Not So ‘Desi’

She travelled to a land unfamiliar,
in search of a rewarding career.
Little did she know this wasn’t a domestic trip,
for she lacked the ‘true Indian’ membership.

Name-calling, harassment and teasing,
those words that left her bewildered and weeping.
How could she have known she didn’t belong here?
For she never thought ‘desi’ isn’t how she appeared.

If only the “you look Nepali” comments would stop following her,
she could feel at home in her own country, rather than a foreigner.
But you see, we always go a step further to knock her down,
we stoop so low that humiliation is all that sticks around.

Their matriarchal society and modernity evoke the worst in some,
spewing hatred and injustice until she feels defeated and glum.
Whether they’re labelled as prostitutes or have been spat on,
the women from the Seven Sisters deserve more than our scorn.

We can’t let regional borders divide our countrywide unity,
we can’t let appearance blur our sense of community.
It’s time to call out the prevailing racism in our own nation,
to release those suppressed from constant torment and frustration.

Featured image credit: Adnan Abidi/Reuters