Just finished reading this book. Though the facts and her personal experiences mentioned in the book struck a chord in me(because we are like that), i was not too impressed because of quite a few reasons. First and foremost, it was not clear what was her objective of writing this book, was it just a personal scribble pad? The title ‘India Bashing’ , ‘India Introspection’ would have been more apt. But in this case her book would not have sold and see would have received many brickbats. She does make a valiant effort in the last few chapters to steer her story to reflect the title. The book is more like a personal diary where events, incidents, experiences, thoughts are penned!!! However, if you disregard these issues then the book is a good interesting read as it gives your ample moments to ponder over. Some of the extracts worth remembering are listed here.
1. “Rarely will an Indian confess to not knowing something. Ours is a marvellous nation of subjaantawallahs. Everybody is an expert”.
2. “Core competence? Don’t be silly. How restricting is that! All-round competence – thats what we excell in”.
3. “Like Bollywood’s child like hankering for an OSCAR, the rest of us also seek approval from outsiders”.
4. “India’s biggest strength lies there – we are a super people!”
5. “Statistics can be terrifying or reassuring as we would like them to be”.
6. “You watch the intrepid kids darting between whizzing limos, deftly avoiding motorcylists and autorickshaws, a monster B.E.S.T Bus…often they are singing the latest bollywood hit Krazy kiya Re….. and shaking their hips to the rhythm. Where does that enviable spirit come from? How come I’am the one with the ferocious frown, the snarl, the snappy attitude, the harsh voice, the hard look? After all, I,am also the one with the latest phone, LAPTOP and CAR?”
7. ” ‘Adjust‘ is a favorite word in India, and is used across the board, even by those who barely speak intelligible english”.
8. “Perhaps that honour will thrill us enough to bestow half-a-dozen other awards on an absentee Indian. Such is our eagerness to ‘own’ successful Indians, sometimes against their will”.
9. “When we talk carelessly and foolishly about our great Indian values, what exactly are we referring to? I think I have some idea. We love the underdog. We worship failure and loss. We adore martyrs and we glorify austerity……almost as much as we applaud sacrifice”.