Monday, June 04, 2007


The first thing I noticed when I got into the bus today was the lady right in the backseat, talking animatedly to a gentleman next to her.
Like most of the people in the bus (the bus through Woodbridge...reminds me of 'Last bus to Woodstock'), the both of them were Indians.
The woman was telling him "And you know, my daughter stopped and asked, Mom, who is that?". And I did not know who that was. Do you know that man, the freedom fighter who has a dhoti across his shoulders? I know it is not Gandhi, because I can identify him anywhere, but this guy was wearing proper clothes.

The gentleman somehow surmised who this is, and with much mockery in his voice "Oh, that must be Sardar Vallabhai Patel you are talking about". And went on to explain the dress and all that, and some glimmer of recognition dawned on the woman's face. "Oh yes, that's the one". I really do not know how she missed the sarcasm in his voice.

I can understand this if she were a second generation Indian in this land. Or if she were from some remote corner of India, uneducated, living under her husband's foot. But no, this is a software engineer, maybe a couple of years in the US...

Any person, of any nationality other than ours, who's had as much education as she's had, would have been ashamed to ask such a question. Wouldn't Americans remember Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King?

Was she really ignorant of this personality or is it just a "show off" to show that America has changed her so much that she doesn't remember her nation's heroes any more? And brag it out so loudly and proudly...

We all cannot help but laugh at the pathetic depths to which some of us can lower ourselves. It'd help a great deal to realize that these things, rather than enhance our image in the eyes of our gracious host countrymen, would make them ridicule our puerility.

No comments: