Thursday, March 29, 2012

Complaints & Greivances

I prepared myself for a lot of things before coming here. I had visited before and thought I knew most of what I was going to have to adapt to. Boy was I wrong!

Linkin Parks' Somewhere I Belong sums up my feelings quite well today. (My commentary in purple.)
When this began, -This move to India
I had nothing to say and -I kept my mouth shut and just watched and observed and learned
And I'd get lost in the nothingness inside of me -I was quite uncertain about a lot
(I was confused) Didn't realize it then, but yes I was definitely confused
And I let it all out to find/that I'm -both on this blog and in the pardesi community
Not the only person with these things in mind (inside of me) -there are tons of us realizing the same thins
But all the vacancy the words revealed -meaning things we expected turned out not to be true
Is the only real thing that I got left to feel.(nothing to lose)
Just stuck, hollow and alone -I am more alone living in this joint family than I've ever been
And the fault is my own, -yes it is. I am responsible for my own decisions. I don't regret coming here
And the fault is my own. but I wish I had been better prepared
----skipping the chorus
And I've got nothing to say -okay, not true I'm actually more vocal when I'm pissed
I can't believe I didn't fall right down on my face -true! moving here is like starting your childhood over
(I was confused)
Looking everywhere only to find That it's
Not the way I had imagined it all in my mind -India is definitely not what a gori is typically led to believe
(So what am I?)
What do I have but negativity? -That is about all that's left of my feelings for this city
'Cause I can't justify the way everyone is looking at me.(Nothing to lose) -truthfully I don't care about all the rude, mannerless people that stare and they can look at me however they want. I have a life that doesn't involve them or their feelings towards me. Must suck that they can't find anything better to do than stare.
Nothing to gain, hollow and alone
And the fault is my own,
And the fault is my own

I will never know
myself until I do this on my own -this is the one good thing that has come of this move and why I don't regret it. I have found parts of me that I needed to find. I've found a strength I didn't know I had and proved to myself just how stubborn and determined I can be. If you can imagine, I really didn't know I was stubborn before coming here. Now I own it like it's a diamond.
And I will never feel,
Anything else until my wounds are healed -that's the case with any scenario in life. You have to face it, deal with it, learn to keep living.

Now on to the complaints and grievances I have. These are all things I don't think anyone could ever fully be prepared for when coming here.
  1. Loud speakers - I swear little old ladies and young men should NOT be allowed to own these. If you can't hold a note please don't blast your singing to the entire neighborhood. It's not only rude but it's extremely irritating. Where I'm at someone in the neighborhood blasts a loud speaker at least twice a week. Sometimes its more than one person at a time. It's torture. Listen to this video to hear what I mean. There is no actual video, I didn't want to point the camera at this woman because that's rude. Keep the video bookmarked in case you have anyone you need to torture. 
  2. Selfishness - I was not prepared at all for how selfish people here are. This country is supposed to be a unified, all people share a bond type of country. Well, let me assure you that no one shows consideration for anyone else when they are going through their daily life. They do whatever they want when they want without the slightest concern of how it will affect others. The selfishness in this city is much more extreme than anything I've ever experienced. I'm not the only one, plenty of other gori's experience the same thing so this isn't just an Amritsar phenomenon.(Yes, Americans can be selfish but you're going to have to trust me, this is so much different. There's virtually no common courtesy of any kind here.) 
  3. Negativity - I know all people can be negative and I'm certainly no different. Before coming I was fully aware that people here make blatantly negative comments about weight, blemishes and anything they deem as different as if it's normal. I naively assumed that was not much different from the normal gossip and drama that goes on everywhere. I was wrong. After 14 months of constant bombardment with negativity about every tiny detail of life I can safely assure you that people here are much more negative than the worst Debbie Downer you know. 
  4. You can't be nice here - It just doesn't work. In the west it's common for men to hold the door open for a woman if they see her heading that way. They don't have to know her. Women do the same when out with friends, one always gets the door. If they see a woman with a stroller they help her. It's basic human compassion. Here, if you try to be nice that way you get walked all over and taken advantage of to the extreme. Try holding a door here and see how many people will walk through it without even acknowledging your existence. It gets worse, if you open it for yourself and someone is anywhere near it they will try to push through before you can thus forcing you to hold the door for them like you're their slave. You give someone something and they come back asking for more like you're their newest supplier - only they want it for free. People just don't know how to react to kindness of any sort, they see it as a sign you want to be taken advantage of. This is difficult for a well trained southern woman to get used to and having to hold back all the niceness makes me feel like a rotten person.


  1. The lack of common courtesy and selfishness are the two things that stroke me the most, especially hearing concervative people point at the west and saying how we are individualisitc and uncaring and cold and that is nothing like India where they have strong morals, a community system and family values...8.5 years in the country I spent, and this whole speech about India being more caring and having more values is total and utter BULLCRAP
    I've never seen so little care about others being given, so little courtesy, disrespect of others and properties and environement are just right smack in your face the whole time, and yup as you said, don't be nice and hold the door for someone because you'll end up holding it the whole day without people even thanking you!
    And don't get me started about families! My I've never heard so much bad gossip and back stabbing going in families! I don't care about the fact things are crude here but I hate seeing people go on and criticise a culture most of them have never even been remotely exposed to in real life (TV doesn't count as exposure) and pronounce it less moral and valued and perfect than India...sweep in front of your door fisrt people, but then that leads to the one big massive flaw that irks me the most in India: The art of making excuses and put the blame on others. I've never seen a country in whcih the art is pushed to that an extreme.

  2.  I've also noticed that being polite,gracious, kind or 'well mannered' here in India is seen as a sign of weakness, stupidity or that you are 'expecting' some favor in return. I've seen this at a personal level in my Indian in laws and indealing with the Indian public.
    I've also noticed that when Indians talk about their superior 'morals' it is ALWAYS in a sexual context. Never mind the rampant corruption, outright dishonesty, swindlling, hypocrisy, malicious gossip, lack of responsibility and callous indifference to the needless human suffering due to hunger and lack of sanitation in India. The sexual proclivities of a minority of western individuals are apparently all the evidence necessary to conclude that 'western morals' are inferior to 'Indian morals'.
    Must be all that western porn Indians can't seem to stop watching.


  3. Oh you're right! I missed the blame game. I don't hear as much of it here because I stay out of the family crap but I do notice they like to blame everyone for their suffering and how they have to go without things, even if they refuse gifts it's someone elses fault. So strange.

  4. Interesting. I hear the "morals" comments in relation to family values a lot which is also not always true. From what I've seen, western parents do far more for their children than Indian parents do including spending quality time (not just sitting in the same room or house) with them throughout their formative years, teaching them life skills and the list goes on. A lot of people here only seem to be having children to prove their fertility.

    Lol on the western porn, I think there's just as much Indian porn out there and not all from Sunny Leone.

  5. About the be kind and being taken for weakness, why is that? Another thing is when as a Gori you try to do things the Indian way and get tricked . Example Raksha Bandan and treat that person like a sibling and you trust them, they borrow money and disappear.

  6. Oh yes! A lot of people get tricked when trying to be too Indian. It's a good rule to never loan out more money than you can afford to lose. I think it's universal for people not pay you back lol.

  7. In the morning had a conversation with one of the doctor in my working place re: the high rate of single mother in the philippines vs. less rate of abortion compare to india it is reverse. I explaine to her that abortion is not legal in the philippines compare to india, but this does not mean that india is a reserved culture. To put abortion legal in india with high rate, is to cover so many things and one of them is illegal affairs.
    India must know that even their locals many of them wants to run away from their do called "culture" .
    Indian is all over the world, most of NRIs adopted the western culture. Thats the fact.

  8. Interestingly enough, this was my opinion when I went abroad (aka US) the first time from work. I am an Indian brought up in South India and this was my first trip abroad.

    I came back with the mindset that people there respect others. That was what I took back the most. People stood in a line waiting for the one in front to finish even if a newbie like me had trouble counting cents and dollars. No one acted irritated at my ignorance and no one roled their eyes at me like I was wasting their time. People greated each other over the counter top to have a nice day even if they really did not know each other. People would stop if I were to cross the road, no running over like how we drive here. And if I were to walk across someone's open garage while they were taking their car out, I would stop as it is common in India to assume that the car would pass by not bothering about the pedestrians - more than once I was surprised to see the car stop and wave to me to pass by.

    I never knew people could be considerate like this until I visited there and came back. Having been brought up here, it had never flashed me that such a thing could exist, that we could expect strangers to be considerate of others until I visited there and came back with the fresh realization of just how much of missing back here.

  9. Thank you for your perspective. You're right, someone who has not left India wouldn't understand the courtesy. I'm glad you enjoyed that part of America.