January 22, 2003

Of this and that …

It was quite a shock (well, OK maybe not a shock but a surprise but not a pleasant one ..) to learn today that one of the blogs on my regular-visit list is no more. I have no idea when that happened since I haven’t visited this particular blog in about a week or two but then again I’ve realized that I haven’t visited any of my regular blogs in a while now – been too caught up in my own stuff – which really is not a good thing. If we don’t have time for others, I feel that we get caught up in our own things and bend more and more inwards till we finally have no time for anybody at all but ourselves – and our troubles begin to seem more and more important and those of others not so significant. Not good – not good at all … I should make an effort to interact with others more but that seems to be not such an easy task for the next few weeks – or maybe even more for reasons that will be revealed eventually …

I watched a Hindi movie (an Indian movie in one of their languages which happens to be called Hindi) on Sunday and at first we thought it was a remake of "The Usual Suspects" but it turned out to be something else altogether. Unusual for a Hindi movie, the whole story was set in the US and in an American setting – there have been other Hindi movies which are set in the US but the settings were still Indian. This was different. It’s about a group of Indians who get together to rob an American bank. The story and the movie itself aren’t what interested me here however – it was the attitudes that the movie implied about the US and about Americans in general. In the movie, the characters say over and over again that if a crime is committed, it’s the Indians who get pinpointed. One character says that the Italians have their mafia, the Colombians their cartels, the Chinese their triads but the Indians only have police records because they are not organized.

Two things struck me here. One was that the America that I knew wasn’t *that* racist and the other was that we always talk in terms of race – even when we are supposed to be one country or one race. Heck, we *are* one race – the human race! But we always forget that and insist on branding, separating, classifying. I’m afraid that I’m guilty of that too since I will talk of Americans and Indians and Sri Lankans but in a sense, I can’t help but do it because people of specific regions or countries do seem to have their own attitudes. While this can be classified as part and parcel of human nature, you still need some way to identify the group and that brings us again back to classifications and categorizations and segregation. There is more I can say on this subject – actually there is more that I *want to* say on this subject but not now since I’d probably be meandering too much :p So let’s save that for another day …

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