It was the sight of a small university town that greeted me the day I first landed in the US. I noticed the big houses and the wide roads and the even bigger cars on my way to a student apartment where I was going to stay as a guest for a few days.
The next day, I took a bus to campus to do some admission paperwork. The buses, of course, were far less crowded than the ones I was used to in India. But the people, who were mostly young students, were also different in a fundamental way.
Continue reading Privacy: The Indian and the American frames of mind
This holiday season I have “read” many real life stories on Facebook.
A group of girls in evening dresses with cocktails in their hands smiling at the camera in a line on the 31st. Groups of people on snow covered mountain tops with their hands spread out in a posture that says we have conquered the world on the 29th. A photograph of one of those same girls in an individual picture, more awkwardly taken perhaps right before she went out, but with the full limelight, with a heap of laundry visible in the background.
Pictures that enhance the beauty of people just a little bit. These are accompanied by status updates on significant days that mention happening places or exotic food or crazy things that people are up to. And comments. “too cute,” “awwwww,” “u guyz r too cool.”
Continue reading Facebook and the person within
A while ago I was trying to dream up a story. In the story, my young hero’s sister has an arranged marriage and moves to the United States from India. I could dream up the humdrum of the colourful wedding, of the bridal finery, of the perspective of the female protagonist’s reaction to the whole cacophonous affair. But as my mind travelled to the inside of this sister’s head, I drew a blank.
What was going through our sister’s head moving to a new country with a strange man? Did she feel powerless not being able to be the engine of her own destiny? Did she feel empowered by the social status that a good groom and a good marriage bestowed on her? Did she feel lost? Did she feel regret at not having pursued her studies or training further on her own? What would she do now? Continue reading Characters from the inside of your head