Sunday, October 16, 2005

America. A land where you saw your dreams and opportunities come true. The land you came to after leaving it “all” behind. And today, as you stand in awe and admiration of the magnificent Statue of Liberty, amongst a crowd of New Yorkers on their way to work, what do you hear? You hear this. “Did you hear that Abhishek and Rani are carrying on? Oh my god, yaar!”. Yes, it’s the invasion of the “desis”, who have arrived to burst your sweet “I’m-away-from-home” bubble. Desis, desis everywhere, not a whitey in sight. Desis are like ants – we migrate in hordes. We’ve formed dominions of influence in places as spread out as South Africa, Canada, U.A.E. and of course, the “States” (a truly desi reference, as if it’s the only country with that kind of divisional policy).

And this is America, today. A melting pot of Hispanics, Asians, Africans, Europeans and “desis” (or in a more politically correct classification – South Asians). An inter-continental smorgasbord, if you will. A land where white people are soon diminishing into a minority. Most Americans, however, have a very ambiguous outlook towards Indians and India. They think that we can do only one of two jobs in America –manage convenience stores or code software. And contrary to belief, most Americans still think that back home, Indians are snake-charmers, goat-herders or inept call center representatives. Although the awareness is building, it still needs to be purported on a vast scale. And movies like Bride and Prejudice aren’t helping as they still show Indians as a bunch of over-zealous, elephant-followers. Yes, I agree we have a wonderful culture and oodles of tradition – but we also have a metropolitan side to India that needs to be portrayed to the world through popular film. Bollywood, are you listening?

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