By Vishnu Nagar

I have never been to America, was never invited either
That I would be invited is unlikely
My children do not have any plans as of now
To go or settle down there
Incidentally none of my relatives or friends is there in America either
Still I look at the world, even my own country
From an American viewpoint
American interests appear international interests to me
Many a times I feel that America is being wronged
And that will be corrected for sure by the history if no one else
Furthermore, when Noam Chomsky opposes government’s policies
I feel that an American is being unreasonable towards his own country
Because if this man were to be in my country
The ‘nationalists’ would have killed him

I even feel sometimes that I am white-skinned
While addressing George Bush as President, I don’t feel that
he is fortunately not my president

Is it because I
Read news and articles in American newspapers
Read ‘Time’ and ‘Newsweek’, watch ‘BBC’ and ‘CNN’
See my government and media genuflecting to it
that I have become like this
Or is it because I
hope that some day my children too will settle down in America
like other children belonging to my class
and I will get an American visa for ten years

Without wearing American clothes, without eating American food
I have turned so much American that
Wherever in the world American interests are under attack
I feel bad
I too get infuriated at every thing that infuriates the American government
When the American are in the state of dilemma so am I

I was not perturbed when Saddam was hanged
Because this is what America wanted
I am eagerly waiting for Fidel Castro to die
Because that is what America is doing
I don’t like Hugo Chavez
Because America thinks he is no good
I am with Israel because Israel is with America
Ones who are not with America
Or the ones who oppose globalization
I find them all pitiable, anachronistic and wretched

Although America often acts against the interest of my own country
But I feel that is because the rulers of my country
are not wholeheartedly with America
However when I am not in favor of American policies
even then I feel that these are the wrong policies of my country’s government itself
and that is why I must oppose them

When America puts deadly weapons in the space or when it attacks Iraq
Or when it does not budge over Global Warming
Then I too feel that my America needs to be more humane
It should not do like that, so that I can love it more
although I want to love it even more otherwise too

Even after participating in anti-American demonstrations
and being known as an anti-American, I feel
that opposition exists on account of America

Whenever I feel that America is a threat to the whole world
Even then like a true American
I feel this threat

And whenever I feel that America is barbaric
I ask myself why am I an American after all
and then after a short while I can’t help smiling at the thought that
what alternative do I have in this case!

(Translated from Hindi by Bharatbhooshan Tiwari)

Vishnu Nagar is a leading Hindi journalist and a poet, writer and satirist of repute. He has published six books of poetry, six collections of short stories, one novel and a few more other books. In a widespread survey carried out by a Hindi periodical Outlook, Nagar’s name figured in the list of ten most popular writers in Hindi.