Ok, so Sunita Williams has gone into space *stands up and applauds* Even though I had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that she’s reached there, I am happy for her *stands up once again and applauds some more.*
What I am not happy about is the fact that people out here are swollen with pride, screaming their heads off celebrating the fact that a ‘fellow-Indian’ has done them proud.
Not that I have watched/read every word that Ms Williams has spoken to the media, but from what little I have read, she had only acknowledged that her Father is Indian. Period. And yes, also that the whole family will come down to India after Sunita gets back from her space-jaunt.
Just because the lady carried Samosas *I wonder if she was allowed chutney, or is NASA as strict about the rules as the bloody airlines are,after all, what is a Samosa without teekhi-meethi chutney?* and a Ganpati idol with her, calls for much celebration and back-thumping out here as she is considered an Indian, when the whole world, and its sister, should know that she is and considers herself to be an American Citizen. No harm is that, is there? Free country, free will and all that.
Why do we have a hunger to claim everyone who has a bit of ‘indian in their DNA as our own? What really gets me mad is when my fellow Indian’s get all excited over the accomplishments of other ‘fellow-Indians’ who choose to be blasé about their roots.
When Bobby Jindal won the elections in Louisiana there were week-long celebrations here and in his hometown, but not a word of acknowledgement from the man himself. And justified too, after all he was born in the U.S of A,is a converted Roman Catholic and the only thing Indian about him are his immigrant parents.
V.S Naipaul has, time and again, repeated that he does not consider himself to be ‘Indian’ but do we get the message? Nein! We treat him like royalty each time ‘Sir Vidia’s’ condescending self sets foot in our third-world country and he is splashed all over the media with the nauseating line ‘Indian makes us proud’ appearing far too many times for my liking.
Then we had Freddie Mercury, the lead vocalist of the band ‘Queen’ who was Farrokh Balsara, a sweet Parsi boy who, very interestingly, though not born in India but grew up here, in Bombay. He flew across the seven seas leaving everything Indian behind and even hid his identity as she was ashamed of being associated with anything that was Indian. He changed his name and nationality and, you guessed it, requested not be associated with India, but, you guessed it again, we still didn’t get the message. Even years after his death we continue to felicitate him, mentioning his name in the ever-growing list of ‘Indians’ who made us proud.
If people don’t wish to be associated with the country of their or their parent’s birth why thrust it upon them? They have a right, and the citizenship of another country, to feel otherwise, isn’t it? Free will and all that, once again.
Why do NRI’s still hold that awe-inspiring sparkle and shine. They save up for years before they visit their hometowns so they can gloat,smugly gift you perfume and cosmetic ‘testers’, sponge on you for all the 3 weeks they come down for even after the fact that you put up in hotels when you visit their countries/cities/them, ask you where all the ‘cheap’ shopping is, and whip out calculators in every store you take them to and convert to dollars/pounds/euros and bargain later, and are as human as you and me and the end of the day.
Okay so, someone has traded their blue passport for one in another color. Let them be, without trying to shine in their reflected glory.
We have enough people whose accomplishments we can gloat about here, in our country itself. Why look elsewhere?