I was talking to B yesterday about how much I would not want to bring up children in America. It’s insidious, it’s poisonous, its capitalism is so far reaching that there’s no real escape from it anywhere. He couldn’t agree with me completely but I think the difference in some of our dispositions is that he is a white male in American and doesn’t realize what it means, and here I am, a brown immigrant woman. I know its tiring to bring up race and politics all the time but it is more tiring for me to be able to see the patterns and to politely shrug it off. I am not calling him a bad man but the differences exist and what else is there to do other than shrug it off.
To be very honest though, I don’t know where I would bring up my children.I do want to go back to Pakistan and Burma and see how I feel there now. Will those places still tire me as much as America does?
The thing is, if those places tire me, there is no where left on Earth that I would be able to build my home.
Shehazad Roy has a song “Dil ki waeroneion mein” and I think the contrast between English (white-American) and Urdu is that even in our “popular culture”, Urdu is constantly throwing itself against a complex loneliness since time immemorial. So many Urdu singers sing love songs but they don’t, and I have no words to describe this longing, this depth, that exists in Urdu. It doesn’t exist in English, and language is a reflection of its people and vice versa. It is difficult to find depth in America. People are either belligerently pretentious about it all, or too tired to cultivate it. It translates into an almost intense loneliness for me most times, but I think, soon, I will make my peace with it.
After all, what else is there to do other than shrug it off.