Next stop, insanity

Monday, June 19, 2006

I kid you not

When you move to a different country and, somewhat, adapt to a different culture, you get used to certain language constructs and mannerisms which, if used in India or with friends from India, would be received with confusion, frustration, sarcasm or a combination of all.

On my last trip to India, a friend of mine actually said, with genuine surprise and shock, “You changed a lot! You are talking like Americans, as if you are born and brought up there.” If, for one moment, you think that was a compliment, you don't know anything about sarcasm.

Here is a funny situation I gotten myself into on my last trip:

Me: Whatever happened to Mr. ABC?

Friend: Oh, you don't know, na? He became a disciple of a swamiji and has sworn to celibacy, ya.

Me: No kidding!!

Friend: (Quite angry) No I am not joking! Why will I joke about such things? I am not the kind who spreads lies and rumors for fun.

Me: Er... When I said “No kidding,” I was not referring to your comedic skills, you know. It was an exclamation.

Friend: I don't know. Talking like Americans has become a fashion these days.


  • Well you feel that you have not changed a bit .. But i guess it is always there in the other person mind that you have changed ..

    Well it has been ages since I travelled back to india so I would not know ..


    By Blogger Ilaiy, at Tue Jun 20, 09:42:00 AM 2006  

  • I think I have changed. Not changing when living in a differnt country is impossible. What I don't understand is why people act surprised upon realizing I am changed and worse yet, why people expect me to be exactly like I was 10 years ago.

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Tue Jun 20, 09:45:00 AM 2006  

  • Well changed meaning .. As a person you are still the same .. Well I donot know should say that because 10 years back I had the same nice time as what I do now ..

    The way I look at things are a little different now ..I think if I was in India it would have been the same ..

    Thats just my personal opinion .


    By Blogger Ilaiy, at Tue Jun 20, 10:46:00 AM 2006  

  • Have you heard something like...When in Rome...

    So, replace your no kidding with ....arrrrrrrrreeeey, realllyy, the next time when you talk to a friend in India:)

    Poor fella...I can relate to him.

    By Blogger Casement, at Tue Jun 20, 02:56:00 PM 2006  

  • very funny - and so true! i actually had the same experience with a dear nigerian friend who was very *earnest*. i think i said sth like ..nah! you must be lying!..and he was really upset and said - i do not lie. i am a good christian! :-)

    it's interesting how so often a part of wanting to hang on to the past is to expect people not to 'change'. i mean even if someone hasn't actually moved countries, the passage of time still ensures lots of changes! i had this one friend who started every sentence with ..'but in the old were like this//'. i couldn't be friends with her anymore - she wasn't interested in me actually, but in what/who she thought i was.

    By Anonymous sonia, at Wed Jun 21, 02:40:00 AM 2006  

  • Other reactions you must test:

    "Shut Up!!"
    "Get out!!"
    "You're killing me!"

    By Blogger Jamie, at Wed Jun 21, 02:27:00 PM 2006  

  • Casement: I've gotten similar reactions by just saying "Really?!" which was met with "Ya, I am not lying".

    Sonia: I am guessing people are more willing to accept change as long as the change is similar to other people's change. If you change "radically" by going to a diffent country, people have more trouble handling it!

    Jamie: LOL, just imagining saying things like "Get out" to people is cracking me up.

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Wed Jun 21, 02:55:00 PM 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Anu, at Thu Jun 22, 09:24:00 PM 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Navreet, at Thu Jun 29, 10:02:00 PM 2006  

  • Thanks to the diversity in india me... you don't have to travel as far as America for people to react like that..

    I moved a lot of places within India... Jodhpur...Delhi ...Jamnagar...Hyderabad...Junagadh
    ...Pune..Chennai..Mumbai...Bangalore... and every time I shifted places and went back ...such reactions hit me. But yes the sarcasm is higher when it is the US of A .....

    PS# Thanks for visiting my blog.

    By Blogger Navreet, at Thu Jun 29, 10:03:00 PM 2006  

  • I can't resist laugh after reading this. I kept laughting after reading this. Your blogs work like a tonic, when read early in the morning.Laughter is good for health.I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of humour in your blogs.

    By Blogger cbrao, at Fri Jul 21, 05:19:00 AM 2006  

  • That was a scream! And I totally believe it. I moved back to India 5 months ago after 5 years in the United States and I still find myself explaining and clarifying certain figures of speech. Especially "are you kidding me?" :-)

    By Anonymous Dilnavaz, at Fri Jul 28, 03:39:00 AM 2006  

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