Sunday, August 29, 2010

'A' Thoughts

I have 3 As here on which I want to share MY views - Adaptability, Acceptability and Attitude.

Few of you may not like or want to agree on what I am going to say; but you don't necessarily have to agree. These are my views strongly supported by incidents :-)

The one quality that sets us apart from all other creatures on this earth is ADAPTABILITY. The one character that has made MAN the dominant and superior creature on earth; facilitating him to survive and grow.

How fast you get adapted to new environment and habit is the key here. The world is ours; doesn't take long time to adapt and adopt. Its the man made rules and regulations that I find interesting to ponder about and discuss.

Having traveled outside India; if not extensively but decently fair enough; I got to quickly learn the dos and donts of the place I visit. I did not start off boom! I did have my share of feeling awkward and realizing blunders and learning not to repeat them; instead commit new ones!!

Adapting to new place, new set of rules, new culture is one thing; a bonus rather. But ACCEPTING and respecting the order of the land is mandatory; irrespective of you liking it or not. Are we(Indians) too adamant to adapt? Do we lack basic courtesy and discipline? Please note that I mean no offense to anyone. These are my views after repeated observations.

Is there something lacking in the way we were brought up? Our surroundings, the people; all contribute to our up bringing. We create ruckus over trivial issues; but when it comes to us; its different. Few incidents from the past week is the reason for this post.

A Chinese-American friend here sometime back amusingly asked me "Why are Indians always in a hurry? They push through you, nudge you off and walk away. I feel sad for that their life is so hectic". Trust me, he seriously thought every Indian pushes his way through as he has something really important and critical to take care of!!

I was left red-faced when one of my colleague felt that it was OK to go for a meeting 20 minutes late. I could not go without him; which in turn got me late. I am very punctual and I respect people's time. But yesterday was disappointing. He barged into the meeting hall giggling; no signs of apology of any sort. I had to apologize for our late arrival on his behalf as well. :-S

A colleague of mine has come from India; this is his first ever time outside India. His attitude has been pathetic towards the rules here. Jump queues, barging into lifts, pushing through the crowd, arriving late for appointments, jaywalk.....Its absolutely normal and right for us, is it not?

Pedestrians are given utmost importance here. Jaywalking is a NO-NO. But when have we crossed the road only at ped-xing and when have we waited for the ped crossing signal? He kept walking as a car was approaching. The driver waited and signaled me that I could cross. Once I reached the other side of the road, I told him "You did that yesterday as well. Dont cross the road unless there is a ped cross. And even if you want to, wait for the signal from the driver. They would stop for you; the rule says it so. Get their clearance"

For which he said "They anyway stop! Why wait for their permission?"

It was disgusting. I had to remind him that he was visiting some other country and it was apt to follow the rules of the land. He took umbrage for the same.

Some may ask me "Do I always follow these rules?" Yes, I do follow the rules of the place I visit. But back in India; I dont. Has anyone tried to wait for the vehicles to stop for pedestrians there? I bet there's no person more foolish as you are as you would end up waiting eons and eons to cross a road.You have to break and maneuver your way across; else I bet you are stuck forever.

Old habits die hard I agree. But aren't we equipped with analyzing capability and bit of common sense?

There are other funny moments as well. Marveling at litter free roads, neatly manicured walk paths, honk-less traffic , everything organized; things done in orderly manner. Above all, converting currencies!!! Oh man! I did that years ago; and literally starved myself to death. :-P

Now let me share my views on ATTITUDE. We are a complex lot; Indians have an exotic attitude :-) When I say this; let me also make it clear that I am being sarcastic here. Poor me!!! I have to explicitly mention that I am being sarcastic.

OK, we have these preset notion that going to a different country; specifically a developed country; on work is an achievement of sorts. It is as if the company has done you a great favor by sending you on site. Once we end up there, put in extra efforts to show the management that the organization chose the right candidate who would work hard and put more effort than normal. It means, work almost 20 hours a day, sleep deprived, live frugal to save cost to the company and struggle alone.

Now why am I talking about this? Few folks hinted at me that I was having fun at the cost of company here while in the USA. People!! grow up, change your mentality. Roaming around does not mean I am not doing the work for which I landed here in the first place. There is a concept called weekends, remember? And its enough to work for not more than 9 hours a day if you are smart; ain't it?

And the company has not done me any favor by sending me here; in fact I have done a favor to them by agreeing to come here and finish off assignments leaving my home and my loved ones and my city behind. They have sent me here because they find me capable to finish off the work; and I have every right to have fun wherever I am!!

So do I sound AUDACIOUS? :-)

Anyway, few pictures that I thought would share.

This lady is a Korean. I could not get her Korean name. She first came near me and sniffed and licked my fingers. Then I think she realized that I was an unknown entity; so started barking and was jumping over to grab me.


I thought this loosely resembled Pookolam; a natural one. Happy Onam folks..Belated :-)


This road leads to my office facilities the other side, and to nowhere this side. So what should I infer? :-P


Partial view of the sprawling office campus


58 comments:

  1. I am hoping that your colleagues get to read this post. I would like to see the look on their faces at that moment. :-) Ha ha ha ha...
    Nice post.

    I liked the entire post, but I liked the first few paragraphs has a lot more impact on me. Adaptability. It is so funny that when I go out with a mind set of travelling, I seem to enjoy everything new. But if there is a change in the environment for other reasons; for eg, change in class sections in high school or transition from university to corporate world, I just cannot digest the change if I don't have company that I already know. If I have atleast one person I know, I enjoy a lot, but if everyone are new, I feel numb and literally panic. :-p I know it is childish, but that is true. So when I come to think about it, it is all about mind set.

    "It does not take time to adapt and adopt" - Super madam!

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  2. Hm mmm, A post borne out of indignation?If not disgust and frustration of the great Indian attitude.
    I agree with your analysis and perceptions of what we are."Indian stretchable time", that is IST.I have been through miffed moments at meetings when our great Indian friends barge in late and without any sort of apology.
    Back here in India I have been honked off the street for waiting at signals for the go-ahead light.
    Let me remind you that we are an indisciplined lot and that was why the British could rule us.It was only 4000 English police/army men for all the Indians. ( averaging 1 officer for 1,00,000 Indians).
    Hell do we have work culture and ethics here?My question is why do you waste your energy and time fretting on some nonsense comments regarding your work etc.
    Well I m sure such comments as this and your post will certainly trigger a flood of outrage at criticising what they call everything that is India.After all we are Indians and what we do is sacrosanct isn't it??? ha ha !

    "The one character that has made MAN the dominant and superior creature on earth...." this statement of yours has to be disagreed with.May be I should think of a Post to explain.
    Enjoy your weekend.

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  3. I am one of those fools who wait for the ped crossing signal at peak hours. and I seriously hope that people start doing so too. it is required to avoid accidents. jumping lanes, breaking signals is a complete no no.

    about attitude, well, we discussed it already. some people do not change. old habits always remain, and we cannot help that! sad to see our country having such an impression. imagine, Patel surname is one of the main reasons for your visa to get rejected! thank god I am a gujju and not Patel! Sigh, I never thought I would say this ever!

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  4. well, instead of generalising I would like to say, perhaps more of them are what you see them to be.
    once mind makes up its mind, it notices and remembers, more of what reinforces its beliefs:)

    for every person like the person you mention, there are surely people like you. when it comes to jay walking, being punctual or thinking one needs to be a slave.

    there could be another point of view on working extra. it could be the person's insecurities or anxieties

    nice pics. i liked the angle in the first.

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  5. bang on... totally agreed with your points... I wonder how you are adapting with that person :D
    the concept of weekend doesnt exists here... and I wonder if they even know the meaning of smart work...
    nice post :)

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  6. Gautam,

    I just hope that they dont read my blog at all!!
    They take it personally.

    Thank you. I thought you were my friend but seems not...Hmm..(smirks)

    :-P

    I know that quality of yours. Its nice to have someone who knows you. Thats what everyone expects. It gets comfortable in new place, new situations. But thats not how it works all the time isnt it?

    Its better to get used to new place and new people and make yourself comfortable then. Adapt :-)

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  7. anil,

    Hahahaha Not really. I dont carry my annoyance due to unfair treatment for so many days. Such things stay only for couple of hours. This post is more due to embarrassment and frustration than anger.

    Comments regarding my work? I had to talk my views out here for a strong reason. And damn I care; its just a tiny effort to make people realize. Why do I fume? Because it gets embarrassing sometimes because of the 'people' I cant avoid being with under few circumstances.

    I know!! That is why my statements are mild, we are in fact sacrosanct in the name of patriots.

    Regarding my statement on MAN being superior and dominant? Yes please, I am looking forward for your post :-)

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  8. Neha,

    People wouldnt mind doing it if they are regarded.
    When will drivers in India realize the road belongs to all and not just them?

    You know how that works. You keep waiting for vehicles to let you cross the road. Does it happen? Vehicles honk when the signal is red. What the heck!!

    Its not only Patel surname...its with 'Reddy' surname as well.

    And to add, Malaysia recently decided that it will revoke Visa on Arrival for Indians because of the history of overstaying. Many Indians do not return back and they are 'missing' in the records. Isnt it shameful for us?

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  9. WD,

    I agree; as I said my beliefs have strong incidents to support.
    Unfortunately; I have witnessed moments as these majorly.

    To add, I am sorry if my statements sounded general. There are exceptions everywhere and its default.

    Working extra? Well, maybe. I have never been able to infer the mentality of working extra to prove one's worth!

    Thank you, glad you liked the pictures.

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  10. Rajlakshmi,

    How am I adapting with that person? Hmmm I avoid him as much as possible.
    Thank you. :-)

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  11. Oh well.regarding the post on man's superiority or otherwise over other creations- I guess that will be interesting if you could analyse it as well. In any case I have my reservations and doubts.
    The topic can be an useful discussion if we pursue.

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  12. ya it does not take time to adapt and adopt..about first time visitors..i dunno..maybe they will change during their subsequent visits..the euphoria will be der initally..even when i visited germany first time i was excited n acted differently..good post.gr8 pix..cheers friend:)

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  13. anil,

    Yes please. I would be glad if I could read your views and thoughts about it. We may agree to disagree. I might have a perception, you might look it from a completely different perspective which I may not be aware of. I always want to learn. What better way to share and discuss. Please do write about it. I am looking forward to it.

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  14. Ramesh,

    First time visitors ought to be extra careful dont you think?

    So they must take care more. I have read dos and donts about the USA during my first trip. Subsequently, I knew. Euphoria and excitement surely must exist, thats natural. But that does not vouch for such uncanny behaviors.

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  15. Hi bindu...i have never been to a foreign land but yes i have seen foreign return people behaving as though they are demi gods.

    I one happened to ask my aunt who had returned from LA after seeing her son...he just went to LA...koi mars toh jaake nahi aaya naa toh itna udh kyun rahi ho...needless to say she feels that my comment was a classic case of grapes are sour.

    But yes i hope that people change their attitude and become more adaptable :)

    I liked ur attitude during weekend, jeete raho putri

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  16. beautiful pics
    i agree with you on all points
    Main reason between difference is that our History.

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  17. G3,

    Exactly!! Why after returning? I am seeing so many Indians here behaving as if they have never heard about India. I want to go and slap them hard.

    They get 2 horns!! They have to change their attitude. Dhanya ho gayi mein :-P

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  18. sm,

    thank you. Yeah most of it has to be blamed for the way we got our freedom and the way we let ourselves to be exploited by outsiders.

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  19. I would join forces with Anil on the comment of Man's superiority and dominance. Over what? This sense of dominance is what we feel, like when we kick a dog, squash an ant, throw an empty whiskey bottle down the waterfalls or 'man conquered Everest! What a laugh! An ant stands on the top of an orange and thinks it is standing at the North Pole! What do we gain? In what way are we 'superior'? Think it over.

    Your sketches of fellow Indians in the US are classics! Like the saying in Malayalam - 'Even if you put a dog's tail in an iron tube for 12 years, it will remain curved!'

    As one who feels strongly about punctuality, I blushed with shame when I read about your colleague! Next time give him a kick in the arse!

    You know what? I am happy, reading your posts! :)

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  20. Bala sir,

    :-) OK!! Anil is yet to tell me what he feels about my statement. For what you say, I feel my statement sounded as if I am 'celebrating' man's superiority.

    If so, I am sorry, maybe I should have put it in a better way. I know you might not have read my earlier posts. But I am very famous for human bashing.

    Its nothing great about the satisfaction we get due to our so called achievement. The sense of dominance we get over things you said...whether we agree or not; sets us apart. Isnt it? Definitely in a wrong way, BUT it does set us apart.

    There is no other creature who would think of causing harm; unless it senses danger from the other side; except for us. This quality of harming and destroying for one's survival is what has made MAN dominant. Darwin's survival of the fittest.

    Anyway, we could have a lengthy discussion. What I want to say is by hook or by crook, MAN has dominated the land and has thus survived. Nothing to feel good about it. In fact, we say "save the planet' but we are idiots. The planet can save itself. Its us that we are worried about, and we are selfish and say save the planet so that we can live.

    You want to know more about fellow Indians here? Oh god!! I can write pages and pages. I am going to ditch my colleague tomorrow onwards. I decided!!

    Oh I am so glad that you are happy after reading my posts. Its my privilege and I am so so happy reading your thoughts.

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  21. U know what? Firstly i am super impressed with ur thoughts..the fact that u KNOW how to behave and you also accept and adapt to the people and situations around u, shows that u are far more mature in ur thoughts compared to many people around

    In india, leave alone having messed up behaviors, people here find it not cool to abide by lawas..Ask a teenager about how punctual he/she is...they will be amused at the question saying,whats cool to reach on time??

    i am a stickler for punctuality too.I hate waiting for people and i never let people wait for me..:)

    Lovely post! Atta girl!

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  22. It takes all kinds to make the world and all kinds of comments to spice a blog. And the world knows India and Indians. But they still do business with us because it makes financial sense to them. Stay cool and do you part.:)

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  23. Indians are a spoilt lot..I remember one such trip with my colleagues to Puducherry where we had to camp in tents etc for 3 days. Everyone was complaining the whole time. I agree the arrangement wasn't luxurious but whats a 3 days of discomfort !! ;-/ It started to get on my nerves & so I do get you when you talk about attitude.

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  24. I couldnt agree with you more.Every aspect has been so well analysed and hope your colleague gets an opportunity to read your post

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  25. Bang on! Agree with the points/issues you raised completely! True, one needs to adapt and adopt the rules of the land with a positive attitude!

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  26. Nice post and I love all your photos, especially the cute Korean puppy and Pookolam.

    Excellent backdrop.

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  27. Good views on A's
    Lack of exposure is one reason for all this. People are so self centered they can't think beyond.

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  28. Madhu,

    Thanks a lot baby!! :-D

    I am glad. Yeah I learnt it....I thought that was prudent.
    True, I agree. Its a cool thing to break rules!! Sick!!

    Thanks a lot. :-)

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  29. Holy Lama,

    What a point!! Yeah! But frustration!!!! I vent here because you people are there :-)

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  30. lostworld,

    Yeah talking about it, I have seen folks going from India to foreign countries, come back after a couple of years and complain about India!!

    Who the hell asked you to come? And behave as if you have never ever heard about India. You went from here,,right?

    Disgusting lots they are.

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  31. Chowla sir,

    Haaa..even if he reads it, he wouldnt change!! Sigh!

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  32. Shilpa,

    Thanks. Glad you have the same views as me.

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  33. Naidu sir,

    Glad you liked the photos. :-)

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  34. chitra,

    Yeah, lack of exposure and stubbornness of not wanting to learn and understand.

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  35. A,

    Glad you have them all. Good!

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  36. I guess there are these kinds who like to stand out, in the wrong sense of the word, irrespective of who they are or where they come from. It is really sad that the rest of us (Indians in this context) get branded because of a bunch of idiots who can't adapt, because of their lousy attitude!

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  37. Chill!! n just have a nice time along with a satisfying assignment. So what will you bring back from the us 4 me. :-p

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  38. That, my friend is the difference between a developed country and a 'developing' one:). In the end, it boils down to the Ignorance of common man.

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  39. insignia i am not suggesting quantity is more important than quality. just that not everyone is smart and one should pity their insecurity.

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  40. RGB,

    Thats right. Everyone gets tagged due to few folks and its sad.

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  41. scarlet,

    :-D

    Yeah chilling! Thank you so much. What do you want from USA. tell me and it will be there!! :-P

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  42. kish,

    I thought it had to do with the economy. Not with the attitude of the people!! dont you think so?

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  43. WD,

    Hmm agreed. But I do not see any insecurity in here but just arrogance and stubbornness not to change.

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  44. The best post I have come across in a long time...:)
    It gave me an insight and I hope others will also follow the same (if read by them).

    The 3 'A's are just awesomely defined here.
    Indians are real dudes in whatever they do and i think u agree with that.
    Being in America obviously creates some difference but then...

    Cheers

    Nuts

    p.s. M back..

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  45. Nipun,

    Thank you very much. :-)
    Oh I dont underestimate Indians :-)

    They are dudes indeed!! :-)

    p.s: welcome :-)

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  46. One of the best post of yours..just loved everyword of it..even I feel the same and sometimes very ashamed of our fellow country men.
    Even in India I go by the rules..and i hope people do get attuned that way after living abroad.

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  47. Samvedna,

    Thank you. Glad you loved it. Hope people change so that outsiders have a better impression

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  48. Maybe I'll write a post in the near future with my reasons:P done?

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  49. kish,

    Yes please. Waiting for it :-)

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  50. The ones (like the colleagues you mentioned) who have got us this tag need to be given a good dressing down. Are you audacious? I guess that kind of audacity is just perfect! :) Enjoy

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  51. About crossing the road stuff. I do wait for my signal to go green/white. At that time the straight going traffic on the perpendicular road I am crossing has a red signal, but the traffic turning into the road I came from/am going to can turn once I have passed. When I see vehicles waiting with their turning indicator, I start walking faster, and soemtimes even run. On reaching the other side, I wave my hand indicating "You can turn now!".

    Its fun to see the drivers pleasantly surprised. The smile on a lady's face yesterday made my day too! So yeah I outdo the natives here in road crossing courtesy ;)

    About adaptiblity & acceptance, well I am a separate culture of my own and am same everywhere. This sometimes makes being in foreign countries easier than in India itself. In India people would expect me to be in a particular 'normal' way and give more importance to that than recognizing the basic reptilian humanness in me which at some level they share with me. Here that basic reptilian humanness is recognized as the common denominator and whatever else might seem 'out of norm' about me is attributed to 'Oh well! He's from another place!"

    So am I saying I prefer being here than back in India? No. I am just saying that I am equally strange and a stranger everywhere. Here that doesn't stand out that much like a looming elephant in the room.

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  52. Also, I think Indian people who push and rush through do so more because they are feeling insecure and want to get away quickly as possible from everything in particular. And when the pushing happens not entirely out of their intention, they walk off with even a more deliberate look of purpose, without apologising to the 'victim' of pushing or without even looking them in the eye, mainly because 'how to' part of that action isn't forming clearly in their head at that time. I am of this opinion because I have experienced this state first hand in school days (I changed many schools) and also I lived many years quite alone in a house which didnt have any houses or kids around. So when I came into a more 'bustling and colourful' world, I was like this. I do see same patter in some of the Indian folks walking the streets here. Though younger 'mod' folks are less so.

    Of course some may just be being deliberately bullying, brash n rude, like your friend you mentioned. Indians do tend to show a sense of misplaced aggrandization when here. My 'onsite' colleagues at previous company, when I went to Canada were like that.Especially my Indian boss. I hate his guts.

    I don't feel any great sense of achievement on being here. I find this to be just another place, where as usual you do work which is sightly below your capacity (I find all IT work like that.) and where your company as usual pays you much much less than other local people around for doing same or better work, because sir, you are an 'outsourced' resource, hired in preference to local talent precisely because you are cheaper.

    In fact, in Canada, where I was being paid more than I am being paid now, I had a rude shock. There was a fellow from Syria, who did not even have a valid work permit (needed in Canada for outsiders), used to go move around some boxes in a warehouse during the day (daily jobs with no written records). His hourly wage for the manual labor was such that if he worked 9 hours like I did, he wold earn 1.7 times what I was paid for a day :P. Me being an engineer and he being just a labourer.

    Of course whatever you are being paid here, when taken back to India and made into Rupees sounds like a nice amount, but I find that irrelevant when it comes to 'fair pay'

    Your post touches many other points I would like to say a lot about, but I am not very keen on it. Writing long meaningful comments here and there just wastes time so much. I prefer writing short senseless comments :P

    BTW my camera started blogging. He's a brat who doesn't give much credit to me, but you can still check him out (if you want to, and have time to waste):

    http://ooh-its-a-beautiful-world.blogspot.com/

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  53. Stupidosaur,

    Your each comment reached my inbox. You see I have enabled comment moderation for obvious reasons. And sorry about this delayed response. Took a long vacation :-)

    I am glad to receive your comments. You have talked about all the points I have written about. The sense of insecurity; well might be. I am a person more like you. I am reserved and get paranoid easily. But put yourself in others shoes. Would I feel good if anyone just jostled and walked away? No!!

    And there are others who have that pathetic attitude. We Indians think its a sense of achievement to break rules :-)

    I cent percent agree with you on the working elsewhere part. Its no great deal!! I totally understand your point here. I feel the same. I wont stretch more on it for the fear of being branded a rebel :-)

    I would want to discuss lots on these with folks who can relate to this and you are one among them. But yeah comment space is not the right place.

    Thank you for giving me the link to your photography blog. I wanted to check your works long time ago but your other blog(photo blog) is locked. I thought maybe those are for personal views. I would surely enjoy your photo blog. I have lotta time to waste :-P

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  54. First my comment wouldn't fit in one comment form. Then when I broke it into pieces, my browser simply exploded and gave strange messages when I posted some of them. So I posted some again.

    My photo blog was locked very long time back, because there was nothing on it. Now there is. This is a new photo blog, with photos and not locked, though it has same url and name.

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  55. Stupidosaur,

    I realized that. No worries.
    Alright, thanks for the link. I love photography and its my passion. I would surely enjoy your works. :-) Thanks for the link once again

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I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!