Thursday, January 27, 2005

Rendezvous with Britney..Speared

How would you feel if you are taken for as an intruder in your own land? I'll be abashed, for the least. Sometime back, I had a friend from London who was on her vacation to India and on her leisure spree, she dropped by. We went to the local railway station to get her tickets cancelled. Since she is a British and I, too, have a sort of European looks (I abhor it when people tell me that; after all, I am a true flag-waver chauvinist who belives in ideal jingoism), we were being trated like we had come from some far-off farm land. I was standing on the bus stand with her when the following incident happened.

Two people chittering-chattering in a car in their local language and chewing pan masala, called me and asked in a typical marwari-angrezi ishtyle,"Where are you coming from?". I shot back, straight-faced, in English,"..from the station" to which they responded," mean, from which country."I chortled and replied, this time in hindi (as to make an impression),"I am a localite". One of the guys replied, taking it as an act of utter witticism,"are..yeh to hindi bhi bolta hai" (read: 'this guy speaks Hindi as well'). I was shagged and fagged and fashed on hearing such a comment. Aren't we sophisticated and bred enough such that we can't accept a blonde in the local street of ahmedabad or we are too carried away as to unaccept the phenomenon of 'change'? No matter how much the Business Standards or the Fortunes chuckle about India's rising economy but I don't believe we can be an economic power with such a rabish kind of attitude. The problem is not with the development, or modernization or globalization, for that matter but with the mindset of the people, which is not liable to change. I am afraid but this is one quality which can hinder India from being a first world nation.

(More on mindset in the next article)


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