For those of you who have been there, you know that the entire portion of Houston outside the 610 loop, and between the 6 and 9 hand of the clock, is Asian. Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Pakistani. Asian. Hillcroft street is where all the South Asian businesses are concentrated, much like Chicago has Devon St.
Businessman Aku Patel watched as two workers installed the orange-trimmed Mahatma Gandhi District signs atop a Harwin Drive street sign.
The owner of Karat 22 Jewelers on Hillcroft Avenue and other members of the South Asian community have waited seven years for these temple-shaped signs to go up in southwest Houston.
“It’s a great feeling,” Patel said proudly as he stood in the drizzling rain and watched Zane Frazar and Ron Mitchell install some of the 31 signs that will decorate street signs along Hillcroft Avenue, Harwin Drive, Fondren Road and Westpark Drive.
Leaders of the India Culture Center and Indian merchants have long wanted to rename Hillcroft Avenue Mahatma Gandhi Avenue, but municipal rules require 75 percent of commercial property owners on a street to sign a petition in support of changing the name before the City Council can consider it.
More than 76,000 people of Indian descent live in the Greater Houston area. [Link]
Two weeks ago I was in Mexico City. A waiter realized my companions and I weren’t Mexican and he said, “Indios como Gandhi, no?”
“Si, como Gandhi,” I thought, silently defeated. Don’t get me wrong. I admire Gandhi greatly. He’s my om boy. But how many Indians have lived on Earth since the dawn of man? And yet the most expedient way to describe us is that we are “como Gandhi.”