Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Insecure India

Last week i had been to different parts of India, central as well as north ( Mumbai and Delhi). I had been there before but this time I went alone and when I landed in Mumbai time was 3 am. I decided to stay in the airport till 6 am and then move into the city. But the exit path from the aircraft directly led to the corridor outside airport which left me in a daze.

I stayed there till 4 am and then decided to move into the city. I had to catch my cab to pune at 6. So how to kill 2 hours???? I decided to go by public transport to chembur form where I had to take a cab ( a grave mistake???) I went to a coffee vendor and asked about the connectivity. As expected I dint get a reply which is quite common in India. We boast of a supreme culture and a dandy hospitality but the reality can be felt in situations like this. I will deal this later as this requires a separate post. I bought a cup of coffee and then enquired about the same and this time I got a reply.

But the reply was nothing but "the place is too far and you dont have any connectivity from here. Better take a Taxi". The Taxiwala owes him a lot and I believe he will settle his debts regularly to people outside the airport for their testimonial on him. I asked th taxi driver and the amount was a eminent 3 digit number. My face turned red with rage. I hustled in the corridor enquiring different people but it was a futile effort. Then a sense of insecurity started creeping inside me. I am an Indian who could speak hindi and if my situation in this country is appalling what will foreign nationals do in this country?

Later I realised the fact that south Indians are akin to foreign nationals for the north and vice- versa. India as a whole is not a country but a continent with different cultures and languages. Wherever I go there is an argument on chennai vs Mumbai, South Indian reticent culture vs North Indian's bindaas attitude. If we go to a place where the language is different you feel so insecure that you think you are in Pakistan. We never get a warm welcome and people around us try to cash in on our ignorance. Is it because India is poor? Is it because of the inherent greedy nature of Indians? I am yet to find a plausible answer for this question. I hope i will find an answer for this and I will feel completely secure in Patna airport at least 20 years from now.