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USA from the eyes of an Indian

When I was in India and hadn’t known that I would ever go to USA, I was a devoted Indian. I used to debate with people who thought of settling in USA. I used to be staunchly against brain-drain. I don’t say that I would fight or look against the people who thought that way, but I liked to discuss them out of it. So, in a way, I can fairly state that I was never starry eyed about America the way people usually are. I would be lying if I don’t commit that I wanted to visit the place for sure. But, the thought of making a life here never came to my mind. And, that’s the truth.

Then, I got this opportunity. I landed in USA. I have been living here since past 4 months now. And, I loved the place, the people, the weather, the law and order…everything about it. When I talked to people back home, in India, I used to be all praises about it. People used to smile and think that the same girl who used to be so against it, is now smitten by the fever. But, I beg to differ. Praising someone or something good in other, doesn’t mean traitorship. It never implies that one has changed parties or beliefs. One should always be open to the good traits of other. Ready to learn new things from other. That’s what I am doing. Following are some of the things which we can learn from America and inculcate in India.
1. Law and Order: The fine of over-speeding or under-speeding is 300$. The fine of getting into the wrong side of the lane is 1000$, on a freeway. The amount of fine is so huge that people cannot even think of breaking laws. This is one thing that I’ve always believed should be followed in any country. People take extra precaution not to break any rule, even by mistake. 
Benefits/ Results: People are so carefree that they can sleep with doors unlocked, at night. It’s not an unusual sight if you find the car’s window left open, to keep the car from heating up while the owner is working inside the company. Since kids see their parents following rules and regultaions, they follow it too. The general tendency is to follow them. In Delhi esp., unfortunately, it’s the other way round.  
2. Cleanliness, health and basic lifestyle: The roads are clean and never broken. People never honk there car-horns unless it’s really an urgent need. Or, something terrible needs to be averted. There are dustbins at every nick and corner and people wait till they reach the dustbin to throw the trash. There are polybags supplied by the Apartment complex management. The bags are supposed to be taken along whenever you take your pet out for a stroll. No littering around. I haven’t come across even a single dog/cat/cow/any animal which is stray, loitering on road- homeless, helpless. The wind here is more clean than I find even in Taraori (a small town near Karnal, Haryana). The spring here is so much more beautiful. I can’t explain. The nature here makes me a skip a heartbeat. This is one of the biggest point where I go weak and have to stop myself from leaving my own country. 
Do you think God was partial when he created this country? No. He wasn’t. It’s the people here who’ve taken care of it. Almost everyone here has a small garden around there houses. Everyone maintains the garden so well, whether by themselves or apply for a gardener’s services. The gardener comes weekly/monthly/bi-monthly to check your garden and ensures that it remains looking splendid and pretty always.  I know, you must be thinking, this all needs money to be spent on. I say that indeed, some part of it definitely needs money but many of it is simply a matter of precaution and habit. If you make it a habit to drop trash only in dustbin then it won’t look like a task anymore. It will become a part of you. We all drive. If we make sure that our cars/bikes/scooters undergo servicing time to time, then we can do our bit towards the environment. I know it means spending money again, but don’t we spend on our near and dear ones? Don’t we spend on them when they fall sick? Then why can’t we spend a little bit on this to ensure a better environment for ourselves and our dear ones. It will save them from so many diseases, in future. Roads are good because they are always compliant with the rules and regulations. The construction company cannot mix cheap material and get away with it, because if caught, their licenses will be cancelled and they will be heavily penalised. Then, the people using the roads cannot overload the road by bringing trucks (where it’s not allowed), thus ensuring longer life of the road and convenience to all. 
One of the things I must mention.. which I really liked about this country is the way of living. Here, there’s no concept of maids. Definitely, you can hire one if you really wish to, but the general trend is to do your stuff, yourself. Before I came here, I had hardly done much in the kitchen, I hardly needed to wash clothes, or even swipe the floor of my room. It was somehow, taken care of everywhere. At home, my Mom used to take care of it. In PG, the landlady took care of it. The laundry clothes, I used to take home on weekends, so they were also taken care of. I know that is an extreme scenario, but the general way of life is not much different. I know that too. At homes, it’s usual, that a maid comes for cleaning utensils. Even if the lady of the house is a house wife, it has become a general trend to keep a maid. In older times, it was the lady who did it for everyone. So, barring one person, others never cared how they got their clothes cleaned and ironed. They never wondered how the house is so neat and clean. The dishes are proper. The curtains taken care of. I mean, the list is endless. Here, everyone does their bit. I truly agree that there are lot of facilities here to do the day-to-day chores which we don’t have in India, but the fact that I want to emphasize on is the need to take care of your work, yourself. It’s a general habit which is in-built in everyone here..right from childhood. Initially, I felt that children are so spoilt here. They behave as if they are equal to their elders. They demand and expect the same amount of respect and equality in all areas, as their parents. They know it, from their preperatory schools that you need to call 911 if your parents hit you. It was all appalling to me in the beginning. But, now, when I look at it, I think it has far-reaching effects. The children become responsible for their  actions right from the beginning. They understand the work and the results completely. This is something which we never get or give in India. I, myself, never understood what “taking care of yourself” means until I came here. Till the time I was near my parents, they took care of almost everything. They took or forced decisions on me. So, I never faltered. There were no failures, no falls, no mistakes. The real-world problems come only when you face the world – alone – by yourself. Children are made to clean their dishes by themselves. Husband and wife share the work of home like equals. Some part the wife takes care of and some the husband. This helps everyone to feel equal in the family. And, brings the family closer. 
Many people say that this liberalisation and free thinking is what has brought America to such a state. Children don’t even bother to ask about their parents. Divorces are rampant and a common part of people’s lives. I don’t disagree. But, I would say that children not bothering about parents is how parents brought them up. Its a parent’s responsibility and maturity to look for complete growth of the child. And, it depends on the time and quality of time, values, thoughts that you give to your child which decides whether your child comes back to you, when needed or not. This, I guess, is parentship rather than the culture. Indians can actually benefit a lot from this because Indian traditions and roots are such that Indian families are more closely bound. If the Indian child is given a little more freedom and independence to decide, at a tender age, then Indians can rule the world. 
If your child comes back to you, then it should be out of love rather than a requirement or a responsibility. Similarly, if you give full space to your spouse, you’ll see a more healthier and long-lasting relation. How much better life would be when the people you love, are with you, because of love. I think it’s about accepting the truth. 
After saying so much, I agree USA has reached here because of the sound economy. For India, it has just been 61 yrs after Independence. But, if we, the youth, doesn’t work to improvise it, then it’ll never change. It’ll remain the same even 60 yrs later.  

5 thoughts on “USA from the eyes of an Indian

  1. I must appreciate your observation. It is mostly because the economy US has had and the resources it has had to cater to its natioanals. But one thing that is also responsible for all this is the pride that an American takes in being an American. It is about the Vigour, never quit attitude that US in general has had. US was called a land of opportunities and this spirit has been ibmibed in general American citizen since last half a century or so. India also had this spirit of adventure and youthfullness. We decayed because we stopped renewing ourselves and became rigid about what we had. And then came Mugals and then British. Today again we have second largest population on earth and that too majorly youth. Everywhere in the world there are Indian restaurants , shops and Indian people. We are now treated with respect also to some extent. We need to mantain this youthfullness, this spirit of adventure and need to take pride in our nation. I am quite positive about India being a great nation in next century because of this large young population of India.

  2. Thanks Mohit for the comment. But, I partially agree with it. The part I fail to agree on is that Americans take pride in being American. I mean, every person on this earth should be proud of the country which brought him up. But, if you mean they’re proud in the wrong sense, then I don’t feel that. This is a general misconception we’ve. I found Americans most friendly people. They don’t even think that they are inferior or superior to any country. They are least bothered. They just live their own lives and that’s it.
    As for Indians, we definitely have the capability and we just need to understand and channel it in the right direction.

  3. If you strictly talk about laws then I don’t agree with 1st point and a part of India too we have fines for over speeding .okk the point here is agreed may be of not that high magnitude as in US but the point is in India we have means to not pay that fine…even in India we have the rule that if a road is below standard and the constructor is proved guilty than his license will be taken away but again he has means to avert short the main problem with India is that people who executes the law are corrupt…they don’t respect the duty they are doing in the same way as people in other countries do…In some points , police there have better facilities and amenities than Indian counterparts but if you compare their salaries to the other professions there , they are also underpaid but they know the value of their profession, they are loyal and thus command one point that you made which I completely agree and feel can be a solution is by educating the children from birth about the india children from a very small age are taught(not at schools)by their parents and known ones that police can be can get away with anything wrong you do..and as a result no one in India respects police ..but the point is that police or government will only become non-corrupt if the new people who join them respect their job and that will only happen if children are taught to respect them.

    Thats what I think mohit meant when he said Americans are proud of being American, we Indians unfortunately majority of us are not. We don’t respect our police, we don’t respect our laws, we don’t respect our politicians

    you have seen both the worlds so you can definitely make a better comparison.

    I have not finished yet ..:) ..will be back

  4. Sandeep, I truly understand with what you said, and somewhat agree too. But, the thought that the laws that we’ve are strict already, I don’t think I so much agree. If you remember, then a few months ago, the Govt increased the challan for over-speeding to Rs 600, and driving without license was also increased. There was a significant difference observed in the road sense of people, instantly. Everyone had started taking extra precaution towards it. So, such changes, such measures are definitely required. We need to review our policies, our methods and try fixing the loopholes, as much as we can.
    I definitely agree that corruption is a problem in India. But, we cannot leave the things as such because of that. And changing that will take time. That’s a slow and gradual process. Because, it needs change of attitude in people. So, what I want to emphasize upon are the quick and instant measures that we can take, and must take. Simultaneously, inculcating the right attitude in the next generation is something we need to start working on, right from now. That will be most effective when more and more of us agree to do that. Just me, you and Mohit are not enough. We need more and more of us to believe that it’s necessary and all of us pledge to follow it for our entire lives. We need to think of ways to make it a mass scale process rather than just a brotherhood / fraternity thing.

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