Apr 28, 2007

The Cult of the IBCDs...

I am alwayz one to honour those who inspire my writings. This time,though, it's a personal request from a very special person- my very dearest Priya Didz. I am pretty over whelmed that she wanted me to write on this and clear a lot of misconceptions in the Indian mind. Given this challenge, I've decided to take my time in writing it because I want it to come out right. Don't want to disappoint. This may be a bit long. I'm not sure. Pardon me if it is! So, here goes....

Scene 1: "Ayyy, Beee, Ceee, Deee, Eee, F, Geee, Eych, Aiii, Jeyyy, Keiii.....Dubba-u,X, Y,Zeeeeee" - Perplexed? Sound weird like seagulls squawking? These were the sounds that wafted down and into our ears as me and Ruby walked into the tiny space we called 'office'. Between uncontrollable bouts of laughter, we realized that those utterances were actually 'vocal lessons' at the call center overhead! A classroom of different mother-tongued Indians were being tongue-washed,i.e, they were being taught the U.S.An way of speaking- rolled tongue, no- stress wording peppered with an easy-going and chirpy tone to enter into the make-believe world of Business Process Outsourcing, popularly known as B.P.O. They had a reason to be there. It was their JOB, their source of income, which required them to learn to talk 'right' if they have to be understood by their customers. Understable?Well, atleast compared to Scene2.

Scene 2: Vin: "Dai Arjun, Machan, Variya poi Chennai 600028 pakalam?" [Translation: Dude, Wanna go watch the latest tamil flick, Chennai 600028?]
Arjun: " Hey no man! No Tamil movies for me! Let's watch some English movie. That's where allllllll the action is, if u know what I mean! ;) "

Scene 3: Dad: " So, did you send in your applications? Try aiming for Harvard or Princeton or the likes. Atleast then you can into some good enough university."
Shaan: " Uh..yea Dad...I'm doing just that!" [Thinks: Man!I just wanna get away from home. Who cares which university I get into. It's all about the freedom and the gori babes!Sigh!]

Scene 4: Nita: "EEEEWWW!! Check out his shoes? Are they,like, cheesy or what?"
Tina: "Hehe, yea, Bata I think ;) hehehehe"
Nita: "Forget him, look!It's Shaan. He's the coolest dude EVER, GAP jeans and all!"
Tina: "Yeaaaaa!!!WOW! I could,like, look at him all day,y'know!"

Time out!Let me use this opportunity to introduce the protagonists of this blog, the new cult of IBCDs. The cool, sassy, West-aping breed of Indian Born Confused Desi's. Nope, you don't have to read the tag again. I didn't mis-word it. I do mean IBCD and not the ABCDs (I'm sure you all know the expansion of this one whether or not you know what NATO stands for!). The hype about them is now history. Come on, they have a right to be confused. Their brown skins can be counted by the fingers amongst a mob of black and white (And yellow and red and pink...No racism implied). They are born Americans but are made to follow 'values' set by their traditionally moralled, Hard-Rock t-shirt wearing, Carnatic music listening and oooh yea, beer- guzzling parents. Time and again they are reminded of their Indian roots and that they must behave accordingly. For those poorlings who haven't set their eyes on the Indian scenario yet, for whom Indian-ness starts & ends with their name, all this pressure can be difficult to handle and it is O.K for them to be bogged down. On the other hand, we have the bludgeoning cult I talk about....

After the plague, the most widespread epidemic to have hit India would have to be Globalization & Liberalization. Along with improving trade, commerce and relations with the West, it also brought with it Western ideologies and more of an exposure to their ways of life. The scenarios viewed in movies, sit-coms etched themselves deeper into the Gen-X of India and they realized that they have been un-cool all along. I mean,now, Nike is in and Bata is out. Who knows what a Dosa means, unless ofcourse your talkin about 'rice pancakes'. Yea, I may be exaggerating a bit, but it does emphasize the matter at hand, doesn't it? Nothing could be more embarassing than speaking in one's mother tongue. Hence, the rise in RJs who talk with such a put-on Tamil accent, it takes a moment to comprehend their babble!

I personally know more than a handful of kids, I'm talking in their early teens, who are already stalwarts in the dating scene. Being without a 'short-term better half' is unthinkable for them. We now have a bunch of pre-mature, know-it-all 'teeny boppers' mobbin everyplace in pairs! For this section,who have grown up listening to their mother's thalaattu, strains of Suprabhatham floating in from somewhere in the neighbourhood and the only 'colour variation' known would be different shades of brown, confusion, in any form other than academic, should be non-existant.

It is not that I am against Westernization. I'm glad India is moving away from the image of being the 'Land of Snake Charmers' to being in the running for the next biggest Super power. I'm glad Education is now valued more than ever before and elegance is slowly replacing uncouth. It is what Indians think is Western that is bothering. I somewhere feel we Indians aren't getting the picture right. The USA is viewed as a place where culture is unheard of, morals and values are gibberish, sex is in the open, illegal is legal and yet it is the place to be.Because in India, everything cool is taboo, everything is viewed with utmost critical skepticism and it is all so over-whelming at times that they yearn to be free from it all

What they do not see, however, is the America of the Americans, of those innumerable hordes of people who flocked to the "Land of Opportunities" and made it their home. This is the nation where people are so proud to be American, no matter what their origin. ABCDs, BBCEs or whatever acronym formed by permuation & combination of the letters in the English alphabet, salute the blue and red flag unanimously because it gave them the freedom to be who they are now.In India, if you've got a dream, can it. Parental & social acceptance is above all. You can forget being an art major or a history buff, especially if 'professional studies' is the only choice you have to make your career. And for those who do dream big, make it big- ABROAD. I'm not trying to drive home the 'patriotic theme'. All I'm saying is that it is unnerving to see flocks of youngsters filtering out the Western essence to suit themselves and using it as an excuse to change themselves.

As I end, I just want to say: America does have Culture- one that is Liberalistic, it does have Morals- that are Individualistic and it does have Values- Pragmatic values. THAT- is True Blue America, baby!

Now, aren't we all a part of The Cult of the IBCDs???? I mean, Indian Born CLEAR Desis!! ;)

P.S: Didz, Is it all right? I hope it is!

Apr 14, 2007

Of Pride, Valour and Honour...

On one of those girly nights, conversation never stopped, it just went on and on and on...It got personal and then it got political....And embroiled in that conversation was this awe-inspiring true story...It left me awestruck and hence the blog...

Thank you Rekz for telling it to me....

"In the fierce and unkempt forests of Africa, the crude and cruel men considered women as mere objects of desire. Innocent women and children were raped to satisfy their rampant hunger. Respect to women was something they had never heard of. One day, a gang of over zealous, moronic men ransacked the house of a young girl of 13 and carried her away for their silliness. She managed to escape their deadly throes and ran away. The men pursued her deeper and deeper into the forests.

Suddenly, the weeping girl spotted a herd of lions in front of her. Rooted to her spot with fear, she could not move. She stood, as though struck by a thunderbolt, till the furious cries of the men behind her jolted her out of her shock. The little girl, though young, was full of pride and she decided to save her honour and give her life away to the golden beasts before her rather than die disgracefully in the hands of the human beasts behind her. She ran forward towards the herd....

The pitiful sobbing of the little girl sounded, to the lions, like the whimpering of a wounded cub. Instinctively, they formed a protective circle around her, baring their razor sharp teeth menacingly to her pursuers, warning them not to take a step forward. The delirious fools fled the scene almost immediately! The herd remained there guarding her the entire night. The girl awoke the next morning, the trauma still looming over her, and was astonished to find herself alive. She looked around but the lions were nowhere to be seen. She was saved- by the 'Deadly Beasts' from the 'Humane Humans'."

Now wasn't that good??? Reiterates the fact that animals are far more 'human(e)' than most humans themselves! But whatever we are, whatever we do, I truly believe that all of us should try and live like the little girl, a life Of Pride, Valour and Honour.....