Yesterday, I was having a conference with my friends (what did you imagine? some business partners!!!). One is in California (Prasad) and the other(Gopal) is in Kansas City. We were talking about everything under the sun and since we have done our undergraduation together, we have a lot of common friends to talk about. The topic was about how a guy comes from India and changes for the worst here. Believe me, we guys haven't changed a bit! So, the talk was obviously about somebody else about whom I am not going to disclose here. We meandered on and on about various other issues for close to half an hour. It was fun rekindling old memories and talking about the whereabouts of our friends. Suddenly, Gopal out of the blue says, Hey guys, I have to go. Today is a saturday. I have to recite Vishnu Sahasranamam with my TamBrahm friends here. It was nothing surprising though considering the amount of passion we develop towards being Indianised and more Indianised. During any conversation, be it on chat or phone, the topic always is India centric. I was thinking about the days back home when my mother used to recite Vishnu Sahasranamam in the evening. As MSS' voice used to soar with Om! Shuklambharadaram...., it was an indication for us to reduce our television volumes, be it a good movie or a cricket match. Of course, we would do it with a grimace before my mother had the final say!
When back in India, I used to listen to MSS reciting the sacred slokas, and my mother used to tag along with her voice. I did attempt learning the verse, but after a point of time, I didn't have time (easiest excuse!!) amidst my busy schedule to learn it completely. Hailing from a conservative family, I had the opportunity to know about all the religious beliefs and appreciate the religious sentiments in others. It is so easy to get misled from the orthodox approach of living. I guess that might be the reason why I don't see a drastic change here in Rolla when I compare my living style back in Bangalore. There is absolutely no need to change the way you live just because you have crossed the shores. Life just cannot get too pompous or bombastic, if that is not the kind of life style one is used to at home.
That doesn't mean people who come from such families stick to a similar kind of life style. There are people who try to become cool dudes after coming here and I don't have any idea what causes the transition. As they say, times change and people do change, and I hope my friend is not reading my blog!