Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Give NRIs a break!

After having seen at least 3 variations of the same post bashing NRIs on my Facebook ,  I decided to take things to my own hand and answer to some of these common allegations against NRIs from USA by the so called perfect people back in India.

21. Tries to use credit card in road side hotel -

It is very rarely that I have to carry cash in my purse when I'm in the US, so excuse me if I make that mistake in some road side hotels. And yes times have changed now in India so much since the first time some one wrote this piece that many road side hotels actually accept credit cards these days.

20. Drinks and carries mineral water and always speaks of health conscious.

My family drinks tap water in our Minneapolis home But I would like the Desi who wrote this and all those who laugh and nod in ascent at the cleanliness of the NRI to swear that they never buy mineral water, not even in railway stations where the tap spews brown colored water ,  or even in urine stench filled road side rest areas that the private buses from Bangalore stop, or when the water that the tanker brought to your Rs 15000 monthly rent paid apartment looks yellow and smells bad. Do that and I'll agree about who is being health conscious and who's being obnoxious.

19. Sprays deodorant such so that he doesn't need to take bath.

I could say that about almost every alternate youngster in the country , so please..

18. Sneezes and says 'Excuse me'.

      OK, the next time I sneeze in your presence , I will sneeze a whole menagerie of germs unto you and walk away as if nothing happened. Will that make me a good resident Indian?

17. Says "Hey" instead of "Hi".

says "Yogurt" instead says "Curds".
Says "Cab" instead of "Taxi".
Says "Candy" instead of "Chocolate".
Says "Cookie" instead of "Biscuit".
Says "Free Way" instead of "Highway".
Says "got to go" instead of "Have to go".
Says "Oh" instead of "Zero", (for 704, says Seven Oh Four Instead of
Seven Zero Four)

The next time somebody returns from Delhi and says "Yaar" at the end of every word, or when someone returns from Bangalore saying "madi" at every second sentence , I will start calling branding them as being different from the rest of the herd. English is a language that has been butchered by every nation in the world. Getting an American accent is as natural as getting a North Indian accent in Delhi and a Tamil accent in Chennai. Accept it if you can.

16. Doesn't forget to crib about air pollution. Keeps cribbing every
time he steps out.
As if you don't.

15. Says all the distances in Miles (Not in Kilo Meters), and counts
in Millions. (Not in Lakhs)

Wait till you are here and people look at you with a puzzled expression and ask you what the heck a lack(!) is.

14. Tries to figure all the prices in Dollars as far as possible
(but deep down the heart multiplies by 43 times).

Might have been true a couple of years back , but with growing inflation , it is cheaper to think in dollars these days.

13. Tries to see the % of fat on the cover of a milk packet.

Who doesn't like to be optimistic and think that Indian products would start doing it some day. I also look at products hoping to see an expiration date.

12. When need to say Z (zed), never says Z (Zed), repeats "Zee"
several times, if the other person unable to get, then says X, Y
Zee(but never says Zed)

It took me 3 years  to change myself from Zed to Zee.
Wonder how many it will take for me to go back.

11. Writes date as MM/DD/YYYY, on watching traditional DD/MM/YYYY,
says "Oh! British Style!!!!" 

Ditto.After having forced oneself to say dates in MM/DD/YYYY to every other customer service call it is really difficult to get back to the other format. I almost resort to saying the months in words to avoid format confusions.

10. Makes fun of Indian Standard Time and Indian Road Conditions.

Come on, just because I lived for a while in  another country , you are not mean enough to keep me out of joking about the two things every Indian jokes about. It is a habit we grew up with. Our culture  and our upbringing.

9. Even after 2 months, complains about "Jet Lag".

Dear "Person who has never stepped out of your house ", Jet lag wasn't an invention of some moron who wanted extra sleep on his vacation.Though I'm certainly jealous of the person who gets to stay 2 months on vacation in India to complain about Jet Lag for that long . But it does last a week in some cases , air plane journeys being what they are today and granted that all of us aren't rich enough to afford business class.

8. Avoids eating more chili (hot) stuff.

I'm not sure where you got that from , but people like us crave chilli and pickle when we come on vacations. Although our kids who are used to American cuisine may be a different subject altogether.

7. Tries to drink "Diet Coke", instead of Normal Coke. 

   If something is available , what's wrong with watching your weight. It is not like normal Coke is some special nectar in any case.

6. Tries to complain about any thing in India as if he is
experiencing it for the first time.

When you are in India , you don't have a yardstick to compare with , and you still complain. Do you wonder that people who have seen better things do the same albeit a little more? Mind you, I'm not saying it is right , but just saying we are like ninety percent of the population who complain and offer no solutions.

5. Pronounces "schedule" as "skejule", and "module" as "mojule". 

   Same as point 17 though I 'm not sure if the second part is right, may be it is another dialect that I'm ignorant of.

4. Looks suspiciously towards Hotel/Dhaba food.

    May be some people do , but people like me make a list of hotels/dhabas to eat during a much awaited 3 week vacation , only to be ddiscouraged by people at home citing horror stories like the Shawarma that killed someone in Trivandrum.

Few more important

3. From the luggage bag, does not remove the stickers of Airways by
which he traveled back to India, even after 4 months of arrival. 

People are lazy and believe me , if Indian Railways or KPN travels ever had luggage tags , a huge majority of the travelling public would we walking around with luggage tags.

2. Takes the cabin luggage bag to short visits in India, tries to
roll the bag on Indian Roads.

Do you expect me to buy specific smaller bags to travel ingenuously during a 3 week vacation? Or carry my stuff in plastic bags titled "Pinky Textiles" and the like? And what's wrong with giving more preference to your back over your bag, by rolling it as much as possible?

Ultimate one

1. Tries to begin conversation with
"In US ...." or "When I was in US..."

Reminds me of the Malayalam movie in which the character played by veteran actor Thilakan starts every other sentence with "Pandu njan vardhayilayirunnappol..." (When I was in Wardha.. ). Boasting is not the monopoly of NRIs. There are inflated airbags every where , but staying abroad does provide a major catalyst , as does foreign travel , money and any number of factors which provide their own unique tag line.

Think about this before you make fun of us NRIs . The chances are you might end up working for one. Or more likely depend on one as a customer or financier for your completely Desi enterprise.


  1. ഇത്ര ദേഷ്യം വരാന്‍ എന്ത് പറ്റി? ഇതൊരു തമാശയല്ലേ? ആ പറഞ്ഞ പല കാര്യങ്ങളും കുറച്ചു സത്യവും കുറെ തമാശയും ആയിട്ടനെനിക്ക് തോന്നിയിട്ടുള്ളത്!

  2. Couldn't agree more.I guess it's human nature to stereotype and do communal bashing.Remember the "military chettan" and "Gelf malayalee" jokes?

    And hey we still hold Indian Passports which gives us to right to pass opinions on everything under the Indian sky ;-)

  3. WTG Sunitha!
    And incidentally, I know I don't need to say this... all those jerks who keep saying this, are guilty as hell of doing this! It mostly boils down to simple envy; and the inability to accept people for what they are. The Great Indian Judgemental Process. That is what it's always about! :)

    Easy, dear girl. And it does not matter a hoot, finally. You know that don't you! :)

    1. Than You Usha Ma'm . Oh.. I just got maddened by getting the same forward more than thrice in a day...:)

  4. Damn, I should have read this a month back when I just returned from US.. Anyways, better late than never! ;) A nice rebuttal!

  5. Thanks Gayathri. Welcome to this space.

  6. Stereotypes and prejudices rule the world in spite of aggressive globalization and acculturation. Excellent write-up on such idiosyncrasies.