Going Green


The Thamizh pursuit of emigration is as American as the first settlements along Massachusetts Bay. The knowledge economy has changed the direction of the Thamizh journey to the fertile lands of North America, Wal-Mart and second-hand Honda Civics. We are a people occupied with saving vacation days for the visit to Madras or repeatedly entertaining the parents’/in-laws’ pilgrim to the New World and calling on Niagara Falls/Grand Canyon for the umpteenth time.

The land of make-believe has been well-promoted by a generation of Thamizh diaspora exhibiting motorized toothbrushes, electronics and chocolates during their annual trip to Madras. In all honesty, the lifestyle of shopping at TJ Maxx and being hooked to deals on rent.com is not spectacular. The receptionist at work who makes just above the median income of this country is prone to possessing a large house in the choicest neighborhood, a Chevy Malibu, the liberty to take vacation days on Fridays/Mondays in the pleasantness of July and the wherewithal to shop at Nordstrom. Is it her conceit or our misfortune that she does not have to remit forex to faraway lands and pay for air tickets to/from the said lands?

As the cliche goes, the grass is always greener on the other side. But we have perfected the art of landing on this side always. The Thamizh man in Madras working at Tidel Park has millions of people to subsidize his undeserved income. He can have a three-bedroom house in Kancheepuram district and dare to call it Madras. The contrast between him and us is painful: Chilli Chicken and Kingfisher beat Nachos/Potato Boats and Budweiser any day. Riding a Pulsar in chaotic roads is perhaps more respectable than driving a Corolla in the right-most lane. And being the forward caste is infinitely better than playing the role of a visible minority.

-Alan Smithee and I


4 Responses to “Going Green”

  1. Maddy Says:

    Riding a Pulsar in chaotic roads is perhaps more “PLEASURABLE” than driving a Corolla in the right-most lane.

    I completely agree

    BTW, remitting forex to faraway lands have changed drastically…

  2. Mambalam Mani Says:

    Did I write this post? Couldn’t have voiced myself better.

  3. Alan Smithee Says:

    Maddy, why the emphasis on pleasurable? The odd hump in pulsar’s petrol tank comes to mind. I hear it crushed many a balls on the application of brake.

    Mani, orre kuttai la oorina mattai.

  4. youKNOWwho Says:

    groan! yet another “thamizh/desi coding expats existential aangst” post. there are only two possibilities.

    1. nilu has not actually stopped blogging. he has just created a bunch of different avatars like I-sriram, alan smithee, hawkeye and so on. and he is just rewording or expanding his posts from 5-7 years back. using different degrees of apparent erudition and intelligence in each avatar.

    2. you are different people but too stupid to know how Vajpayee-administration-ish all these blog posts are. it’s like nilu chewed gum, got bored of it, stuck it under a desk and left. and you preppies came along 6 years later, found the same gum under the desk and are now laboriously chewing it again, hoping it still has some juice left. it does not. move on.

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