Friday, June 16, 2006

The milestones you do not see coming

Along the path of life, there come milestones.

Well it is beaten-to-death sentences like the above that make me hate metaphors. Well but then for every million attempts of mankind at metaphor, there comes one that makes all the mediocre oft repeated crap worth it. Well I should not be complaining about metaphors, my name is one after all. Thanks to the ingenuity of the Sanskrith language at forming words.

The usual milestones are like your first job, your first suit, your first mobile phone etc. I make sure that all such materialistic milestones are as ignorable as possible, by say, not buying mom and dad a nice gift with the first salary, resigning your first job as soon as possible etc.

Then there are the 'turning big' milestones like, the first time you felt a women, the first time you touched her breasts, the first time you had sex etc. Well I am an Indian and I am ashamed of my non-existent record here. Hence I try best not to think of it.

Some where between or above or below the two kinds of milestones mentioned above are the ones that I care for.
The first stage performance. The first tournament participation. The first cheering a bunch of girls gave you (you should see me blush here) . The first class trip. The first flight. The first time you talk on stage out of popular demand etc. .

After coming to the US, I have been having a lot of milestones in quick succession, I guess its because of the average speed of traffic is higher here. There are the usual milestones that all foreigners count like, First time overseas. Getting the damn SSN. Getting a Credit card. Getting the Driver's License etc. .

But on the more beautiful road of American life and the more exciting ride of a global life , are stones that read
The first snowfall. The first ski trip. The first ice skate. The first road trip. The first time you dance ballroom. The first time you surf. The first time a girl gives you a quick teasing hug (you should have seen my face then).

These are all the things you see coming. Off late there have been milestones that I never saw coming. Some of them good some of them bad, but all of them memorable.

1) Spending an entire day without meeting anyone who knows your name!
Well, in this remote suburb of North Carolina, I had to spend a couple of weekends all by myself. It was a very weird feeling and I would not wish it up on even an enemy. And I swear by my life and my love of it that, I will be there for the sake of another man or ask another man to be there for mine.

2) A foreigner asking you 'Baagunnara?' (How are you doing?) and 'Dhanyavaadam' (Thanks)!
Well, I went to see a Telugu movie here in the USA. The lady at the counter with her heavy American accent asked me, in my own mother tongue 'How are you?' . Well that is the power of being a consumer I guess. But cynicism apart, it feels great to see a foreigner trying to speak your language. After all language is a very endearing thing. Alas the English miss this feeling.

3) Getting drenched completely on the way to office
4) Discussing racism at lunch table with three white guys.
This June the monsoon hit India pretty early, eager to see their most ardent lover. Alas! were they disappointed at not finding him after raining heavily North, South, East, West. Well then the little rains of the American east cost wired them about a guy here. The next thing you know it stops raining in India and there are thunderstorms here.

As I started walking to office in the slight drizzle, the excited clouds on spotting me, could not control their love and started being very generous. So there I was fifteen minutes in a down pour. When I reached office, I had to remove my shirt and shoes. Thankfully I was wearing a brown sleeved vest bordering on T shirt inside my shirt. In an office where you can wear punctured t shirts, I was dressed enough to go out to lunch.

At lunch, a world cup match started playing. A colleague of mine remarked how racism is more prevalent in European soccer according to a report by ESPN. We engaged in an interesting discussion about racism, the best part of it being; they were never like, "Oh ok this guy is an Asian so we should be careful in what we speak."

It is good when people are not worried about being politically correct and speak their mind. That is the least racist way to be!

I gave my own 'refreshing' insight into it; which premises on the fact that 'racism is as much in the white head as in a black or other minority head'; its only a natural tendency to group. Instead, we could be counting on how welcoming societies can be rather than trying to spot those black dots on the huge white wall.

Sorry for that banal metaphor again! Its hard to control an age old river of tasteless water in a single day! Ok... Not another word...

1 comment:

wise donkey said...

not just in rascism..
politically correct should be for equality not partiality..
when u give someone unrequired priveleges..u r being politically incorrect..