On English and snake-charmers


Three events in a row, have been rankling in my mind for some time now.

A birthday party earlier this year. The birthday-boy was English, and his grandma and I were making P.C (as my dear friend Sowmya refers to ‘polite conversation‘). She enquired about our plans to ‘settle down abroad’ and I replied that we intended to ‘head back home‘. When she said, ‘Well, good for your son that he is ‘here’ now, he can learn his language (English) here’. I laughed it off. Inwardly, I was SEETHING.

A chance encounter with a friendly Mum-Kid duo at a play-area. The mother was Indian, born and brought up in Africa, and now settled in the UK. In the course of our conversation, she happened to say – with evident surprise – ‘Your English is beautiful!‘ and wanted to know how I managed to speak English, coming from India.

Amsterdam

A little conversation on a canal boat in Amsterdam. The American couple seated in front of us, struck up a conversation, and happened to mention that they were surprised to hear my son’s ‘British/American accent’. Naturally, the question that followed was how he managed to converse with our relatives/friends back in India, and IF people in India could speak English.

Three incidents. They were friendly and innocent remarks, not meant to cause any harm or insult. However, the unspoken words set me thinking.

So, why is it that foreigners ASSUME that people in India do not understand/speak English?

It is not just foreigners. Even second generation British Indians (i.e. whose parents or grand-parents settled in UK and these folks were born and brought up here), seem to think the same way. I was asked by an ‘Indian’ colleague, if people in India could speak English, and if everybody was still very poor! I remember being quite shocked at the ignorance and stereotyped image she carried of her country!!

So, does India still project this image of being a third-world country, where people wear saris or dhotis, chew paan, speak only their regional language, and watch snake-charmers perform tricks by the side of the road?!

Pic courtesy: thedeafblog dot co dot uk

Does the word ‘India’ conjure up a picture of beggars and snake-charmers or monkeys performing tricks and people throwing coins onto a ragged cloth spread on the dusty road?

Does the western world not know how developed we are, on various grounds? We have miles to go, that is certain, but we aren’t exactly an undeveloped, tribal land today!!

Do they see us as Slumdog-non-millonaires? (On another note, I remember being angry at the producers of Slumdog Millionaire for projecting such a pathetic, stereotyped image of our country!)

Chennai city centre mall

Does ‘India’ not represent a modern and growing nation at all? What of all the IT parks and banks that have sprung up in the last couple of decades? And the dreaded call-centres that cater to western countries? What of the high-rise buildings and roads crowded with cars and bikes? I do understand that our villages are a far cry from cities. But they too, are developed in more ways than we can imagine!

Courtesy: Google images

If nothing else, what about our adorableΒ Kalmadi, Radia, Raja and Kanimozhi :roll:? If nothing else, atleast these esteemed folks should give them a better idea of the state of affairs in our country πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

On an interesting note, I googled ‘India’ on Google Images, and this is what came up: Our flag, the Taj, maps, even a picture of Shahrukh Khan posing for Chak De πŸ˜†

Sadly, there was no Anna, and heavens be blessed, no RamdevΒ πŸ˜‰

Courtesy: Google images

Now coming back to the question of ‘understanding/speaking English’, from my limited experience, most Indians can understand the language, and can communicate fairly reasonably, if one can ignore the grammar/pronunciation. Even the simple vegetable vendor can understand a few words. So if a foreigner were to visit an Indian city (I am not sure about remote villages), he can manage to get across a few basic words. Just as he/she would, in, say, Russia orΒ Germany! Don’t you think?

Courtesy: Asiaforum dot co dot uk

On a lighter note, we can “…talk English, walk English and even laugh English because English is a very phunny language.”

Well, to the friendly American tourist on that boat – I strongly recommended that she make a visit, cover the grand palaces in Rajasthan, and go all the way down South to marvel at the exquisite temples. She genuinely seemed quite interested. Just before we left the boat, this is what I said to her:

‘I do hope you visit India some day, its a beautiful country. Only, don’t expect to see any snake-charmers!!’

She replied, with a smile, ‘Damn!! I was hoping to see some!’

So people, how do non-Indians perceive India? Any ideas?

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43 thoughts on “On English and snake-charmers

  1. WEll I wrote about this much earlier.. I got asked the same question How come my english is good well I replied to them that I Studied and that too in a public school..

    Yes the foreigners do think like that but thats fair enough the thing i hate is a STUPID indian coming up to me and asking me how is my english it makes me go mad. Then when i tell them what i do they are again astonished to the point of asking me How come i got through the selection well Hello how do they think…
    WTH! What is their problem, really!
    Now coming to the Anna and Baba ramdev well I was happy when ANNA did what he did , But not so happy now with the baba I was just reading a article about 18crore Rs. has been spent on all this he is doing, SHOULD that money not be used in other better way.. He has so many follwoers why does he not use them to stop bribing etc, I mean now he is going on hunger strike and doign the same .. Thats blackmail to me ..
    I am not a supporter or Ramdev either. I thought Anna was more quiet, sober and dignified in the way he conducted his fast. Ramdev however, is full Bollywood ishtyle!!
    NO india does not represent modern and growing nation at all ? the reason being the call centres are failing and it has brought a bad name with the way it is handled and some big companies have moved there call centres away ..
    That is such a pity 😦
    Inspite of the IT parks and big huge buildings the roads and other things around those buildings is bad and not very pleasing to the eye..
    It is disheartening, Bikki. But you know, I think we have to learn to be proud of our roots. That is where we the change begins!!
    Good to see a post from you after a long time , How you doing … Sorry about the long comment ..
    Thank you πŸ™‚ I’m Ok, Bikki, been tied up with mid-term Hols, and no probs about the long comment. Infact, I love reading such comments.

  2. Hey I like what you said. I haven’t been abroad, but I can somewhat understand why Americans and Europeans have such unflattering perceptions about India.

    I work in a KPO where the client base is mostly in Europe and America. It’s common practice for us to stay back at work till late at night to attend to overseas client calls. Sometimes it is early in the morning without brushing one’s teeth. And this applies to trusted clients as well as western upstarts – who don’t seem to be able to compromise on their 8 to 5 routines.

    It’s been more than 3 years now, and I still can’t understand the attitude of senior managers who put up with this. The reason is obvious – if we don’t go out of our way (read: the way of the doormat) to woo the client, another KPO will do it, and we’ll be left in the cold. On the other hand, I think if outsourcing is hot because of its cost and quality advantages, that should be reason enough to let the moneyed West know that our time and efforts are no less valuable than theirs. But the reality is – we sell ourselves cheap.
    Welcome to my blog, Sampurna. What you said is so true. Developing nations would grab every opportunity, and bend backwards, to make a few bucks. That is the path to prosperity!!

    Hegemony being the tricky thing it is, I definitely think it is this attitude – and a lot of other similar attidudes – that go in to create a perception of India as a nation of beggars. We are directly responsible for this and there’s no point in showing off our new-fangled shopping malls to the first world. shopping malls don’t make a national character πŸ˜€
    So true!! A nation of beggars. How sad is that!

    Maybe, one way of answering those surprised exclamations at our English is to remind the West that:
    1. English is one of the easiest languages in the world. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to learn that.
    2. English is the language of the shopkeepers. So it makes sense to know it. πŸ˜›
    3. The knowledge of English is not a parameter for measuring one’s education or sophistication AT ALL.
    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. The next time someone asks me, I am definitely going to use this!!!

  3. I have met people who have no idea about India, and others who would put our fellow Indians to shame. And yes, I have met people who are surprised that we can speak English! Surprise, surprise!
    Seriously, Smitha. I wish people realised that EACH person living abroad is an Ambassador of India!!
    One of the clients we worked with, asked my friend if we had pagers in India -these were the good old days of pagers. And my friend replied that no, we just go on to roof tops, and shout out the messages, and people just pass it on that way πŸ™‚
    LOL, she really said that? Ha ha ha!!!
    To some extent, I think India still indicates ‘exotic’, ‘out of the world’, sort of place, where modernity has no place.. Infact that impression stays with even some of the immigrants, who haven’t visited India much after the left it. They romanticize what they want to remember. And I think they also think of us who have just come from India as a little ‘fresh from the boat’.
    Yes, to a large extent!! You are very right about the ‘romanticizing’ part!!
    But as I said, I have met well traveled, well read people, who could put us to shame. My neighbour from our old place, taught herself Tamil – she is spanish. She can read and write Tamil, and she has seen a lot of India, which I, ashamed to say, hadn’t.
    Wow! Simply, Wow!!

  4. pal, once a foreigner asked me if Indians eat cow dung , dried and shaped in circles. I was aghast. Then after some time it turned out she had mistaken ‘Roti to be cow dung.
    OMG!
    You know , the roti they make in tandoor . And dried – round shaped cowdung ( I donno what you call it , in Mal it is said ‘chanaka varali’ ) . Ah !
    Ohhhh!!!
    Excellent post Pal !!
    Thank you, Ash!

  5. Wonderful post!
    Well, as for the people who asked you such questions, well, to me, they are very ignorant on the current affairs and general knowledge. So may be you’d like to say a prayer, “Forgive them O Father, for they do not know, what they are saying!”
    Thing is, since they don’t mean to insult it is difficult to reply!
    As for how Non-Indians perceive about India?? Well, there are all kinds of people around… Recently, I met my sister’s American friends (3 of them), who are working in India on assignments and one’s husband is a documentary film maker… well, they have been here for a while in Jaipur, and they speak better hindi than most of us (even their kids speak hindi), wear Indian suits and saris and one was even wearing a Rajasthani (Rajputi) dress with her head covered etc. At this party, where I met them, while all of us were speaking in English and were mostly in denims they were the ones who were in Indian dresses and spoke in Hindi. They have high regard for the Indian culture and traditions and participate eagerly in Indian festivities.
    Wow, that is simply awesome!!

  6. Hmmmm am really surp ! Esp cpnsidering now tht Inida is almost the offshore capital world so yea we mus be hving atleast a few of our abcs in place don we! N C’mon i thin we speak english much beta than almost all th enon native speakers!
    I was surprised too, as I thought the same way. After reading the comments, however, I realise that most of these assumptions come from what is portrayed in media, and archaic visits/stories from people who visited a couple of decades ago!

  7. One of our clients, a Greek woman thinks mylapore is her homeland because she is a bharatnatyam dancer and has performed many arangetrams in the mylapore temples!
    Aww, that is stunning, CR!!
    When I was in Switzerland, roaming around, I was surprised to know that the common man on the street could not tell me the way in English. It was either German or French. I laughed at the people thinking that they belong to EU, they are a very popular tourist spot, shouldn’t they naturally know English? It’s not a difficult language to learn if you know any European language!
    Ditto, CR. I’ve noticed this too.
    But sadly many immigrants, Asian, European or otherwise in this country don’t speak English well. Which is why immigrants are stereotyped.
    I agree. It is quite unfair, though, on the educated folks
    The next time somebody insults you with the snake charmer bit, tell them you do a bit of black magic yourself πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰
    LOL! The thing is, I don’t think they intend to insult. It is sheer ignorance, or innocence!

  8. I was once asked by a client if they could see elephants on India roads when they visit us. When I informed that there were no chances and they’d have to visit the zoo, they were convinced I was fibbing!
    I was quite amused, but yes most people in the west think we have our streets full of snakes and elephants.
    I am confused between πŸ˜† and πŸ™„
    And Indians in the west remember the India they left behind.
    Absolutely. And that is the biggest pity!!
    An Indian friend in the US asked me, “Oh you get packaged food in India which just needs to be microwave?!!” How cool is that? I was seething by the end of our conversation 😦
    Ha ha. You should have said ‘No, we grind our grains by hand, and then eat them :-)’

  9. Posted it as a comment on FB but I’m posting it again here πŸ™‚

    ——

    Nice post Pallavi, I’m really not surprised that this is what foreigners think of India. To come to think of it, how many nice things about India are written in the newspapers daily? All you can ever hear is about the villagers killing a couple in love, or a girl marrying a dog, or stupid politics. They read about so many of our ministers who are actually murder convicts. Our leaders don’t really portray a ‘global image’ of themselves, do they?
    I see your point, Urmi. What media highlights is almost always the negatives!!
    So I don’t blame these goras for thinking the way they do. The image portrayed in the media about India is very wrong. It’s the same as I think about what gets published about a country like Bangladesh. One can never read about the accomplished writers or universities or any good things happening there. It’s always about boats capsizing, floods etc. So what would a layman’s image be about that country? πŸ™‚
    I agree with you Urmi. And thanks for bringing up this point.

  10. The image portrayed in movies etc is like that so what can one expect. Even a director like Spielberg has portrayed India so badly in the movie Indian Jones and The Temple of Doom.
    Seriously!! It is a shame, really.

  11. Pal: you have written about a topic very close to my heart, reason being I live and work in an all-white community and I have had countless experiences with people who have no idea how things are outside of their so called world.
    That sounds difficult, Parul!
    I have met people who think that if you go to India, you’ll see elephants walking on the roads, monkeys on the trees all around.
    that they won’t be able to speak to anyone because no one speaks English there, that poeple in India do not know what dating and love marriage is all about because all marriages are arranged marriages there.
    It is a pity, isn’t it? I mean, it is a picture of India, say from 100 years ago!!
    And I can see where they are coming from:
    a) they have never been out of their country. All of their impression is based on the tourism trips, books and some of the movies they have seen.
    Very true, I see your point!
    b) Believe me when I say it (because I have seen it happening) there is a section of “indian” people who knowingly/unknowingly present not a very pleasant picture of our country. Oh!! I completely agree with you on that.
    c) Some of the movies that have been released. Yes I am 110% with you on Slumdog millionaire
    Yep. We only get to see Karan Johar’s song-dance sequences, or a gyrating Shilpa Shitty .. oops.. Shetty. Or movies like SDM. Which are very stereotyped.

  12. I’ve written about this earlier. My manager at my workplace in UK once told me that I speak great English and asked me if I learnt it after moving to England. I didn’t know what to say.
    Really!!
    Another person in the US asked me if I have studied here, when I said no, she said ‘But you can speak English’.
    Ha. Ha. How do they manage it??
    They’re ignorant, but they get me mad.
    It is unfair, this stereotype and ignorance.

  13. I agree with Bikram…it’s one thing for a person not of Indian origin to wonder whether Indians speak English the same way as they would wonder about Germans or French or Italians. They do assume we speak ‘Indian’.
    True, PB, but don’t you think, this ‘part-ignorance’ has to change?
    But it’s the Indian migrants (second or third gens) that piss me off when they go “oh you studied in English” and I find myself telling them to ask their parents who migrated some years ago whether there were schools that taught English!
    ABSOLUTELY!!! Absolutely!! That is absolutely snobbish and annoying!
    Funnily enough, my English is better than some of my Australian friends’ and they get me to proof read things for them. The reason is we were taught basic grammar which they aren’t taught in Aus (don’t know about the UK and US)
    I agree, PB. And do take a look at their handwriting, if you get a chance!

  14. Its a misconception among other foreigners – is something u can explain them. But our own Indians talking abt our country like that certainly sucks….
    I agree, Uma. That is just not acceptable.
    When my sil moved to USA 3 yrs back, her daughter joined class 10 there and she excelled in her English entrance test. Those ppl were simply bowled over and asked my sil “r u really from Chennai ?? How come u and ur daughter speak English so well?” and got it nicely from my SIL…. πŸ˜‰
    Ha ha, what did she say to them?
    At least we make an effort to learn that language….there are so many European countries, where they speak only their lang….
    Absolutely! In India, most schools / colleges teach books in English. However, in countries like Poland for example, their text books are in Polish! Not many people even know English.
    Chennai auto fellows are speaking English !!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    Ha ha. This reminds me of Kartikay’s post πŸ™‚
    And thats one hilarious video from Rajini movie…. πŸ™‚
    πŸ˜†

  15. I also have stereo typed notions about caucasians. I feel that they are insular, don’t know anything about the world outside their own country – hell! Many times outside their own state!
    πŸ˜† πŸ˜† Have you seen that Youtube video?

  16. Hmmm. Well English has evolved from several languages from around the world… and a large chunk of it is Sanskrit. Even Basic English words like mother, father and brother has come from Sanskrit.
    So true!!!
    So, you should have asked them how they managed to come up with the fictitious Aryan Invasion Theory? Their perception, thoughts and views stem from their monumental ignorance. The “rich and developed” nation have to sell their armaments, etc to the so-called “poverty stricken third world” countries in order to sustain their economies… apart from exploiting the beautiful continent of Africa in the name of charity and progress, that is. They are truly what ancient Indians and Chanakya referred to as “Mlechchas”.
    Well said, Rosh! Strong point, made very well.

  17. Nice blog Pal.Yes foreigners who are general curious about Indian customs sometimes display monumental ignorance.
    But are Indians, those residing abroad as well Indians in India who are in line of vision of the foreigners when they visit India, good ambassadors?
    Ah!!! I agree, Karthik, Indians abroad don’t always present a good picture. It is a shame, really.
    I read an article yesterday which in Rediff or NDTV which states that the swanky new terminal 3 in IG Airport Delhi(It is really good ) is being used by people to sleep during the waiting time (similar to our railway platforms).So people who come down the first time will think that Indians are all poor which is co related to our education,hence they will be suprised that your English is good.
    I agree, rolling out a bedsheet and sleeping in a swanky terminal is certainly a sore sight. But this image of ‘ALL Indians being illiterate and poor has to change. Some day!!’
    So I feel if we have they have an opinion am sure we are partly to be blamed.Ignorance is one thing which these people demonstrate and indifference to our country’s image is some thing which are pride in doing.
    Definitely see your point, Karthik! It would be nice, though, if people were more aware of what is happening in the world around them, and not stick by an ‘impression’ they have from say, 30 years back.

  18. I had an Australian friend with whom I used to exchange emails.
    He announced he might be coming to India and while he was here, would I please teach him how to charm snakes?
    I graciously agreed provided he taught me how to throw a boomerang.
    Ha ha!! Great repartee!!
    We love pulling each other’s legs.
    Regards
    GV

  19. And yes!
    I just saw the Rajni Video couldn’t control the urge to click on Replay.
    Ha ha, one of our favourites πŸ™‚
    While on the subject, here is something freshly received from my idle friends who think nothing of fowarding me useless stuff like this.
    Ha ha, God bless such friends!! They sometimes make our day!
    =========================
    DON’T USE BIG WORDS please

    In promulgating your esoteric cogitations, or articulating your superficial sentimentalities and amicable, philosophical or psychological observations, beware of platitudinous ponderosity.
    Let your conversational communications possess a clarified conciseness, a compact comprehensibleness, coalescent consistency, and a concatenated cogency. Eschew all conglomerations of flatulent garrulity, jejune babblement and asinine affectations. Let your extemporaneous descantings and unpremeditated expatiations have intelligibility and veracious vivacity, without rhodomontade or thrasonical bombast.
    Sedulously avoid all polysyllabic profundity, pompous prolixity, psittaceous vacuity, ventriloquial verbosity, and vaniloquent vapidity. Shun double-entendres, purient jocosity, and pestiferous profanity, obscurant or apparent.
    In other words, talk plainly, briefly, naturally, sensibly, truthfully, purely. Keep from “slang”; don’t put on airs; say what you mean; mean what you say.
    Above all, don’t use big words!
    =============
    OMG, that was .. er.. er .. Ok, I’ll just say ‘no comments’ πŸ™‚ πŸ˜†
    Regards
    GV

  20. Oh I’ve heard this quite a lot while I was in UK. The ‘good English’ bit πŸ™‚
    Some people do have this impression. But I think that is beginning to change now. India and China are seen as progressive nations now…
    I hope so, Ash!! I really hope people are more aware, that so-called ‘third world’ countries are not so underdeveloped after all!!

  21. Reading this post reminded me of the conversation between Akshay Kumar and Katrina’s Kaif’s would be grand-fatherin-law in the movie Namastey London.

    πŸ™‚

    Lol!!

  22. I really don’t understand it when Americans talk about “English” πŸ˜€ Because, their accent is tough to make out too — and they’re rather fast. So are the Mexicans, Spaniards, French — other than proper British people, who speaks proper english anyway?!
    Exactly!!! French/Polish/Russian/German – they all speak English with different (aka difficult to understand) accents!!
    I get really annoyed when people remark on such things. And anyways, English is a global language. I wonder why the “English” are so surprised to know people from around the world can understand/speak their language πŸ˜›
    Very true!! English is certainly global and it should not be a ‘surprise’ that Indians can speak the language!
    In fact, I think an apt response to such questions would be that “it’s a shame you can’t speak my language while I can speak yours — and so well at that” πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
    Just that, they say it out of innocence/ignorance πŸ™‚

  23. Ah! Interesting topic!

    I would really recommend that you read “Orientalism” by Edward Said. Quite a controversial writer! His book, however, focuses on what you’re talking about – the image that has been thrust upon the Oriental world by the Occidental world. In fact, a good portion of the history that you and I read were written from an Occidental view.
    Wow! Very intriguing!!
    This was indeed a propaganda driven by colonialism – you can see the major biases in the first few textbooks used when English schools were setup in India!
    What a pity, isn’t it?
    To sum up his words, he asked us to write our own history. Record the world from our perspective. Use PR to build up what has been incorrectly thrust on us! In a way, we’re doing it. (The Indian version of Mills & Boons ? πŸ˜› ).
    LOL! That is a pretty interesting comparison.
    Please do add this book to your reading list!
    Coming from you, this must certainly be a good book. Will grab a copy, Kartikay!

  24. I think there are very few ignorant people out there in the world remaining. Coz. most of the foreigners I’ve met are all praises about India. I find that they’ve either been to India or want to really visit India once in their lives.
    Exactly Rakesh, the ones who are more aware of India today are naturally more in tune with the current state…however those who have never travelled to India or who do not have Indian friends tend to be a little ignorant.. cannot blame them really. Our media projects all the wrong stuff!!
    Most of them have at least 1 Indian friend, regardless of where they come from;
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
    And they are more than happy talking about the things that they’ve heard about India (all the nice ones, I mean).
    That;s always nice to hear, isn’t it!
    So if and when I meet someone the type you’ve met, I’d just feel sorry for them.
    ha ha πŸ™‚

  25. Wow nicely done, pal. Looks like you’re not the only one experiencing this. Hm strangely though I’ve never been asked that. Never. Perhaps they assume from my accent that I was raised here and learned the language the ‘correct’ way? :p
    Thanks Roop. That could be because you are ‘Indian’ HOWEVER not born/brought up in India, so that automatically changes the perception.
    My brother has never been to India. He is now 21 and refuses to go to a dirty and polluted country to waste his precious vacation time. Sadly, my father -an emigrant in 80s- encourages this thought in my brother.
    Oh that is quite sad…
    I guess father needs a justification for leaving India perhaps?
    Quite possible Roopie.. actually very good analysis…
    Luckily, I have no such baggage since I wasn’t the one who made the choice to move away from India. My parents will have to bear that burden. I enjoy India as I’d enjoy any other travel destination but I don’t think that I’d want to live there. That’s my view as an outsider since you asked. πŸ™‚ I don’t paint the country the same as my bro cuz I’ve traveled it unlike him.
    Hmm…

  26. Funnily enough i have never encountered this problem. MOst people i have met are amazed at how qualified most indians are!
    That’s very nice to hear πŸ™‚

  27. Beautiful header, Pallavi!
    Thank u Sandhya!
    ‘wanted to know how I managed to speak English, coming from India’ … ridiculous!
    Yes…its quite a stereotype…
    Now, the whole world knows that we have good brains and all are after employing our people in top jobs!
    Exactly my point, Sandhya. On one hand,it is a known fact that many Indians are extremely intelligent. On the other, we are asked if we can speak English!
    Nowadays, even villagers read news papers and magazines and analyse the news they read. They are dumb if they do not know how far we have come because of the IT jobs, now!
    Absolutely!
    Do they know how much money is involved in the 2G scam, which will show that we are not at all a poor country!
    LOL! Seriously… what a pity that all our wealth is in the wrong places!
    I too love the dialogue of Amitabh ‘I can talk English….’!
    Ha ha πŸ™‚ Classic and timeless piece no?
    Beautiful concluding line, Pallavi, ‘She replied, with a smile, β€˜Damn!! I was hoping to see some!’
    Thank u Sandhya.. Even I loved her sense of humour…
    Very interesting post!Thanks very much Sandhya

  28. Pals,
    just take a stat on what % of the people in india are below poverty line. Therein lies the answer on why india is perceived the way it is. Remember, you only represent a minority…
    Hmmmm./.. you do have a point Venu!

  29. My mom was once asked if we Indians still traveled about on elephants. She replied, “Of course! Everyone has their own personal elephant and elephant-garage.” πŸ˜›
    ROFL! How witty πŸ™‚

  30. I guess a lot of people who hvent visited perceive it very differently… but people who visit do get a fair idea… there are several nations in this one country of ours !!!!
    Beautifully said Hitchy… there are several nations within India πŸ™‚
    When I used to work for a cotton co we used to regularly get visitors from abroad and they were mighty impressed… but then they dealt with us… they were clear in their mind that fortunes lie in India and China and that we will rule the trades in future.. !
    Oh really…wow πŸ™‚ I wish…
    In general I think we speak proper and more correct English than a lot of westerners espcially americans !
    Hee hee, thats funny πŸ™‚ and interesting too, though I simply love the way Americans speak English..

  31. Get your point. We need to stop packaging it as exotic India too – every tourist campaign shows this off. And people are coming to see that – they don’t get to see it at home.
    Ah, now that is a beautiful point, Sangitha!!
    I had a university professor say it to me – oh, your english is very good. There’s a bit of racism in all this, add in recent insecurity of jobs going away from the developed countries and people’s fear and anger in it. We are where they were a couple of decades ago. As for elephants not being on our roads, in Bangalore you can stills see camels and cows and elephants on and off. Let’s embrace that too….this is India, come and like it or not, either way it’s your gain/loss.
    Lol, we seriously see elephants on the road? I don’t think so, Sangitha. Cows and buffalos, yes, even in Chennai πŸ™‚
    Check out this video for a witty reply at a graduation – http://youtu.be/FSeItNfQhIY
    Oh yes I’ve seen that. It was funny, but you know, I also felt the guy was making himself popular at the expense of his country.. not very patriotic , is it?!

  32. India is such a land of contrast!
    Absolutely πŸ™‚
    We have people speaking so many languages including international languages like English while this can be rarity in other nations. ( I myself have officially learned 4.. nd now have a rudiment knowledge of Arabic too)
    Wow!!!
    But yet we deride ourselves when we dont speak a foreign language perfectly. Think we are being too harsh on ourselves.
    Seriously, Asha. We really need to have more self-respect and pride in ourselves and stop being so passive and underconfident!
    and most outsiders have no idea about the true India and I personally think it is their loss πŸ™‚ This holds true for those Indians too, who feel ashamed of their roots.
    Very well said πŸ™‚
    but then we also have the richest and maybe even the poorest staying side by side… aka Ambani πŸ™‚ if not anything else, if the ever increasing divide between the rich and the poor is reduced, movies like Slumdog millionaire can be totally ignored.
    Couldn’t agree more, Asha.

  33. yep have faced that.. many people were surprised to know that we study everything in English medium.. It’s high time we had some movies portraying the good side of India, instead of ones like Slumdog..
    Absolutely, even I think we have to project ourselves better!

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