Archive for the ‘In My Experience’ Category
Indians love queues. Despite the diversity, there is nothing that aligns all Indians like a long line. The image of Indians standing in a queue is the national symbol. In India everywhere you go, every situation you encounter, every activity you attend there is a queue waiting for you and plenty of Indians waiting in the queue. Indians are born with the gift of forming queues, and they never miss a single opportunity to do so. Opportunities are abundant in India; queues are ubiquitous. The unique ability of Indian fetuses to form queue inside the womb is the key to population boom. Indians never grow out of it and spend approximately half of their lives waiting in a queue. The other half they spend waiting to join one.
Indians love their idols – not the kind that was recently copied from America, but the kind they had for a long time. And it must have been a really long time since they came up with really bizarre ones — some grotesque, some mutant: one with monkey face, and other with elephant head. Then there is the one with thousand of female reproductive organs — and you wonder why he is the king of gods; even gods cannot resist. But the one that sticks out is the idol for the god Shiva: it is the winner! Literally.
There are two distinct tribes in India: the one that went to IIT, and the one that did not. If you are wondering, how to tell them apart, I have good news: you do not have to. They would tell you before you can finish your hello. At times all you need is a glance at them, and they are too eager to blurt out, “I am from IIT, and my name is Raju.” And in case you missed the introduction, not to worry. They would repeat the information like the stock ticker: I love Star Wars…I first saw it in IIT…my wife does not get it…she is not from IIT…one day we will have kids…I will send them to IIT…the same IIT I went to…did I tell you I am from IIT?…
Forehead is the choice of canvas for fine arts in India: the designated destination for decorative art. In a land where lipstick on lips is frowned on, there is complete freedom when it comes to forehead. It is not just the married woman, it is everyone: small children, gown up men, domesticated animals, and of course the still idols of god. Anyone one with a reachable forehead is a fair game.
I am told that there is deep significance in the placement of the dot in the middle of the forehead. This is place where the third eye is: you know the wisdom eye. So the dot is just a wisdom eye patch. Indians are just wise pirates.
Indians cannot wait to part with their bodily fluids, and saliva is no exception. Everyone spits all the time and everywhere: no respite from spit in India. What are they trying to do? Is it part of a nation wide distributed grass root mandatory irrigation project that I did not know about? Are they trying to fend off the next drought?
Okay, the title is annoying. It is dishonest, and what the heck is luv. What language is that? But I won’t get into that right now – may be another time. There are some Indian fascinations that baffle me. More importantly, they vex me. I am not talking about individual idiosyncrasies, we all have them. I am talking about the things that captivate the countries collective soul. Things when mentioned, Indians everywhere proudly to say, “Oh I luv it.” And that my friend, is far more annoying than the title.
Indians love their movies. Most Indians thank me for saying so, oblivious to the irony. A rare few, suspicious of my tone, would look at me funny and say “So?” The absurdity is not self evident to them, and they need someone to explain to them. Let me explain then.