From my land

I was standing to get inside the Indian store, Buzz sitting in the shopping cart, waiting my turn. This Indian guy, in his late 20’s/early 30’s comes in from the other side and cuts in right in front of me and then precedes to almost bang the store door shut, hitting the shopping cart hard. While Buzz turns her head around in surprise at being jostled, I could not help get angry.

What is it with us Indian. Don’t we see each other? Do we not think that we need to show any kind of courtesy to another Desi? Do we think smiling at another Indian will lower our esteem in some way?

  • While we go smiling and wishing a good day to all, the moment we see another Indian, why do you have to look down?
  • While we are all quite on all air journey, why does the flight to India become a fish market? Where toiler paper goes missing and there is water all over the restroom floor. Where the airhostess is mistreated and snickered at. And let’s not talk about the noise even when the light are off and people are trying to catch some shut-eye. 
  • While we bend down to pick a small piece of paper that has dropped from our fingers here, the first thing me do when we get to India is spit at the side-walk.
  • While we will bend backwards to be nice and help out someone else, we will ignore and walk away if someone from India tries walking towards us to ask for help.
  • While we expect customer service from everyone, we make the worst business owners with no concept of how to please our customers. Our aim is to make money quick, with no though given to future and repeat customers. Cutting corners at the smallest thing, leaving the worst impression ever.
  • While we are liberal and cut slack for anyone else behind in a task at work, we are over critical when it is an Indian who is behind. With comments like, how will s/he finish the task on time when there are tea breaks every hour.
  • While we will tip the 15% in all other restaurants, we won’t tip even 10% in an Indian restaurant.
  • And then of course what started this rant. While we hold doors and even let others pass in front of us, we don’t give it a second thought before cutting in front of another Indian and banging the door in their face. A kid might have gotten hurt in the process is not our problem at all. 

I struggle to understand why. Does it not hold to reason that being from the same country, we be happy to see someone from our land so far away from home? Even if we not bend backward to help out, we at least be happy about being able to help? If nothing else, we at the very least behave like decent human-beings?

PS: I am not saying we are all the same, but there are enough of us. I have either gone through the above personally or have seen it happen first hand. I am ashamed to say that I have indulged in a couple of above listed a time or two.

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44 thoughts on “From my land

  1. Hmm…can I say…based on my observations, the Indians that behave like that fellow, do it to everyone and not just other Indians. At least that’s what I’ve observed here. You are right in terms of customer service — it’s appalling. I have been treated like crap by Indians at newsagents or any other stores here whereas I find Australians to be heaps more polite and friendly. I also think we can’t expect Indian men to hold open doors (an overgeneralisation I know!) but I think that’s a common attitude. As for littering…I’ve seen Indians litter here too. The dirtiest suburbs in Sydney funnily enough have the most Indians and Lebanese population. Make of that what you wish. And don’t even get me started on behaviour on the aeroplane. When I went back to India last year, I had a Sydney to Singapore and then a Singapore to Bombay flight. The behaviour of Indians on the Singapore to Bombay flight was just disgusting…there were two men that had to be reminded by the airhostess to turn off their mobiles and there were two other that needed to be reminded to stay in their seats and not undo their seatbelts as the plane was taking off!!!! Sorry…I have ranted myself here…while I know it’s not representative of all Indians, I commonly have these experiences and it annoys me no end…

    1. Go ahead and rant some more PB. I have these experiences more commonly than I wish to acknowledge.. I could give examples after examples of all the above that I have faced or seen happen first hand.

  2. It is usually said that education makes a person more humble and more aware of basic manners. Obviously that is not the case. We find even the most educated people forget the courtesy and dignity that everyone is entitled to!

    And what’s worse is that as a nation full of such people even the one’s that are part of the herd have to face the repercussions of it. 😦 😦

  3. Comfy,don’t be sad..it’s all over..You read my recent post right..it’s in every corner here in India..that’s what we are with all that heritage and so many religion in one country and that all…I don’t know whether it’s education,I don’t know whether it’s upbringing,I don’t know if that’s done on purpose…all I know is we ARE doing this !

    I just fail to understand WHY ! The more you get into dissecting the more disappointed you come out ! So there is no solution and the problem cannot be attacked because it’s not about a single person or two going wrong..it’s about the entire janta [most of them] going wrong !

      1. Yeah sure,it’s saddening ! All we can do is behave ourselves and not expect from others 😦 Sigh !

        It’s like that “doing your bit” thing !!

  4. Haven’t lived abroad at all but do u think that somewhere – Indians feel the pressure of blending into the american society and hence they do the nice-ities like holding doors etc for others…and since this isn’t part of our natural behaviour – we let our guard down in front of other indians and behave like we would in India our normal thought process- my house should be clean sadka ka chodo kind of manner?

    1. I think I agree with Nuttie here..this might be the reason for NRIs…but hey what about the Indians living here in their own country ? Here they have no obligations and don’t have to impress anyone …so why not just behave at home [read:your own country]

      1. coz being “decent” is not intrinsic to us…we r concerned abt ourselves…our homes, family kids, out street city n country mean squat to us. we all talk n do anything! ok ok i shall stop ranting

  5. I generally smile wen someone looks ta me.. one of my frd in coll used to scold me for doing tht… but hey i dont think theres anything wrong with tht.. i do tht even now.. sometimes i even thank rickshaw wala’s …

        1. since a long time I guess,hai na divi ? Dido has so many brothers around 🙂 Bhai ki behen hai 🙂 bach ke rehna,kya ! 😉

  6. Been there and seen that many a times.. and I wonder why do people behave in this manner?

    Frankly, I fail to understand.

  7. I have blogged about it too in the past. And now I have given up on it !
    http://snippetsnscribbles.wordpress.com/2008/11/21/spare-me-your-bad-attitude/

    Someone once told me that Indians are raised to be competitive. There is a shortage and hence you have to push your way through – to anything! Exams, college seats, bus seats, restaurant seats – practically everything !

    I think I can understand that part but what I dont understand and disagree with is how we are NEVER taught to being courteous and patient in other aspects of our life. And how we NEVER learn and apply it. Even if we do, its only for people that are not our own. Utterly strange!

    1. We are taught to be courteous snippet..at least we are to people who stop by at home..what we are not taught is to be kind and helpful to random people we see outside.

      We are in this selfish out for ourselves mode at all times.. Strange as it is..

  8. Comfy, you should have slapped him hard…that wud have perhaps set him right for scaring cutie pie.. and then gave a good piece of ur mind …such a jerk !!

  9. I too was shocked to know that there is really no courtesy for a Desi.Smiling and being courteous is a big task though..they just give a damn to look at their countrymen..It’s very difficult to digest such BIG ATTITUDES.

    I don’t know whether it depends on person to person or what??

      1. As a general comment I would like to see a USA where there are no huge fines for littering the public places. I would love to see what a freshly landed Indian would do here if there were no such rules. The best thing is when one talks to the customer service junta from different companies. We know that they r Indians. They know that we are Indians. Yet they put a special accent with their English. Heights it is…I suppose there is a hypocritic inside all of us.

        1. We don’t have rules on holding the door for others..being wishing someone at the door a good day..but we still do that..don’t we..

          So I bet we would still take care to not litter..because we are so image conscious..about what people will say..

          It is with others from our part of the world that we drop the mask.

  10. hey comfy got through your page through The bald guys link on Facebook…beautifully written..oh i so understand the helpless ness when you write this..here in Pune people drive like maniacs often causing a deadlock..at times like these youw ill see all men(READ:educted well payed high ranking employees) smoke cigarette and sit ideally..nobody gets out to sort out the mess….sad

  11. This is exactly what I’ve been thinking so much!!! Especially the point of not-smiling on seeing a fellow Indian. 😦 Upsets me! Can I do a similar post someday??

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