Volume Four, Issue 3

Aishwarya Javalgekar











Not Like Them

I’m not like them he tells me
those people who infiltrate
the borders of his wonderbread house
with their garish colour and their crooked speech
and their weird emphasis on ‘r’.
Those people who all look the same, dress the same,
in their old navy denims and their brown skin
that reeks of the spice they eat.
Those people who don’t know
how to live properly
or speak properly
or shit properly.

Me? I’m not like them.
With my plastic coloured hair I scream out to the world
how much I’m not like them.
I roll my ‘r’s when I speak his language
(a language I once thought was ours)
now I roll my ‘r’s when I speak my own.
I think and I speak and though I reek of the same spice I can teach him their names.
Teach him how to speak my language
so he can tell me how it’s the same as his.
And though I dress like them he can redress me
refashion me into his Indian friend that’s not too Indian
successfully assimilated by his courtesy.

I’m not like them he tells me
because I’m an intelligent, English speaking woman studying in an intelligent English speaking wonderbread country.
In an instant, I hate everything about me.

Aishwarya Javalgekar: "I am a feminist writer and poet with a Masters in English (Public Texts). My recent work has been published in Seiren, perhappened, and dreams walking magazine. I am the editor-in-chief of ang(st) zine and explore identity, relationships, mental health, and the body through my writing."

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