Thursday, October 12, 2006

Three wheeled cars and knee cap

We have Mike visiting our office to work on the ongoing project. Mike is a first-timer to India and is 100% USA'an. He speaks very slowly it isn't that he isn't excited about what he is speaking). He has so many questions about India. One day while traveling to work in the bus, he sees stray cows on the road.

He asks, "What are the cows doing there?"

Now, how do we explain to him that they are not doing anything there. They are just there. When a friend remarked a more meaningful (and philosophical!) comment: not everything in India has a purpose; I couldn't agree more.

He then asks, "What do they eat?" and continued, "And where are the male cows?" Not that we don't see the cows on road, such questions somehow, don't appear in our Indian minds. We accept the cows, that's all.

On the occasion of Dasara, bus and auto-drivers (he calls them three wheeled cars!) have decorated their vehicles with flowers. He has a question, "if it is a religious festival, why do they decorate their vehicles?" Again, as such there no right answers. We can convince him that we are showing gratitude towards the tools we are using; etc. Somehow, although I like to decorate, I don't see why it has to be only on festival days that we want to do it.

Mike is interested in Volleyball, so we quickly start a conversation.

"Do you play everyday after work?" --- "Yes."

"Do you spike?" --- "Yes, and reasonably well too."

"Do you use knee-caps?" --- "No!"

"You should. Because otherwise you may hurt yourself" --- "Yeah...but you know..."

I can't quite continue. How do I tell him that we are not so very particular about safety. How do I tell him that we consider it below standard to use all these guards and play. It is so much fun without them.

So, I don't.

There are so many such interesting things about Mike. Remaining, maybe later.

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