Discussions over Tea (Of course, cutting maar ke)

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

PERSONAL : Borne in the USA - I



Whenever I come to this country, my mind sets off into overdrive. Perhaps, it's the short visits and more often than not, it's that comparison that keeps popping up between people back home and people here, and life per se.
Here are just some observations of mine in no specific category ...
  • People here respect personal space. That's an advantage and a disadvantage at times. While they'll go up to the "Hey, how're you doin'?", there's no other personal contact outside of work. Different places, different lives. Yet, each person is respect for his/her "personal space".
  • Traffic. Amazing. No one breaks the law. Perhaps, it's ingrained because of the hefty fines, but it's amazing to see. Also, the right of way to the pedestrian is phenomenal. Back home, the policy is "jiski laathi, uski bhains" (or meri gaadi badi!)
  • During the working week, most people have extremely monotonous lives. Leave home at 7.00am, take the 7.23am train, reach office at 8.05am, work till 5.30pm, take the 6.08pm train. Go home. Rot. Change? Arre, what are you saying?!?!?
  • While back home people might go out to do something, the money factor has made Indians house zombies. At least the working Indians.


I just got distracted here, by the rememberance of a reaction I had at Frankfurt, reading an article about a blind woman, Sabriye Tenberken, in Tibet and her plans to go to work in North India next. My first reaction was "I hope she will be ok there". As an afterthought it struck me how insecure I was about my own country and it's people. Perhaps, it's paranoia, perhaps it's not.

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