Thursday, November 23, 2006

Being Indian

Most days I live in a world --- subways, streets, shops --- where people look at Indians in a broad stroke, a swarm from the billion left behind. Sometimes people drill down a little further and separate South from the North Indians or the Indians from Trinidad or in one case, the Indian Brahmin from others. The Nuanced speak of Idlis and Dosas, being distinct from the Tandoori's. Still it is going to be a while before people appreciate the nuances of Bengali vs Punjabi teas (to be found on Houston street in the lower east side where taxis to go to sigh and their drives sip, yes!). Taking the nuance to the limit, I remember a dinner time conversation at MSRI: Suresh and I spoke in staccato code, sitting among strangers, about IIT Kanpur that many in our research community have heard about and Suresh's alma mater, and the IIT at Kharagpur, my alma mater, less known, but (more and longer) storied. Believe me, most IITians can look at others and can tell which IIT trained, groomed and ultimately graduated them, and most are convinced their IIT is the best. I come from the one in the land of leisurely teas, long discourses, Satyajit Ray and you can tell us apart from others. :)


Blogger Antztein said...

So what is the difference between a Bengali tea and a Punjabi? Enlighten me!

2:26 AM  

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