My photo
Pune, India
I'm not here at all. Consumed by the demands of life, Lost in the swirls of doom. I am a shadow that had dissapeared. All that is left is an echo, not all can hear. Curiouser and Curiouser it gets!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Are you Rajesh Koothrapally?

Image Copyright : CBS
I am in Denmark for almost 5 months now and I still get the weirdest questions asked about India.I was conducting a workshop about Indian culture for a group here, which was supposed to be strictly about work related culture issues between Indians and Danes, but we ended up taking about arranged marriages(what else?),alcohol, vegetarianism(another firang favorite), divorce, children out of wedlock and what not.

What I sadly realized was that most of the world still only knows us as "That country from Slumdog Millionaire"(Aaaargh!!! Danny Boyle, Do I love thee or hate thee!) Whats worse most of our deep ingrained beliefs, customs and rituals only seem to add to the twisted idea of our Land of Snake Charmers.

" Is it true that you have Snakes in your backyards" Lets face it, sometimes we actually do :P I only wish they were pet snakes like the whole world thinks they are. (Background score running in my mind: "Pata hai kal hamare ghar me ek saap nikla!, Beta Barsaat me paani me mat jaana, usme Saap ho sakte hain)

"Can you tell us about the caste system? Does that mean that our Bosses are higher beings than us?" Hahha.. Some of them might think they are, but I don't think I can get away by blaming it on the caste system.

"Do you still stay with your parents? Is it true that your parents think you have never touched alcohol in your life?" I'm sure they don't, but we'd rather not discuss that with them, would we?

"We never tell our children that we eat Candy. They hide it from us too.." That cracked me up, Our Alcohol is their Candy :P

Oh! So you are vegetarian. Does that mean you only eat VEGETABLES?? What do you eat for a meal then, just veggies? I cannot but imagine myself being compared to a Rabbit or an Elephant, in the jungles of India surviving on Ghaas Phoos! Koi inko South Indian/Gujju/Marwadi veg khana khilado..

But the best one came from an American colleague." You know Rajesh Kootrapally from The Big Bang Theory? Is it really like that for you?"  I had to take  a moment to answer that one. The adorable Brown guy in Pasadena. His weird parents(whats with his mother's hairdo???), spunky sister and random quotes from Bhagvat Geeta/Kamasutra. Is that real??? HAhahah.. Maybe yes, maybe not. If I strip away all the over the top stuff they add for sake of comedy, I do believe the makes of The Big Bang Theory have the character of their Indian guy spot on! And how adorably at that :) I would like to think we really are Rajesh Kootrapallys of the world (minus the exaggerations, of course)

What do you think?


Anirudh said...

Although sad, but surprisingly true. :(

next time when you participate in such sessions, before you explain anything to your crowd, ask for a sincere apology on behalf of our forefathers, who screwed our image in front of the world. Probably, this should open the minds of your audience to accept the upcoming facts.

Well written and well pointed out :)

Suvarna said...

Actually, I have no complaints about the image our forefathers left behind. Its a truly unique culture, very different from what the west is used to, but still a whole civilization in itself. The issue is that they only know half the story. I was happy to show them the other brighter half of India.

I probably have more of a problem with our desi guys when they try to act half-firang by putting on fake accents and behaving like they are cool because they left the Brown Indian guy tag behind.

So I double pronounce my Rs and Ds and am not capable of picking up guys at bars. Mighty proud of it! :)N I never see any of the Danes having a problem with that.

Unknown said...

ha ha .. People really think so ? I thought it was just some movie masala about indians to create some laughter.


ha ha .. People really think so ? I thought it was just some movie masala about indians to create some laughter.