POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Jul 14, 2009 AT 13:28 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 14, 2009 17:35 IST

Sandip Roy in Colorlines:

I remember the age of the underwear-smugglers.
 
When I left India almost two decades ago to come to America, my mother folded every spice I could possibly need into my underwear. Turmeric, cumin, little green pods of cardamom—all packed carefully between layers of underwear, socks and computer science textbooks. I wasn’t the only one. I’ve met Indians who smuggled in mangos, homemade pickles and ready-to-fry puris stuffed with peas. In those days before 9/11, customs officials were not very interested in me—a young, single, brown man from a turbulent part of the world. They (and their sniffing dogs) were much more preoccupied with middle-aged Indian women visiting their sons. They were rifling through their luggage, searching for contraband mangos and gourds.

Fast-forward 20 years...

India is everywhere. It’s in Booker Prize lists, spelling bees and specially-for-you nuclear deals. It’s in Sukhi’s homecooked chicken tikka masala paste at Whole Foods. It’s in Bhangra aerobics classes and Britney remixes. Newsweek called South Asians the “new American masala.” Five hundred years after Christopher Columbus thought he had discovered Indians, we are truly found.

And I am not sure how I feel about that.

More here

HT: CM Naim

POSTED BY Sundeep Dougal ON Jul 14, 2009 AT 13:28 IST ,  Edited At: Jul 14, 2009 17:35 IST
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