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Thursday, July 14, 2005

From "What is Up" to Wassup ... the journey begins 

So I have ranted aplenty abt women and relationships. People have started thinking I am sad, desolate, lonely and desperate and I surely have problems with the desperate part of that statement :)) Hence, I decided to post abt something completely different - the process of "Westernization of Desis".

Now we-desis come to US with big suitcases with bigger nametags. The mom's are scared that their darlings will starve in the land of the sausages. The big suitcases thus play home to jars of pickles, Indian sweets and neatly written recipes. Some even have neatly packed stacks of Indian music and other homely strains that would keep the Indian in them active. The parting advice of mothers keep echoing in our minds. "Do this ... don't do that ... remember what XYZ did, never do that ... remember ABC's son, be like that" - a new set of yardsticks are born.

Three months and two American friends later we are slowly initiated into the Western Culture. I have written abt the accent changes in the past. So I shall spare that for now. Let's begin with everybody's favorite "Wassup"? Every desi at some point prepares an answer to this all important question. We start by thinking it's a genuine question. "This week has been particularly hectic. My mother called me up and ..." we start off, only to have these poor souls turn restless. We then learn the rules of the game. Brevity - the order of the day in the land of busy-ness. "Nothing man! Just goin on. Wassup with you?" we learn to say. We come back home and take out our "Westernization Check List". Step One done.

We then shift to the clothes route. Now this route is the trickiest. Coz no desi has the guts to leave all his Indian dressing habits at one go. This leads to a series of intermediate steps - most of them hilarious. How many desis have you seen with their university sweat shirt and very tight and "out of fashion in early 90s" Indian denim. And boy you should not make them bend. Your cool Gap Jeans and Tommy-shirt-wearing apartment mate bends down and you catch a glimpse of his VIP Bonus underwear. Now that's a bonus that leaves you scarred - doesn't it? I once joked to a friend that you can easily figure out if someone's from India just by looking at their underwear or watches, since I feel that these are the two things we change right at the end of our initiation - the final steps - just before Avinash turns Abby.

Things get even more interesting for the women. Reena starts off flaunting her homely salwars that good Mrs. Ahuja bought her daughter two days before she left. One of them is even sleeveless - something she would have never worn in India. And yet all her friends ask her what she's wearing. So she has no choice but too try out the new pair of tight jeans she buys in Walmart. It's only a month later that she finds out that collared T shirts don't go very well with jeans and three weeks later, when her labmate Lisa invites her for her birthday party in a Downtown night club, Reena sheds all her inhibitions and Indian-wear to fit into a tank top and short skirt for the first time.

Aaaah! I could just go on and on and on and on and on. But "value centric job scheduling beckons" and I must answer the call :)

Comments:
Great observations. Nice pakhir chokh view of An Altering Life.
 
Ah! the loss of morals in Eastern Indian students who follow the path to westernization. And on a related note cease and desist form using the word Avinash and any variations thereof. FYI usually Abhishek becomes Abby, Avinash just turns into a movie playing format.
 
No VIP Bonus? What about Frenchie? :D

And wearing a tank top and short skirt required shedding all her inhibitions? Wow.

:)
 
I agree :-D
And u have inspired me to a post which i'll write as soon as i come back from Macy's sale after buying that tube top and shorts :)
 
@bridalbeer - thank you :) coming from the queen of desi obervations - that's a big compliment

@modi - wait till you see what I do to yoru name and reputation next *muhahahahahahahahaha*

@man-facing-anger-from-indian-parties - are you questioning the values of good Indian girls :)

@kumari - see now i feel better. even if i make a crappy post, i can at least bring out a great one from you :)
 
U truely have an unparalled grasp of the PIGS (Phoren Indian Grad Students) life.......brilliant post.
 
At work, it is "How was your weekend ?"
Week after Week after Week, this question has been posed to me. And I've tried all from "Pretty Good", to "Ok", "Helping Friend" (How can I tell watched 3 movies, 5 Tele Serials, did groceries, and cooked meal and talked on cellphone), But People are so friggin jobless, that they actually wait to listen to the detailed description. I've discovered a trick though. If you are suspecting someone will ask you, you go first. "How was your weekend". Half an hour of talking later, the other guy wouldn't bother to listen yours. So that's about americanization at work. hmm. why does it sound like vulcanization.

separately, can't help but ask. what is value centric job scheduling (what for) ?
 
PIGS...the second time it came up in recent times - alst time, it was Poor Indian Grad Student.
And Sagnikda, the one thing which hurst me most is shelling out 7 dollars for those masala packets (obviously, you can't live without them)...whereas you'd even haggle for a 30 rupees equivalent in New Market.
 
@rohan - thanks sir. i guess i speak from experience :)

@anshul - oh yes! how was your weekend and "how's it goin" :) and as far as value centric job scheduling is concerned it is basically using user defined price metrics to schedule computatioal jobs on heterogenous resources - that's what i work on now :)

@biplabda - don't even remind me of masala prices - even though i have to be honest that i've not bought maala myself too many times - someone or the other visits India and gets it for me :))
 
What ABCD movie hav u bin watchin eh? no. seriously, i never thought, people going abroad these days to study would do those wierd things to that extent. seriously... with the clothes business, i mean, the people who usually go abroad on the money steam are like more americanised and into american way of dressing to be too outa place. coz these days , if u walk the city hangouts of places like delhi, even cal, all youngsters seem to be american dress-wannabes....so this post was an eye opener.
 
@sayantani - first of all what are you doing awake at this time in the night :O ad ssecondly, i am talking mainly abt engineering students who are very diff from the already westernized urban Indian crowd (even though exceptions exist) :)
 
@sagnik-- am usually awake at thistime. am an insomniac. what r u doing at this time eh? haha. but hey the post is very very enlightening.
 
But "value centric job scheduling beckons" and I must answer the call :)

Quite unrelated to the rest of this post - and will you still blog after you finish scheduling jobs that are value-centric :p?

Because, I do look forward to your daily dose of humour :)
 
@ramya - oh that was a daily call. that is my current project - blogging has nothing to do with it - so moi shall continue to bore you all :)
 
Linked on DesiPundit
 
@vulturo - thanks a lot man :)
 
Given that your daily blog readership continues to hit all-time-highs day by day and mine has never really taken off, I've decided to do something about it.

cantgetverse.blogspot.com is the link. Surrogate advertising if you will. :)

*muhhahahahaaa*
 
heh. i considered myself a "westernized urban Indian" till you got me with that underwear bit. hilarious post. :)
 
ROFL still

agree with shyo
...these days the gals in the metros(here in India) dress no differently...
 
@ajay - shw me the money :)) or at least the commission :)

@ginggeek - remember the three line play - where where - underwear :)

@swathi - sadly not too many f these girls come to US to do their grad degrees - else we would be happier people :((
 
Those females who were even thinking of coming to US for grad school would probably do a rethink now reading abt the guys mentioned in ur post :)
 
@rohan - but main hoon na :)
 
ill tell u wat.. its nto tht we females cant do things!... its just tht we try out!..grrrrrrrr and yeh we try everything match and mistach! but then u see in the end of the day we gave a feelin tht we r indians!...huh! kidin ...
nice post!
 
@uselessspan - :) men are not as shallow as you think - we dont care for superficial things like clothes - for us it's all abt what lies inside :))
 
Hi Sagnik,

You probably dont remember me, but I read your blogs on (almost) regular basis, and do leave a comment or two every once in a while. A friend of mine sent me an email (which is pasted below) and I thought you might be interested, since you have a lot to share and may give insight to several pple. Btw, your blogs get interesting by the day. Keep 'em coming. rdgs, Al:)

Greetings....
Are you? or do you know of a 20-something individual who is single?
Generation India is looking for three or four very talented individuals (male and female) to write an ongoing blog of their trials of single-life and dating as an Indian.
If you, and/or someone you know is interested in writing and seemingly constantly experiences dating adventures, please reply to this email.

www.generationindia.com
 
@AI - thanks :) please lemme know if you have a blog. on a sep note i don't think i will be of much use to the people you mentioned as i am not a single person who is searching (thought some think this is an ego salvaging technique). so my experiences will be very diff from what they expect i guess :((
 
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