A flying peacock at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi, courtesy of the author
Our Stories Are Sacred, On Knowing Who We Are
by Anjoli Roy
- “Of course people ask me about India.” Chhaya Pishi makes a face reserved for stupid people. “Eating with my hands. Arranged marriage. Whatever. This is New York, though, thank God. Not some backward place without Indians.” She passes a long shelf of brittle pasta.
- Chandrani considers that at least her aunt knows what to say when people do ask. She’s usually guessing. Or trying to make things up so she didn’t sound so dumb. And white.
- When Chandrani’s third-grade teacher asked her which tribe she came from, she blurted out Cherokee. Her teacher looked relieved, like she’d finally dug out something sharp from her skin. She told Chandrani what strong people she came from. At dinner that night, when Chandrani told her father…
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