Thursday, December 14, 2006

I am back... yahoooo!!!!

I am back in India. My home.

I had realised this before also.. when I lived in Germany for sometime, that no matter what all problems we have, no matter how dirty our country looks as compared to the developed countries, no matter all you get as "welcome" at the airport are dirty stares from men around, no matter the first thing you do after getting out of the airport is fight with the auto/taxi guy for the fare, this is MY country. All said and done, I belong here. I feel more at home.

However advanced the other countries maybe, however comfortable your life maybe there, you are always an outsider, a potential immigrant, you are always a foreigner.

Yes. I am extremely delighted about coming back home, but at the same time I was extremely dissapointed at the Delhi airport. If that is the welcome our country's capital gives to the visitors then God help us! It was far from being even "satisfactory"! Atleast I expected much more from our capital's international airport! The loo was in a bad state! with toilet paper all around.. with water running from the taps.. with a strong smell! Yukkkk! All this is when the cleaning lady is just sitting there looking at each coming passenger and expecting them to give her some money.. for what? I didn't understand though! She gives a sheepish smile when you are coming out.. and acts as though she is helping you with the luggage.. the help which I don't need because I have a trolley with me.. just so that I will give her some money! If she had atleast kept the loo spic and span I would have whole heartedly given some money!

The customs officials... shabby clothes, wrinkled and dirty, undone hair ... I know that 2 in the morning is not a good time, but come on! they are at work and they are supposed to be presentable. And what will somebody loose if they smile at each person they are checking?

I think we as Indians lack some basic courtesies! A smile at a passerby, a response when asked for, a thank you once in a while...
Interestingly we are the best hosts when somebody visits our home.. we take care of them so well.. we go out of our way to accomudate them and show them around.

I think, it's time to realise that India as a country is our home too.. an extended home!

Bangalore gave me a much better welcome! The loo was cleaner and the airport also has a kind of sophisticated look. Thank god for that! I also noticed that the situation in Hosur road has imporved drastically! With that useless drainage cannals closed, and the road widenened.. the commute is not as dreadful as I imagined it to be!

Even with all this "yet-to-be-done".. I loved

1. The aroma of bakery (this I surely missed in USA)
2. The sound of suprabhatham early in the morning from a near by temple.
3. The shoutings of the vegetable vendor on the road
4. The early morning coffee aroma... ahhhh bliss.
5. and most of all it's so cheap to have a cellphone here! I don't have to wait till 9 in the night to call people ;-)

P.S: It looks like nobody missed me while I was away.. no messsages asking where I was and all that... If you guys hadn't noticed I was away for almost 15 days :(
I think you can atleast send some nice and warm welcome messages!


Sudhakar said...

"at the airport are dirty stares from men around, "

Don't western men stare? may be they don't stare at Indian chiks

Welcome back Shark, both to blogosphere and India.

shark said...

yes westerners do stare too but "dirty" is the key word here...

If you were a woman, you would have understood what I meant. The stare you get here and there are so different...

veena shivanna said...

I was really getting so bored seeing that crocodile post everyday.. Good that you are back.. Do you travel to office here through Hosur road.. we go to work through there.! nice experience list.

Kavi said...

Welcome Back !

And yes, this is the welcome that we give to everybody. From the loos to the toilet to the roads ! Take it or leave it. Surprisingly people are taking it ! :( :)

Our country is home. A great home. But in the rush to ape the west, we have lost track of some basic essentials ! Things like 'Thank You", which as you have brilliantly pointed out, is so much a norm at home !

I am glad that you find Bangalore better. Maybe you landed on a good day !

And yes, the cell phones and so many other things are cheap here. The opportunity is there at the bottom of the pyramid !

And welcome back ! I was kind of bored with the Croc message ! Nevertheless, we are in the same !

Are you going back...?

Sojourner said...

:) may be "we" felt jealous about the trip :) or we did not want to spoil the "fun" by reminding you about the blog.. seeing that you said u will be off from blogs :P
Are you home for good?
I like the four points. hah the simple life!

Viky said...

Hah!! Exactly the same things I noticed at Heathrow. Cleaner loos, though they stank in that oh-so-familiar way.

And the cellphones - it is so difficult to get a cellphone and a decent rateplan here - I dont know whether its because we are the "foreigners" here, or otherwise. Back home, we changed phones and rateplans like dirty underwear. :D

Enjoy your stay in India - are you on vacation? Or relocated permanently?

Ashish said...

Hey Shark, welcome back to India.
To second what you say, I was gone from the country for a week along with some colleagues, but the relief you can see in their faces on the return trip is incredible.
Although to be honest, I did see Frankfurt airport as being pretty bad also, not very clean, not enough place for everybody to sit, and people queuing up to enter the loos.
Anyhow, I hope that with some private operators, people in charge of cleanliness will improve Delhi and Mumbai airport.

bellur said...

glad to know you are back home. enjoy maadi.

"yaare koogadali
oore horadali
ninna nemmadige bhangavilla
namma benglurige saati illa!"

have a great holiday.
regards and cheers

GuNs said...

India? !
So how long are you in India for? Is it a vacation or are you back in India for GOOD ?

Weird to note how you never post any photos on your blog. Hmmm...a shy shark...where did I ever hear that before.

Anyhow, I ASKED where you were, ok? So dont blame me !

Whats your itinerary like?


pavan kumar said...

I once thanked an autowalla after paying him, and in return, got this confused stare..

and btw we missed your posts so much, that we were in a deep shock, hence no messages form our side :)

k@rTh1K said...

back home... so good, i miss the street side chai shops/ the panipuri wala and such small stuff which make life more happy... I prefer them to the starbucks and subways...

Enjoi maadi at home...


shark said...

@veena: Yes I do travel thru Hosur road every single day :)

@kavi: Thanks for the welcome :)
And nopes I am not going back (atleast not for the time being!)

@sojourner: Ah! you feeling J huh? wait till I tell the complete CA story :P
I am home for good (ok let me put it this way.. atleast for the time being ;-))

@viky: Plans..atleast it is better off in europe. You can atleast you the same cellphone which you were using in India.. in US even that is not possible!
I am back for good. I was in US temporarily infact ;-)

@ashish: Though I am sorry to say this, but Frankfurt airport is like that because there are too many transit desis there!
Any other German airport which is not so frequented by desi's is 100% spic and span..:(

@bellur@ Ah! Namma bengalooru...:D I am not on holiday.. I will be working from here now..:)

@guns: Oh yes! you asked me.. you are my only caring reader...:) No itenary because I am not on holiday.. I was in US for an assignment.. now back to sqaure one..:)

@pavan: Incidently I thanked an autowalla yesterday while coming from mysore for helping me with my bag.. and you should have seen the wide smile on his face.. I am sure that lasted for atleast an hour after I was gone ;-)

And Shock.. well... even if you tell lies you should tell in such a way that people will believe :P

@kingkon: Oh yes! You are so right.. infact I had thought that I would not eat anywhere outside on the "road" atleast for 2 weeks after I came here.. becasue some of my friends had warned me that I would fall sick...
But did I care? Nopes ;-) I went and had pani puri in 4th block jayanagar just 5 days after I came back..he..he..

GuNs said...

Aila...lucky you !
Plan to come to UK sometime in the near future? I could seriously do with some company here !


Ashish said...

Shark, I was in California, but I could use the same cellphone that I had from India; the romaing charges are of course another matter

Ashish said...

So you are back in India permanently, well; it's great that you are back.

shark said...

@Guns: UK? Nopes. No chance at all in the near future.

@Ashish: Roaming? I am not a millionaire ;-) I was in US for almost a year.. and I would have gone bankrupt if I had used my India phone on roaming!

veena shivanna said...

Hosur Road.. Around me.. which block ree?

Prashanth M said...

Welcome back and it was nice meeting you y'day...

GuNs said...

Did you REALLY miss the line where I mentioned 'photos' or you just too shy to post any?


shark said...

@veena: Now that we have already met, I will not answer that question ;-)

@prashanth: It was nice meeting you too..:)

@guns: Yes I missed it deliberately. :P
By the way I have such a nice picture in my profile.. isn't that enough?