Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Prejudice or Opinion ?

Food for thought -

I came to USA 4 years ago - gauche, awkward and insecure. The world looked gigantic and I felt like a tiny speck in it. I came out of the airport and for the very first time since I had made the plan to study abroad, did a sliver of doubt enter my head. Was I ready for this.....? Was I good enough to make my mark in a country that was completely alien to me?

I then saw my sister waving to me and all was well again. My vision narrowed until only she and my BIL were in it. For three weeks I felt I was on holiday with my sister. The time then came for me to spread my wings (for a second time) and go to the University. The world had once again turned into the strange place where I was insignificant. But it had to be dealt with.

But once the program was underway, I never looked back. I still look back at that time with astonishment as I compare the person I was to the person I have now become. I learnt a lot from this country and its people.

Which brings me to the current issue. I am interning currently and am in the market for a car. After talking to several owners and turning down good cars because I cannot drive a stick shift (I still have a horrifying image of the car going backwards on a slope when I had stopped at a traffic light, in India), I came across one of my favorites. An eclipse well witting my mileage and price requirements. I called the guy and then gave him spiel of calling about the car he had advertised.

Before I even finished speaking he asked me, 'Are you Indian?'. I was a little taken aback but answered in the affirmative. Pat comes the answer, 'I don't sell to Indians, Bye'. And, click he hung up. I was stunned. In fact, I still do not know what to say about that. Maybe someone out there can help.

Fastforward to two days ago. Me and a couple of friends went walking. We live in a university town and the crowd is very interesting and never fails to disappoint. We had a nice time looking into all the shops along the sidewalk and were returning home when we here some one yelling out obscenities. I did not pay any attention to it but after a while noticed that my friend had gone very silent.

It then occurred to me that the obscenities were aimed us 'Indians'. I will try and quote from what he said. 'You Indians have to be thankful that WE accepted you.' There was also something to the affect of us being obliged and grateful that THEY had not thrown us out of the country when we first got here.

So what have you people got to say about this? I was not even angered by this. All I felt was pity. Maybe I should have been scared and I probably would have been, had I been alone when this transpired.

It felt as if this country was going backwards. This was not something I wanted to learn or remember from my time here. But the one thing that stuck with me and what prompted this write (mundane though it is), was this an opinion held by the people or is it prejudice eating away at disgruntled individuals? And is it justified?
- - Pens circa esso!


At July 22, 2005 at 2:39:00 PM EDT , Blogger anantha said...

Main street? Hmmm... I think it just comes with insecure people generalizing a lot of things.

But I always thought that the Eastern side of the US was much more open and accepting than the southwest.

But I think we will live regardless. Its the survival of the fittest and we are certainly fit.

At August 2, 2005 at 11:07:00 AM EDT , Blogger RPM said...

Came here from anti's blog. I am sorry I did not read much of the rest of the posts, so I don't know where this happened. But in any case, being a University area it should be the most multi-racial.

I am just trying to understand what is making people say such things? Maybe their parents or someone in the family lost their 20-year-old job a a techie, to a company based in India? I suspected that a while ago that with such a hectic pace of layoffs/outsourced jobs, there's bound to be a reaction from the unemployed youth.


At August 2, 2005 at 5:46:00 PM EDT , Blogger sensiblystoned said...

Which university town do you go to? Ive encountered such things in the place where I go to school now but I dont even think twice about such people. They are just ignorant. I believe without the mexicans, indians and chinese the wheels of this country would come off. Not to mention the Jews who run the banks and every other community...which leaves us with the fact that there are very few true Americans that didnt cross breed, so next time dont bother, it aint worth it!!!

At August 4, 2005 at 9:40:00 AM EDT , Blogger sensiblystoned said...

anti tells me it happened on main street...ouch!! otherwise its a nice place to be!

At August 13, 2005 at 1:17:00 AM EDT , Blogger Kanishk | कनिष्क said...

Hey..I dont know..how I reached your blog..but anyway..this post really made me feel like leaving a comment here.

These kind of people show their constricted mentality and nothing else. This country US is made by immigrants only, because everyone is accepted here. I go to a school in south (just finished) and once I also had a similar experience . I felt so bad at that time..but now I dont care..!!!


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