Friday, May 26, 2006

Confidential to Jaydeep Ghosh

Re: "Fooled by the firangs" (HT City, New Delhi, Friday, May 26, 2006, page 3)

You are an ass.

I suspect that perhaps you've never taken the time to actually speak to one of these "fair-skinned opportunists," but you may be surprised to know that, as a white person living in Delhi, I am frequently invited to events -- such as marriages or birthday parties or office outings -- by my friends and colleagues.

It's a bracing friendliness; I often marvel at the magnitude of these events, and am amazed at the generosity of hosts who seem always willing to accomodate one more person, feed an extra mouth. Yet you exclaim, indignant, "Just the other day at Ashwin Deo's party I spotted a dozen such Goras and Goris who didn't look like they were invited. To ensure, I checked with Ashwin and the host failed to recognise them."

For the sake of argument...did you point to the woman in the bejeweled sari, snagging mutton kebab after mutton kebab? The man downing whiskies in the corner? If a dozen white folk dotted the landscape, the party must have comprised a hundred or more people -- and you would like to assert that Ashwin was personally acquainted with each and every one?

I'm not sure what precipitates this outburst, but it seems entirely unfounded. Baseless, even. You're reducing white people to...objects, not humans with feelings and thoughts and problems of their own. "A few weeks back, at a party at the Nikko, I saw this shocking sight of a tall blonde draped in a sari and just a bra for a blouse enjoying LITs on the house and drawing paparazzi attention too."

You do know that...saris aren't our native dress, and perhaps this statuesque blonde was unaware of how one procures a blouse. Or she thought that a brasseire was enough -- on more than one occasion, I've pondered the thin line between the garment and undergarment, particularly keeping in mind the fact that many blouses are of such thin cotton that the bra is completely visible anyhow. And the nerve, she, getting paparazzi attention! Surely, she was begging the photographers to chronicle her faux pas. I mean, she's white!

"The Goras in Delhi have a whale of a time," you assert. And though that may appear true enough, remember that discrimination works both ways -- perhaps you can take solace in the fact that although we guzzle an occasional free drink, our day-to-day lives are often fraught by autodrivers charging triple the metered rate; men and women pointing, staring, and laughing at our general comportment; and a crushing sense of alienation at not better understanding Indian culture.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Blogger,
I accidentally chanced upon your blog and discovered your angst on the article written by - "Fooled by the Firangs".
I sincerely apologise for generalising all expats and hurt the feelings of people like you. But believe you me, people like you are not the types I tried to comment upon.
Yet, I agree I shouldn't have generalised all expats. My sincere apologies and do let me know if I can make ammends.
Jaydeep Ghosh