As an ex-pat, India is a land of contrasts in many senses. Weather it is income distribution (gap between the rich and the poor) or a picture of something astonishing beautiful next to something amazingly disgusting.
I normally question exp-pats & foreigners who openly say “I love India” because I find it hypocrite. Let me explain… it is very hard to make a generalization about what you really love about India, and many times I have been able to prove that people not totally like India itself, but their lifestyle here, which is something very different.
Can you openly say that you like chaos, disorder, lack of application of basic civic rules, the poorest people on Earth begging for money on the streets, cows (supposedly sacred) eating rubbish and people peeing on he streets?
On the other hand you have the beautiful landscapes, beaches, exotic towns, festivals, traditions and the most kind and warm people in the world. Can you really include both sides of the picture when you say “I love India”… I can’t.
Now, try to picture a ex-pat coming here and receiving any kind of flirts, invites out, bombarded with Facebook friends requests, getting in with priorities to clubs and restaurants (many times over locals), free drinks, your picture of last night’s party in the morning’s newspaper, etc.
Who doesn’t like a little attention (that perhaps you don’t even get in your own country)… that is easy to love, isn’t it? (Bear with me on this last statement since I am writing something more elaborated about the different profiles of foreigners and their impressions of India, which are directly related to whether they travel, work or intern and the time spent here. It makes a lot of difference.)
This is why “Do you like India?” has become the most difficult question I have ever been asked. I do love my life here, my job, my friends, my colleagues, the opportunity to travel, explore and discover.
All the funny stories, luxuries like affording repeated fancy nights out for drinks and dinner with friends, having your shirts ironed for three rupees, the mechanic that fixes my scooter for $4.00 usd, the breakfast, groceries or wine delivery.
What about going around getting a driver’s license and just go around without it when fines costed 10 euro?
And yes, the endless quest of trying to understand Indian sociology, culture, religion and traditions to compare with mines. This last one in particular I sincerely love…
So this is my interpretation of the “bipolarity” of what being in India has meant to me.
At the end anyone can say whatever they want and I am no one to judge, but it’s just that I’d rather remain a consistent honest person, than a popular hypocrite being accepted for the wrong reasons in a country that treats you like a rockstar just for being different.
But that’s just me…