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June 26th, 2010

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.

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