Living in Paris, from INDIA - Chef
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in November 2016
Keshar is an Indian refugee in France. Not the kind of refugee that we see in the news. He had to leave his country for fear of being killed because he was gay. Homosexuality is a big taboo in India. Mental, physical, emotional and economic violence against LGBT community prevails. Lacking support from family, society or police, many gay raped victims do not report the crimes.
Keshar’s answers are influenced but the atrocities that he has suffered from. He is a now chef in France. We met him thanks to the great Refugee Food Festival
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I do not remember
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
My friends, all of my friends
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
Telling the truth
To you, what’s that main characteristic that all human being have in common?
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
If you are full of money, you don’t pay attention to things, or just about income tax and things like that. If you don’t have money you are not happy. So no one is happy! This guy, Bill gates, he has no child, he is spending money here in India. He is not happy. We are searching happiness, but no one is happy in the world. Neither The president of the US or the president of France. Both are sad.
If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?
It is a dream but if I am the president of the United States, I will help poor countries without any intention. Now the United States are fighting with Irak and so many countries but why? Petrol! They want to rule over petrol, that is the intention. I want to help anyone without intention, without thinking of taking back. Helping the poor countries with education, medical and everything.
What do you need?
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now?
I will spend all the money for the poor. Because when you die your hand is empty. Spend it for those who need it, small children, countries in war, poor countries, African countries. I will spend one million dollars like that. One million dollar is not important for me, what I need is peace.
Which innovation, realistic or not, would greatly ease your day-to-day life?
Life is easy, it is up to you, on your life. If you have a car, you will use your car. If you do not have one you will walk, it is up to you.
What’s the news that affects you the most in your country these days?
The Indian prime minister changed the currency. That’s important news. He doesn’t care about poor people living in the street and queuing at the bank to put the money on their account. He’s telling that all money is black money. But if this is the poor people, those who are surviving with small daily earnings, is this black money? Bullshit! This is bullshit. Rich people are sitting at home, and poor people are fighting for their money.
What are you afraid of?
When I was in India everybody hated me and wanted to kill me, because I’m gay. My parents also. My father and my brother wanted to kill me, to shoot me. My father told me: “You have one night, if you are still here in the morning, I will shoot you.” This is my fear.
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
That time will be more advanced, more practical more technic with new inventions. Life will be to fast and people will have no time to spend on a conversation. Like right now we are talking. But in that time we will not have time for that. Time is important, time is money.
What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?
What is very beautiful? When I was traveling in many countries, I thought people were very beautiful. When I arrived here in France, I felt like « ok this is life, no one hates me here, no one. » life is beautiful here.
If you had to write a book about the current world, what would you be the title?
How to fight in your life
Who is God for you?
I am a Hindu, when I was home, I used to pray Shiva. Now that I left home, I go to church. So I have two gods. When I go to the temple, I feel sad, when I go to church, I feel good. Because when I go to temple they think if you have no money, you stay out. When you go to church there is no question if you are rich or not, this is just god’s house. You stay there and you get to feel good. Maybe now this is my god.
Which of your country's cultural specificities are you the proudest of?
Dancing, Different kind of dances. Folk dance, Bollywood dance, this is what I like. Dress is very nice, also jewellery, heavy jewelleries.
If you could do any job regardless of money, what would you do?
Social worker to help people. Like translator for example. Suppose any nation need to write a story about refugees and they write in Hindi, then I can write in English. And with the help of Google I can also do it in French.
If you had to explain our planet to an alien, what would you say?
This is very difficult, they would not understand my language. How to communicante ?
And you, which question would you like to ask to the world?
They think gays have no right to live.
I am not talking about European countries and developed countries. I am talking about Asians, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh…
I am also a human being. When I arrived here in France, I realized that I am also a human being. In India they abused me, and they think I am a sex slave and a sex machine. We have no rights for living.
God gave us life, god gave me this life. European are different, now I am talking with you, you are open, but in India never, they insult you everywhere starting from home. Until now India has no Child abuse law. My teacher raped me when I was twelve, I told my father, but no one believed me. My father was an army officer, he is a colonel and his junior raped me. I also told it, but if you go to the police, the police also rape you. Everywhere I go they tell me I'm a sex slave and a sex machine. We have no rights.
Also here in France, when I arrived Indians beat me. I stayed with Indians and when I was asleep, they masturbated my body. They use you as a slave. Even if they have been in Europe for 10 or 15 years, they think the same way. They never change. They think that LGBT have no right for walking in the streets.
I had no rights here until I got my asylum status. It is been a year since then, and now everybody calls me and says kindly “Hi, how are you?”. Now that I am French and they want to marry me, to be French too. No, I will never! Because this government gave me this dignity and respect and I will never cheat this government, I will never hide the taxes, if I am working, I will pay the taxes. All Asians here don’t pay the taxes, they cheat the government. As this government gave me its respect, this is my duty and responsibility to never cheat this government.
So I want to ask this question to Asians... Please never cheat to anyone, and never abuse anyone. LGBT are human beings and they all have the right to live.