Sunday, July 24, 2011

One dark night at Rwanda

I might be moving to three Asian nations, but my heart is still in Africa. I frequently get this thought of a dark night somewhere in Rwanda, with minimal development and a faint source of light weakly illuminating the road. There's no single picture that can explain the thought, but all of the photos below can together give an idea.

Regent Road

A hawker in Togo.

A shop at night in Kenya.

Kalahari Desert, Northern Cape, South Africa.

On the lack of self-confidence in many Indians

I've frequently seen a lack of self-confidence in Indians, both during my college days and during my professional stint. Most Indians know this ugly truth already - all around us, we have already seen Indians trying hard to ape the West, in language and in style, and that increasingly, us Indians are starting to feel ashamed of our culture, languages and styles.

A few examples:
  1. The samosa has gotten devalued so much it's now looked as a "poor man's snack". Pizza anyone?
  2. Western outfits. They're so "cool".
  3. Language. I recollect an episode of MTV Roadies in which girls had difficulty speaking Hindi.
The other day, I was watching the official Miss Universe channel on YouTube, and I found the interviews of contestants especially funny and interesting. I watched the interviews of Miss Colombia, Miss Poland, Miss Romania, Miss Russia, and Miss Venezuela. I thoroughly enjoyed the candid answers the girls gave, and enjoyed their diverse (and sometimes funny) accents as well.

Then I saw a link to the interview of Miss India, and naturally curious, I started watching it. So disappointed I was with her interview, that I felt that this interview by her can be used as a poster child to demonstrate a lack of self-confidence in Indians. She felt like a typical Indian, under pressure to perform, trying to look natural but clearly disgustingly fake (with an irritating smile). The girls of other countries, in contrast, were so comfortable in their skins - they spoke their hearts and used their native accents without trying to ape Western English.