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The Bubble. May 8, 2009

Posted by deewane in Uncategorized.
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I get hooked and read in awe all the blogs of people who are living in India but are not Indian i.e. expats. I wondered why I am captivated so easily and why does everything sound so fascinating (in both good and bad ways but still something that I’d like to experience) and new. Through their eyes the colors seemed brighter, the people beautiful and the landscape gorgeous (it helps that most of these bloggers are exceptional photographers as well). They all seem to find humor in situations that could easily exasperate a native and tolerate a whole lot of weird (there’s no other word for it) behaviour out of respect for the culture. Aren’t they in a place where I spent the first 22 years of my life? How are they finding out about all these uber cool things to explore? And finally, why did I never see things in the light that makes them seem rosy or atleast quirky?

I am learning so much from these virtual strangers, about… , well, about how to live in a foreign country, how to not blow up in the face of someone with preconceived (and to my horror, as I discover, mostly true) notions about Indians, and how to simply enjoy my time in this beautiful country which is so different from the one I was born in.

My outlook toward life in general will certainly be different when I go back home (it’s been 3 years people!! But seriously I’d take home-sickness ANY day over the heat! I love my home and miss my parents..but not that much :P). I know I’ll appreciate and be thankful of my good fortune more (oh so much more), won’t resent the poor for being poor (does that make sense?) and will definitely stop being the protected, spoilt, little daddy’s girl that I have, sort of, grown up to be, the person who notices things, feels sorry for some and happy about some other and just moves on, without taking the time to soak in and think about what’s surrounding me.

Though I do feel sorry for not experiencing Delhi in all it’s glory, but know that now I’ll find new joy in the same things and places. Will move beyond my 3 miles radius that encompassed my entire world. Which held my school, my college, my friends and my favorite hang-out spots. I still remember the first day I took the bus to go to CP (6 or 7 miles from home, a 30 minute ride), I was 20 and with a friend and with Mom on hold on my cell-phone the entire time (true story folks). We (my friend, let’s call her one of the most awesome people I have met in my life, or umm…Spunky, for short!), Spunky and I were beyond thrilled when we safely reached our destination, obviously the bus conductor* knew we were a couple of newbies and was very kind the whole way. And after spending a grand total of 5 hours (and many panicked calls from Dad about our welfare so-far-away from home, you’d have thunk we were a couple of Americans on our way to have dinner with Osama and make him switch careers to pig-rearing) later we decided to take the 3-wheeler (tuk-tuk) back home. Sure it cost 10 times more than the bus-ticket, sure our non-existent bargaining skill let the guy fleece us more than what he would have charged a “tourist”, but we were too happy and too damn proud of ourselves for having survived the real world, to give a damn. I wish I was embellishing the story for laughs, but sadly that’s not the case. Fortunately, that trip was just the beginning of my 4-more excursions to the part of Delhi where I inadvertently would buy useless but pretty things and had the world’s best garlic bread (at Wenger’s) and Milk-shake (Keventer’s, actually Dad took me to this hole, it used to be his hang-out in his student days). But now I know the things I missed out on, that existed outside of my bubble, the places (and sometimes the people in those places) that on surface made me recoil and rush back to the air-conditioned car to the air-conditioned malls, I didn’t care to be a part of that Delhi, my arrogance didn’t allow me to identify myself with the majority of the people, people who didn’t move in the same circle. And I sort of carried the same attitude when I moved to the US, sans everything that I’d taken for granted back home, I was still in a bubble, but an empty one. An opportunity to burst it and open myself to every new experience (well, may be not EVERY, eg. drugs, still clean Dad, err…but don’t start counting the empty wine bottles in the basement :P). And after reading about people in reversed situations than mine and how they adapt and welcome the changes (sooner or later) brought by India that practically assault all the senses known to mankind, and also a few that are, as yet, unknown, I have to say that I will not crib about everything American (like the lack of public transport my biggest gripe) but will instead go and sit by the lake and enjoy the blissful rural setting of the campus, something that I have been planning to do since the day I came to this school, but haven’t so far, I vow to make an effort and meet more people and stop brooding all the time. I promise to stop converting dollar to rupee all the time and also stop springing for other people when out shopping coz “that’s what Indians do”!

I swear as long as I have the internet I am sure I won’t need therapy šŸ˜€

*Bus conductor – guy who, in a bus designed to seat 50 but crammed with 200 people, has the inexplicable talent to spot who got on the bus when and where so he can charge them the correct amount for their destination, and if you have the good fortune of being an attractive female, will somehow find a seat for you in the said bus!

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Comments»

1. areason2write - May 8, 2009

I still convert all prices to dollars from rupees – it makes more sense to me – and don’t think for one second that I am not thrilled everyday to return to our air conditioned flat! šŸ˜Ž

2. Deep - May 11, 2009

Hey, finally visited your blog from the comment you left on mine. Thanks for that one, and I enjoyed this post.

3. deewane - May 11, 2009

areason2write: I am not even willing to come to India in the summer, so yeah air-conditioning would be my almost constant companion when I do :P! But I would treat it as a privilege rather than a prerogative.
And the rupee to dollar thing just makes me unhappy…or will till I continue to be a student and broke!

Deep: Welcome and Thanks :)! You are from the place I hope to visit soon (Gawd it helps all my close friends are bongs and according to them park street and the best version of every thing edible are the best there). And I have become quite a regular on your blog!


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