Come Back You Idiots!

My Mother in Law is a teacher. My father was also a teacher for a long duration. There are many others who have been teachers by choice. Every year these teachers help millions of students to learn their roots, appear examinations and pass them. Most of these students go for higher studies, where they meet more teachers. Many of them go outside India, mostly to the USA… and they dont come back! It hurts the teachers, the country and me. Come back you Idiots!

I recently heard (and heard it very late) that now a days the kids are not supposed to be detained in the same classes if they fail to clear the examinations. If students fail to clear their papers, a re-examination is conducted and easy papers are set so that they could go to the higher classes. In fact the teachers and the education ministry have a mandate not to fail the students unless absolutely necessary. The only exams they have a chance to fail are the SSC or HSSC. The education boards are doing so much to keep upgrading the syllabus so that students are allowed to learn what they want to, and save them from the agony of failing as well. And yet the students banish the system and go out. Sorry, go to USA. Continue reading

O’ Indian Culture, Wherefore art thou?

I read a news article the other day. A wife had filed for a divorce from her NRI husband. Reason? He was forcing her to live so called ‘American’ life. The details include forcing her to abandon her ‘desi’ customs and traditions, change the name to some thing English, forcibly eat and cook beef, pork and wear lewd revealing costumes in front of his friends. He also posted her compromising photographs on social networking sites just for fun. When she protested, he told her all others do this here in the US of A. Two days later, we come to know that he is a Maharashtrian Brahmin and a close associate of a distant relative. Such a shame!

Are we not copying enough things already? Look at the reality shows. Look at the stuff we eat these days. Guys, how much more do you want? And what for? We had a traditional day function at our office last Friday. The ones who had come in proper traditional dresses like Dhoti and Nauwari Saree were being looked at as if they were walking semi nude with banana leaves wrapped around them. What the… It is good to change. It is good to adapt. But it is sad and really sick to forget the roots.

One of my customer is an Indian guy who has been staying in US for last 10+ years. He gives me a feeling as if I’m talking to an American. He asked me if Mumbai has a broadband connection. Then he asked me if I have a speaker phone facility. That was strange of him to ask. I know he was being honest since he has spent most of his lifetime in a small town in Maharashtra. It is still strange of an Indian guy to ask such a question. If that is the case, ponder what the average young Americans might be thinking of us. Is it not their (the NRI’s) responsibility to change the perception?

When in Rome, Behave like Romans! I know. But does it mean when in US, forget Indian culture?

Addendum: The High Court granted her the divorce. They shot down the argument from the husband that she was expected to ‘adjust’ to the lifestyle. The HC has also asked to initiate criminal proceedings against the husband for outraging the modesty of his own wife forcibly in public (because he put the photographs on the SNS)