Never ask an Indian for directions

  1. It was around March 2000 that my younger brother visited us from the US with his 7-year-old son. My brother moved to the US from India, but my nephew was born and raised there.

We had a small fish tank at home and upon seeing it my nephew told me that he had a 16 gallon tank at home and asked me what the size of our tank was.

We all (the desi relatives) went silent while my brother and my nephew went back and forth guessing the size of our tank.

2. My friend’s 20-year-old son who was visiting from Australia asked me what the permissible blood alcohol level in India was and as most Indians, I had never bothered to acquire this information.

3. Almost all my friends, born in India, but settled in the US are so specific in terms of distance / driving time to their office or other places, their internal compass always aware and oriented, know the present temperature, wind chill factor, snow fall in inches etc.

I am sure we have all experienced this. We have also experienced how we Indians give directions.

“Go straight, turn left (while pointing right), then go more straaaaaight, at circle take middle (of 4) road, then little straight till you get an up and then a down……”

This stems from the fact that we Indians have no concept of the physical world around us.

Length, width, height, weight, thickness, angle, mass, volume, speed, pressure, direction, temperature, color, material, voltage, current etc are all ignored in our conversation, movies, TV serials, MSM, SM.

And this alienation, this lack of familiarity, this dissociation is preventing us from either understanding or acknowledging or conquering them and hence we see all these problems festering around us.

What you measure, you manage!

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