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help! I'm a global misfit...

When I tell my college and school friends that I have grown apart , that I can't associate with them anymore, they tell me it's just in _my_ head, that I'm the one who has changed and that everyone else has remained just as I had last known them. I don't understand how that could have happened. At least in the case of my college friends (some), I find it difficult to fathom; we went to the same college, lived in the hostel and complained about the same absurd rules, we hung out together, we were all outcasts (being non-locals), we were all equally discriminated against and above all we were friends. I used to hang out with these people, had a lot of fun and good times with them, got into trouble with authorities for them. I bet if I were to meet them again, I'd have an equally good time again. But I've been thinking about this mental drift that I feel... and today I found solid evidence of this drift (and also the reason why I can't seem to associate with half the Indians I meet here or anywhere). I met a friend of mine from school today.

She is not any odd friend. She was my best friend in school (from 5th to 10th grades). She is married now and lives in Houston. We've been in touch over the years. In fact she is the only one among my school friends I'm still in touch with and even that only because she makes an attempt to keep me posted about things and takes an interest in my life ( at least in the parts I actually share with her). She came down to Galveston with family and friends and I went down to the beach to meet them. (If you're wondering why I didn't invite her over and be more hospitable and stuff, I have an answer. I basically drove a 100 miles in the heat, spent the entire morning getting my car fixed, had a huge lunch with a friend and then drove some more. By the time I got home, all I wanted to do was die. So pardon me if I wasn't a good host, but I was in no mood.) Somehow I managed to haul my ass out of bed and be nice enough to meet them for a few minutes at the beach. It was after sunset, so the weather was mild and the ocean looked lovely in the moonlight.

Anyway, back to the actual post. What is it about Indians, or at least with the ones considered 'socially normal' that makes them mock, doubt and sneer at everyone who is not like them? In a span of 5 mins, they made a racist comment, cracked a homophobic joke and disapproved of the drunken revelry going on around them. I didn't say a word.

There were times even in college when I thought some joke or comment was inappropriate but I would just smile and play along. I would end up mentally spanking myself for the rest of the day for my inaction. I would go over the whole scene in my head. Only, in my mind I confronted the person and a huge discussion ensued. In my mind, I had the best responses and witty remarks for everything the person had to say. But the truth is, even on those rare occasions when I did confront someone, the moment I said something to them, I'd instantly realize how pointless it all was, how I would never be able to influence a change in the person. I could never keep up an argument. I'd give up out of sheer disappointment in myself.

OK this post is confusing. I think I'm angry, no, frustrated that I'm so passive.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
catchmanblue
Jun. 27th, 2010 04:40 am (UTC)
Woe betide on the world!! I had a feeling for a moment, if I wrote that post. I am able to identify myself comfortably with that, since I have a very few 'friends'. Makes perfect sense really and hey, being passive is probably a very comforting feeling!! It isnt taxing and a solace as far as am concerned :) Okai. Enough of the I's on the post, this is your journal, I better start off ranting on my own! :) :D. We are all quirky by nature (from the 'normal' viewpoint), something I take pride in :) :), think most of them I know on lj are strongly associated with this feeling as well.!!
dakini_bones
Jun. 27th, 2010 05:14 am (UTC)
Some people grow UP, and some people grow OLD!
I have travelled all over the world, and more to the point, I *wanted* to travel the world.
Many of my friends from the small-minded, pessimistic area of UpState New York are just so, so...gah!
I still love them, but I can only take them in small doses. ;/
(Deleted comment)
subtle_blues
Jun. 28th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Did u delete your post? Why?

I am not concerned about sustaining friendships; I've met some amazing people in life who make me happy and keep me sane. I think I'm just frustrated that I never confront people when they are clearly being idiotic. I don't have the balls to say, 'you are clearly being racist and I don't think we should hang out anymore'. I just have a lot of complaints about myself,I don't expect people to change. :)
Thanks for the comment, Phani!
(Deleted comment)
foot_notes
Jul. 1st, 2010 06:51 am (UTC)
First, hugs (if it's appropriate) to stop being so hard on yourself.

We all are largely passive. Possibly it's an innate Indian quality - something that wouldn't go away so easily even after having lived away for years. So don't berate, beat yourself.

You have made your choices about friends. That you'd want to hang around people who have as few prejudices as possible and that's great. It's an ACTIVE choice. There's NOTHING passive about it. And, you've moved on from the days when you'd put up with people coz they were friends. Your pro-active responses need necessarily NOT come as high-decibel shrieks or highly-moral grandstanding etc right? You've done what you want to. So chill and be happy with yourself on that count :)

Lastly, we all move on regardless of what kind of friends they were and make new ones in their place. Everyone - even you and I - moves on but many don't seem to either recognize, acknowledge or accept. You do. And, that's what counts!
subtle_blues
Jul. 1st, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
:) *hugs* (always appropriate).

P.S.: You must have a name in real life, na?
foot_notes
Jul. 2nd, 2010 07:13 am (UTC)
OH, Sorry it never occurred to me that I haven't uttered name here yet. :)

Sudhir it is.
foot_notes
Jul. 2nd, 2010 10:40 am (UTC)
And, I'm reading Artemis Fowl following your suggestion. I'm THOROUGHLY enjoying it. And, who said its just for kids? :)
subtle_blues
Jul. 2nd, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
heh... It's for young-adults technically. I think they are smart books.
vijucat
Aug. 25th, 2010 10:02 am (UTC)
You forgot the other side of the coin : if any of these jokes, racist or otherwise, mocks Indians, then you have hurt my emotions/sentiments ("threatened my identity", I believe), and thou shalt be ostracized in your social network via word-of-mouth at a speed that the network engineers of Orkut and Facebook are zealously trying to emulate since 1999, and an effigy of yours will be burned promptly at the nearest city centre. Ah, oh, stones will be thrown at the nearest building with glass windows.
:-)
subtle_blues
Aug. 25th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Where the hell did you pop up from? :)
How've you been? Oh I'm still single with no kids, :P
vijucat
Aug. 26th, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
Me been offline mostly! e-mailed you the rest of my story.
wixechop
Apr. 8th, 2011 05:25 pm (UTC)
I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case.

wubuduma
Apr. 14th, 2011 05:23 am (UTC)
Love your site man keep up the good work

cuthbertawiw
Nov. 2nd, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
Great post! I wish you could follow up on this topic!

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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