Friday, April 22, 2011

Castle.. CSI and multiple re-runs of HYIMYM

'the great American dream' is a cliche used and reused multiple times with  middle class Indians who have been the quintessential 'lukhas' for four years and dragged themselves through the echelons of 'high grade'graduate education in India.

One day lightening strikes on them , 'I need to do something different with my life'. Something which only millions of Indians before me have done. Go to the U.S earn the stack of green leaves, get a green card and paint the SF bay area green...(sorry guys!!! just wanted to continue with the 'green' tone for a few lines). So they mug up tons of English words, puke it out in 3 hours of the GRE and few months and a few thousand rupees of application stationary waste later, wolah...!!! they are on the road to the U.S of A. the first thought that strikes every guy or girl who has gone through this process is that his or her life would be like the cult show 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S'. A bunch of friends who hang out all the time, have fun, pop in a few beers, score a girl every other night and basically have a life of which dreams are made of. In the minds of these young souls, they have made their own version of a Bollywood potboiler. guy goes to the u.s, studies, make a lot of money, gets his green card and a few years and a few million dollars later comes to India on a whirlwind trip of 15 days and gets married thinking that girls are just waiting outside the airport to marry a guy with a green card and then credits role with a happily ever after sign...Little do they know that this life it isn't a potboiler but an Art film full of struggle, boredom, torture and most importantly 'HAIR LOSS'.

So coming back to the journey, after the truck loads of 'aartis', garlands and sobbing relatives later, you are on that flight. Realization strikes you very fast, when you realize that the air hostess is happy to offer you a Pepsi but isn't as forthcoming in offering you water and you think 'WATER', the thing that I waste gallons after gallons of, hopelessly during Holi.(you see I live in the U.S so the units are 'gallons and not litres'...LOL!!!!). You finally land at your destination after multiple hops all around the world and a feeling of a zombie which you later realize is what jet lag is all about. The first few days are just filled with the excitement of a new kid in a toy store. you want to try everything, every drink (please don't make the mistake of trying Dr. Pepper.. It is liquid IODEX), food item and see everything. finally school starts. the thing that you have actually come here for. you decide to wear the best of outfits that in India would have made you strut like a peacock and when you finally reach your university, the balloon bursts. guys are in shorts and some weird tee and the girls...ahem ahem.. lets not even get to their clothes or rather the lack of it. then the classes begin. another balloon bursts, you thought colleges will be like those shown in those teen flick Hollywood movies, certainly find  extra intelligent classmates who fantasize about Maxwell, Einstein and the likes. So there begins the aptly named season 'FALL'.

As for your home, you become this invincible superhero, a combination of shantabai- the maid, ramu-the cook, chotu- the dhobi and many such thankless people from back home. The same grocery store where you refused to accompany your mom because you wanted to hang out with friends now becomes a place where you roam hopelessly looking for 'GREAT VALUE' products. that same kitchen sink where you just threw your plate like a frisby now becomes a place where you hold your breath and choke out the sewage and clean utensils till your hands peel off and when you finally wind down to call it a day.. it strikes you that you have a project to work on so you put on the study lamp and after a night, a third grade project and huge dark circles later you barely have energy left to pick yourself off that study table.

Your best friend through all this struggle is your laptop. that thing which you never switch off. that which sleeps off besides you on your bed and which is your largest source of entertainment through these times. It is the device that runs those episodes of your favorite american shows and also reruns them for you tirelessly.. and when you finally shut that laptop lid at night before your eyes shut you still dream of that Bollywood potboiler of getting a green card....... such is the 'American Dream'....


  1. loved it..absolutely true..esp the part of the TV flicks which show the "college life" so many ppl came here lookin for!
    loved it RUSSEL!

  2. hey good u startedblogging..pleasure to read..n dr .pepper??? hav u tried eating solid iodex??? cozz u hav compared it to the liquid one..lolzzz...well written...wud love to hear more from u... :)

  3. sorry for the typo

    read 'roll' instead of 'role' on the last line of the second paragraph

  4. great but it seems unfinished

  5. hmmmm.. You write well!! I am impressed!!!

  6. the Dr. pepper comment is thee