Archive for January 14th, 2010



 The tired woman steps into the house. It has been a hectic day at work. And beating the rush hour traffic has sapped her of most of her energy.

She looks forward to seeing her children. Their smile, no doubt, helps to relieve the bonds of fatigue.

The hall is littered with toys. Thrown around with gay abandon by the terrible two!

The kids rush up to her as soon as she’s inside. Their faces are aglow with recognition and impatience. Each wants to be the first one to be lifted high by their mother.

She knows that the sharp eyes of the grandmother don’t miss a thing. She knows that the old lady would disapprove. She needs to wash up before being permitted to handle her children.

She tries to side step the kids. They howl in protest.Anger.Like jilted lovers, they yell their hearts out.

She has to turn a deaf ear to their screaming. She hurries inside. Quickly changes and performs the ablutions. Then rushes out to her children.

The boy turns away from her. Making her yearn for him as he did for her a few minutes back. It’s his way of punishing her. For not reciprocating his advances.

She is crestfallen. A little disappointed and sad. Amazed that a person this small could hold a power so strong over her. Could manipulate and twist her heart around his little finger.

Ruminating over this, she misses out on the small girl walking up to her, until suddenly; she comes very close and pulls at her mother’s dress.

She looks down at the little girl at her feet.

The girl holds up a toy in her hand for her mother to look at. And says, “Maa…”.

Her first words to address her mother.

After months of parroting “Mamma” in front of the girl and still not receiving that one word from her lips.

And now this. The title given so lightly. As if it was always meant to be.

Once more, the woman falls in love. And falls to her knees in gratitude.

To the little girl who made her mother’s day.

To finally, hear the one word that makes her existence seem worthwhile.

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So, in the next Lok Sabha elections, NRIs will be allowed to vote.

That’s a big Yay!! To all the Indians staying abroad. Its high time we stopped treating them like discards and letting them have a say in the matters of their country.

I personally know a lot of my friends staying abroad who welcome this move.

On the other hand, the BF is not too happy with this verdict. His argument being that people staying abroad have no idea what exactly is happening here. Which MLA or corporator is worth his ticket and which isn’t. The media may highlight the achievements of the main political parties, but no one other than the regular citizens is aware of what exactly happens in their area. The developments taking place, the infrastructure provided the facilities for citizens. He says that NRIs are not aware of these minute details and hence, those being in a large majority may tilt the balance towards some other political party which caters to their convenience.

At one level, I do agree with him. But as an Indian, I have the inherent desire to see all Indians with the same perspective. So if you want to go abroad and stay there, be my guest. But don’t vent your venom on people already there.

There is this colleague of mine who has been brought up in the USA since he was a baby. His parents relocated to USA shortly after his birth and the only contact he has with India are a few cousins/relatives from his father’s side whom he gets to meet once in 4-5 years. He has come to India for 6 months for work (his on-site trip :D).

Since the day he joined, I’ve seen people asking him whether he was an Indian or an American. It was sad to see him squirming with discomfort at the blatant questioning. Because though he has to vow allegiance to the land he was born in, his sensibilities are American. He was raised there and is more American than the locals.

Should this be taken as a case against him?? Poor guy was subjected to many condescending looks and jibes. As if it was his mistake that his family left the country for greener pastures.

Some colleagues even quipped that he was the ‘Non reliable Indian” and made jokes on it.

Frankly, it was disgusting. The expectation of him having to apologize for his non-Indian -ness.

It wasn’t funny. Why compel a guy to feel guilty for something he isn’t. He himself does not consider himself an Indian as much as an American, so how can we claim him for ourselves? Make him guilty for not knowing the national anthem. Rebuke him for not knowing his mother-tongue!!

What gives us the authority to be judgmental of such people??

Are we holier-than-thou just because we were born and brought up here??

And frankly, given a chance to go and settle abroad, how many of us would possibly refuse??

On t he other hand, there are people, who though abroad, are mentally rooted to their motherland. They follow the rules and regulations of the country they stay in, yet, it is their own country which is dear to them.

Would it be fair to deprive such people of their involvement in the development of their country?

It’s a different story that a lot of NRI money flows in for political purposes. There does arise some consternation as to the ethics of politics once the NRIs are allowed to vote. But then, Indian politics have NEVER been ethical, so that’s a very minor issue here.

Somehow, I relate to these people, unflatteringly called as the ‘Diaspora’ (Who coined this term anyway?!! Every time I hear it, I have this horrible mental image of adults going around in diapers!! Sheesh!!)

You may feel that you belong but then you end up having people from both sides condemning you as an outsider. What could be worse?

We say that world is getting smaller. But sometimes, I feel, we are doing our damned best to make sure that the distances grow further.

Its time we accept that those who do want to belong, shouldn’t be deprived. They have a right to their motherland too. They have a right to lend a hand in the progress of the nation. We don’t just need their dollars. We need their presence too.

I, personally, welcome the move.

I guess it stems from the fact that I can understand what “not belonging” feels like!!

So lets stop calling them “Non R***** Indians” .Why not rephrase it to “New Responsible Indians”?

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