Sunday, June 26, 2005

Is the term "ABCD" for real !

I am only couple months away from my fifth year anniversary in the United States. Obviously, its time for retrospection and analysis of how much have I changed and how much have things changed for me.

A term that is notorious for describing the desi generation that was born and brought up in the US, it the term "ABCD" (American Born Confused Desi). The assumption here is that people who have spent most of their lives, especially their childhood in the US, are not sufficiently touched by Indian cultures except for the microcosm of their families and some friends.

On the other side, there are people like myself, who have been exposed to Indian culture for sufficiently long (20 + years) , to consider it a "Way of Life" and then suddenly found ourself in the land of opportunities due to our career priorities.
I remember the time I first landed in the US (Atlanta Hartsfield Airport) where the learning curve started. I very well recall the struggle with the water fountain in the airport, took me couple minutes to figure out how to press the right buttons. The water was too cold and ended up giving me a shower rather than quenching my thirst. I distinctly remember the shock of seeing the skimpiest skirt of my life, and thinking how could this be !

It was surprises all the way, and still is. Like when Dominos advertised their call in number to be 352-FRE-BEER and I insisted on getting Free Beer since they had advertised the same.

The point I am getting at, is that when I see myself next to my fellow countrymen whose birth place has been in the US, I see myself more awe struck by situations that them *always*, because those dudes has seen it from day one. Now would you call such a guy "Confused", HECK NO!

Consider the perspective, Yes , I am more accustomed to Indian Society and Cultures than they are, and know that Bollywood is bigger than "Shah Rukh Khan", but what really matters is the circumstances. I am here in the US and plan to spend the rest of my life here as well. The chances of me *ever* coming up to speed with every thing that happens here are pretty odd, and again both myself and my fellow countrymen(referenced earlier) have to survive in this society.

I am not trying to demean myself by proclaiming confusion here, but it is a fact and it is the truth. I do think that we have risen to the challenge of change and adaptation, which I am not sure a lot of people can endure, however this disconnect of cultures is something we would have to endure as long as we have given our careers a higher priority.

Think about it !