The flamboyant dilettante called me by name. I was shocked. My eyes danced over what was visible of his face, most of which was hidden behind the masks that we all wear. I didn’t recognize him. How did he know my name? A few moments later, I realized that I was still wearing my nametag. I’ve been so used to passing politely unobserved that someone calling me out like this was tantamount to heresy.
Vikram was his name, and he was from another office. He had long curly hair, in the typical Indian way, and I realized that he was a kindred spirit when he took off his mask to take a drink. He called us both American Desi, in veiled camaraderie, fighting against the stigma of being brown on this island nation.
I was confused for a moment, since I had heard American daisy, but quickly realized that he meant some kind of kinship, a kinship of being born in a land that was not our own, being different from everyone else around us, being outsiders for most of our lives.
Later, it all made sense.