The cab ride


It was September 2010. His first visit to the US. Washington DC. To work at his company headquarters. He took a taxi from DC Dulles airport to his accommodation, The Marriot. The taxi driver was a Pakistani lady – Aunty Tasleen. They got talking. She was wonderful.

She had been in the US for 15 years now; came to US with her eldest daughter and (American) son-in-law. She had three other kids – two sons and a daughter, all married with kids. She earns money and sends it to Pakistan to fund her grandchildren’s education. She’d been trying to get visa for her sons for seven years but with limited success. She mentioned how all things changed post 9/11. She used to be a security officer at the DC airport, but after 9/11, all non-Americans were laid off.

Talking to her was an interesting insight into the view of American Muslims about America and particularly, Bush. Aunty Tasleen believes that Bush orchestrated 9/11 to go after Iraq and Afghanistan. ‘If it were any other country, then such a president would’ve etiher been killed or jailed post his presidency.’  He reluctantly raised the topic of Mumbai attacks of 26/11. She became a little despondent. ‘A few people sully the name of the whole community/country.’

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