Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Desi power – a post with a message

Living in clayton ( mini india), shopping in clayton and working in the city for 1 week - taking the train from clayton to city has changed my whole view of many things, most importantly – DESIs

Day 1 – Grocery shopping in Sharawan

Have you ever seen a horizontal queue. I see it everytime when I do grocery shopping in an Indian store. Somehow people realise everybody else in the shop are Indians as well and resort to our cultural horizontal queue. Everyone takes on a place closer to the counter and waits for the next opportunity.I was waiting in one of these lines next to the desi bhaiya who was making a payment. Our desi bhiaya was accompanied by desi beevi and desi friend. The guy behind the counter quickly scans everything and says the final figure. Bhaiya asks his friend if he got yoghurt – friend then goes to the fridge and comes back with 1 litre yoghurt, bhaiya is disappointed and sends friend back to get the 2 litre can. My toddler had a biscuit packet in hand and had already crossed her 2 minute waiting time and started to open the pack and so she can start eating. I am trying to show my disappointment by letting out different ways breathing signs hoping bhaiya would hurry up. Getting the message bhaiya tries to be the nice man around and screams at friend in hindi – make it fast, people are waiting ( avaru rombha nallavaru pa), then comes the beevi, utters something in Hindi/Punjabi something about some vegetable being 3 cents cheaper here. Offcourse what else is of prime importance to us if we can find an item few cents cheaper than in the normal shop. Desi ji asks her to get this as well. By now the counter boy is upset as well. He offers to swipe the card first. Now bhaiya ji starts thinking – offers to pay half by cash and rest with card. After some convincing from the shop guy that he does not get charged extra for the card, he agrees to swipe the card. 10 minutes later the transaction is complete – Why cant Desis finish shopping before arriving at the counter ?

Day 2 – Butchers ( no doubt run by desi)

With so much disappointment with desis I walked into the butchers. I walk in and see the guys are actually wearing the disposable gloves and are ready to serve. I was a bit relived and asked for chicken. The guy just before getting the chicken..just a second before touching the meat, scratched his head with the gloves on !!!!! Ok don’t ask what I did after this !- whether I bought the chicken home or not is not to be disclosed.

Day 3 – about 8ish in the train

After years I had to take the train to the city for some ‘training’. I got into the train with a book I have wanted to read for months. As I started to read – surrounded by desi uncle reading big bound book, desi thambi with headphones, desi annan reading something from a print out. After 15 minutes of peace, I suddenly hear desi beats. All I could hear was the ‘ dunda nakka’ bollywood beat and some high pitch voice. No it wasn’t a mobile ring tone, it was what I could hear from this desi bhaiya’s headphones. I could not believe someone could keep the volume so high. If what I heard from across the seat in the train was so loud, how loud would it be on his ears? I could not concentrate on my book anymore. I tried my usual turning back and staring, stage 2 - hmm and ahems did not work. I managed to get the attention of few other annoyed people in the train but our bhaiya did not care. So just cursed my luck and put down my head pretending to be reading while trying to figure out what he was listening to.

Day 4 – Train again

After spending a nice warm day in the city I was coming back in the train(again) to clayton. When I was getting off the train, I struggled soo hard to get the stroller with a sleeping toddler from the train on the platform while the desi thambi standing next to the train door was watching me. He did not offer any help at all

Ok this is just a sample, there are so many desis who run past you and push you to get a seat, get into the train, hit you while walking past and moves on without saying a ‘sorry’. Desi mama who called in regards to a job he applied for and asked me to ‘push’ his CV through for an interview because we are from same country.

Having said this, there some nice desis as well. Desi thambi who offered me and papa the window seat and stood through the journey in the train. Hubi goes to fill petrol and comes back after 45 minutes after having career counselling for desi paiyan who works at the service station and even shares mobile number because of the desi bond.

There are some really nice people out there but there are so many who spread the wrong message as well. I did read about an article which suggested some of these attributes were contributing to the so called ‘racial’ attacks on desis. I am not sure if this is true and there is no way this can be justified but I feel this creates an impression with people. I don’t deny the fact that people who are loud in the train are just desis but end of the day we get associated to a ‘culture’ we have created around us. Like how sarees and bindis are associated to desi women, how spicy food is associated to desi cooking, I don’t want some of these bad manners to be associated to us as a community. Its like a brand name I think and we are like brand ambassadors

Message time –
We need to respect other people in the same way we like to be respected. We need to treat people in the same way we like to be treated. Offer a helping hand when you can. Our smallest actions are interpreted as a culture of ‘our’ people. We don’t want our kids or our friends to be associated to a premonition we have created and I think it is upto us to reset this image. Brand repositioning is what we require I think. It is nice to be nice J
Smile, use ‘sorry’, ‘pardon’ when required. Spread the joy and reposition our brand image.

Quiz – Count the number of times the word ‘ desi’ was used in this post and leave the answers in the comments section. The winner gets a 4c fuel discount voucher from leading service station. he he
You cannot use CTRL F

Note – Love you all for reading my blog, missing the updates in my blog and leaving messages and comments and even sending follow up messages through hubi regarding this. You guys rock !


Anonymous said...


Good thing to discuss. This was going on my mind for long time. I think you can write/list actions to avoid in this country.

Nose picking in public,
Standing on doorways even if you have seat.
Talking on mobile loudly.
Slaming doors in laundry.
Parking car in two bays.

28 murrai Desi sonnergal, oru murrai kooda P_r_desi soveeilla

busyblogger said...

well done anonymous - very impressed with your eye for details - i dint know about the nose picking - interesting :)

Senthil said...

Anonymous naane Aarumugaam naane