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.


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 mad m…

Them Versus Us

Taking off from the Shilpa 'Shitty' issue (I love the surname and that comes from my ever so humorous and intellectual friend Latha or Lotty with love and Angel No. 1 to some :)), here are some reflections on being a north easterner in the capital of the world's largest democracy. Also, Lotty, on a serious note, says I should have a NE angle to what I write. She has a point. I have enough material there, enough to give vent to.

I begin with 'oye Chinky'. When I came to Delhi in the mid 1990s to do a professional course, I wasn't sure what the word meant. Maybe I was too busy paying heed to my new found independence and the certain sense of security -- the fact that I could go to the market even at 10 pm without the peering eyes of the army or the CRPF personnel patrolling the streets and stiffling our existence. It wasn't until my course was over and I got myself a break as a sub editor with the country's premier news agency, that I had my first hand exp…

Glam Gurumaa

Have you ever met a so called godwoman or godman in person? Well I did and I have to talk about this one. On Tuesday night, I got a call asking if I would like to come and meet Anandmurti Gurumaa. My knowledge about ‘spiritual people’ as they would like to call themselves is zero because I have never taken interest in their ilk and India being full of conmen in the garb of spiritualists you tend to look at them with suspicion. I had a friend who stayed for weeks at a house cramped with people in a shady lane in Delhi and they were all fighting and scrambling for the baba’s attention. The baba would perform pujas during the evenings, make them drink and wash with ashes and they would pour heaps of money buying the essentials. The people went to him for all reasons – to sort marital discords, business failures, illnesses, and even vengeance on enemies! It was frightful. I had gone to meet the friend but after a few hours scooted away more scared I would pick a bug from the unhygienic su…