This is work of non-fiction. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely intentional and no animals were harmed during the writing
And just when I thought stereotypes were going extinct, there it comes back! Some races are targetted by others for most part and with the newly arrived Indians they tend to raise their middle finger to others and proclaim-How dare others stereotype us! We are gonna stereotype ourselves and before you spell Naan, I am going to do it to myself! The saga continues!
And I can vouch for this. I am not someone who had to do any kind of massive research to make this observation. An FOB (Fresh Off Boat) immigrant myself from the land of snakes and elephants (no, not the African grasslands) from almost 20 years ago, I have seen, I have observed, I have cringed and I have been known to utter the occasional four letter word (that has nothing to do with human anatomy or any of your close relatives)
The other day I am on the treadmill running at just under 5 mph, this Indian sub-continental gentleman (Could be Indian, Pakistani or Bangladesi) walking on the adjacent treadmill starts to give me the famous stare and keeps that on and doesn’t relent (Yes staring is a favorite pastime for Indians). Now we all have seen how Indians love walking, ambling, walking briskly but running? Take a peek as you drive along suburban Washington DC and you can see quite a few. So if you run you are going to stared at by your fellow brownies. Accept that.
If you are reading this and you are not of Indian origin and have visited India, you know what I am talking about. You must have been stared to with rigour and felt 500,000 pairs of eyes digging you in the back and more if you happen to be female.
So who are those H-1 Indians? Aspiring yuppies from certain parts of India that fly in armed with an IT degree, work as contractors and then absolutely refuse to assimilate with the mainstream. They tend to congregate, co-habit and collude with each other. You’d see them most likely drive a Toyota , Honda or other Asian cars (High resale value!!) and then you have the upper echelons that may have the Lexus or Merc. All said and done, they have got to be in the IT sector. Anyone in any other business may be considered a pariah I suspect!
Apparently they seem to have some kind of dress code – A short sleeved or full sleeved striped polo top, “sneakers” and tube socks and that is something you cannot miss. Don’t believe me? Take a walk in any middle class northern VA community and you will not miss any sightings!
A few weekends back, I was approached by this gentleman in a striped polo at a party and it too him all of 120 seconds to ask me if I was in IT. When I replied in the negative and told him I was in EPC Project Management, he didn’t give up. He followed me and promptly asked me again- Ok, EPC Project Management, but is that in IT? I had nothing to offer but to blabber gibberish and pour his drink over my head. I only hope for his sake and mine, we do not run into each other again.
And have you seen some women walking around into the friendly neighborhood grocery store, with utter disdain for norms, clad in nothing but fluffy flip flops, night PJ’s and looking like they just rolled out of bed and have taken the term “casual” to new depths? Well, hate to say it and if you happen to bump into them, you will see they are the feminine version of their H-1 spouses.
And aren’t those just a way of life now? I was on the phone last week with a customer service associate “Steve” (We don’t really have Steves in India) from some one who was trying to sell me time shares for a holiday resort (Shame on me for having picked up the phone!). He starts with this rather nasal north eastern American accent and as he starts to realize my accent is fairly Indian, his accent I kid you not, is starting to transform. From the New Jersey accent to a regular IT guy from Hyderabad. I was on the floor, phone hanging on to my ear, banging my feet on the floor, rolling in laughter. Now I did not want to put the phone down. This guy, who originally introduced himself as “Steve” finally broke down and his name was Sudarshan. I paid him a rich compliment and hung up with an assurance of “Let me think it over”. So when you think of messing with your Indian colleague with the “Is the call center guy your cousin” , chances are, there truly a cousin of everyone of us that works in a call center.
And now for all you ignoramuses- We do have elephants in India, but no, we do not ride them to work. We do not have HOV lanes for people sharing an elephant and they are not part of the growing Uber population.