america · desi · People

Desi Musings

Lets make a movie.

This is on Desis. Its more on Indian grad students but we also want some random Desis thrown in. To kill more time. The ingredients. We don’t need no story. A couple of incoherent scenes, daily happenings, typical day to day proceedings here.

Most of the time, we take advantage of our language. We’ll have two guys, walking briskly, in the university hallway and a blond just walks past, at least one has to exclaim,”O-m-**-le nu irukka”! And you walk past, just normally. Or maybe, you are working with a few “figures” and some of your friends come in and say to you,”Machi, rendum ghummnu irukunga da, correct panniya!” And they walk away, leaving you totally tensed, thinking how to translate in case those “figures” asked you to. These things happen, quite frequently.

Everyone dresses maximal during winter. Tough semester, gloomy mornings, cold nights, dead trees. And going to college, lab at these times, can be an ordeal. You cannot wait for spring. You cannot wait for summer. When the fashion sense returns, campus becomes colorful and everything is as minimal as possible. We’ll play this in the background.

Moving away from grad students. If you go visit your cousins during winter break, they’ll tell you what they truly think of the term ABCD. Most don’t care. Its another one of those media blown phrases. They are confused in the sense that neither can they move full on with Americans nor are they accepted by the prejudiced Indians. They play a role in our movie. We’ll probably show them singing Eppadi Padinaro. They don’t miss an episode of Heroes. They don’t miss Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana either. They’ll tell you Eppadi Padinaro is Karnataka Devagandhari. Its probably not a coincidence, the Rock & Roll hall of fame is in Cleveland.

Indians are good at coding. We need to have some coding related scenes. There is our guy, coding away to glory. His program compiles and then he is all super glee. Then he runs into, what else- Segmentation Fault. Our geek friend comes along and shows this. Our coder can take no more. He closes vi, changes GTalk status message to “I quit” and listens to this.

Another interesting freedom here, is the ease with which you can rent cars. Typical conversation between two grads go like this:

Guy 1: We got a Mustang, we didn’t take it.

Guy 2: WTF! Why didn’t you?

Guy 1: Mileage :(

Guy 2: Hell with mileage. Dude, show gethu (show off)! Where did you get Mustang anyway?

Guy 1: Thrifty

Guy 2 ( turns to his roommate): Oh, we always try Enterprise :(

Then we have the internship hunt. You’ve given up saying its a rat race here, lets not get carried away. Then you see the cutest Indian in class. You are tempted to inquire. If, SHE could have made it somewhere, then you are not bad after all. She comes to you and says,” I’ll be in Mountain View during summer. You know, Google?”. You feel cheated. Somebody, please cry. Or better, drop dead. Enna koduma saravanan idhu?

It makes you wonder if the green card holders of today were the boy and girl from the previous paragraph. The desi diaspora has a cult of its own. Globe trotting executive, Manhattan employed wife, Carnatic and basketball learning kids, Christmas party throwers, Superbowl fanatics, Desipundit readers, Desicritics contributors,grad bloggers, mom bloggers, Karan Johar loyalists, Art of Living promoters, Clinton loving oldies, Obama supporting youngsters, tenure seeking Asst Professors, idea seeking PhDs, H1-B seeking OPTs, job seeking graduates, CPT seeking FOBs and so on. We’ll fit in all of them in our movie.

I know this is incoherent. This is only a rough sketch. I am sure the whole thing will come out much better on camera. Leave a comment if you have more ideas. And in case, you pip us to the post and complete the movie, make sure you give credit to this blog. Plagiarism, you see. Academic, non-academic, social blah blah integrity, my friend. Remember, you are in the US of A.


23 thoughts on “Desi Musings

  1. @jayashri:

    I completely agree with you jayashri! I am all for it and I don’t encourage my friends to talk in Tamil with me when there is a Telugu person along with us or a person of any native for that matter. And I agree complimenting her directly would be the best thing to do. This is just an example of reality and not my chosen way of having fun :)


  2. i loved your entry. obviously a lot of thoughts going on!

    ABCD…. how many times do i hear that?1 oh, and those cousins! they’re all the same! yes, i can related to this post as well!




  3. The post is “o**ale”…Machi, u shud have a scene from sammy’s to include that fraction of the desi population as well…i need a small role :)


  4. dude tell u what , u can chuck cs n take up a writing or a cinema course, maybe u can try cinema school at sc who knows neeyum oru spielberg madri varuva!


  5. Ofcourse, also add to the movie the group of Desis vehemently arguing about how exactly to solve the Extra Credit question on the department’s hardest course- Design & Analysis of Algorithms.


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