I had a wonderful weekend. I didn't do a thing at work, although I meant to pop into the lab at some point. I feel slightly guilty about that, but hope I can make up for it over the next few days.
Although, right now, I feel like I need another day off to recuperate from the weekend fun. :)
Its amazing how some people bring people from all over together. I met two such people this weekend. An old classmate from our school days was in the city and people struggled, rearranged plans, drove a good few hours - did whatever it took so they could come out and see him. It was super to see him- a lovely blast from the past and a nice warm reminder of the good old days. I love it when I meet people from my old school days because they remind me of what I used to be like then. They haven't seen the transitions I've been through over the years so all the know of is then and now. And that means they always say how I haven't put on any weight. :)
Often, I find that people who are visiting the US or have only been here for a very short while have a lop-sided view of the country and the way it works, and are easily given to gross generalizations. Often, I have tried to correct them and felt like I had to explain to them that no, not all of America is like that, and no, NYC is not racist, even if they had a few bad run-ins. Part of the thought process in my brain, at that time, is also about how these people go back to India and spread these misconceptions back home. So I argue and butt in with my buts and no not really and offer some more anecdotal evidence to boost my argument. In the end, we're all arguing on the basis of personal experiences and anecdotal evidence and exceptions to the rule abound.
I caught myself doing it this weekend too, and then decided to give it a rest. Because I at some point I began to feel that these people are right in their own place, from where they are standing. In their limited world-view, what they are saying holds good. And thats about all there is. While they sound like they are painting with a wide brush, they are mostly either venting or relating their experiences with some amount of extrapolation or frustration. There is no need for me to correct them- may be they will never return to the states and never need to know that there is more to it. May be they will never see the other side of it, so it doesn't matter to them that there is another side. For now, this is what they know and experience. Or may be, they will eventually find out for themselves that there is another side to it- just like I cleared several misconceptions over the years.
The city is an amazing, energizing place.
The conversations we had were all over the place. From good old school days to B.P.Os to media in India to wedding ceremonies and the many ways of tying of a dhoti! :D. I was so kicked to be displaying my newfound wedding-ceremony-related knowledge. :)
I feel good. I have a happy feeling about how well all my buddies from school are doing for themselves, when, at some point back in the day many of them were written off as good-for-nothings and lafangas. I am continually inspired and awed by the stories of my friends who truly came up the hard way, against a lot of odds. Full power to them!