I was born and brought up in India – I studied, built myself a career, got married in India – It was only recently that work took me to different parts of the world, but as they say you can take an Indian away from India but you can not take India away from an Indian. I have and will always be unabashedly, undoubtedly, a true blue Indian!!
You speak a word out of the line, and I will not sit down and listen. I will stand up and fight – defend the honor of the Nation that made me who I am!
So, when media all over the world (Especially Indian media) was thrashing the country black and blue over its underpreparedness to host the Common Wealth Games, it was a surprise (and sometimes a shock) just observing fellow countrymen’s reactions! Ah, not to mention pretty amusing at times! Now, these are some of the things that happen if you are staying outside India.
- You desperately try to fit into the new culture/society. Suddenly skirts become shorter and holding hands/PDAs become more acceptable.
- Cooking your own meals is as rare and uncommon as clean and traffic-free Indian roads - Fridges are stacked with frozen food of all sorts. Who has the time to cook these days?
- You start alienating/dis-associating yourself from anything “Indian”.
Having said that, m glad not all go through these transitions while, some very seriously do!
So, coming to CWG, it was pretty interesting to note everyone’s reactions. To put it mildly, “ashamed” and “embarrassed” were the most commonly used words… the others words pretty much dont matter. The message was clear: People were ashamed of being identified as belonging to a Nation where the toilets werent clean and dogs soiled the mattresses meant for the athletes. Oh how tacky! How would they face their firang team mates the next day at work? Oh! India had really put them down!! Oh, how shameful!!
The pictures released by bbc were discussed – Shameful – Corruption was blamed for everything and anything that went wrong – Disgusting – Kalmadi should be hanged – India unprepared to host such a big event – Shameful – Where has the tax-payer’s money gone? – Disgusting – All athletes backing out – Shameful – Not just reading but forwarding lewd insensitive remarks on the situation – Disgusting
At the same, I found many who had complete belief. And this is all they had to say:
Yes, we screwed up. We went disastrously wrong with a lot of things. But, let us stand united, and put on a great show! This is not just my country’s reputation, but “My” reputation at stake now. If I can not actively help in the process, I can do my bit by not bad-mouthing those who are putting in an effort
I have only one question for all of you who felt let down: If you have a grih-pravesh or a house-warming party at your new house, and I come in a few days early, uninivited, click the pictures of a house still being readied for the big show and put it all over the place for people to laugh at. Would you want your family members standing by your side and condemning the act or joining in the ridicule, pelting stones at you?
Am I just being a romantic or does that make sense?