Tuesday, February 28, 2012

where I go into outrage mode again

Exams always did make the blogger in me come out. Allow me to outrage for a while.

  • Rape jokes are not funny. Calling a cricketer a "rapist" who "raped" the opposing team with his match-winning performance is not witty. Creating and sharing a picture of the vastraharan showing Malinga as Draupadi and Kohli as Dushasana is not amusing. It is lame and pathetic and disgusting, and tells me you're an asshole.
  • Why is sharing stories from Gujarat 2002 being labelled as "spreading hate"? You hold your candle marches and "never forget" campaigns every year for those who dies in 26/11; why are you so resistant to remember those who were killed ten years ago in Gujarat? I'm appalled by some of the reactions Dilip D'Souza got when he shared some experiences for his visit to Gujarat in 2002 (Which, if you haven't read, you should. It's horrific, you will not want to, but you should. here:  https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23DDGujDiary)
  • Why do Indians have this "kisi ko nahi batana" attitude all the time? I've always seen it at exam time, right from my college days. It took me a long time to realize that unlike me, who never studied and therefore meant it when I said "maine kuch nahi kiya", everyone else had finished the course twice over and were "revising" when they said the same thing. And it's hilarious how the Indian folks here in B-school do the same thing. And not just about studies. I asked a classmate if he's running for club president for the Indian student club, for Pete's sake. He said no. And when the platforms came out, there it was, his name, right up at the top. Why do people have to be so devious?
  • Also, while I'm at it, Indian dudes in Amreeka trying to hit on women when they're drunk is both hilarious and embarrassing to watch.
There. I'm done outraging for now. I suppose I should get back to Corporate Finance. Sigh.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I'll be in India in a week. Never have I been so glad that February is the shortest month of the year.

I'm coming to India on "work", technically. I'll be based in Hyderabad for a project, with the mandatory weekend trip to Agra, and a few days snatched at home in Delhi at the end of the trip. I'll be with 30-odd classmates, some of whom are Indian (well, of Indian origin), but many of whom aren't.

I don't know how to describe India to non-Indians. They keep asking me what it'll be like in Hyderabad. I don't know, I've never been there. I keep trying to explain that India is like Europe in some ways - 20 different countries crammed into one land mass. What I know of people in Delhi, Gurgaon, or even Kolkata, will not be true of people in Hyderabad.

I shared the odd YouTube video with my team, and one of my team mates discovered and sent us videos of Russell Peters. Our client sent us a guide to travelling in India, and a checklist of what we should or should not carry, which I have to say, is pretty comprehensive and accurate.

Different classmates seem to have varied beliefs and expectations about India. One guy wanted to know if he can wear shorts in Hyderabad. One girl wanted to know if we can fit in a tour of Delhi in the half day that we get there in transit. Someone else wanted to know what we should be eating and shopping for in Hyderabad. And then there was someone who asked  how we're supposed to handle communications, or if people in India have phones. And followed that up with asking if we'd get a chance to ride an elephant while we were there.

I don't know how to answer most of these questions. I'm going to be a visitor in my own country; how do I tell them what to expect?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Baby steps

I slept with the lights off last night. I realise that in the grand scheme of things, this is not a very big achievement, but bear with me a bit. I slept with the lights off last night, for the first time since my apartment was broken into and ransacked a week ago.

So fine. Clearly there is something about me that makes me an easy target for robbers and thieves. Yes, I have a history of getting robbed whenever I travel to Europe. And I was devastated after the incident in Italy, and it took me a couple of months to get to a point where I stopped breaking down over every other thing.

But  there is something particularly violating about your apartment being broken into, as opposed to being robbed on the street. To have someone enter your home, go through everything you own, turn every handbag they find inside out - it is, as someone said to me on twitter, like someone forced their way into coming and looking inside your life.

I've got on with life. You don't have much of an option, after all. And I've recovered much faster than I did two years ago. I've started sleeping with the lights off.

Now to stop getting startled every time the flatmate uses her key to open the front door and come in.

Baby steps.