Your Turn I

Posted by sepoy on August 04, 2005 · 4 mins read

My bilious nature has interrupted my "hiatus" [maintaining radio silence is more often than not a supreme skill taught only to those inducted into the daiymo Bloguwa]. But while contemplating my silence, I had decided to do what everyone who really knows me says I do best: Delegate. I emailed some of my readers and asked them to contribute a word or two to CM. At first the plan was to do a whole guest week but, I don't know if enough of my initial invitees will have time to respond. So, I have decided to tweak it a bit. As a recurring feature, I will post thoughts of the CM crowd for my substantial DHS and DOJ audience. First up is Sumana. She has been with CM since the beginning and I had the pleasure of meeting her while in San Francisco. My first blog connection, it was. Below is what she had to say.

Since sepoy is oh so occupied, I will provide some amusing baubles in his stead.

The least Indian of my endeavors is the group blog Spam As Folk Art where we turn straw into comedy gold.

Slightly more Indian: MC Masala, where I spew self-indulgent columny [sic] over the Bay east and south of San Francisco. Rejected titles for my column included "Brown Peril" and "I Took Your Job," although "Idli Hands" was most groanworthy. I wonder how many people would have believed "Gandhi Built The Taj."

Most Indian: an Indian woman living in the US completely misunderstands the last third of a Salon article I wrote about the mirror-mirror experience of visiting a Bangalore call center. I was asking a lot of rhetorical questions that she took as declarative sentences, and I wince when I see her (and possibly other readers) reading a meditation on circumstance as a screed against my own family.

I will take a lump on "For me it is a job, and for them it is liberation." Wagewise and skillwise, their job is more liberating to them than mine is to me, but it's still a figurative overstatement.

She thought I was being condescending, sneering at my Indian peers, even though the whole point of the article was that I see them and me as two sides of the same coin. Maybe it's the fact that I considered the parallels at all that bothered her - American-born Indians aren't to talk about the home country in public except in glowing praise for its infinite authenticity.

I've read her blog so I know she's thoughtful and that I disagree with her on some things (like Hindutva). I think she seized on something that wasn't really there. She commented on my article a year after I wrote it, so maybe she was missing the context of contemporaneous Salon articles. I'd seen story after story about globalization, offshoring, and outsourcing. Mine was a personal, pro-India perspective among them.

I can ramble as much as I like, but it's just that it feels bad being misunderstood. I can cheer myself up with a typo I spotted in a recent book: "I was faced with a Hobbesian choice." Would you like that solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, or short?



Someone | August 05, 2005

Frankly, your article was a complete load of crap. I'm glad somebody had the sense to dish right back at you.

Sumana | August 05, 2005

Congratulations! By anonymously and vaguely slamming my article, you have done THE WEENIEST THING EVER.