What we say, reflects a lot about who we are. It’s basically the base of our social image. How you talk, when do you talk, with whom do you talk? Things like this create a platform for us in the society.
I’m the definition of an awkward teenager. I’m an introvert, I don’t talk to a lot of people, I prefer books to an actual person, and I’m brilliant. I’m not being cocky, that’s just the way I am 😉 Jokes apart, and getting down to the point of this post.
A professor from USA came to my friend’s house for a couple of days. He was actually a delight to talk to and to gain knowledge from. His fiance on the other hand, not so much. I don’t know why, the things she said kind of made me question her sanity. I don’t know what was wrong with her. She made almost hundred racist assumption about Indians in half an hour, most of them which made my witty senses hike. I’m not saying that everyone who does’t live in southern Asia is like that. I’m just saying that some people have a hard time expressing or analyzing the appropriate the appropriate things to say.
Here are a few things that she said to me, along with my mental replies to that, which you should just avoid saying to an Indian.
1. How come you people speak so amazing English?
Yes, lady, we speak English. I’m impeccable at that, and it’s something I’m proud of. Also, we’re the second largest English speaking population in the world. We speak Hindi, our State’s language, and are capable of understand Higher Level Hindi, too. Yes, there are levels to Hindi, too. It’s not only what Indians speak.
2. So you speak Hindu?
Absolutely. I speak Muslim, Christian, Sikh, too. What the hell? Hindu is not a language, it’s a religion, damn it!
3. Can you teach me Yoga?
Yes, I could try. Though you’d end up like a pretzel, but sure? Why not? Asking a teenager to teach you Yoga will be the smartest thing you ever do!
4. How come India is in Asia, but you aren’t Asian?
Well, that might be because there’s thing called archaeology which proved that all Indians (Northern) came from the Indus Valley, who came from Europe. We’re Aryans (North Indiana), lady, not Dravids (South Indians). Seriously, did you not study History at all?
5. You should go into tech support. Isn’t that what you people do?
Of course. That’s what we do. 1.3 billion people take calls from Western countries all day long. Urgh! Why the hell would I go into tech support of BPO industry? I’m highly technologically challenged.
6. Do you only eat spicy food?
Yes, we eat raw chilies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That probably might be because all of our taste buds were destroyed at birth, and we’re immune to any kind of taste unless it’s doused in hot sauce. Do you want me to pour some into your mouth? Like, right now? Here’s the thing, guys. We don’t only eat spicy food. We have a digestive system which can be harmed by excessive amount of chilies. But, yeah, we do have a high tolerance for spices, but that doesn’t mean that all we eat is curry.
7. Why do you need so many gods?
They give me the patience and spiritual fortitude to keep from punching ignorant people, like yourself. Another thing about us Indians, just because our religion has so many gods, doesn’t mean that we need each and every one of them. Our gods are a lot similar to the Greek ones. They used to pray nature gods, and so do we. Name a natural phenomenon and we’ve got a god for that. Personally, I believe in only one god, and that is the god with no name, no face, and no stories. I just know there is one, and he/she is okay with me not praying to him 24/7.
8. Have you ever ridden on top of a train? It looks like fun!
I ride on top of trains only when my Elephant is broken and my camel is in garage. What do you think, dumb-dumb? While we’re at it, why don’t I throw you on top of one right now?
9. Cricket is…like a lame version of baseball, right?
What the f***???!!! TAKE THAT BACK. NOW. Take that shit back and no one gets hurt. That is something you just don’t even think. Even if you have a mind capable of thinking such a wicked thing, you don’t say it out loud. Especially in front of an Indian. You just don’t freaking say it. EVER.
10. You must really love math!
I don’t even know enough math to count all the racist assumptions you’ve made today. Math and I have a mutual understand where I don’t study it, and it doesn’t fight me. As simple as that.
11. It’s all like “Slumdog Millionaire” right?
100% Would you like me to start by shoving your eyes out of your sockets?
If you have said those things to an Indian…then, the best you can do is avoid it the next time. Curiosity about a country’s culture is another things, and making assumptions based on what you’ve heard is something entirely different. Catering to someone’s curiosity is something I can do. But being a subject to people’s assumptions is what takes me off the edge. If you’re one of the sane ones who haven’t said any of the above things, then I appreciate you, and urge you to maintain your sanity for times ahead, too.
We speak pretty awesome English, we eat all kinds of food, and we do a lot more than tech support. We aren’t born with yoga hardwired into our brains and we don’t dance around on top of trains like they do in Bollywood movies. Mathematics isn’t a die-hard interest of every Indian. There are some of us who think that studying math after 10th standard is pointless, unless you want to pursue it on a higher level. Having so many gods is something which is a matter of belief and opinion. I belong to a Bramhin family who are “meant” to be religious and all that crap. I’m not a speck of that. I’m spiritual and I believe in all the religions all around the world. I do that out of respect. Oh, yeah, the most important thing. Do not, in any condition, ever…say that Cricket is lame. Don’t even think that. It’s not like baseball, and it is most definitely not a lamer version of it. Who would say such a thing?
Seriously, it’s funny at first to us, too. But in the end, it gets annoying, and then downright offensive.
Please, avoid such future remarks.
Sarkar dwara janhit mein jaari. (Issued in public welfare)