Skip to main content

The PR Obsession

If you are single and living in India, it is but natural that you would be asked, “Shaadi nahi huwi? (You are not married?)” You see, it is not rude among Indians to ask the rudest of questions. So, whether you are meeting someone for the first time, a few times or after ages, that question is bound to crop up in conversations. Worse, you will be also asked ‘Why’.

I don’t know why we love asking questions. I have been bombarded with: “So, where is your family, where are your brothers and sisters, why are you travelling alone, why are you not married (and if yes), why no children?” from complete strangers. Maybe Indians are just too caring and concerned about others, I argue. Or maybe, we just have too much time on our hands to indulge in others’ problems.

Living in Delhi, I was swarmed by neighbours, whose heads peeped out of the window every time a car stopped by or a person stepped out of my house. And if I happened to be standing outside the house, I would find myself in the company of a few wanting to know it all. Soon the questions would follow: “So you had a guest, so you came home late last night, so you did a lot of shopping?” I miss the noise and the people, that’s a different thing; the questions I am not so sure.

When I moved to Melbourne, I found myself leaving a culture behind. I pass by well manicured lawns and beautiful houses and, often, wonder who all live inside, what meals are being cooked? But the moment I am in the company of my compatriots, the nostalgia and familiarity creep in. Of course, we have not changed at all even if we are in a ‘phoren’ land. The questions keep coming and the favourite in Melbourne is, not whether you are single but whether you are a PR (permanent resident).

I recently met two young men who are here to study. We met at a gurudwara and were talking about the renovation when suddenly they asked me out of the blue, “Aap ki PR hogayi (have you got your PR)?” Not that the question took me by surprise. Most Indians I have met have asked me the same question despite me telling them I have just got married and moved here. 

We are a PR-obsessed community here. If you have an Australian passport, well, then you a notch higher than the others. The PR mania has seen hundreds and hundreds of students come here to study cookery, hair dressing, hospitality, et al. I am a little sad that the new immigration law is going to crush the PR dreams of many, and along with those the death of that favourite question.

Comments

Anonymous said…
You got great points there, that's why I always love checking out your blog.

My blog:
rachat credit ligne et Rachat De Credit rapide

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies. The mad man said [sic] " You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer ." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the ma

O-B-A-M-A

Two million people at the National Mall in Washington alone. The world watched too as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. So did I. I rudely cut roomie's soap operas and switched to CNN to witness history being created. Some day I may live to tell the tale of how Barack, the much touted Afro-American President of the United States, stumbled with his swearing-in oath. I was a bit disappointed as I watched the man who had run the most successful of election campaigns, the man who Americans were pinning their hopes on, take his oath. Clearly, he was under too much of a pressure to be the best. So before Chief Justice John Roberts could complete the first sentence, there was Obama abruptly breaking out into his first names... " I Barack Hussein Obama.." and then waited for the judge to complete the sentence.. The next line was even taxing. He stopped short after two words... " That I will excute ..." and then Justice Roberts cont

Good Girls Don't Drink?

I have been disturbed by the news coming out of my region – the northeast of India - where a teenage girl coming out of a bar at 9:30 pm was molested and beaten by a group of 20 men. The news has even found its way down under for the shocking nature of it. Tabloids and even TV have carried the news. I have always prided myself in belonging to a region that is known for its high tolerance and where women are generally safe and independent. But I have always felt a bit squidgy about Guwahati unlike the rest of the seven sisters. The place is so like the rest of India in many ways, dirty and claustrophobic. That explains why bars are looked upon as sleazy places and women going there beaten up as with the recent case. Just 150 km away is Shillong, the place where I grew up. Night clubs thrive there and till date there has been no case of attacks against women. Reading the news, I am appalled by some of the reactions. “But the girl was drinking,” or “only prostitutes visit that