Black Nights Matter


Black Nights Matter

Illustration: Mudit Ganguly


group of Indian men in their 30s are sitting at the table next to ours. When we enter at 10 pm, they are as silent as anyone else at the other tables, checking their phones and sipping what looks like whisky. As the music gets louder, they begin to gravitate toward the African women dancing at a table close by.

The two women, one in a tight red dress and black high heels, and the other in a black skirt and printed yellow see-through top with chunky earrings, ignore the men. Instead, they move closer to each other, put their hands on the glass table, and begin to twerk. The men at their own table whistle and stand up in front of the Indian men. The Indians now can’t see anything over the shoulders of the Africans and sit down grumpily. Soon the African men start dancing too, and when the song ends they hug each other and wait for the next one to start playing. The Indians are still staring at the women.