head wrap day

“To meet somebody with the same intensity, with the same sense of time, and with the same passion–that is love.”
(J. Krishnamurti)

dear readers,

i have so much respect for the women, young and old who wear hijab in new york city. this place can be so hard on them, on us. i always say, if dc is the capital of the government, new york city is the capital of capital, capitalismo.

in college i covered my head at least half the time. in my family half the women cover their heads, with a sari, or a chuney. but in the windy cold a hijab is more practical. and when you wear a hijab, you become a hijabi.

its 1999, im in college, a hijabi in the front row of the blackstar concert, brown skinned lady for sure. its 2000, im a hijabi in the back row of the u.s. supreme court, they tried to kick me out for sure.

a hijabi today on the train, head bobbing like rain, you feelin it by jay-z on the brain, krishnamurti be feelin my pain, and so many people are looking at me main, but i just relaxed, read my book, kept my ipod hooked, and every now and then i look a few of them in the eye and smile slightly. they look relieved, their curiosity piqued. i wonder how many of them see me as the war they generally don’t see. i wonder if my smile is like a pardon, a get out of jail free.

on the streets today in my hijab, the white construction dudes are a bit less friendly, the women of color smile a bit more deeply. but mainly, folks don’t notice. and i remember, there are reasons i love new york city. even when the spring feels like a distant promise, a mirage of a mechanic shop for the sun, that gold flecked low rider who hasn’t heated up, revved on, engine humming for months.

but that’s alright, the season of birth is close enough to taste. and even though im missing cali something awful right about now, new york is my shit. the conditioning is so grimy here, you either fight back to stay present or get caught up in the rush. and i like to fight back. with yoga, learning, performing. so me and this city generally get along real nice.


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2 thoughts on “head wrap day

  1. Hi Roopa,
    It’s Samuel, your facebook buddy. I like your blogging style. How have your encounters been with white women been as you’ve worn your hijab? I have had conversations with White women about wearing a hijab or burqa and many have thought that it was one of the most oppressive things on the planet. I was baffled as I can’t imagine tight jeans are any more liberating. But I’ve talked to few women of color, who dance between worlds as you do, who talk about it openly. I enjoyed your take on it. Thank you.

  2. […] does not do justice, no season for which it is off-trend. It is never political, though it can be political poet(ry), and it never enters a room before I […]

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