Monday, May 08, 2006

Formal or abnormal?

A couple of weeks ago, I did something I had never done before.

I dared to say to a Singaporean friend, what I would only dare to say to an Indian friend.

"So did you guess we'd have a birthday celebration for you in the office?" my colleague asked me after my surprise birthday party in the office.

"I dunno about the celebration, but if there'd been no cake, I'd have killed you." I said without batting an eyelid.

I believe she was visibly disturbed. Because it was the first time I'd been so damn informal with her.

But the deed was done. It was the moment, I suppose. And strangely, it felt good. For the first time in the 8 years I've lived in Singapore, I felt like I had bridged the racial gap. I'd bridged the divide of formalities with a friend.

There. I'd done it. Now do what you can.

Why was I so proud of that particular 'achievement'
when every day I threaten complete strangers on my blog with a "One kaan ke neeche!" and "It's not like that, you dhakkan!"

I guess, this is how I speak with people I'm close to or feel close to. I can take certain liberties without having to think before I talk to my close friends. Because I believe that I shouldn't have to.

Isn't that what differentiates my friend from the random stranger on the road asking me for directions?

I actually wondered why it took me so long to say what I said. And what was it that I had been afraid of.

Some time ago, I was introduced to a rather interesting African guy. He'd moved to Singapore eight months ago for work, and has been here since.


As we sat in Thai Express, and looked through the glass walls at the different types of people - Chinese, Malays, Indians, Caucasians, etc. - walking through City Link, he told me about an observation of his.

"Singapore is such a unique country. You have so many different types of people living together in harmony, and yet they don't really mix. It's like water, oil and another liquid. All in the same bucket, but not mixing."

His words made me think. I had noticed it, but not really thought of it like that. And perhaps he was right.

I remember in university, one of my seniors had told me, "You notice, Sayesha, most people stick only to their kind? Indians with Indians, Malays with Malays, Chinese with Chinese. But we should really try and make friends with the others too."

He was right. People were either by themselves, or they were in their own groups. Groups that were very clearly defined by secure boundaries. The Chinese groups, the Malay groups, the Indian groups, the Caucasian groups. And though once in a while, you did see a stray Indian or a Malay in a Chinese group and vice versa, it was rare. Most of the time it was pretty defined.

It comes across as slightly weird considering how harmoniously people live in Singapore in spite of their different races and cultures (*touchwood*).
If Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, then why is the divide still there? A couple of days ago, a friend told me, "I miss hanging out in a bunch of Indian friends, and just having fun." His Indian friends from university have all moved away, and now even though he hangs out with his Chinese friends, he misses the informal behaviour, being at ease, being completely himself, having pure fun without having to think. I could understand what he was saying, cos I have friends of all kinds, and even though I really like hanging out with my Chinese friends, somehow I have noticed that it is slightly different. When I am with them, I actually think before I talk. Well, most of the time anyway.

Let's say I am sitting in a group of friends. If I have to go to the toilet, I can hand my bag to an Indian friend, say Meera, and say "Oye Meera, yeh pakad!" ("Oye Meera, hold this!") and then go off. But when the same thing happens with Ming Ming, I must say "Ming Ming, can you help me hold my bag? Thanks!" no matter how close I am to Ming Ming. That's how they do it here. That's how it's done. But if I say to Meera, "Meera, is bag ko pakadne mein meri madad karogi? Shukriya!" Meera would give me one slap and we'd burst out laughing.

Speaking of slapping, why it is that I can say to an Indian friend "I'll slap you if you dare go for that movie without me!" without blinking an eyelid but I'd think thrice before saying it to a Chinese or a Malay friend, and then probably decide against saying it. Why? Is it about formalities? Is it about manners? Is it about culture? If not, what it is then? Why do I have to regulate what I say even though I'm totally comfortable with them? And do my Chinese and Malay friends also treat me differently? Are they more formal with me than with their own kind?

So what does it boil down to? Are we more formal - and a little less 'ourselves' - with others than with our own kind? And if so, why?

I was wondering if this works with gender as much with race, when I got my answer some time ago when I was having dinner with a bunch of guys from old times. Now I have always been a tomboy. I am very comfortable being in an all-guys' group, sometimes more comfortable than in an all girls' group. A couple of days ago, these guys were at my place and weighing themselves on my bathroom scales. "Okay, Sayesha, your turn now!" Someone yelled.

"Nonsense. I'm not gonna weigh myself in front of you guys!" I said.

"Shut up and get on the scales." came the order.

"Fine." So I stood on the scales while the guys peered at the number.

"Hmm... 54. Not bad... ek aur kilo kam ho ja bas! ("You just need to lose one more kg!")." Someone suggested.

That was it man. I had allowed myself to step on weighing scales in front of a bunch of guys and let them comment on my weight. It was the ultimate. Incidents like this made me feel that we were completely at ease with each other, and there were absolutely no formalities amongst us.

But perhaps that was just me. Perhaps I had conveniently (and perhaps selfishly) forgotten to wonder if the guys were just as 'themselves' as I was 'myself'.

I started to doubt my confidence when I was having dinner with the guys. Suddenly, one of them got a call from another guy friend of his. During the course of his conversation, he happened to mention a word that made me frown. I had never heard him use that word before. (No it's not any of the s*** or f*** words, those they use freely even if I am around) But he was freely using it talking to the guy on the other end of the phone. And laughing. And he looked really casual and free.

It puzzled me. Because I thought I knew all the bad words in his vocabulary. And I thought this one wasn't. But apparently it was. So perhaps he was not as free with me as I'd thought. Perhaps there were still things about him that he was careful enough not to let me - the girl - know. Perhaps guys are really the most 'themselves' when they are in an all guys' group, when they don't have to think twice about what would make the gals frown.

The more I think about this, the more confused I get.
Why do our differences determine how we treat a friendship? Why are the differences there? And as we move towards complete globalisation, will things change? Or is it that perhaps this is something that will always stay on some levels, no matter how much we kid ourselves?

But then again, sometimes, friends of the same kind as you may also get offended if you get too informal with them. Maybe they do not consider you as close to them as you thought.

Perhaps the informalities really have nothing to do with gender or race or differences. Perhaps these are just man-made explanations to observations. Perhaps we need to take that first step towards completely being ourselves, without looking around to see who's around us. Is it because we tend to see the differences before we see the depth of the friendship? Is the term 'dosti ka haq' ("the right of friendship") getting obsolete now?

But now I feel like I have taken the first step towards bridging the gap. At least between the girl I threatened to kill and myself, for a start. Now I can introduce her to people as "my friend" rather than "my colleague".

Perhaps it's all in our own head then. We just need to take that first step. When we feel close to someone, perhaps we should allow ourselves to say the three little words freely, without having to think.

"I'll slap you."




49 comments:

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The Girl Who Sold The World said...

Damn! I missed my gold and that too, to a spammer! HMPH! Anyway, the spammer won't be considered first.

So, ME FIRST!!!!!!!!
GOLD!!!!!!! :D

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

I'm the first one to read the post, nothing else matters.

i guess it's basically a cultural gap, people take the words "i'll slap you" a lot more literally when they're not used to it..and then it becomes disturbing. ;) but i'm sure it must've been quite liberating to use them like that, eh? ;)

shub said...

yeah if you make us wait sooo long for a post, "I'll slap you" ;o) :P
worth every bit of the wait though...how was your weekend?

Rohit Talwar said...

Sash! It's not about the way we treat the relationship really--I guess it is more about the gender, as you mentioned already. I'm a totally different person when I'm having beer with guy friends. And someone else when I am having coffee with a bunch of girls around. Remember, just the way I talk here--my expression changes on its own--Not that it's hard, it comes naturally rather--to be a little sure about the 'kind' of words (or abuses) a guy chooses. Hehe.

Kusum Rohra said...

Hhmm slap ... the words that come to my mind naturally are chamaat, chapaat or one laat :)

Janefield said...

A thought provoking post after a long time. Have often wondered the exact same things. It is true we are freer with the people we feel close to and when barriers don't exist, the camaraderie takes on a totally different hue. This is one time I have no objections to Indians without manners :))))) Thoroughly enjoy slapping my friends (most of them deserve it!!!!) :-)

Dinesh said...

I'll break my silence here!

//If Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, then why is the divide still there?

Actually, Singapore is said to follow the 'Salad bowl' culture [Where all the different cultures are combined (like a salad) but they do not merge together as a homogeneous culture] and not the melting pot. :-)

-long time silent reader :-P

Shailesh said...

A really nice narration.

Bit lengthy though :(

Keep blogging.

Siddhu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Girl Who Sold The World said...

Dammit...my mommy dearest (just using it as an expression :P) called. So, I had to go. :|
But I came before TGFI...nothing else matters. Muahahaha.
And as for the formality thing, I guess it depends from person to person too. I've seen some people being insanely formal with even those whom they call their "close friends".
Gender difference? Ummm...dunno. I've a few guy friends who don't really care about the gender difference while some DO behave differently. Uhhh...weird.
And you'll be murdered if you again take so long to put up a new post. :P

Siddhu said...

Haha, I agree with you - though not completely.

I think as Indians we should be able to adjust easily with other people if we wanted to. For chrissake, two Indians can be as different as an Indian and a European. :P But we gen don't try - something about ghettoisation in our collective blood. :D

(Or to be more precise, sometimes I feel kinda left when a few of my friends - Indians and Pakistanis - are talking to each other. I mean, people from some parts of India have more cultural commonalities with them than they do with, say, me -- it felt extremely weird in the beginning, that they'd pull each others' legs more than they would mine, or speak about stuff which I wouldn't be able to get. :P )

On the other hand, when you get to know people well enough (depending on the person), you manage to reach the same level of informality. For instance, I have a German friend who calls me a pathetic Indian nazi (for my fascination with Hitler ;) ), and i wouldn't wanna repeat what I'd say back to him. So I guess it's just more about whether we subconsciously want to adapt or not.

Fishy said...

Hey Sayesha,
Having lived in 3 different countries and having friends from a lot of places, all i can say is that its a cultural thing, since you dont share languages, backgrounds, you are never certain how a phrase can be misinterpreted or offend...on the other hand, even with indian friends, i find i talk share and react differently with different groups of friends, simply coz i have met and befriended them at different stages in life and i have changed too :) this comment is as long as a post so i will STOP now..

Kais said...

Social dynamics are interesting! I too conciously recognized the same thing about myself (that I
behave differently around strangers) and I've been actively try to change that.

Here are some things that help me ...

1. When meeting a new person, avoid the tendancy to slip into polite conversation..."hi..so what do you do?...so where do you work?...
so how long does it take you from home to office?...blah blah...yawn...etc". You can get stuck in this mode with this person forever.
Instead if someone asks you "hi, how are you?" take the opportunity to tell them a story about yourself. "Im great! hey you know, my sis
has earrings exactly like yours. She used to love them. I dont know if she wears them these days though, she lives in the US and I
barely see her once a year if Im lucky..haha." Watch the conversation take off after that. Make your story interesting rather
than entertaining. The story is not supposed to sell itself, it is supposed to 'sell' you. Dont wonder whether you are boring the other
person with your story. People are interested in your humanity.

2. Go into exaggerated-honest mode with strangers. Your friend X introduces your group to her pretty friend Y. Dont start with "so how do you know X?
...you work here?..where?....banking operations (god-forbid)?.....*yawn city*" Instead try opening with "Man you are so cute! hey X how come you
never tell us you have such pretty friends?! We are not bad people you know, at least not all of us... etc. etc." Then you can roll-back the
conversation to more normal stuff that is supposed to demonstate that you are not just a skirt chaser (at least not all of us..lol). In other words
try going in with something personal first and then winding back to the more 'acquaintaince-type' talk instead of the other way (which is the social norm)

3. People tend to become what you pretend they already are. It gives them something to live up to. If you pretend like they are fun outgoing people
the first time you meet them they will try to live up to your image of them.

Whew that was a looong comment! :P

Cheers
Kais

Anonymous said...

Good post! One factor that has to be considered in this analysis is that when it comes to multicultural interactions, subconciously we project ourselves as ambassadors for our country. Whether to prove certain stereotypes wrong, or to reinforce certain others, we model our behavior on how we would like to be perceived. Once a relationship starts on that note, no amount of time can change the initial tone set.

Rohit said it right - we project different facets to different people. Each facet by itself does not define us completely and there is nothing abnormal in defining your identity with each individual differently. It only becomes abnormal if you try to change that to project a single image of yourself to everyone, irrespective of how they interact with you.

On a related note - Have you ever wondered why you have some friends/family that you are reluctant to introduce to each other for fear that they might not hit it off together like you would with either one of them? It is likely that the reason is that your own facets might contradict each other. Sorry for the long comment, but you surely set me thinking. So, thanks again!!

bananapen said...

Heh :)
Btw I don't think it has anything to do with race or gender, but how well you think you know the other person and whether he/she is the type to take offense at li'l things like that.
If you know the other person well, you'd feel more relaxed, and hence more inclined to say or act as you like. But even so, if you know that the other person will take offense if you say or do certain things, you'll probably not say/do them.
Just my S$0.02. :)

Jeevan Baretto said...

if u r in a metropolitan city. then i don't think there would be much of those formal informals thingy between gals n guys.. at least it was not there with me..

Sirius Black said...

Long post :o YIKESSSSS
Longer Replies :o Double YIKESSSS
nice post though :) i think its kinda true but with time myb things chg.So am strt talkin informally :D here v go :P
Is ming ming cute :)

Nandya said...

man at the end i got confused..... a little disoriented perhaps...not the usual smoothness that i find so appealing in ur blogs...but nevertheless the point was gotten through to my thick head....

dharmu said...

a good post, got me all thinking.
(i keep doing "thinkin" stuff in my office when my boss 'unthinks' to give me more work.

uh, a small observation from my end reporting from San Diego. here, when you are in bus, hotel, temple or shopping and you come across any fellow indian, your smile is never acknowledged.

rather, they try to avoid seeing you. i felt this very strange at first, but getting quite used to it.

the people from other cultures give you a open smile, a nod or just a 'hi' to register your existance, be it on the streets, park or elevator.

strange uh?

Anonymous said...

I guess it all comes down to you as a person as to how you react with someone of a different race.. an indian having lived with non indians for a significant part of my life, i don't have to say thanks to ming ming when i ask her to hold my bag! infact i end up being more formal with my indian friends just to make sure i don't get into their bad books and a part of the indian gossip circle.. i guess with these things everyone has their own rules, no right or wrong .. my two cents hehe.. :p

Vikram said...

You took me off your blogroll??:O :O

This is nainsaafi...

I'm going to sue you for this...

Sakshi said...

I have a better rapport with my American friends than with the desi folks.When I came to the US and saw the different folks here, I decided to make an attempt to know people from all over the wrld. With some I became good friends and with some I kept my distance - this is true irrespective of nationality and gender.
The sad part is that because I hang out with so much with non desi folks, the desis gossip ad nauseum about me. So I keep away from them and then the vicious circle continues.

Sayesha said...

#Dwainneson,
SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!! :@

#The Girl,
Kya re! Kis dhakkan ko gold le jaane diya? :(

#Ipanema Girl,
//I'm the first one to read the post, nothing else matters.

Hehehehe :P

//but i'm sure it must've been quite liberating to use them like that, eh?

Yeah man!!! :D

#Shub,
Hehehe... I saw that one coming from at least one commentator... :P Weekend was chilled out yaar, didn't get anything much done... was gonna ask you if you wanna meet up over the coming long weekend.

#Rohit,
I dunno yaar... sometimes I feel that we're conveniently pinning it on gender when perhaps it's not as simple as it seems :)

#Kusum,
One of each to you! Muahahaha! :D

#The Chosen One,
//A thought provoking post after a long time.

Hehehe.. thanks! :P

#Dinesh,
Welcome back, man! Long time no comment! :)

Even in a salad bowl, you would expect the flavour of each ingredient to slightly affect the other, isn't it? :)

#The Ignorant,
Hehehe... yeah I am kinda notorious in blogsphere for my boringly (?) long posts! This is still medium-sized I would say! :P

#World Girl,
Baap re, kitna time lagati hai padhne mein! :P

//I've seen some people being insanely formal with even those whom they call their "close friends".

YES! I've seen that too!! :O

#Sid,
Hmmm... I guess so... but sometimes we need to make a conscious effort to see whether the barrier we thought exists, is really there or not.

#Fishy,
Yeah... guess you have a point there. And no, your comment wasn't long, the comment following yours is! ;)

#Kais,
Great tips! Post-worthy yaar! ;)

#Anonymous,
//subconciously we project ourselves as ambassadors for our country.

Very important angle that, thanks for bringing it up! Yeah, often I am a bit conscious about how I am portraying India and Indians, and that creates some formalities...

#Banana,
Hmmm... well, I thought I knew girl-I-threatened-to-kill very well now, but it still took me a few years before I actually threatened to kill her, eh? ;) Guess I was afraid that it may not be taken the same way in which it was said. :)

#Jeevan,
I doubt if we can generalise about metros like that... I think some things are just very guy, and no matter which city you are in, they will stay :) Of course, there are exceptions when they really let in a girl into boys' night out. But even then, she may not be fully in, like I discovered recently :)

#Sirius Black,
Hahahaha! :D Yeah, once in a while (used to be more often) I get all enthu and the post follows the great wall of China. :/


#Nandya,
//not the usual smoothness that i find so appealing in ur blogs

Hehehe... you know what? I agree :P

That's what happens if you save a post as a draft and keep editing it over a week, in the end the smoothness is lost. But sensitive issue hai yaar, wanted to get my point across without offending anyone :)

#Dharmu,
//i keep doing "thinkin" stuff in my office when my boss 'unthinks' to give me more work.

HAHAHAHA! :D

Yeah, I have noticed that some people are just not friendly, regardless of country of origin. Unless of course you made the mistake of smiling at a creepy guy. :O

#Anonymous,
//to make sure i don't get into their bad books and a part of the indian gossip circle..

Hehehe... gossip circles... sigh... :D

#Vikram,
I did not take you off my blogroll you DHAKKAN! I merely renamed you to 'Echoes'. Sheesh! One kaan ke neeche to you! :/

#Sakshi,
You know, sometimes I feel more open towards meeting non-Indians than Indians... with Indians, somehow I can immediately tell if I will hit it off or not, with non-Indians, it takes a while. People I have not liked too much in the past are now very close friends of mine. But with Indians, if you don't like 'em at first, you never like 'em! :P

Vikram said...

Oh ok.. ok..:P

meri galti.. maaf kar do..:P

i'm a human being yaar... galti ho jaati hai.. nahi?

Sayesha said...

#Sirius Black,
Oops forgot to answer your question earlier! :P

//Is ming ming cute :)

Oh yeah! She's not only very cute, she's smart and funny! And oh, fictional too.

:P

#Vikram,
Hahaha! Ab aaya line par! You human being???? Kab se, you chimp??? :D

Vikram said...

//Kab se, you chimp??? :D //

OK... that's it... X-(

I'm going to sue you now... pucca.. definite...

10 million dollars theek hai na?...

Anonymous said...

Sayesha, here i'm commenting on your post titled "Save the trees, not me!" on Wednesday, May 03, 2006. I was the anonymous person who commented on your friend, bible and Jesus the other day. I didn't get a chance to visit your blog for sometime now, that is y this late comment.

I can identify with every one of you about this "Jesus thing", beccuse i was one among you some years ago, bashing up all these "Jesus Freaks". But one fine day, (I wasn't needy or in any kind of problems) i realized this person Jesus was as real as any one else. I decided to give a try and my whole life was transformed and i was never the same person again. The Bible says "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32). I had no desire or inclination even to do very small things(sins) which i considered then to be fine and normal. It pained me every time i hurt some one with my words. I couldn't explain why how. But then i figured out as the bible says "herefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 corinthians 5:17), i had become a new man.

So what really matters is the change of a person's heart, by becoming a new creature in christ, and not merely converting to a certain religion, which does no good to any one. Merely saying I'm a christian or converting to christianity or any other religion for that matter does not bring about this change. All that matters is becoming a new person at heart.

I hope you guys understand this.

Thanks for your time and space again.

Vikram said...

//i realized this person Jesus was as real as any one else.//

OK no offence as such, but did you meet this guy in a bar?

Tell me which one, it'll probably be the first one I'll never set foot in.

Anonymous said...

Hey Vikram...
Leave that poor soul... Need not worry abt these ppl... let him change whom ever he wants.. N any other ppl who wants to be "SAVED!" can follow him.... lets not make this beautiful blog racical... or relegion..!.. what ever... BTN...
one of my fren is Jesu... often I can find him in Orchard towers..Pub...

renegade said...

itni lambi post ki neend aa gayi ;)
anyway here's the solution to ur problem of immiscible liquids: birds of a feather together

zzzzzzz

renegade said...

wait a sec.. that's: birds of a feather flock together

(my english teacher must be killing herself right abt now but u gotta give me credit for using a big word like immiscible)

Sayesha said...

#Vikram,
Phir sue???? Bola na toilet udhar hai! Mere blog par don't mark your territory! :O

#Anonymous,
No one here on this blog is disputing the fact that Jesus changed your life. We're all happy for you that you have become a new person at heart. But you freak me out when you keep quoting from the Bible on my blog. My knowledge of the Gita is too limited for me to be able to quote from it. But all I can say is karmanyewadhikarastemaphaleshukadaachana. Meaning - do your duties without worrying about the results. You said yourself "It pained me every time i hurt some one with my words." You're hurting me with your words now, buddy. It's painful listening to someone trying to slap his religion on me. Just let me be. If I have to land in hell, I will. Let me just be happy now? Thanks, buddy! :)

#Viks,
Errr... :)

#Anonymous,
Well said, yaar. Do not cause disturbance at Sayeshaz. Those who wanna follow the dude, please make your way out of the back door. Quietly, please. Have some respect. This is a BAR!

#Renegade,
I can see a definite dipping in your patience levels from the time I have known you. Ab khud ka poora naam bhi type karne mein zor aata hai? :D

Arre, I'm sure you have lived thru longer posts on Sayeshaz than this one, haven't you? Of course, the fact that you did not read them is a different issue! ;)

//birds of a feather together

HAHAHAHAHAHA! :D

Somya said...

nice post...even I don't think ur being at ease with a person has anything to do with gender or race...I guess its more like you feel more relaxed and think this person is more my type and u bcome real informal with that person.

HOTWINTER said...

Sheeeeesh ! Look at the spammer Sayesha how he is selling degrees. Now I understand how Laloo-ji got the BA.LLB. Degree and how most of our Indian politicians get degrees.

Next time give a tight slap not to your Singaporean friend, but to this spammer.

People fear to mix with people from other cultures so that they might not suffer cultural shocks.

Suppose in USA friends greet each other by a pinch at each others bum and if some of your Indian male friend or a male friend from USA greets you like that, then I dont know what will happen to that guy after that. < @#$@%@#%^#^^@#^@#^^^^#^#^^@$%@@##!&*^&>

That is why people think twice before talking/behaving to someone from a different culture.

Still if someone can manage with the habits of people from other cultures, then it is absolutely fine.

Nath said...

Formal behaviour and language don't vary all that much by culture. Most people would act much the same whether at a formal event in New Delhi or one in Djibouti/Singapore/wherever. The rules of informal behaviour do vary, however. Many figures of speech and social conventions evolve locally and never catch on elsewhere. The more informal your behaviour, the more incomprehensible it is to people of another culture.

As for why Singapore doesn't function as a melting pot -- different places simply allow different degrees of 'melting', depending largely on how positive peoples' opinions are of other cultures. I spent a few years in the Middle East. Pretty much all of my friends from that time are Indian. (There were also a couple of Pakistanis I've since lost touch with). Although not many people would admit this openly, I definitely got the impression the lack of melting resulted from the fact that people of different cultures were suspicious of each other.

In contrast, I'm now at a university in the US. National origin and race don't play as much of a role in forming opinions here -- and, consequently, there's a good deal of melting going on.

Kusum Rohra said...

Ouch... two of each to u too :)

the Monk said...

totally...it happens even within India, though to a lesser degree..there are some communities (i'd rather not mention names) that really stick together, and are pretty much a closed circle...

Bhaarat said...

The problem lies in thinking that our perspective is right. Probably the people from other cultures think the same for us. Why do we want them to change. Why cant we accept the other cultures as they are. I do not see any issue anywhere.

In fact we learn the other cultures as well we might have much more seamless interaction than feeling formal/abnormal ones.

Prayank said...

woow ... cool post .. u did it again

now my twenty cents:
i guess this divide is a gift of being grown up .. i remember that as kids we are oblivious to such things ... as a kid u can tell any stranger 'abey dhakkan .. ek sapata maaroonga kheech ke' ... we learn to judge, to analyze as we grow up and thats where the divide begins ...

to an extent i think this divide makes us realize the importance of those few gud close frnds with whom we can be just ourselves ... we treasure their frndship coz not everyone is as close to us as they are ..

don wanna sound philosophical ... but we are all actors Sayesha ... so carry on with ur role ...

BTW, thanks for dropping by on my blog ... don u get nariyal pani in singapore ..

Shekhar said...

Hi Sayesha..if before this post I was a fan of yours..then I'm certainly an industrial air-conditioner of yours now. ;)

AWESOME post !! And like Banana Pen, here's my do-rupaiyah bit..

It is always an interesting walk back from the institute building to our hostels. It so happens that the girls hostel comes before the boys hostel. Quite a few times now, I've observed the language that dominates the discussion of groups walking back. It's all nice and poetic and with proper Victorian manners kept in mind...till such time the girls' hostel is crossed. Once the girls have left..sheesh !! You should listen to the guys..I won't/can't go into the details.

And mind you, these guys and girls have been together for a year now and share a great rapport..so there...

Shekhar said...

NOT FAIR !!!!!!!

Prayank put in 20 cents.

I just checked the RBI website. The exchange rate for today is 1 USD --> Rs. 44.96

So, 20 cents would be equal to Rs. 8.912. And I got to put in only my precious do-rupaiyah.. :(

justme said...

oh my god.. can you write??.. u ve set me thinking.. awesome sayesha.. and almost every part of it is sooo true..!!
how abt doing some pyshological or study of human behavior.. u will do it great..!! :-)

Sayesha said...

#Somya,
Yeah, I think I agree with you :) But sometimes, guys just don't wanna let girls in on some issues, and then it becomes a gender thing :)

#Hotwinter,
//if some of your Indian male friend or a male friend from USA greets you like that, then I dont know what will happen to that guy after that.

Hahaha! :D

#Nath,
//I definitely got the impression the lack of melting resulted from the fact that people of different cultures were suspicious of each other.

I think you have a very valid point there.

#Kusum,
Mere hi bar mein aake... x-(

#The Monk,
Yeah, India is really a mini-world on its own, isn't it? :)

#Bhaarat,
No one has to change his culture yaar, it's just about accepting certain norms of informal behaviour... perhaps there should an international code of conduct! ;)

#Prayank,
//to an extent i think this divide makes us realize the importance of those few gud close frnds with whom we can be just ourselves

True true :)

//don u get nariyal pani in singapore

I do, but it sucks man. :( The ultimate is 'canned nariyal pani'. YUCK.

#Shekhar,
Baap re... thank you thank you :P
ps: Tujhe donate karne ka itna hi shauk hai, toh donate to the poor-Sayesha fund yaar! :D

#Justme,
Thanks! :)
Yeah, am studying human behaviour every day (just like all of us are)... but some thoughts just don'g go away till I have blogged about them :)

renegade said...

/* I can see a definite dipping in your patience levels from the time I have known you */

well there's a simple explanation for that .. i had 24 hr access to the net earlier.. now it's down to 30 mins :(

Sayesha said...

#Renegade,
//now it's down to 30 mins

WHAT??!! And you can survive in such adverse conditions????!!!! I bow to thee. :)

its me said...

hey very interesting post. and i dnt mind if they are a little long either (they are not, not for me atleast :)
and abt the guys and gals thing even i've observed, the behaviour tends to vary..

Rebellion said...

Am back Sash :p

Bohot shaanti de di aapko.. returning to the blog world after 3 days :( :D

Hmm.. slap.. the way I usually say is.. 'ek laga ke dungi' or cutting it short & coded.. 'BNTNBKN' :P hehehe

I don't think its a gender issue.. its more of how comfy you are with a person! I have few guys are friends who are much more comfortable with me than so many of my 'close' girl friends are!

Anyways.. nice post, glad you finally took a step of bridging the gap from your colleague to your friend :-)

And ya.. next time don't dare make us wait for your post for soo long else aapka to BNTNBKN kar dungi :p

Take care,
Aarti

Sayesha said...

#Its you,
//i dnt mind if they are a little long either (they are not, not for me atleast :)

Thanks!!! That's a relief. :) Cos you're the only one who says so, you know! :|

#Aarti,
Welcome back, babes! :)