Friday, September 08, 2006

Grad School Gazetteering: Pottering about Purdue (My first day)

For those of you who missed the racy tone and salacious narration of the California diaries, I'm back!! Pardon my absence, it took a while to get hold of the adequate resources - the combination of network access and a computer of your own at precisely the time when you're both jobless enough and in the mood for writing. Presented hereforth are some odd vignettes about Purdue and Indiana:

15th of August: Was quite suprised, (and not very pleasantly) to find that the Indian student's association had organized a celebration function for Independence day. There was a flag hosting, anthem singing, some community song-and-dance (both literally and figuratively), and most importantly, free Indian food. Found out all this after the whole thing was over (having just moved in all my stuff, free pseudo-Indian food wasnt quite a priority). The whole thing got me pondering - loving one's home (as in where you live, your village and town and state, hell if you've lived all over the place, your entire country) is one thing, but it doesn't quite equate to flag hosting and anthem-singing en-masse in a foreign university. Kind of jingoistic, and more than slightly saccharine. I mean, we all know we're Indians, we all know our country threw off the shackles of the evil Britishers this day 55 years ago, but is this something to celebrate seven seas away? Call me oddly conservative, but flags and anthems are standards to be borne on their own soil, not elsewhere. If you want to emphasize your Indianness to such an extent, why'd you leave home to begin with? The whole thing reminded me of that Karan Johar movie - K3G, where Ridiculous Roshan teaches his nephew the Jana Gana Mana and makes him sing it in front of the whole school, moving his parents to tears and so on?

Endnote: 98% of those who attended would have done so for the free food and 1.99 of the rest for the additional community get together thing, so I guess the virus of jingoism would not be all that prevalent. I just hope to find the main K3G-esque initiator - the main host to the disease - so I can stay as far away from the hypocrite as possible.

1 comment:

Googoo Baby said...

I guess meeting other elgible Indians is included in the community get together reason!!
Personally, I would have gone just so that I could wear my orange and green salwar suit with lots of gold jewelry :-D