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Old 24th May 2011, 14:45   #46
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However, it does not have the charm of imbibing from different cultures/ people; so again it may be better for one to be a bit selective in this.
Imbibing cultures comes to us (me) naturally. Mostly due to the fact that I see the underlying need to have one.

Why we fail is because we think our culture is superior to the others.

When in reality all cultures impart the same fundamental values.
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Old 24th May 2011, 15:05   #47
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Hi Selfdrive,

Congrats for returning home to one of the fastest growing economies. I can relate to what you are thinking because i gave a bit of thought to all this before deciding to return to india after 3+ years in the US without pursuing a green card.

I believe that india as a whole is a deprived nation where probably 95% of the population doesn't get to have what they deserve. This is a country where a civic or even a verna is considered a status symbol. Compare that to US where a person who works in starbucks could probably afford a civic. This will naturally breed resentment
in people especially the economically weaker sections of people. For an average indian, especially the one who is living in an indian metro life is just one big struggle. Even a relatively privileged person like a software guy would be pissed off with life because of the hrs spent in daily travel/heat etc. So you know what an auto guy or household help would feel.

The other fact is that in india because of the erstwhile varna system and all there is a lot of resentment for the well heeled upperclass guys because people think they inherited their money/land etc and depending on which side of the divide you are and how deprived you are the resentment will have various levels i guess.

There is also a lot of exploitation/bribery which is prevalent and which leads to a general pessimism about the state of the country.

However i believe that this is just a passing phase. With better education and opportunities disparities should decrease over a period of time. The only concern is that i fear it will become much worse before it becomes better.
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Old 25th May 2011, 19:09   #48
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Compare that to US where a person who works in starbucks could probably afford a civic.
I disagree with this statement. A person working in starbucks cannot afford a civic. Just that the system is such that anybody with a credit card and a job to show can simply pick a car of his/her choice by paying a very minimal down payment. You must ask them if they can really really afford that civic?
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Old 26th May 2011, 07:43   #49
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Just a bit of OT from the current discussion. I am one of those who have plans to settle back in India in next 5-7 years. All those Indian social habits mentioned in OP used to really bother me at one time but now it doesn't really get me on my nerves anymore (because I know I can't change anything and just have to live with it). There is something that get me thinking about settling in India is the status of professional world. As people are way too relaxed socially and feel pride in running late, reflect "don't worry yaar" attitude and would take advantage of anybody's patience. How professional Indians are when it comes to professionalism in India. I have heard from my friends working in India that an Indian boss would generally expect from his subordinates to:
1. Work longer hours and ask(or expect) for no compensation.
2. Treat weekends no different to weekdays and have no respect for another person's family life. Taking complete control of employees life.
3. Exhibit a behavior as employees are like educated and well dressed slaves.
4. Showing reluctance in approving annual leave even though its an employee's right.

More over the other day I was watching on NDTV (on SBS we get delayed telecast of NDTV for half an hour every day) where Mr. Tata condemned Europeans (or workers from any developed country) workers for not willing to work on weekends and after 5pm. He laid off 1500 employess too (not sure just because they refused to work against his wishes or just another redundancy) and applauded Indian work force for being ever ready to work. If a highly educated business tycoon with multinational presence has such mentality what more can you expect from those who are in India and have hardly worked elsewhere.


I may be stereotyping a bit too much and getting paranoid over nothing but that's what I have heard. I've been working in an environment where I work my butt off 9-5 but I am free to have my life back after 5pm. Any work done after hours or weekends is very well compensated. Have heard some funny stories about Indian bosses abroad who tend to behave in same fashion as they would back home.

What do fellow bhp-ians think? Most of you would be bosses, so how you roll in your office?

Last edited by Punzabi : 26th May 2011 at 08:12.
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Old 26th May 2011, 10:23   #50
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First and foremost, as someone who has been in your shoes I think you are correct in having a time frame to plan and work on this; both for yourself and your family (if they are living there too)

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How professional Indians are when it comes to professionalism in India. I have heard from my friends working in India that an Indian boss would generally expect from his subordinates to:
1. Work longer hours and ask(or expect) for no compensation.
2. Treat weekends no different to weekdays and have no respect for another person's family life. Taking complete control of employees life.
3. Exhibit a behavior as employees are like educated and well dressed slaves.
4. Showing reluctance in approving annual leave even though its an employee's right.
1. Yes, very possible
2. IMHO, the expectations/ limits needs to be set by the employee & the manager at the beginning to avoid any confusion or resentment later
3. Dependent, but quite possible
4. Yes, at times for mundane reasons too

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I may be stereotyping a bit too much and getting paranoid over nothing but that's what I have heard. I've been working in an environment where I work my butt off 9-5 but I am free to have my life back after 5pm. Any work done after hours or weekends is very well compensated. Have heard some funny stories about Indian bosses abroad who tend to behave in same fashion as they would back home.
This depends on both your field of work and your immediate manager. In ERP, I can say that I work based on my project requirements and that my manager is comfortable to let me decide my work timings as he has no 'escalations' due to delays when I plan things for myself/ my team. In short he has passed the buck on to me. I also know if something goes wrong later I could be held responsible, but as long as I know this in advance it is ok. At the same time there are others in my project who are told specifically about their timings etc. None of us get paid for any overtime (in my experience a lot of guys whiled away their time during normal working hours so as to work later and get paid overtime). So this could be a bit subjective
My friend in Marketing though has no such choice; he has to be available on weekends too and AFAIK is expected to travel with no overtime being paid

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What do fellow bhp-ians think? Most of you would be bosses, so how you roll in your office?
This depends more on the maturity of the employee to manage their own activities. I always try giving some free rope to my team to understand how they deal with it. If they are able to manage it effectively without taking any undue advantage they continue similarly. Once I suspect any mischief or impact on the rest of the team (as they have to pick up the lag) the relevant chap(s) are then treated with a different yardstick
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Old 26th May 2011, 10:31   #51
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Its like "You reap what you sow", one cannot behave rude to others even if he/she wants to because his/her parent have taught him/her to be courteous, so as you said you will have to impart the same good things to your children what you learnt from your elders.

I had been through the incident where in two people fighting over a issue which could have been resolved without a fight and a guy involved in fight had one of his parent right in front of him and dint even bother to stop abusing the other guy in front of his own parent and the best part is his parent dint even bother to stop his son from abusing the other guy.

So I think its our responsibility to teach good things to our future generations as we learnt from our elders and thats one of the way to get out of this madness.
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Old 26th May 2011, 14:55   #52
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@shubz A person working in starbucks can definitely afford a civic. I actually know couple of them who do have second hand ones.

A new civic probably cost 60% of what a new civic would cost in india too.

Last edited by vishnurp99 : 26th May 2011 at 15:00.
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Old 26th May 2011, 22:29   #53
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Default Re: Returning to India

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I may be stereotyping a bit too much and getting paranoid over nothing but that's what I have heard. I've been working in an environment where I work my butt off 9-5 but I am free to have my life back after 5pm. Any work done after hours or weekends is very well compensated. Have heard some funny stories about Indian bosses abroad who tend to behave in same fashion as they would back home.
Good point. I have personally seen this happening. This has the fodder for
a different discussion altogether.

Selfdrive: On the topic, I see some comments like you will get used to it, or something like this is what India is for you. I tend to disagree there. Change is something which is happening all the time, and that is what you noticed when you were away for a few years. Staying away from your immediate society and gelling into a society/culture provides you with the vision to see things in a different perspective, and hence you have these thoughts on return. So if someone is not returning a friendly smile, not to worry. Keep practicing what you have learned, and then you’ll become a change catalyst for the people around you. And in turn, you’ll be learning something back from them as well.
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Old 27th May 2011, 06:22   #54
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This depends on both your field of work and your immediate manager. In ERP, I can say that I work based on my project requirements and that my manager is comfortable to let me decide my work timings as he has no 'escalations' due to delays when I plan things for myself/ my team. In short he has passed the buck on to me. I also know if something goes wrong later I could be held responsible, but as long as I know this in advance it is ok. At the same time there are others in my project who are told specifically about their timings etc. None of us get paid for any overtime (in my experience a lot of guys whiled away their time during normal working hours so as to work later and get paid overtime). So this could be a bit subjective
My friend in Marketing though has no such choice; he has to be available on weekends too and AFAIK is expected to travel with no overtime being paid
You said you allow some flexibility in your team but that's YOU. You're aware of more friendly and flexible professional practice as you've worked under such environment. What about others who still believe in traditional practices. After your answers to my queries, I believe I'd have to mentally prepare for any situation and would have to work real hard on not expecting too much. At my current work place (my field is IT Systems Support) I am really pampered by my boss (may be its just him who's so easy going). I am never expected to explain why I am late, it even doesn't raise an eye brow if I am late (No, I am not a habitual late comer). On Fridays me & boss would nick off half an hour early (Friday factor, if you know what I mean). I can go off-site to run any personal errands. I know not every work place gives you such a freedom but damn I've been spoilt real bad I think I am gonna have hard time adjusting even if I switch a job here in Australia..

Last edited by Punzabi : 27th May 2011 at 06:25.
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Old 27th May 2011, 18:21   #55
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@shubz A person working in starbucks can definitely afford a civic. I actually know couple of them who do have second hand ones.

A new civic probably cost 60% of what a new civic would cost in india too.
90 times out of 100 it is not affordability but squeezing corners to be seen driving a civic and/or other fancy cars. At worst, if they can't pay, cos starbucks fires them, the worst they expect is the car to be taken way. when McDonalds hire, I'd go for a second hand Mustang

may be my definition of "affordability" is misinterpreted.
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Old 8th July 2011, 14:15   #56
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Based on my interactions over the past few weeks, I have a few more observations

1. Obsession with fitting everyone in a stereotype?
This re entered my conscious being when people started questioning me when I was planning to have a second kid and then telling me I should.
Forget the part that it is no one's business, least of all my neighbours or colleagues at work.
This was also the case before I went to college/ got a job/ bought an apartment/ got married/ had my first child/ the list goes on. What if someone doesnt want to do one of these steps? As an adult isnt he entitled to think for himself? I can understand genuine concern, which this certainly is not. And is the sky going to fall on someone's head if a guy living near you or working in your office isnt married by 28, does not have a couple of kids by 35, and so on? I am not even talking about lack of respect towards women which IMHO is so deep rooted that it warrants a separate thread. I think one already exists.

2. Insensitivity towards those who are not fit or are out of the said 'stereotype' - Behaviour towards elder people who drive cars slower than us. They have obviously driven more in times when traffic was less and probably much slower. Why the insensitivity by honking/ shouting at them? Isnt it bad enough that we dont stop to let them cross the road or help them cross one?
I remember seeing one blind guy with a white cane trying to cross a road in peak traffic. Hardly anyone came forward to help him or tell him where to go. I was in the middle of a crowded bus that zoomed past him. I wonder how he got home that day. If someone is physically or mentally challenged, does that mean we dont respect him/ her?

3. Making decisions for others - Random people make decisions for me about what I would do or not do. Apparently they know more about me at the time than myself. How does somebody know that I will or wont eat a burger if I havent thought about it myself. At least let me answer!
Unfortunately this attitude gets progressively worse with age I guess.

How do you deal with the above other than ignoring them? for me, ignoring an issue is not an option; hence looking for some pointers from you, perhaps based on your own experiences and how you have managed to tackle these.
TIA
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Old 8th July 2011, 15:24   #57
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^ First of all: what about these issues in Europe?

I presume that these are not present there - and hence you are asking the same for India.
Its true, all these three things are present here.

Points 1 & 3 are born more out of general "nosiness" in Indians. Probably born out of joint family culture. We feel that we need to be aware of each and every aspect of someone else's life, and that person should live life according to what we "think" is right.

We believe that we have a right to make decisions for that person, and feel denied of that opportunity when "that person" takes decision and action on his own, and probably even get hostile.


You have these choice:
1. You become part of herd. Get stereotyped, and you accept and agree with everyone poking into your affairs. Eventually you feel re-assured that someone is always there to take account of your doings. Most ppl fall into this category, and feel totally lost when out alone. Soon they forget what it is to be independent and love that feeling.

2. You retain that streak in you secretly, but in front of the society you act meek and demure. You are independent in your heart, but since you cannot "action" it out, you slowly revert to the category above.

3. You remain aloof of the meddling ppl. Ppl who try to label you. Ppl who try to give un-solicited advices, - this may also include your close relatives.
So be prepared to become "black sheep of the family", or the "unsocial guy" of the colony/community (which actually means he-doesn't-do-what-we-want-him-to-do).
Negative stereotype in other words. However, you get decide what happens in your life, what role everyone else plays in your life.

So you gotta make that choice. However, keep in mind in India: We feel that we need to be aware of each and every aspect of someone else's life, and that person should live life according to what we "think" is right.

For point no.2 - I believe that yes in general Indian society has become more insensitive and more selfish. But you can always choose not become a typical member of the society. We can always be sensitive towards ppl who require our help/attention. And no one is going to stop you.


BTW, I don't get it, why are you coming up with all these questions?
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Old 8th July 2011, 16:03   #58
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^ First of all: what about these issues in Europe?
I presume that these are not present there - and hence you are asking the same for India. Its true, all these three things are present here.
I dont know if these attributes are present there. In fact I made a conscious effort and decision to return to India keeping in mind the positives.

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BTW, I don't get it, why are you coming up with all these questions?
Thanks for the options you provided; they seem to be perfectly logical and I guess I will have to use a combination of these based on how much the other person matters to me.

The problem I am facing is that I am stuck in a time warp. I did not leave India so long ago, but things seems to have dramatically changed here while I was away. At least for the people I interact with. Now I face regular & frequent clashes over what I am used to in terms of my ethics/ learnings/ behaviour and how things work here today. In a way I can say that I am the black sheep now because I dont toe the line or question the ethics/ morals of where the line is drawn.

I dont intend to compare India to Europe. I am only trying to compare India 2011 to India early 2000s (say 2004)
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Old 8th July 2011, 22:10   #59
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1.but you'll get a middle finger if you just look at someone driving a nice car (or just any other car that takes your fancy) and driver see you looking at him/her. In India its exactly opposite.

2. how many times have people welcomed you if you turned up at their door and you don't really know them. For example, you want to purchase a used vehicle/gadget from someone and visit their house to finalise the deal.The whole transaction will be done and dusted outside their home without even keeping your comfort in mind.But imagine same in India. You'll be welcomed inside the house and will be offered a coke/soda/water/chai/coffee if not served.

4. From a trades person's point of view, in developed countries when an electrician\a carpenter\a plumber (even though they're honest and punctual) carried out his/her work at someone's property how many times have you experience them being asked (no, not by you) out for any refreshment (chai/pani). In India its rather a culture to be courteous toward those tradies. (no, I am not a trady. Just my observations)

5. From my personal experience, I lived at my previous house (in Australia) for four years and knew no-body in the whole street except my next door (right side) neighbour who was an Indian too.Didn't know who lives in the property to my left ot right infront. In india we virtually know the whole street.
While i agree on some points of yours. i would disagree on some points as mentioned below. While your experience is in Australia, mine is in USA.

1, i have never been shown finger by any person driving a nice car like an exotic or a new car. Many times i have appreciated them giving thumbs up or smiling and they do the same in return. Once in a road show, i was drooling on an old camaro (1969), the owner came up and we had a long discussion about how he took care of the car and stuff. He also allowed me to sit inside and fired up the engine to hear the exhaust note. It was a great experience.

2: When me and my friends were hunting for a used car, we went to a guy's home selling his Acura TL. After test drive, we went to his home, was welcomed inside, introduced to his family, gave us permission to use his computer to look at Car Fax(history of vehicle) and do all the documentation on his dinner table while drinking water. He also offered us beer or soda but we were to shy, so denied it. Similar experience was done when we went to a dealer's place to get a car for another friend of mine. It was great experience. While buying my car, the experience was different, we met at a public place from where respective homes were far away. So we went to starbucks coffee and got it done.

4: Many times we have electricians/computer technicians coming to our place to repair some stuff. We always offer then drinks. It is not good manners to offer them food. It is meant as a dis-respect. But drinks are ok. I provide technical support as part time job to many clients who have home-office. Whenever i go there, i am always offered food, drinks. All clients are Americans living there for past 50-60 years. So what you say is not 100% true.

5. In USA, most of the people in our locality follow a rule. To give privacy to neighbors. But when a new family or people come to live next door, usually they go around meeting everyone and greet them with a cake or pastries either home made or from store. Recently, we moved into a new leased home and we did the same thing. In the evening, most of the community gathers in park and interact. Best time to catch up with most people.

Its not that bad as it is made out to be.
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Old 8th July 2011, 22:37   #60
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While i agree on some points of yours. i would disagree on some points as mentioned below. While your experience is in Australia, mine is in USA.
I agree, I also have similar positive experiences. But it's true that if you knock somebody's door for no reason nobody will come out (even if they are in), and sometime they will come out with a gun if it's late in night. They might even call 911 if you persist.

I think it's just a sense of privacy, rights and security over one's property. And it's perfectly fine for you to do that same.

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