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..


The species called ‘Desi consultant’ – Part 1

If on one hand, I am an NRI maami, on the other I am a ‘desi consultant’, and therefore any attempt to describe my own species should not really offend anybody else.

To those who are not familiar with the species, the species ‘desi consultant’ refers to the many millions of desis (a) Indians who live in the US and work in the IT industry as consultants.

We have a common origin – India, but our reasons to get where we are today are a little different.

1. Fed up being off-site : Works at the good old offshore development centre in India. Works until it’s noon in New York and doesn’t start until it’s noon in India. Has to take a lot of BS from the on-site resource who says one thing one day and another thing the next day but expects him to understand what was lost in translation. He decides it’s high time he moves to the other side of things.

2. Grass is greener in the US : Decides, that even though he is a mechanical engineer, he is not really cut out for that industry. Pays all that he earned so far on a course in SAP and decides, that is his ticket to the land of dreams.

3. Post M.S. failure to launch : Completed his M.S. in a state university, but due to a building collapse in Manhattan, or due to a recession caused by poor economic policies of a man from Texas, is forced to consider a very desi option he could have pursued two years before.

4. Make the Money : Earning lakhs of rupees is surely not the same as earning in thousands of dollars. Plans to make a move to the US by catching hold of a ‘consulting company’ to whom he can pay 3000 USD and buy himself a ticket to the US. In return all he has to do is be willing to lie on a seven page resume.

5. Home-making is back breaking : Newly married, comes on H4, but finds home-making is not as exciting as she imagined. So whether she was a graphics designer, or a programmer or a tester, or a student, it’s time to join the desi consultant clan – after all that is the easiest way to get an SSN and a driver’s license and some freedom in this country.

6. Dowry enhancement : What better way to improve his dowribility, considering most smart girls in his clan are doing their M.S. in the USA or are earning in lakhs in the Indian IT industry than to somehow get a H1B and take off to the US, which will automatically entitle him to more gold, cash and property.

 7. Here a little there a little: Pradeep reminded me about these guys. Company does a B1 or an L1 for him to work in the US temporarily. Finds that he likes the lifestyle and the money and decides to put up a resume on Like a fly catcher, he attracts phone calls from desi companies begging to do his H1B. He stays on in the US with one of them.

More to come… Additions welcome!