Its a Small World

December 18, 2008
By

You stupid FOB. Who the hell asked you to come to this country? You dumbasses from India take away from all the hard work we put into getting accepted in this country. You stink. Your India stinks.

Akhil kept listening as AJ lashed out at his Indianness.

AJ was Indian. Kind of. His real name was Ajay and he was born to parents who had left India over 30 years back. He was an American citizen. He despised the link to India. It kept him down. It was stopping his progress. He was smarter than most kids his age, but he was exotic. Never really there. As much as he hated the expression, he was an American Born Confused Desi. An ABCD. Akhil, on the other hand, was a FOB.

Akhil and AJ were roommates. They were attending the masters program in Computer Science at the University of South California, and destiny university housing had put them in the same room. Akhil considered himself as an ambassador of India. AJ hated everything Indian. Clearly there wasn’t much love between the two.

For now, the flamboyant display of words was caused by the smell of the dal Akhil was cooking in the kitchen. It smelled wonderful, but not to AJ’s American nose.

I detest you. You are a lousy piece of work. It’s like god got tired of creating decent people and took time out to see how bad he could get. You were the result of that break god took.

Akhil took it all. He kept quiet. They had been together for a year; he could bear another month before he graduated and moved to San Fransisco for his job with Yahoo.

He was 27. He had worked hard to get to grad school. He had contributed his bit to global warming burning a lot of midnight oil preparing for his exams, scoring a perfect score on the GRE. He was smart, and had a level head on his shoulders. That attribute had come in handy in this living arrangement he was forced to get into for lack of options.

A month passed, and it was time to go.

AJ’s parting words: “Good Riddance. Hopefully i will never have to see you again.”.

Ten years later, Akhil had arrived. He had rapidly risen through the ranks at Yahoo to become an Engineering Director. He had achieved more than ordinary mortals his age could aspire to, yet his heart pined for home.

Akhil packed up, moved back to India, and joined the India office in Bangalore. The pay was good. Facilities were much better than what he expected. The wife loved the domestic help.

More importantly, they were home.  Life was good again.

Tonight was a gala night at the office. Christmas party. Lots of food, drinks, and people. Some of the external vendors were also going to be present. Akhil hated these social events. He’d rather stay home and spend time with family. Too bad, his position warranted presence at such events. So there he was. Trying to be there, downing his boredom in glasses of Sprite (Akhil did not drink), when he noticed a familiar looking person working the crowd.

AJ!

It hit him with the force of ten terabytes of data hitting the network. AJ, his roommate during one of the most critical years of his life; a man who made him learn so much, even if by being mean in every aspect possible; a person who hated his country more than he hated diet coke;  right here, in Bangalore!

The old roommates talked. AJ’s company was one of the external vendors that worked with Yahoo. They had been hit by the downturn, and had decided to setup an office in India. He had been told to either quit, or move to India. He had had to accept the second option. There were mortgages to pay off, and he couldn’t afford being unemployed.

AJ was still complaining about the heat and pollution in the city when Akhil remembered his wife waiting for him. He had to leave. There wasn’t much to say.

Take care, AJ. Welcome home!

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19 Responses to “ Its a Small World ”

  1. Bill Austin on December 18, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)

    Award Code

    Thank you,

    Bill Austin

  2. Chiranjib on December 19, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Nice story…
    Keep up the good work… :)

  3. Nita on December 19, 2008 at 3:02 am

    Interesting story AD! Brings out a lot of issues.

  4. lata on December 19, 2008 at 10:01 am

    congrats on winning the blog of the day award. keep it up. mom

  5. Dinesh on December 19, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Interesting story and congrats on the award. That is very cool. The story paints the reality of the day, what was real then and what is real now. The world is flat I guess!

  6. amreekandesi on December 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    @Bill – Thanks for the award! This is so cool!

    @Chiranjib, @Nita, @Dinesh – Thanks. Glad you liked the story.

    @Mom – Welcome to your son’s little blog!

  7. Gopinath Mavinkurve on December 19, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Nice Story. Congrats for your Blog of the Day Award!

  8. Kiran on December 19, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Congrats on the BOTDA award. Indeed, well deserved :) Many more to come for sure. Great story interspersed with current issues. I am going back to some of your archives on Akhil.

    Welcome AD’s mom to your son’s blog :D I just couldn’t resist welcoming :D this is too sweet !

  9. amreekandesi on December 20, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    @Gopinath – Welcome to Amreekandesi. Thanks for the appreciation :)

    @Kiran – Thanks. This blog started with the vision of short stories exclusively and then gradually got a little diversified. There’s a few i wrote earlier. Hope you will like them as well.

    There’s more stories coming…stay tuned! And thanks too for the welcome, on behalf of mom :)

  10. amit on December 21, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Congrats for the award! And this story is the grim reality. I have seen his happening around me.

  11. Reema on December 24, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    congrats on the award!!

  12. amreekandesi on December 25, 2008 at 1:08 am

    Thanks Amit and Reema :)

  13. Mysoul on January 6, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Duniya Sachi mein Gol Hai. (giggling)

  14. amreekandesi on January 6, 2009 at 2:12 am

    @Mysoul – I was so amazed when i learnt this fact back in middle school, but over time i have come to realize just how true it is. duniya indeed gol hai, and bahut chhoti hai :)

  15. Poonam on January 7, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Hey you write well! Keep more stories coming. :)

  16. amreekandesi on January 7, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    @Poonam – Thanks! Will do my best to live upto the expectations ;)

  17. Corooxisy on January 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    amreekandesi.com – cool sitename man)))

  18. Stone Seal on February 4, 2009 at 2:25 am

    I am glad I came across your blog.

  19. tarun on September 28, 2012 at 8:01 am

    its not below of dignity to be indian. well depicted on lashing out of being indianness
    and hey congrats for botaaward

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All content on this site is the personal opinion of the writer. It is in no way related to their employer or their official policies. Most of what is written here is in a satirical tone. If it hurts your sensibilities, I sincerely apologize.
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