'India needs a revolution'

'India needs a revolution'

The first time Carlos Saavedra was asked to come to India, he was in a state of shock. But after talking to his siblings, he decided to pack his bags and come! “And I am a big fan of Scarlet O’Hara who says in ‘Gone With The Wind’ — ‘Tomorrow is another day’,” laughs the hairdresser from Madrid, Spain, who works at the Rossano Ferretti Hair Spa at The Ritz-Carlton.

 “Though I have worked in London and Italy before, this is my first time in Asia,” he informs. “I have been in Madrid for 33 years of my life. Most of my family lives there,” he adds.

Ask him was if it was easier to work in Europe than India and he says, “Actually, the Spanish culture is quite similar to the Indian one. We are family-oriented just like you all.”

He adds, “In Britain, you can’t have lunch at someone’s house without a proper invitation. But in Spain and India, even if eight or nine guests come suddenly, they are welcomed.” 

Carlos feels the weather of a particular region is connected to the nature of the people living there. “Since places like Britain and the United Kingdom are cold, I feel the people over there are cold too. But places like India, Greece, Spain and the Middle East are hot, so the people are cheerful and warm as well,” he notes.

However, he feels “India really needs to fix some issues.” “I just cannot understand the attitude of people towards rape here! How can one say, ‘Yes, all this happens but this is India!’ How can anyone be so passive?” He adds, “I can’t believe the people are so educated yet there is a caste system. I can see the extent of racism here everyday because I am white. Since I’m the lightest guy around, everyone smiles at me,” he laments.  

Recalling an experience, he says, “I was in a lift once with two Indians — a man and a woman. The lady looked at me and smiled. But she just stared at the other man.” He adds, “How can you be so racist towards yourself? You should work together for the betterment of your country.”  Comparing Spain and India once again, he says, “Spain is also a democracy and we pay a heavy price to the government like Indians too. But in turn, we get free scholarships and health insurance.

It’s only in the last two years that this hasn’t happened due to the crisis in the country.” He also says that unlike Indians, the Spanish takes human rights very seriously. “We go to the streets and fight. Be it women or gays, every person has an equal right. If a thief is caught by the police, he has to go to jail,” he notes and adds, “I know the British made a huge mess in India and it will probably take a 100 years for things to fall in place here, but India needs a revolution! After all, two-thirds of the population is living in poverty.” According to him, Indians are “passive and letting time go by.”

Yet, there is something about India that makes him happy. “Indians love music and I don’t think I can follow their dance moves. But I’m aware of the song-and-dance culture in the films here and I know it’s a cult.” He hasn’t travelled much thanks to a busy work schedule. “I have only been to Delhi and Mysore,” he notes.

Ask him what he does in his free time and he jokes, “Of late, I have been cleaning my house. My maid turned out to be a thief!” Living and working in the Central Business District, Carlos likes going to restaurants in this area in his free time too. “My favourite place is UB City,” he says. Speaking of food, Carlos just cannot take the spicy Indian food. “It is too intense for me. I really like strong flavours but my throat just cannot take it,” he says.   

Another thing he has observed here is that women love to have long hair. “India is limited when it comes to trends. People don’t want to experiment. For instance, 90 per cent of women who come here want long hair. They tell me to cut it with or without layers but retain the length. I guess it’s because Bollywood stars have long hair and everyone wants to be a Bollywood star,” he signs off. 

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