by Anura Guruge
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Contrary to the very cultivated image I project and as such what most think about me, equanimity is my constant handmaiden — especially now that I am in my dotage. The days when I had great trouble dealing with idiots is long gone. It is difficult to get me to raise my hackles in public. Some attribute that for my pathological need to always be in control of MYSELF! That said I do have a spectacular temper. But luckily for all I only erupt very occasionally and I try to keep it down to once a year — if I can. Yep, it is that control thing.
But, one thing that does get my hackles up, THOUGH you will never see it, is when people ask me if I am Indian or worse still assume I am Indian. That really gets under my skin. My pet first response is: ‘No. No. I am not Indian. I am not good looking enough to be Indian’. As you must know and as Bollywood makes a point of highlighting, all Indians, by definition, are good looking.
So, though I hate to be thought of as Indian, I love Indians. They are a riot.
When I saw this I was not in any way surprised. That is what I expect of Indians.
Yes, I have ‘lived’ in India — but not full time. During 1969 to 1971 I used to go to New Delhi from London, during school breaks, at Christmas and in the Summer. I got my first driving license in India. But, I am NOT Indian. I used to drive around New Delhi, on my own. That is why I can drive anywhere in the world and it doesn’t faze me. After New Delhi tackling the Arc de Triomphe (Étoile) in Paris was pas de probleme. One of my favorite sites in New Delhi and I would ALWAYS have to stop and watch was people having their fortunes told by a Holy Cow! Holy Cow! Yes. The cow would paw the ground to convey her message. Told you. Indians are priceless.
Jokes apart, they are, by and large, very nice people. Just priceless.