Monday, October 11, 2010

The Species Called ...

Note 1: This is THE post that I was giving heads up about, in my previous posts
Note 2: There are always exceptions. If you stay abroad, you are exactly the exception I am talking about. But there is a small quiz at the end, if you like to take.
Note 3: Famous or infamous, any controversy adds popularity. What is the best way to gain overseas popularity than taking a dig against them?
Note 4: All the people living abroad are mature enough to laugh at themselves, and still feel good about it
Note 5: No one throws stones at fruitless trees. Only those full of then get hits.

That’s it guys, I ran out of comments that can pacify ‘The species called NRIs’
Long long ago Darwin classified the life on earth - called them reptiles, mammals etc and gave the gold to humans. And even before that, the men self-divided selves in whatever way possible (race, country, religion etc). But somehow everyone left it to the genius of Morus to classify this most superior species called NRIs

The term is first coined by Indian government and called it "Non Resident Indians". (For some reason, they are called NRIs even if they come back). It's only after the release of Swadesh, the real meaning was brought to light by Ashutosh Gowariker - "Non Returning Indians". Well but they do return to India, at-least briefly. But probably, since they can never return to being Indians, this definition holds true. Dodge this – ‘you will never see a day that they don’t speak about abroad, when they are in India.’ (And if there is, it is most likely that they are alone in the house that day.)
I think this is the funniest reply I’ve seen from a 2 months old, 3rd generation NRI. "Typical California Weather." The question is irrelevant, but 2 months to judge a typical California weather, and certifying that California in-fact has California weather qualifies it to top the charts.

“I am not complaining”, is how these conversations start but the rest of the conversations will be nothing but complaints on why India is not like US or doesn’t have tubes like London etc.

The optimist part of me used to think that it is just their concern for their motherland that they complain. But the water cooler discussions are what enlightened me to the fact that it is just an attention war (Ex: Walk on the Manhattan road, you will realize San Francisco is just another laidback city). And hence this post is to certify that they win the war and they are in-fact the most superior species that ever lived on the sub-continent.

Like any other species, NRIs also affect the ecosystem around them. If you are an Andhraite, you would definitely have heard a comment or two on this NRI hype; from their agents (also called family) left behind on this less privileged place. With all the sophistication they have somehow they are the best selling item in the marriage market. People who crib about the Indian corruption/bribes take the highest dowry (for me, both of them are not very different.)

Who knows, may be this time around I will comeback with a "I heart NY" in Bangalore, cursing the luggage delay and boasting about the difference between (read as greatness of) Hong Kong airport and San Jose airport to my comrade NRI (remember the water cooler discussions?).

But here is a small test if you want to measure the NRIness in you. Will put the answers in comments in a while.

All the questions start with “In India:”

1. iPhone or Android , who do you think the people will support?

2. What is the flight fare from Bangalore to Chennai?

3. What is the max speed you can do on Mumbai - Pune freeway?

4. What is the federal law for audio piracy?


PS 1: Nothing... really...


  1. Questions again:

    1. iPhone or Android , who do you think the people will support?
    2. What is the flight fare from Bangalore to Chennai?
    3. What is the max speed you can do on Mumbai - Pune freeway?
    4. What is the federal law for audio piracy?

    Answer 1. People support political parties or actors not the insignificant things like Mobile OS.
    Answer 2. If your guess in some $s or euros, the currency in India is still Rs
    Answer 3. Yeah it’s not MPH; also there are no freeways in India. This is still an expressway, even after you went to US.
    Answer 4. You should answer both the parts right – Its called central government, not federal; and it doesn’t cares about audio piracy. CWG mess is still the top of its priority.

    You might have got all of them right, but trust me I have seen some galling conversations where people show their NRIness in contexts like these.

  2. Really a gud post!! I got the last three answers right, so I am not an NRI :) But I shud agree that I am one of the guys cribbing (not much though) about US vs India, especially when I see the well planned roads..

  3. was expecting a much BIGGER post Sandy, after those tweets. Made it a point to visit your blog/my reader every now and then to see if you updated it.
    i totally agree with all that you said, but i still don't know the reason behind your prejudice towards the so called NRI term and the people. can we have some insight into that? :P
    and for the questionnaire part, my answers to all those were "look it up on the Internet dude" except for the first one since I use Nokia 1110 types and I really don't care about smart phones. :D Also, I never realized the difference between highway/freeway/expressway. i thought they are all the same, similar if not same. and hows ur neck.

  4. @tnx Srikanth... And I hope you stay that way for good :-)

    @Vee, Neck is getting better... And the post, its just the feedback from junta, they like short ones.. And anyways this is just the beginning...
    My prejudice: I just find the hype funny - having seen the life here and there. And funnier when people(sorry the NRIs) make conscious effort to ridicule themselves.
    Highway/freeway/expressway: interchangeable terms - ppl purposefully use the non-Indian terms.

  5. what contributes more to your prejudice? is it the hype that relatives of your NRI give ? or is it the self hype those NRIs show off after they return back?

  6. Its the self hype dude.. It wont me fair on my part to blame them for something their relatives are doing.

    Its the self hype, and especially in scenes when the people around them are not interested in it.

  7. Well, if itz just NRIs making hype of their-ness, you are wrong. For instance, few ppl just buy Mac and say Mac beats rest of the crap and those who use other OS are under-privileged(though they start their comp. education on Windows,ain't this similar to Ind to foreign transition?! But the topic yu discussed gathers more attention since it relates many ppl's life among the audience of this blog). I believe there shud be something stronger than obvious reasons for yur prejudice! :P

    Pradeep :)

  8. i'm pissed! i typed in a huge comment and when i pressed enter, google said "service unavailable" and my comment is gone. i'm damn pissed!
    will comment later..

  9. @Pradeep...Well but Mac beats the rest (the rest is crap as you rightly said).

    And it is not similar. Moving from windows to mac is progress.
    Moving from India to US is not exactly progress, it is just a change... But ppl feel that they have become more civilized, advanced thinking etc etc...

    Be assured, the reason for my prejudice is not you for sure my dear Brother :-) You haven't exactly become an NRI (even if that remark offends you :P )

  10. @Vee, Sorry on Google's behalf... but don't want to miss your valuable comments :-) Can you atleast give the gist of it.. Ctrl C it this time before submit!

  11. Sandeep... the whole problem I guess starts from the over generalization of the term "NRI". Somehow people believe that everyone who leaves India even briefly is an NRI... F1 / H1 / B1 / L1 ... no matter what. Seems to me that you might have the same categorization back in your head.

    Well the definition of NRI according to the GoI is completely (Refer Wiki). The fact that they have taken the pains to become a permanent resident of another country shows that they have no intention whatsoever to be an Indian anymore and such NRIs should sure as hell have that hype about themselves :P Therez no questioning that!

    Then why have the Indian-ness lingering around??? ... family ties! Not to worry the next generation wouldn't have any such binding factors... they are already alien country citizens.

  12. Agreed.. and the real problem is people "who leaves India even briefly (F1 / H1 / B1 / L1)".. they consider themselves as NRIs and my post is dedicated to all those amazing people..
    I have no problem with ppl who dont return or who live abroad, taking all those pains..
    Its the hype they create after they return (if they return), I find funny.

    Well then, technically (according to GoI) my post might not be catageorized as an NRI digg, but for the lack of better terminology I stick to it..