As usual we started with gossiping about the project and exploitation of employer. We cherished to slam our employer as every employee does. Though we all are contractor from other company but we are now on our own and directly work with client in their den. Job of contractor is always full of horrible shit. Exploitation is inevitable and revolt means pink slip.
Ram and I are Indians and John is American working with an Indian owner American company where Ram also works. I am from a huge multinational company, which gives me lots of job security and less salary.
We have lots of difference in thoughts, opinion and way of living. I am aggressive, Ram is depressive and John is balanced but have immense power of depress people with his aggression. So we are good team. I traveled from India with a work visa and Ram studied MS and now waiting for Green Card. But funny side of the attitude is, I dislike the conservative religion based Indian attitude and Ram doesn't like the American culture at all. Which sometime end up with a sort of small sweet fight between us. Ram is from south India and I am from East India, so literally we are Indian but culturally we are two different species.
Only similarity between all of us is we are oppressed by the employer and as a team we shit on the lunch table putting our employer face wide open. That day also we started doing this. John started slamming his contract employer and asked that they really need to take care of the employee though they are working with client directly. John eating a brisket was looking to my “No shave November” face and comment, “Isn't he look like Iqbal?” Ram stopped in middle and looked to me and said, “Only if he shaves the moustache”, and laughed.
Iqbal is Ram and John’s company owner. They sometime crack jokes on him. This time John laugh on that and said, “You know why they shave moustache and keep beard?” Ram chimed, “Because they don’t bath and became smelly. And moustache gets smell faster and they are right below your nose. ” John laughed, “Exactly.” I normally laugh on jokes and for this also I could laugh but said, “I agreed that moustache get smelly first as you need to share every food with your moustache. But don’t agree that this is the reason that Muslims shave the moustache. ”.
Ram responded, “But they don’t bathe regularly. That’s you agree right. They don’t have that much water in Arab.” I said, “That’s not correct. They have Mediterrean sea, Red sea , Persian gulf or Arabian sea even some Arab country have Atlantic sea too. In fact Egypt have Nile River too, one of the mightiest rivers in the world. ” Ram stopped for a while but John responded, “They have Sahara too.” And Ram replied, “I am talking about them only.” I said, “By the way you are talking about Arabs or Muslims.” With no thinking Ram responded, “Muslims only. They are the root cause of all problems.”
I get irritated when I hear the fact that the Muslims are terrorists. I agreed that the Major portion of the terrorist community unfortunately have this religion. But that doesn’t mean that all Muslims are terrorists. In my country we have living legends that are active in growth of India and they are Muslims. I cannot discriminate a person by their religion. To me it is another coccyx which we are carrying with no reason. Specifically, I don’t follow a single religion; I follow all teaching which required. Yes, I love my buddy named “God” and I love Him as they say He is everywhere and who don’t love a friend who is with you every time , anywhere and you can blame him for all of your faults and no need to Thank him. I love him too much and no doubt he is there.
As a result I am alone in my way. Market runs on Greed and Fear. Everyone praise God for fear of failure of demand of something without effort. I am fortunately not driven by any of those and unfortunately I am cornered every time in these discussions. But I fight back.
So I returned, “Why they are root cause of all the problems?” “Don’t you read news the killing of ISIS in Iraq? They are beheading innocent people. They are abducting and selling girls. They are doing all type of inhumanity around the world.” “I agreed Ram; they are inhuman people but what about the religion? Those are political killing. They are massacring people which never allowed in Islam. Even in Jihad, women, old and child need to spare. “John chimed in middle, “But it is happening with Islam only. If in Christianity this happens then whole Christian community go against them.” I smiled as I was looking to history which I read on British India. No need to go to history, “Well! Then what you can comment about then on Los Zetas?” “Those are criminals and does all of the beheading as part of their trade.” “Politics is the only trade which is driving in Iraq or in Arab.” My eyes stopped on Ram and he responded, “Even in the Quran they allowed to forcefully convert.”
I paused for a moment. I knew it was coming. This is the most misinterpreted statement of Quran just like in Communism, “Religion is opium”. I cannot change what is written but cannot overlook the true meaning of that. I left it for the reader who needs to read the surah word by word to understand true meaning of that.
I didn’t have that handy that time so I cannot discuss that. What I said, “That means you need to follow what that surah said. Even in our religion we have Sati, which is as brutal as beheading innocent people. Do we follow that? ” Ram responded, “But everywhere they are preaching the same. Killing the people on religion and it is only in Arab and no Muslim protesting this. ” I said, “This is not in Arab, it is everywhere by every religion. You are blaming such a religion from which two of the Nobel Peace Prize this year is given. And one is for protesting Non- Muslim behavior of Taliban by Malala. I read the book. You need to read those not only browsing internet. ”
That’s got personal. Ram is always proud on his general knowledge and capability of aligning his knowledge bank with world news. He suddenly burst out, “Now you are going to tell me what to read what not to read?” I was furious too, don’t know the reason, may be it offend me when someone discriminate innocent. I replied, “No, but you need to know history of Arab spring to understand that this is purely political and religion is only used as weapon.” He suddenly raised his voice, “Don’t try to rub your opinion to me.”
It was going bad and he started slamming me with some objectionable way of talking. I decided to not fight. I became silent and John started, “They are really selling kids to prostitution in Arab. They sold in Somalia too.” Ram supported, “No non-Muslim countries allow this.” Again another wrong knowledge burst. Again it is not about religion. Even in India we have abduction and child prostitution problem. Whole world is struggling with this inhuman money spinning industry. Human trafficking is most hated and most loved topic in the world. Crossing border open death hole as well as opportunity, this is all about money again. Why blame religion?
I was muttering these on my mind which may move my lip without noise. Ram picked up my gesture and slam, “You may support this with you secular thought process. But I condemn this act and blame the Muslim community for this. ” His voice was high. I stopped my spoon and stand up, “I think I should go and stop the discussion.” In such a aggressive note he said, “You better be.” Even I didn't say sorry for this.
Next day, I came to office and find a different behavior in Ram. He was not talking to me. I used to talk to him about personal matter. He never worked with Indian colleague in past. So he shares his family life with me, same I do too. We used to have discussion on different topics and share our thoughts. His Good Morning was also sounds peculiar. I tried to talk to him about some point; he gave me a blank look. I was confused. John was not in that day. At noon as usual I get up from my desk and in the same tone as every day I asked, “Ram Lunch?” Normally I get a, “Just two minute” response and I used to make fun of him for doing too much work. But he responded, “You carry on.” Ouch!! I was about to ask him that if it was a carry forward of the yesterday’s discussion. But as an optimist I thought he will get well soon.
Men fights, and that’s very normal animal nature. We fight and forget if we don't have a conflict of interest. With my other colleague in past we have several violent discussion on the same issue and we forgot when we need a matchstick to light a cigarette. I couldn't believe that a man carry this thought and outcast me. Even in the discussion I declared peace, though I got some real reason to fight back over the bad mouth. I stayed calm and wait.
Next three days the situation was not changed. My dad once told me that the wrong doers are guiltier than the victim. They eventually fall back if you think you are correct and maintain a good relationship. I did so. I didn't change my course of day to day action. Every day I started asking him to go for lunch and he responded the same. It generated anger to me and in a fine day I realized that he doesn't want to confront me in personal field as he was doing good conversation regarding professional topics.
I get depressed when I see John also refusing to go for lunch with me and I was doubting on that if what I said or think is wrong or not. I shouldn't be expressive like that. Who am I to say something on behalf of someone? Even that’s not my religion. Even as a border state in India we have terrible trouble with the same religion people. I was in Mumbai when the terrorist attack the Taj. Why should I waste my energy to straight people’s thinking? Why I put the relation of stake on the ridiculous topic to fight for? All these questions were disturbing my sleep for the weekend.
With a red eye and yawning vigorously I explained the situation to my dad over phone. He was always a fire brigade to me. He first said that I need to find my way to talk to him as a colleague is like an extended limb. We stay more time with colleagues than individually with individual family member. I asked that if I have to do that then I need to head down to him. He said that sometime it is needed. I asked that if he still not convinced, then. Dad said, “If someone doesn't want to solve a problem if offered help, and then he is a problem, solve it or ignore it.” Lastly I asked him the most important thing, if I did any mistake doing that. My dad simply said, “I am not the judge. But I support your try. Try to stand on a point which not directly effecting you. People put the sharp end of the life compass on them and draw a circle which is self-centered and they live in that only. They pass the same attitude to their next generation too. The big the circle is, the more you can accommodate different geometric figure in that. That’s the way you can deepen your route and expand your horizon. People don’t want to do that and don’t have the capability to doing that. So if you try, most of the time you will fail. But you may able to pass your baton to someone else if you try continuously. Don’t give up and don’t look to the people who hate you though they are prominent than the thousands of other who liked you. And finally, this is the way world balance. You are just a dot not even a line. ”
I cheered up and depressed in same time. But yes , I don’t stop.