Monday, November 23, 2009

It happens only in India

I came across one video on YouTube which shows how people in India are different from the rest, especially in behavior, habits, religious beliefs. The video was hilarious but nostalgic and very true at the same time. It showed how people fight to pay party bills, women store anything that is made of plastic including plastic bags, take movies and cricket very seriously etc. etc.

After I returned from US in Oct this year I just could not deny the fact that I was indeed missing India a lot. More than friends and relatives, the very being in this place. I still cry and complaint about many things here; and I think many things will still never change like the huge crowd, pollution, low salary, corruption, nosy relatives J, love for gold, showing off one’s achievements. Everything comes in a package isn’t it?

In last couple of months I remember many instances where I feel – ah! India is different, I don’t ‘don’t like’ the people here, there is so much to experience here.

One day I was travelling from Goa to Mangalore by a late night train. I reached Mangalore station at 4:30 am; the bus services start only at 7:00 am; the only mode of transport at that hour are Autos (like cabs, just smaller in size and uncomfortable) and they charge double than usual at this time.
It was too dark to go on my own, so I decided to wait in the waiting room at the station. There was one family (mother, father and a 10 yr old kid). The kid had a fractured hand. I started talking to them and learnt that they were visiting a hospital for the kid and they were from Karwar. Karwar!? I asked; my in-laws are from that place. But they did not know whom I was talking about – for all I know Karwar is a big city where people mind their own business. Unlike Mapusa (from where I come) where everyone and anyone know each other; And why wouldn’t they? When their favorite time pass is gossiping!
Anyways. They were new to the station just like me and were not knowing the bus timings or the distance of the station from closest city. At about 6:30 am they were tired waiting for the bus and decided to take an auto. As they were leaving, the lady offered me a ride from the station to the city. I was amazed. I said, no – there is no space in the auto. With 3 people already, there was no place to fit another 150 pounds in there. To that she said, we will make husband or kid sit alongside the driver. What!? C’mon. I don’t even know them, just mentioned that I know their hometown. She offered me a ride, even more, risked her kid with a broken hand to sit in an open auto with no doors! And for those who may not know, the roads in Mangalore are real BAD.

Another time, I was again travelling by train. I was not sure if my station had already passed. I hurried from my place, gathered my bags and stood near the train exit door. One elderly guy decided to give me company. We talked about Infosys, how he thought Infosys was paying huge salary (and I corrected him of course), about world economy, Kerala (yes, he was from God’s own country). Then the conversation moved towards family. How many siblings, what parents do, what business blah blah. This happens in India. If you have a 20 minutes conversation with anyone, be sure you will be asked about your whole family. There is nothing more interesting to them than learning that you are the eldest or the youngest in family! These kind of questions are just obvious to ask.

The other day, some friends at work decided to go out for a movie after work. It was a late night show and more importantly a Day Night cricket match was going. The score that India needed to score was a huge ask and all knew it was an easy win for Australia; we don’t like to see India lose a match; so decided the movie would be a good alternative to watch. I bought the tickets and everything was set for a fun evening. Indian team was chasing a score of 350 runs and with batsman getting out early on, it looked like a sure loss. But then Sachin Tendulkar (who is he? Don’t even ask this question in India. He is God – star player in Indian cricket team) was in good form and was playing innings on a lifetime. With just 10 minutes for the show to start we gathered at the theater hall. No one wanted to enter the hall. There was a TV in the corridors which was playing some hindi songs channel. One of my friends (a local resident from Mangalore) spoke to the gate watcher in Kannada and requested him to turn on the match. After a lot of persuation, he got him to play the match. And then that was it!!! The entire crowd gathered in the corridors to watch the match. Every ball bowled was cheered aloud. The match was at its critical point, Sachin was playing well, but wickets were falling, the runs to chase was not too high either. No one was ready to enter the hall.
The theater manager came in and looked at the crowd.  Some people were sitting in the movie hall waiting for the show to start. But outside was complete chaos. Lot of shouts, cheering, praying, fighting (girlfriends pulling boyfriends into the theater and boyfriends asking them to go ahead NOT knowing what was in store for later from angry gals :P but did not care until Sachin played well). The manager asked the guard to turn off the TV. But the crowd roared. He did not do what to do. For people in the hall, he played 2, 3 rounds of movie promotions to delay start of the movie and kept them busy. Later he ran out of movie trailers, and Sachin lost his wicket. India lost the match and everybody went in to watch the movie.

It was a busy afternoon in Bangalore with lot of traffic. Trucks and buses were blocking a crossroad and there was lot of chaos. One of the Auto walas walked out of his auto and was helping the Traffic police to clear the traffic. I should say, he was doing much better job than the traffic police J

This morning I was sitting in our office canteen for breakfast. I saw one of our top officials walk towards the canteen counter to order. The person selling the coupons stood up and issued the coupons to them. He was all smiles and stood with hands joined for Namaskara (Respectful Hello).
I have been at many US client locations. And none of the places I saw such gesture by anyone towards the Vice President, or CEO of the company.

This happens only in India!


Navin Rane said...

Yeah India Rocks..Sare Jahan Se Accha..Hai Hindustan Humaara

Somesh said...

Babes.. your so good in penning your thoughts. Exiting description and nice compilation of thoughts / incidences. I missed watching cricket in public places :-(

Padam Tripathi said...

yes, very true. It happens and will happen in India only !!!