Bandana on the head, Extra large fitting basket ball jersey and shorts, half boot size Nike shoes, and a baseball cap which reads NY worn sideways.
“Wat’s up Yo man! This is the US of A… Yo!” Cool isn’t it??? the US of A.
Isn’t that exactly what you’re thinking???….. No??? Damn you! Liars…..
Yes i’m in the USA.. I know you think this is going to be some super typical Indian blog post about how wonderful USA is and how I so love it here.. How I dreamt of it and how i feel on the top of the world coming here! But read on… trust me… It’s all that and more..
Right… so here I am.. another Indian among the million here in the US. And i received the same chat pings of “Wow dude.. awesome! You’re going to have super fun dude.. Rock it!” OR “Damn! You’re going.. You’ll be in the US in a month’s time.. you’re going to have all the fun in the world man..!” OR “Dude.. mast ladki patana be.. Gori chitti” (Dude, get a good chic.. fair and lovely.. ) OR “Dude you’ll go to Vegas and Niagara Falls and Manhattan and Times Square.. Fuck dude..!! It’s going to be so much fun! You’ll get to see JLo or U2 or Mettalica concerts, click photos and send it okay”
Yes I will ask James Hetfield to come have dinner with me.. Ask Bono to meet up in Starbucks or Tim Hortons for a chat over French Vanilla Or ask JLo to teach me to Salsa.. Bleddy!!!
Everyone thinks coming to the US is whole lot of fun! Or anywhere outside India for that matter.. Like you go to UK and people are like “Dude.. Buckingham palace photos okay!! And Madame Tussads.. !! Obama, stand next to him or Spider man.. Ooooo Brad pitt will be there.. ssss… aaah… shit man!! Wish i could go.. Fuck!!! Life sucks..!! anyway.. you’ll have good fun!”
Or the more intellectual will go ” Dude.. get me a ManC jersey.. Rob Van Percie!!! Please please pleaseeeeeeeee.. OH and you’ll go to the Royal Museum… and Oxford Street… sheh.. Hey…. what was that place Sherlock Holmes stayed in???? Can you please let me know if it really exists.. Take a photo and send it okay!!! The London EYE!!! Fuck..! Awesome man!!! Wish I could go.. Anyway you go.. Have fun!”
Yeah… yeah… yeah… Everyday we get to visit Madame Tussad’s and change Marylin Monroe’s frocks.. Or have breakfast with Kate and William in Buckingham Palace.. Or swim in Niagara or Raft in the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.. Or play Poker in Vegas wearing an Armani suit, till we’re dead, and then go back to the Jacuzzi in the flashy hotel’s honeymoon suite and have a steam bath with a Vodka Martini; shaken not stirred, while a white chic is waiting for us in the bed.. Bleddy Buggers!!!
We’re students here.. Students who’s education is funded by Banks in India lending Education loans at a celestial 13% rate of interest, or parents who’re paying through their nose pulling out all their life’s savings foregoing their desire to buy a house (every Indian’s dream!). It’s not easy my friends.. It’s not easy..
- It’s not easy to move out of a place you had friends in numbers and a wonderful routine of life and into a new country with new culture, new food, new prices , new measurements and new people. Sounds fun but isn’t.
- It isn’t easy to sit in your room and hear nothing but deafening silence endlessly, interrupted by an occasional car engine sound or the momentary chatter of a couple walking past your house. Not when you’re used to crowded streets and noise all around.
- It’s not easy to not know where to go for entertainment and be left alone at home bored, frustrated, lonely and blah-ed out!
- It’s not easy to leave your family and stay across the world from them. Essentially , physically the farthest you can get.(If you’re an Indian coming to the US. Unless of course if you want to be in a perpetual state of Neil Armstrong on the Moon or one of NASA’s Mars wanderer robots! You can’t possibly get farther than this.)
- It’s not easy to be in a land where spices are a rarity and cheese and breads are most of what you have to satisfy your hunger and palate with.
- It’s not easy to all of a sudden spend in the multiples of 50 (which soon will be 60, thanks to the greatest Finance Minister of our country leading our way into the greatest downfall of the Rupee against the Dollar)
- It’s not easy to NOT convert dollars into rupees, everytime George Washington or Abraham Lincoln decides to walk out of your wallet in exchange for a cup of coffee or a burger and you almost see your parent’s face there on the green bills with tears in their eyes saying.. “Beta.. drink drink.. we’ll drink our tears.. Yenjaay the kaapi!!!“
- It’s not easy when you’re new and you wonder why all the switches in your room work the other way round.
- It’s not easy when you walk into a grocery store and you want to buy milk and you’re left wondering which one of the cans is the “normal blue packet milk” mom buys back home!
- It’s not easy to walk past a row of colorful corn flakes cartons stacked in Walmart and resist your temptation to pick up a few of them and have them for your breakfast.
- It’s not easy to walk past a row of those chocolates (your US uncle used to bring) and not pick a few because now you know they cost a good amount of money. The Snickers, Mars, Twist, Butterfingers and the Reese’s.
- It’s not easy to discover, what you put in your washing machine as your clothes, came out smelling great but resized to fit your 10 year old nephew.
- It’s not easy to NOT have what we called a row of useless shops down the lane you live. To have to walk half a mile to a supermarket to buy few ounces of tomatoes or a packet of salt or worse a pen! and wait in the line for it to be billed.
- It’s not easy to pull your card for every other thing and then realize one fine evening when you’re buying JUST what you wanted to buy always, that your card has run out of money! And you walk back home dejected and in a state of shock thinking “Fuck!!! When did I spend the $200??? Bleddy I just bought basic stuff dude..“
- It’s not easy to call up your dad within a month of your arrival, asking him to load your card with money.
- It’s not easy to ask the waitress in a restaurant OR the server at Subway to repeat what she said or every question she asked, coz you can’t get her accent.
- It’s not easy to order a Cheeseburger with a wide grin, only to bite into it and find something harder than what you thought would be an Alu Tikki (Hash Browns) in there and go running to find a place to spit all that out when your friend or worse, a stranger tells you it’s a beef burger in it! And go back home all disgusted coz you feel you broke the taboo.
- It’s not easy to be in a place where you find a lot of Indians, but few who talk and fewer who befriend and even few who are genuine.
- It’s not easy to be in a place where all you can do is Voice Chat or Skype with your loved ones and tell them how much you miss them and get the “Awww” and “I’m there!” as the only solace.
- It’s not easy to not know that you’ve to press the button on the lamp post at the intersection and wait for the light to turn green before crossing the road.
- It’s not easy to be in a place where people seldom talk and rely on data on the internet or on the notice boards to navigate / travel to and from places.
- It’s not easy to not know what to do when you get on a public bus and feel embarrassed at not having enough change to slot it into the ticket machine, or worse, just walk into the bus towards the seat, only to have the driver call you back and ask you to put $2 into the machine next to him!
- It’s not easy to be in a place where you’ve almost no choice of a vegetarian meal on a restaurant menu. You generally have just one dish. That essentially is not a choice!
- It’s not easy to be in a place where there are 6 kinds of cheese, and you are left wondering which one will taste like Amul Cheese or the one on Domino’s pizza back home!
- It’s not easy to be in a place where the walls are paper thin, and all that you talk to your mom or girlfriend or boyfriend is audible to the guy in the next room. Hell you can’t even bitch about your roommate here!
- It’s not easy to live in a place where houses are made of wood and every time someone walks around, the thuds are loud and clear.
- It’s not easy to live in a place where littering on the road is not a common thing. Especially if you are the literaty kinds!
- It’s not easy when you walk into the shower and come out of the tub and find stagnant water in the bathroom with the carpets floating in water, with no outlet for the water to flow.
- It’s not easy to learn to use paper!
- It’s not easy to know that you can’t throw buckets of water and use that wet ‘jhadoo’ your mom used to use to clean your floor. That you can just broom it, vacuum clean it or mop it.
- It’s not easy to know that you can’t drop anything liquid or solid on the carpet in your room, coz the stain might never go, and your landlord will charge you hefty when you leave the house.
- It’s not easy to know that the buses won’t stop if you show them a hand even if you’re a few feet away from the stop and running frantically to catch it, coz simply speaking, they’ve keep up with the skeduel (schedule).
- It’s not easy to live in a place which sees no sun or at max a couple of sunny days for 3 months of a year, with everything turning monochromatic automatically, thanks to the snowfall.
- It’s not easy to study in a place where the assignments are huge and you’ve no one to even cook food for you. That the laundry, the room and everything else has to be done by you alone.
- It’s not easy to study in an insitution where deadlines are not compromised on. And that most of them contain “11:59 pm” in their description. So you really can’t walk up to a prof with a stupid grin and plead him to accept your assignment the next morning.
- It’s not easy to live in a place where you walk into a pub and find everyone dancing in couples and grinding and engaging in public displays of weird sexual acts (not affection, coz we’re talking strangers in a pub here!)
- It’s not easy to not look at a couple kissing on the campus while walking to your lecture and be stared at, by them.
- It’s not easy to get embarrassed because you asked a friend to open his car’s ‘dicky’ or you wanted to give her a ‘ring’ in the evening or you weren’t standing in a ‘queue’ but in a ‘line’.
- It’s not easy to not be able to ever find your friends online because the timezone is completely messed up!
- It’s not easy to fix up a day and time to talk to your parents and then be left high and dry if you missed that appointment.
- It’s not easy to know you can’t afford to fall ill since the medical insurance is high, and an appointment with general physician generally is available after a few weeks of your booking.
- Worse, it’s not easy to NOT get medicines without a prescription. Hell you don’t get glasses without a prescription! (What am i going to do with my glasses??? Kill myself or eat it to get high!!! Bleddy..)
There are many more “It’s not easy” liners.. But bottomline.. It’s just not easy.. Plain as that.. !
So the next time you are at the airport saying goodbye to one of your friends or cousins going abroad. Don’t say “You will to have fun be!“.. Instead say “It won’t be easy and you’ll mess up.. but try and Have fun! and for any do’s and don’t’s read this blog titled Nuts and Bonkers.. Bleddy awesome that guy is.. writes good stuff! ” 😉
The post must’ve dragged a wee bit too long.. Pardon me..But I’m just high on Blognac..
Ya that’s a new brandy I brewed.. Come over sometime, we’ll sit and have it together..!
Until then… Drink me up hearties.. !!! Good ol’ hot rum!
Bye the Bye..