The Indian

The man who was sitting next to me on the plane had three newspapers: the New York Times, the Daily News and the Post. He was reading the Daily News and the other two papers were lying next to him. After an hour a lady came up to him and said, "Sir, hello. Can I borrow your New York Times? I see you are not reading it."

The man answered, "No, you can't!"

The lady said, "But you have three newspapers."

Again he said, "No, no!"

From his accent I could tell that he was an Indian. Previously I had noticed that he had dark skin, but I had been in my own world.

I turned to him and said, "Where do you come from?"

He said, "India." Then he asked me, "Where are you from?" I answered, "India."

I said I was from Bengal, and he told me he was from Bombay. I said, "You have three newspapers. You can't give her one?"

He said, "A few days ago I took an oath that I will never do anything for an American. I will not do any favours for any Americans. I hate them, I hate them!"

"Where are you living?" I asked.

"America," he said, "but that is between the government and me."

We were speaking in English since I didn't know Gujarati and he didn't know Bengali. Strangely enough, we also came back on the same flight. We saw each other before we entered into the plane. He was carrying a box that contained a wine bottle. This time he was in first class and I was in economy class.