The species called ‘Desi consultant’ – Part 2

..Continued from Part 1

So all of these desi consultants get to the US with aspirations of a new life in a new country. Inspite of being well-acquainted with at least half a dozen people in the US who do similar jobs, most fresh off the boat desis are never really prepared for the ground reality.

Some of thoughts that cross their mind about life in America:

1. How difficult it is to actually cook a decent meal, and how easy it was with Muniyandi Vilas and Saravana Bhavan round the corner.

2. How difficult it is to clean a kitchen and keep track of laundry, especially in a place like the company guest house.

3. How ‘EVERYTHING’ is available at the Indian store and it was such a waste to carry kadugu, molagu all the way from India.

4. On closer inspection, how ‘EVERYTHING’ even though available in the Indian store, is so totally expensive. It’s a good thing he bought atleast the kadugu, molagu from Murugan stores.

5. How to buy or rent anything significant, one needs a credit history in this country.

6. Because of 4, and since renting a place is so difficult too (5), may be I should bring my family here after 6 months instead of the original plan of 3 months.

7. How America looks like Times square only in Times square and so rural everywhere else.

8. How all the stuff their american relatives got them was mostly bought at the dollar store.

9. How useless the Rs.3000 jacket they got from India is for the winter here

10. How a car felt like a necessity he could not yet afford and how much he missed the crowded buses and frustrating auto-drivers in India.

Anything else? Next post on career aspirations for a desi consultant..

16 thoughts on “The species called ‘Desi consultant’ – Part 2

  1. Pradeep

    Good one!
    I can vouch for 7 and 10. 😀
    Why don’t you include the ordeal of staying awake till 12 o clock everyday to perform the ritual called offshore call?

    Rekha: Yes. Will remember to include that in part 3

  2. padmajav

    Good one:) But I really don’t know how you guys do it! I get homesick in 4 days even if I go on a holiday anywhere outside Chennai! Hats off to you!!

    Rekha: I still get homesick sometimes. Especially when I am sick, but otherwise life is busy, so one rarely gets time to stop and think.

  3. I held ambivalent views on NRIs. I hated the cold, the hoovering and dragging stuff home from the stores, the lack of domestic help we are accustomed to, etc. Thankfully the new generation of NRIs also are open about the merits and demerits of living as a desi or a non-desi. It kind of clears the air.

    Rekha: Now that you mention it, I’ve seen more people crib about being here than the other way round.

  4. prem

    err…miss the crowded buses and the autos? no way! thats one of the things i will never ever miss! cant think of any way anyone would miss subjecting themselves to that torture!

    Rekha: I was not talking about people who enjoyed motorbike rides from far far away Tambaram to Chennai everyday. 😉

  5. prem

    and i guess you were not talking about people who do not fit into buses either! anyways..i did have my share of buses…imagine travelling by a bus that isnt designed for anybody taller than 5 ft from tambaram to nungambakkam everyday…

    Rekha: Sorry Prem! I completely forgot for a minute that from an altitude of 6’5″ the perspective is totally different.

  6. prem

    not just a question of altitude….chennai buses are not built for humans…it could be different in paradise city (for those who dont know maamis paradidse city…its bangalore. hard to explain…but there are a few people who still call it paradise) but thats not the case with chennai buses. anyone from chennai will attest to this fact im sure!

  7. Haha, good one maami! 7 and 8 are super funny and totally true. but i believe its different when you come to study. its more of a learning process rather than surprise at every step. you come with the expectation of a tough life. at least most of us do 🙂

    Rekha: Yes. Only yesterday my collegue was telling me I should do a post on the longtime desi settlers – the ones who’ve been here for 15-20 years. I guess students are another category.

  8. Me

    …nombu lam eppadi pochu?…we made adai and had it with butter…. :)))

    Rekha: Nombu ellaam nalla padiya over. Enga amma never made these adais, so I didn’t make them either. Just ven pongal for perumal that’s all and at work after that.

  9. Pradeep

    maami, ega patta deliverable aa?? 😛
    Part-3 enge?

    Rekha: Haha.. Deliverable irundha samalichadalaam.. Aana bench.. even worse!

  10. Pradeep

    Naan idhu varaikkum tea kadaiya thavira vera engeyum bench e parthadhu illai.. 😦
    Naan release aana adutha naale project kidaichidum. 😥

    Rekha: Lucky you!!

  11. Pingback: The species called ‘Desi consultant’ - Part 3 « NRI Maami

  12. Not to forget the Long night calls with so called offshore calls..It is actually a darmasangadamana nelamai..where we like vadivelu say “Nannum evalo neram dhan badil terinjamadiriye pesaradhu” 😦

    I also go with you for missing autos.. we have to depend on friends having car even to get your groceries..tats bad..

  13. Senthil Ramasamy

    since my experiance with the jacket thing, i tried to help every guy in the corner when they come to US.. no one ever feel satisfied & stop until they buy a jacket in india and carry it all the way.. ! Its like a religious ritual to waste some money..

    Rekha: Yes. That’s so true. I also have a huge black jacket that I got from Bangalore. I don’t use it anymore. Feel like it’s too uncouth, lacks style and is not good enough for Chicago winter.

  14. confused

    I don’t even know what are all these big comforts I have in the US. Fast internet is basically the only thing that comes to mind. Otherwise, I don’t know how to drive and that means long long long walks in the cold. I am always fighting with landlords, obsessing over bills and I have to show id even for boarding a train or buying a glass of beer. No freedom… too many laws, too much government interference in daily life. A loud party brings police to your door. I have heard that if you get a speeding ticket, the police checks if there are any outstanding warrants in the database! When I want to see a new building in order to rent, I have to pay an application fee in order to see it! And then they collect my SSN and do a credit check!

    It took me some summers in Europe to realise that life in the US actively makes me depressed. At first I thought that I simply liked Europe better, but then I got to travel to more places…and I slowly began to realise that I am happy only when I am outside the US.

    I am packing my bags. I am going to India.

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