my side. I had tears in my eyes that day. Life was going smooth and comfortable. I never thought god would bless me with another parents.
I was expecting a parcel for me which had my original certificates which was required for some verification purpose. I told Aunty and Uncle to keep the parcel safe with them. The courier guy came home and asked for me, Aunty took the parcel checked the name and said no one with this name stays here. The courier guy said the address is same but she again refused. This time the courier guy called me instead and told me the entire situation. I told him to hand over the phone to aunty. Aunty took the parcel after talking to me. In the evening when I came home I was appalled to see all my belongings out of the house near the main door. I knocked the door as I was horrified and got in a tizz thinking about my landlord’s safety, as this was something I would least imagine.
Uncle came outside and said you find another place for yourself. We need the room for some personal work. I was startled to hear this but I tried to pacify and ask what has happened suddenly. By the time aunty also came and repeated the same. I was petrified and nervous as if what blunder have I done. I requested them to give me sometime as over night I won’t be able to find a place. But they looked cold and harsh. I begged them to tell me the reason what has happened? And then they told me something which gave me goose bumps and I was flabbergasted. She asked me my full name I said Sameer Patel; she said tell me your complete name. I said Sameer Patel Sheikh. She said that’s what you never told us you were Muslim. I couldn’t believe my ears and stood their dumbfounded. All this while I kept on thinking about all the love these people showered on me till date and everything changed suddenly because of my full name.
Just because I am Muslim every one’s attitude changed towards me. I am a Muslim and much before that I am an Indian. The Hindu-Muslim problem still persists and is far away from a resolution. I am tired of proving this point that I am a Muslim and not a terrorist. Wherever I go, I have to bear the detriment and suspicion. The hatred towards me and my religion brings agony and pain. I am an Indian Muslim and proud to be part of this country. It is my mother land. But the discord around the Muslims is a problem. No religion teaches abhorrence. People like me are suffering every single day. After listening to them, I knew it’s time now I should leave because they are biased and this religion disparity is in their blood. This is what hatred has done to them. I am sure many Hindu’s would have also faced such issues. The problem is in the mind and not with the religion. I never felt so humiliated in my life ever.
Is this fair? Or Biggest Challenge of Life
I still can’t understand what changed my landlord’s behavior towards me? It still brings tear in my eyes and makes me numb?
What do you think?