10:55 PM

Conversations of another world…

Tired and somewhat annoyed, I plonked myself into the leathery discomfort of an overused bus seat near the window. The sun glaring at me – peeling away at my cheeks which by then had proudly resembled sun-dried tomatoes, the alcoves of my mind secretly wished someone wouldn’t fill the space next to me…invade my crowded thoughts which permeated that very place and seemed to need all the legroom and breathing space a sumo wrestler would consume.

Soon I realized my wish was not about to be granted when the sumo wrestler jumped back into my brain and the seat was taken…just my fate to get an unapologetic elbow in my chest or a malfunctioning olfactory gland due to my partners’ ignorance of deodorant, I anticipated my next move towards liberation in case of previous experiences of severe asphyxiation.

To my surprise, a friendly voice said hello and I looked up to see a blind girl sitting next to me who obviously sensed my squirming. She was friendly, confident and so at ease as the bus trudged along through a sleepy suburb into the bustling city…and we talked about studying, to the strange sea patterns, our families, to prospective marriage partners in islam…and then she asked, ‘are you white?’ followed by my silent surprise and the hilarious image in my mind, I said, ‘no, im indian’ and went on to describe myself to her after she commented that I sounded like I was in first year. All that time, I hadn’t realized that she had no idea what race, size, religion I was…and I had taken everything I saw and assumed about her for granted. But I think essentially what came through was her lack of prejudice. Usually, a conversation is quite rare with someone on the bus who you don’t know and who is a different race…and you sit there, embracing stereotypes and experiences that have informed your ethnocentricity instead of thinking beyond the walls and seeing the real person.

If we had no perception of colour, would we be as prejudiced? Would we be friends with the people we surround or would our horizons extend as far as they would allow us to?
In a country where our very own president draws a line in the cement, paradoxically while preaching ubuntu, will we ever cross the borders? Will we ever find similarities in people who aren’t of our own? Does the lack of sight have to become an eye-opener?
If anything, it was an inspiration. We all have scars and insecurities that aren’t always visible, but I dont know if I would be able to be as optimistic if I were her, let alone take the bus. Through different insights into different worlds, you stumble across strengths and jewels of faith that change your thought processes and redefine meanings in your own life.


Dew said...

Very nice Q.

I miss you. I am goi9ng to start maing a plan to see you on campus.

you know though...even in a world without colour our features generall give away our race (I know, that's not your point, but I was just picturing people in black and white film.)

Be good this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Your post is interesting and I've often wondered the same thing.

An then I remembered something I've read, "The blind and the seeing are not equal" - The Quraan, "The Creator".

Which is true...for we see things that they do not, and they see things which we do not.

Anonymous said...

"O Mankind, we created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you in to tribes and nations so that you may know each other (not that you despise each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is he who is most righteous of you." (Al-Quran, Chapter 49, Verse 13)

Those who truly believe in the Quran - see racism as a snare of Shaytaan, nomatter in which way it is manifested.

I really loved this post. May Allah subhana wa ta'ala wipe the blinding illusions from the minds of all on earth - ameen.

qdee said...

wow..deep stuff guys.

Waseem said...

Wow ... great post and comments.

I've always wondered if blind people dream when they sleep, but i would guess you don't need vision to dream.

p.s. Thanks for the great comment :)

qdee said...


r said...

Intercultural Communication and Zunaid comes back to haunt us! LoL seriously tho, i loved the post honey, it was, as u put it, a real "eye opener"

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