Monday, January 5, 2015

Indian Male, Early 20s

A year and a half after staying away from India (and just a few days before heading back), I embarked on a trip to Bangalore to meet some old friends. The City of Bangalore is rightfully called the Silicon Valley of India and attracts thousands of young mostly male Indians, fresh out of college and in their early 20s, to make a career or themselves in the IT/ITeS industry that makes up over half of India's GDP. It was here, with some fellow 20-plus-year-olds who I saw right from their young post-teens to today, that I came across a phenomenon that I should have expected.

The Indian Male in his early 20s is quite clearly the most demonized in India. In the train ride to Bangalore, I was looked upon by hundreds of weary eyes as a potential thief/murderer/rapist/sex offender. Far from talking to me, people just wanted me to disappear. And that continued in Bangalore, as the lady with her daughter saw me and my friends and crossed the street to the safe environs of the other sidewalk.

And then my friend, also an Indian Male, early 20s, recalled that whenever he stepped out, the lady next door would pull her daughters in and shut the door. No smile, no greeting, just a sense that an evil entity was afoot and must be kept out. Alas, this is the sad state of the Indian Male, early 20s, who, in addition to working for a living, now also lives away from home, living a multitude of lives with unending pressures from all ends.

The Indian Male, early 20s, is a heroic being, with all the expectations of the world heaped on to him, as well as the hatred of society. He is the criminal who stalks your loved ones, he is the call center employee whose phone call burdens you, he is the rapist who deserves to be hanged, he is the IT professional who sends money home to his parents every month, he is the drug abuser who should not be your tenant, he is the one who keeps the local restaurants in business. Many faces, one individual. 

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