Wednesday, July 28, 2010

together for the best and the worst....

There was a time when half the people i know in my nearest family and friends were in the armed forces. Starting from my dad, my grandfather etc. Those days unless one is a ranked officer its very difficult for him to take his family along with him. And some times the extreme conditions in which the military thrives, family is a luxury. But now the times have changed, world is getting into a peace zone and wars are limited to an extent. The new generation is usurped by the so called IT Boom. Youngsters like me are attached and addicted to this work culture. For all the onshore assignments and big clients in the service industry as such. Guys like me from small villages are travelling far away to make our livings.

But there is a hindside to it, which is very predominant these days. Its the way we are mis-aligned in society. A couple married nearly a year back now work at 2 different locations and 2 different time zones. They talk over the phone on a regular basis and basically looking for the 'the' day to meet in person. Then there are a few who take the alternative of resigning their job for the others sake (predominantly women who lose their job). After a few months of courting, we could generally feel the boredom getting the better of them. I repsect the very few souls who kick all this extravagant and quick money to dust and stay together at any cost. The service industry is so tightly bound with all those visa rules that one cannot the fathom the effort it takes to be together.

In my friend circle there are quite a few people who get mugged by their careers that its difficult to make a choice. For a country deeply rooted to its family values and cultures these changes in lifestyles are causing quite a havoc. Personally i would love to see these beautiful couples together and working (atleast busy). But for that companies and countries need to loosen their noose a bit. One must call for simpler visa rules and adaptable company policies. Till then i think its a long way to go for these and many more couples in line.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Joel Stein's "My Own Private India"

Well Well Well!!! This aint a book publishers forum or some other gala opening. This article by Joel Stein in Time My Own Private India caught my eye and i want my friends to knwo about it through ME. Now this article is sarcastically at its best and might be a bit too detailingly poking at the Indian Population. Joe here takes a dig at the huge Indian Population in the city of Edison in NewJersey.Read it for yourself you will like/dislike it more and more you read it such is the literature and knowledge (sarcastically). Cherry on the cake is the apology by Joe himself, its like if you want it to be an apology so be it 'I dont care'. Joe the master here. But i think Joe is lost a bit in time here too, he misses the whole point of Immigration and the added value we the so called outsider or minority provide to you all. Hell, we gave you your 44th President (lol). Though he ain't giving nothing back to us, thats a whole different story.

But to tell you the truth, personally i went to Edison last year to visit my family friend (ya ya) over there. I was like "What the #^*%??" I can understand seeing a few Indians here and there but to see a flock of them chewing tobacco on the railway station. In the rainy spring's i saw an uncle with his 'lungi' and white shouldered banian (innerwear) under a banana leaf(now thats my masala) walking the length and breadth of the footpath. Its like your whole past shown in a quick flashback. Its not that i dont want her but i didnt miss her for so long to be reminded who we really are. And in a way it made me kinda ego-proud as well, atlast we Indians are making a mark in Land of Opportunities. But that ego crashed when i went into a Gujju Sweet Shop near Edison. They guy at the shop in his mid 40's spoke nothing but Gujarati. Language of signs and symbols helped us both me and him get out of this mess. Ohh so for the first time i realised, you really dont need know 'angrezi' to survive here. NewJersey is not far away from "Little Italy" or "ChinaTown" and it will take some time for Edison to become "IndiaLand" or "IndiaPradhesh" or some other crap name like who thought of "BollyWood". But i must tell you we are huge there.

Ain't that the beauty of this country. USA, first it belonged to a few forest thriving nomads of indigenious people. Europeans came here to swipe them off to start their own communities and flourish. Then gradually world participitated to fill in the gaps in population. Italians, Irish, Hispanics,Chineese all are here aplenty and more than us. Even the Russians (what the eff is Cold War?) and Japaneese too(Hiroshima/Nagasaki/Pearl Harbor..hello???). But the moment an Indian sets his foot here lots of questions arise. Will they outsource whatever is left? Will they do that, do this? Its not our fault we produce more Engineers(who work for other countries) when you produce Soldiers(who fight for other countries). Its not our fault Christopher Columbus set out to meet us, we are infact making his bucket list fullfilled by coming here. To tell you the truth, we are the actual Indians !!

I totally understand Joe's personal views, no man how large hearted he is can accept his backyard to be taken over by some one. Politicians in my country are making sure jobs are given to local people either by law or force or just killing the rest of them. America must be proud in itself when a South Indian like me feels more safer here than in streets of Mumbai. I have seen Non-Tamilians humiliated in Chennai and Tamilians kicked in Bangalore. When i have seen all this before, i dont really care about a sarcastical diatribe on my community by Joe, Jack or who ever. We dont jump fences and illegally immigrate ourselves, We dont explode ourselves with fertilizers, We dont start up Mafias. But...We do pay taxes, We do cheer US soccer team (which you dont), We do make sure your corporations get richer every year, We do make you lazier day by day. And these days We do create jobs for you here. What more do you want?? C'mon this is an offer you cant resist (Brando'ishh i must say)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Feeling the Pride in yourself....

Have you ever felt proud about yourself?? It could be for anything could be for helping a stranger or for being there for a friend when he urgently needs us. I am my biggest critic, that keeps my insecurities at a safer place because no one can ridicule or criticize me as well as i do. So there have been a very few moments in my life where i have felt pride in what i did. Last 2 months have been one of the best days of my life. There are things which you dream as a kid and there are things which you want to do because you feel some positive energy from it. yeah the same positive energy the multi-million dollar industry of 'personality development' thrives on.
Since childhood i cannot remember amma-acha ever been on vacation. vacation is too big an ask for a deep rooted middle class family. A working mom and a tireless dad are the only assets me and shyama had. When many of our school friends went to 'home town' during vacations we were living at our hometown. Anytime we planned for a vacation the discussion ended with the topic of 'money', 'studies', 'travel' etc. And then either of me or shyama would go to 'Delhi' to visit our favourite aunt and rest of the patrol living in neighbourhoods of Delhi. And that's it the whole idea of vacation for my parents is to visit a hell lot of relatives and their houses and some 'sniff around' visit to all those places around the city. There were no relaxing breaks or anything like that all was crammed up into a jam pack session.
Its been 3 years since i have been in USA, with the very first year i engineered this mega plan of bringing my parents here for a visit. And expectedly my dad's first question was 'How much is the Ticket?' And my Mom's answer was 'Ammamma (grand mother) can't be left alone so count me out'. My never say die attitude and lot of brain washing resulted in them agreeing for the trip. And Valiyammma being a sweetheart came down from Delhi to be with Ammamma. Valiyachan had retired last year and even he needed a much needed break from busy-busy Delhi life. But boy did i enjoy this 2 months?? Hell yeah!! Behind all those delicious food from mom, and daily fights with Dad over football and what not? there was a little 'ME' jumping with joy. For the first time i had the reins in my hand and they just let it go on cruise control to relax and take a long break. So here comes the proud moment i was talking about earlier, all the plans well executed dad and mom happy back to their busy lives in palakkad. They made a good rapport with my friends here in Columbus too and guess what they too love them. If you too are planning something like this, well dont wait that is what i would say first. For all the sacrifices they make for us a good break is all we can do for them, many want to do this but give up at the last moment coz of personal overrides in life. Money, well it matters in our fast paced life but sometimes its all paper or some punching numbers on a screen.