In another life when I was a journalist, I had an intern named Nadir. Anyone who has ever held a responsible professional position had to endure an intern or two in their lifetime. Some interns are bright and promising, some are average Joes and some are downright dreadful. I have had the pleasure of working with all types and more. In addition, I have had the distinct honour of having worked with over hundred intern/volunteers at one point in time, so I am quite an authority when it comes to working with youngsters.
The reason I have singled Nadir out was because he was not like any teenager I have ever met in life, For starters, he had a really cool dad who goes by a single name, Danishmand (The IBA grads might know him. Mr. Danishmand is the director of Pakistan’s premier business school IBA). I don’t know anyone apart from Madonna, Bono and Queen Elizabeth who goes by a single name. He was the only teenager I know who reported for work in a business suit. No one in the whole editorial section of the newspaper ever wore a suit in the two years I have worked there. It was funnier because I am the queen of casual and would go to work in red trainers and fluorescent yellow socks. But these were the minor quirks, what fascinated me about Nadir was his ethnic and racial background. One of his grandmothers was Burmese and the other one was Kurd. His own mother is African American. His brother in law is Irish German and his sister in law was Latin or something. He looked African American but spoke perfect Punjabi which he learned from his father’s servants.
I recently met Aanya and she truly is the citizen of the world. Not only she has travelled extensively, her ancestral background covers six continents (no one lives in South Pole anyways). Aanya’s heritage should be recorded by Anthropologists across the world. Her ancestry is as diverse as it gets and includes parents, grand parents and great grand parents from places as far as Fiji, India, Russia, Brazil, Ireland, Lebanon and Kenya. She herself can pass as Eastern European, Turkish, Iranian, Arab, Indian or Pakistani depending upon her clothing and speaks 6 languages. For someone like me whose four grandparents were born within the radius of 150 kilometres and who only dreams about learning a foreign language (For Indians and Pakistanis, English is not a foreign language), that’s fascinating like hell.
I think people, at least those who come in contact with people from other countries and races, should be open to idea of falling in love with people from completely different background. Not only it would lead to genetic diversity, it would lead to a relatively more harmonious world, something we all crave at this point in time.
In any case, homogeneity and racial purity is over rated.