In India, hundreds of thousands had joined the social activist Anna Hazare in his fasting vigil, a non-violent protest against rampant corruption in the country. 2,885 kilometers away, I sat smoking a cigar, trying hard to ignore the annoying arguments that Iram kept making.
“You’re still an Indian, Usmani. How can you forget your roots?” He cried out. I shrugged. Nineteen years ago, moving to Qatar, I had traded my roots for wings. Nineteen years later, it didn’t matter.
“What do you want from me?”
“Join the movement. Support the needy back home.”
I looked at him for a long minute, took a slow drag on the cigar and let the flavour settle in deep within me. The temperature had dropped considerably and the wind was chillier. The fire needed to be kept going again. I stoked the dying embers in the fireplace. It needed more inflammables.
As he looked at me beseechingly, I opened my wallet, took out a crisp five hundred riyal note and flung it into the fire. Money, for me, had never been a problem.
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