NRI nuances

NRI nuances

The Indian diaspora abroad could make an edifying subject for dissertation — one can just go on and on. However, I consider being concise a virtue. Therefore, briefly, the esteemed NRI types can be sorted into three:

1. The India Rebuke Category: These worthies seem to have spurted out of the womb of Whiteland itself (yes, mostly Caucasian inhabited land). The wee-hours of the morning, they arrive from the airport with aplomb is spent eulogising the West to such an extent that one wants to tear at one’s hair! A few hours pass and the rambunctious NRI is all set for action. So off they go painting the town red, with undiscerning fools like me in tow. Along with shopping and sight-seeing, it is grumble-grumble time now- the narrow filthy lanes, murderous pollution, unruly crowds, pestering beggars, sub-standard desi goods, annoying mosquitoes — everything!

Next, a trip to the restaurant is in offing and predictably the food is, ‘terrible… too greasy’. Back home, ‘phoren’ chocolates serve as dessert. The desi mithai offer is unceremoniously dismissed — “Yew no! The stuff’s adulterated!” Come next morning, all loos seem to be occupied for eternity. Later, one look at the pale faces and you guess that last night’s greasy dinner has taken its toll on the oh so delicate NRI stomach. One is so moved by their plight, that one wonders why they took the trouble of coming at all.

2. The ‘Mera Bharat Mahan’ category: This section suffers such high levels of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at forgetting Indian culture that it becomes aggressively traditional, much more so than the average Indian. Their houses are fragrant with agarbattis lit in front of a zillion gods, their children (the girls) sport long oiled hair tied in tight braids, are adept in Indian classical music and dance, know the Vedas and Bhagavad-Gitas thoroughly enough to give holy men a complex.

Needless to say they speak their mother tongue fluently and eat the idli, vada, masala dosas served graciously. This category has a tendency to be overly-censorious of unassuming mortals like me who are ruthlessly accused of aping the West and forgetting our roots. I can’t but wonder — If one is so attached to India, then pray, why leave it in the first place?

3. The ‘Be yourself’ category: My personal ideal, these NRI people are themselves — natural and comfortable in their home ground and adopted land. These folks, in my opinion, inculcate in their lives what they perceive as good — be it be of the Indian or western world.

This group (C) is technically not even a category but a lesson in truth and core-honesty.
PS: Can someone come up with a fourth category?

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