Knitas — that’s what we will call them.
I must say the South Asians have a larger number of Knitas amongst us.
While in most societies knowledge is seen as a tool to not appear foolish, for us Indians, it is often seen as a tool to appear over smart. So much so, that in the absence of knowledge, they pretend.
We sit down for lunch. A couple of Indians, a handful of Lebanese, some Egyptians.
And while the Arabs talk about Indian cuisine and how they love tandoori, the Indian wants to show off his intellectual superiority. He talks about the Lebanese economy and how badly it is faring. As if that were a big secret.
While the Ls try to dismiss off, he decides that his mouth is too big to accommodate just one foot, so puts his other in it too — and looks to borrow a few more.
Knita: “So do you think you will ever go back to your country?”
L1: Why not?
Knita (alias Mr Sensitive): “Because you have bullets flying. You don’t have a proper economy or opportunities.”
L2: Bullets are not flying now. And it’s no secret about our economy. But it is our country all the same. Our families are there.
Knita: The Sri Lankans, who are just like you don’t want to go back.
L2: We are not like Sri Lankans.
Embarassed Me: It is not the same situation at all. In Lanka it is a civil situation…
Knita: Oh you don’t know economics. I know a lot of Lankans.
Embarassed Me: Obviously, you don’t know too many Lebanese.
L3 (trying to change the subject): I cook the best tandoori chicken. I grind the spices too.
Knita: The Lankans don’t want to go back. So how can you say the Lebanese situation is different.
L1: It is different because we are not Lankans.
Knita: I know a lot of Lankans, and I know economy.
L1: Forget the Lankans. Our situation is different.
Ready-to-flee me: Why don’t you listen to what they have to say. Maybe they do know more about their country.
Knita (staring daggers at me): You don’t know economy. I know it. And the Lankans don’t want to go back.
L3: See the two top numbers on my phone are that of Indian restaurants.
Knita: When there is war, people run from their countries. That’s why they are here. The Lankans and Lebanese.
Ready-to-kill me: They why are we all here. Everyone of us comes here because we earn better, or at least hope to.
L2: I am here because my standard of living is better. Nothing to do with fleeing the country.
Knita: No, in India we get very high salaries. We are not here for that.
At this point all the Ls turn away and start conversing in Arabic. After all just not worth making an attempt with Mr Knita who is here only for charity, and not for the money.