Feb 19, 2013

The (un)Stylish Accent and Lifestyle Nonsense

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There's the US accent and there's the UK accent but us Indians have our own versions of hybrid accents. Its funny when I see Indians in the IT field trying to roll their 'r's and puff their 'p's and miserably failing at it coz it still looks fake and in their process of trying to be stylish they actually forget what they're saying. They also forget that US accent is not just about rolling 'r's and puffing 'p's, its about clarity, and talking slowly. Some of them just end up talking like old American grandmas when they do the dragging instead of speaking slowly. Indians normally talk really fast and that's the only reason Americans find it difficult to understand us and not because our accent is different. One industry I've got to blame for this misconception is the call center services. They have made sure that everybody is accent trained but alas! everybody already knows that the customer care services are outsourced to India and every American knows where they are transferred to for their calls. So maybe we should just cut the crap and learn to be ourselves more than trying to imitate others.

Before US, I have to admit that I was fooled to. I really thought everybody who rolled their 'r's are truly speaking American. And today after 4 years in the US, I still find a lot of people doing that, but now I find it really funny coz I'm able to differentiate the Indian version of American accent. Have to confess I tried it to, and learning an entire new accent completely is not that easy as the call centers make it seem to be. So I just stuck to who I am and what I've been taught, the Indian accent. In fact I found that its easier to communicate with Americans when we're using our own accent without the fake American accent. One thing we have to know is America is a global market and there are lots of people from different countries who speak English in different accents and Americans kind of get used to it. Have you ever heard a European or any other Asian speak perfect US English without a little bit of their own accent getting in the way? I don't think so, unless they're born and brought up in the US, even then some of them fail. Heck, the Spanish living in US don't even speak English sometimes. In fact learning Spanish is mandatory in US schools and Europeans are considered royalty while we who try to so stylishly learn US accent thinking its something out of this world are considered common labor. It becomes ridiculous when we try to fake it and get into our own version of it. I've heard Spanishers speak Americano and it sounds like gibberish. Maybe what we speak sounds like gibberish to them too but that's another story. Trust me I tried faking the US accent and nobody understood a single word of what I said. I switch back to my own Indi accent and they clearly understand me, so why bother, why all the fuss and trying to be someone you're not?

Accent is not the only thing, I come back to India and see how crazy people are about everything America does, we are so dependent on someone else for our chic lifestyles. It is so tiring and I must say at one point it feels downright stupid what we're trying to do. America praises Gangnam style and everybody is crooning about it everywhere in India, America introduces some stupid mf thing and its everywhere here in India. I'm so glad to see pani puri walas still selling something on the roads, so maybe there's still hope for people like me. I'm not saying I don't enjoy wearing jeans and like wearing churidars all the time but let me tell you churidars are a lot more comfortable than skinny jeans for the Indian climate.

There's a reason why people in America dress that way and why we dress this way and its so much easier to keep it that way. Do you know how difficult it is to change your entire wardrobe from Indian to American in order to adapt yourself to the culture and climatic conditions somewhere else? Its hard enough to do it when we go pardes but coming back and doing the same thing here when it is not at all comfortable feels stupid and ridiculous to me. I wanna be desi when I'm in my desh.

This confusion happens to Indians in US too, God they're so messed up, they don't know whether to be Indian or American. Cummon people, its simple!!! wear what should be worn wherever you are in the world, I cannot wear churidars in snowy Chicago winters and neither can I wear them during the extremely hot summers, trust me coz coming from -20c to 35c is not a joke and even a churidar is too much on your skin. But here in India skinny jean is just unbearable in this weather and I don't get it how people wear such thick garments in such hot sun n flaunt it like they're in some kind of snowy place.

Its the same with products, I see more than half of the brands here available in India when we don't really need them. Heavy greazy moistrurizers are not really useful here, what we need here are sunscreens to block out all that sun and alas I don't find a single good one here, its a shame we're developing in such a wrong way. If we really wanna imitate then we should be doing so in improving the actual system, the roads, the traffic, etc., seriously why don't we get this? I'm probably making some very fake person person really angry right now.

If we want Americans to be in business with us all they want from us is good work for less cost, and timely delivery, not the stupid accent n skinny jeans in hot weather. And if Americans want to do business with us its also their duty to understand our accent in the same way we're trying to understand theirs. Stop changing yourself for someone else and faking it and making it easy for them. If they want us they can have us the way we are and even then they'll have a lot of benefits. Anyways in the business world we can never be sure, today they want us and tomorrow they'll go to some other country who can offer them cheaper resources. In the process don't become fools.

Attracting foreigners to India is good but what good is a big mall (bigger than any malls I've seen in Chicago), when the road in front of it and the surrounding area is filthy? Tourists maybe come once/twice a year. Build something for the locals who stay here forever. We don't need malls carrying unnecessary western clothes from US brands, we need a proper roads, transport, and traffic system. Does anybody else understand this nonsense that's going on? Please leave me your feedback if you do too.

Jan 26, 2013


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