My India is not a documentary. My India is not two-dimensional. My India is not sound bites and powerful pictures. My India has no social or political or religious agenda. But let me be clear that My India is as real as what you see on TV. I get irritated when people downplay my experiences here as not being the real India. I once posted on Facebook a photo of a Papi, a teenager doing the dishes outside her home. Her home isn’t much to look at. A friend commented “Ah, the real India”. Papi is her name, though I doubt this is the proper spelling. I brought her a copy of the print. She was inside the house when I came by, so her father, I assume, called her outside. After she realized I was the silly white woman who waves at everybody from the back of a red scooter, and once she recognized herself on the picture, she giggled like a silly school girl. She now spots us from afar and waves before I even have time to see her!
So let me get on my soapbox.
My India is that of Information Technology engineers, of lawyers, of CEOs. My India is full of NRIs who have made a small fortune working hard in the US or the UK and are now back in India living a grand life, still working hard and hiring thousands of people. My India is that of medical doctors trained in the UK and who now train other doctors around the world. My India is, sometimes, that of five star hotels, with a staff that is unsurpassed anywhere in the world. You guys rock! My India has children who work at Amazon in Seattle and live in Bellevue. My India can afford full SUNY tuition. My India has full-time maids and nannies and BMW parked in the garage with drivers. My India lives in the guesthouse/mansion of the state governor’s compound.
Those people are real. Just as my school kids who live in Rajendranagar. And they are Indian. They too are the real India, though not a reality that makes for good ratings on CNN.
My India is weird. It shakes you and rocks you and whenever you think you have found your balance, it takes for another violent spin. My India is anything but simple.
But I have yet to see a snake charmer. Maybe I should go watch a documentary.