Jun 1, 2015

My disenchantment with India

I wrote in my last blog post that my recent trip to the United States of America has changed my perspective about life. I have become a disenchanted Indian.

What I mean by the that is that the way things are done in India, especially in Mumbai, don't particularly make sense. Unfortunately, these things universally involve people: people being uncooperative, people yelling at each other, people letting their kids to annoy other people, people not respective personal space, people talking louder than what's necessary.

Sure, when you aren't exposed to this year round, these will seem charming--they become a part of the India experience. That's what movies like Slumdog Millionaire and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel do to you. Like allergens, anything unacceptable can be tolerated at low doses of exposure.

My close friend Rich, who loves this limited-exposure to India pointed this out. He thinks that Indian New channels, with 5 tickers, 10 people shouting at each other seemingly always, and the assault of colors on our retinae, are able to sufficiently encapsulate this phenomenon. I agree with him.

So the trip hasn't changed my opinion about the reasons underlying this public immorality. I still think people behave they way they behave because they were forced because of other people behaving a certain way. A closed loop, you see. So, technically, you can't blame them. They do what they have learned in their life and they probably haven't exposed to anything different.

What has changed, however, is that, before the trip, I thought that I had to adjust to it and remain relatively unperturbed. You couldn't do much, you see. You need to expose yourself to it if you want to experience life and not live as a hermit.

Now I think it is different. I feel that I'm being unkind and inconsiderate to myself by consciously exposing myself to this and bring the quality of my life down. Yes, I know that I will probably have less of a social life if I follow the strategy. But what I will have left will be more worth the trouble.

But what am I doing to change it? I will communicate my resentment more regularly. Here, I just wrote about it. Yesterday, on my way bag from a weekend at J's home across the bay, I had a conversation where I made sure the people who misbehaved understood that I was talking about them. Maybe Indians still have a certain threshold for shame that I'm able to overcome.

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