Did They Ask You Where You’re From?

“My tribe is a quest to a land that was lost to us”

Riz Ahmed – The Long Goodbye

If you’re in my inner circle, you know that I struggle with my cultural identity quite a bit. I did touch on this a little in Screwing the Light Bulb, but I’m going to expand on this a little more. I stopped feeling comfortable in Indian clothes around the same time that I stopped feeling accepted at Indian parties with my parents and their friends. I felt out of place, and I remember carrying that feeling with me to college as I would walk around with my best friends, knowing I looked nothing like them and feeling the eyes of the Desi kids staring at me as if I felt like I was better than them. But I didn’t. I just felt unaccepted. Hip-hop became my safe place, becoming so much of who I am today. But I still felt a similar sense of not belonging, the way I stupidly feel with my white friends who love my culture and don’t even notice the color of my skin, or the Indian kids that in reality, don’t even pay me any mind. These insecurities may be stupid and in my head, but they’ve caused me a lot of internal turmoil nonetheless. 

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