Tuesday, June 21, 2005

A 'local' take on Globalisation-Another 'article'

Looks like I've taken the freelancing thing a bit too seriously. As it appears the article on Gujjus and engineering was well recd. So here's the second article for YUVA on globalisation...Kroopa and Niki find a mention!!

MS word dick-shun-aree doesn't have blog in it!!!SAD

It is raining heavily here and posting this itself takes 30 minutes!

A ‘local’ take on globalization

This article was probably born the day the Pope died!! .The 23 minute long conversation over the phone I had with a friend of mine working with a call-center handling the transactions of a multinational bank left me with no doubt that globalization is a reality and has become an inseparable part of our lives. Here’s why :- When the Vatican was flooded with mourners from all over the globe, my friend was flooded with calls by frenzied callers from the Vatican asking for their credit limit to be raised or better still, that transactions on their cards be barred because their cards had been stolen(even in the Vatican?!!!) And when my friend was assigned the British division, she told me she was surprised that most of the customers were Patels from Gujarat. I wasn’t, having stayed in Gujarat for a substantial time now; I know very well that if a Gujarati has one foot in Surat, his other foot is in Southampton!!!

Talking of Brits, it reminds me of a train journey back home where one of our co-passengers happened to be a sound engineer working in music recording studio. What allured us into drawing him into a conversation with him was that he had an i-pod with him. And for us then, it was like-“WOW! That’s an i-pod!! And after the conversation that lasted for about three hours(if you can still call it a conversation!!), it was his turn to be amazed by our knowledge of the English county cricket, the Brit polity, Blair’s fourth child and of course, the universal language – music. The very fact that we listened to and knew about the likes of Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Coldplay and the latest about them together with other well-known Brit and American bands left him amazed. He confessed that his idea of India and Indians had undergone a sea change after the ‘conversation’ and we were more than glad to have helped change the perception of a ‘foreigner’ about our country. Finally, it was our turn to be left dumb-founded when he crooned “kuch toh hua hai” in that typical Brit accent of his and with a sly smile told us that KAL HO NA HO was one of the biggest films in the UK at that time. Only then did I realize that the talk of Indian cinema having arrived on the world scene wasn’t entirely phoney. It had- at least on the British scene, the ‘mother’land of English!!

The other day I went to get my mobile recharged and there was a middle-aged lady showing (off??!!) a very modern phone equipped with all the latest features. She was gleefully showing the MMS of her little granddaughter taking her first steps, which her software engineer son had sent her from the US. When asked if she had a pre-paid or post-paid connection, she said –“No, I have Airtel!!! Globalization at work again, albeit in a different way!!!

Till about 10 years or even 5 years ago, it’d have been unimaginable to think that we’d be this ‘global’. Leave aside the clothes that we wear, the internet that has become such an inseparable part of our lives, the Reebok or the Nike shoes that we wear, or that ubiquitous SMS forward connecting all countries in the world ending with ‘and an Indian sending this forward’!! Without our realization, globalization has indeed become a part of our lives and perhaps what separates us from ‘others’ is probably only the ‘colour’!! Who’d have thought ‘bangalored’ , a verb for someone having his job due to outsourcing would become a part of the English lexicon or better still that outsourcing would be a major issue at the US elections. It is not about how India is getting stronger by the day or that the days of its ‘arrival’ at the world scene are numbered now, but that the lines between various countries and their citizens are being blurred by the day. We are ceasing to be citizens of a particular country (am still very much Indian though, as all of us are) and becoming a part of a ‘global village’.

What is worth noting is that such a topic which used to be a part of school debates and essay competitions has become a pleasant reality now. Pleasant, because such an interaction amongst people from different regions and countries, is an experience in itself. I realize this when I see my blogging friends are from countries as wide as New Zealand and Japan!! Indeed with the Japanese friend running a photo-blog posting pictures taken with her camera-phone, the streets and lives of the Japanese are just a click away!!!

The situation back home in Karnataka is a bit different. Almost every household has either its son or daughter working in a software company; hence it is inevitable that they’ve been to ‘client’s site’ as part of their work and again inevitable that they take their parents there. Was surprised when an ‘aunty’ I met at a wedding started advising me on the kind of clothes I should carry and the precautions that I should take with the visa and passport and that how carrying all those ‘chutneys’ to the US would be of no use as they’d be confiscated at the airport. I was taken aback at this outpour of advice. When asked why this sudden flood of ‘fundas’, she said with a lot of concern-“Son, now that you’ve got a software job, you should be ready to fly to the US at any moment. My son had to go within six months of his joining and he faced lots of problems then. I don’t want you to face the same.”

Thank you Aunty, for the advice. But me and to the US?? Well Yes, Globalization IS indeed a reality now!!


sixtyfourarts said...

Well,It was 27 minutes of your conversation not 23.
Though globalization is a present reality now, people still ask us why do you study in surat, when you could have gone to a college in bangalore?
We are still NIIT, I mean national.

Kroopa Shah (Kr00pz) said...

Its been long since you posted!! Good to read this. I agree with what you've said here. People have a lot of misconceptions about India and Indians. They are surprised when they hear what its really like back home.
I think Indians everywhere are huge fans of cricket.
The only thing I saw when I was in India though is that Indians and Pakistanis aren't very nice with each other. Here (at least in Toronto) its a different story. We can sit together and enjoy an India-Pakistan match and not kill each other at the end.
Yeah, Indian cinema is HUGE. And I like it that way :-)
I am only scared that while people back home try to become like 'foreigners' (as we call them), they shouldn't lose their identity. Some people undergo dramatic changes when they move out of India and that kind of pisses me off. Ok, this is supposed to be a comment and not a post so thats it :-P
PS- Where am I mentioned? :-P

N.B. said...

thnk god..now i hv an idea at least wot's goin on in ur life...
all the best with the trsaining thing
be ready to slog...
take care
i miss all my frnds :-(

niki yokota said...

nikhil going to the US!??? yea im happy to hear abt globalization in ur blog. heard that one forth of world population is indians. u guys have a BIIIIIIG influence to the world(^^)/ thank u very much for mentioning abt japan. cheers!!!!

Anonymous said...

hi this is tej. Happy to hear that you might go to us as now know someone will bring chocolates for me. Your experiance with that mobile phone lady is really amusing.
Since you may not read the comment in the older article i must tell you here that STOP MOCKING GUJARATIS THEIR ENGLISH WE NEVER MOCK SOUTHIES (LUNGIS) FOR THEIR YOU(u) yel (l) yem(m) DO WE????

perspective said...

Lovely Nikhil....
I agree completely with the topic... and i might not be as pleased with the idea that the world's such a small place now...as you are... probably coz i am still learning to form a bridge between the two different worlds i've known.
Maybe the generation after me will not be as surprised with these factors...
Isnt it?

You do write well... i wish i could be worth while publishing some of my works too :)
Gujarat and Bangalore...you bring my two worlds together too..only i am in Bangalore.. :)

Kroopa Shah (Kr00pz) said...

This wasn't addressed to me, even then I have this strong urge to comment on Tej's comment. Sorry Nikhil.
Tej, a blog is your own personal space where you can vent out as you feel. Why should you control what you want to write about on your own blog? ANYTHING can be posted up here, its the author's wish.