Sunday, August 2, 2009

Every Indian likes to complain, and I have a complain about them

Indians complain a lot, but that is because they have a lot to whine about; the long grueling power cuts, the sporadic interrupted water supply, the prevalance of infectious diseases from fever to diarrhoea to polio, the lack of educational institutes, the horrific state of roads, and just in general the corruption, incompetence and inability of the government to govern and function in the slightest way possible. Now these problems are present, to different extents, in maybe almost every country, or at least there are always a few people who disagree with the way things are progressing. The key difference i have experienced is that americans, in general, tend to much much more satisfied with life than indians; this is not to say that the americans dont have problems, but they just dont complain. They live life exactly in the given moment, not focusing too much on the past or the future. Yes it has its drawbacks as exposed by the financial crisis of today, but it is just so nice to live in a place where people despite their personal, social, financial problems have such a high spirit of living and energy that i have seen rarely anywhere else. I have met people who were desperately poor, people who were suffering from cancer for past few years, people who did not have any friends - none of them seemed to be bothered by their state.
Comparitively in india, even people belonging to the upper middle class (about 20% of population) complain about the most mundane and frivolous of things - the price of rice shooting up 5-10 rupees, or the petrol prices going up 2% or the unaffordability of additional housing etc etc. The whining and complaining is incessant and relentless; it just doesnt stop. Indians, in my experience, are mostly just not satisfied with their current status quo. They always tend to loo upwards, and thus always hungry for more. The social environment has a lot to attribute this, as people often live in very tight and close communities, so every status symbol is envied upon and gossiped about. I have seen people wearing gold ornaments, coming out of a car, carrying multiple cell phones, and then complain to a juice cart about the ridiculously high price charged for a glass of freshly peeled, hand churned juice!!!(about 50 cents, cheap by any standard).
Another reason, although, is that americans are provided a whole lot from the government; the level of assistance is just amazing, and that in turn is responsible for the current state of affairs in america, where people have become overly accustomed to the handouts and thoroughly abusing them. Whereas in india, one just doesnt expect anything from the government, except perhaps foreign attacks, which as of lately also has been a faltering expectations evidenced by last years record 30-40 bombs in a span of 2-3 months going off in almost every major city in India. I know people who make about 12oo dollars a month, definitely middle class if not upper middle by indian standards; the person has a car, 1 bedroom apartment, cell phones, television, AC, microwave etc - all remarks of a successful middle class person, but even he complains about the price of mangoes going up to 80 rupees a kilo (2 dollars a kilo)!!! Or he might remark that his doctor charged him 100 rupees for a common cold!! Yes i agree to some extent that they are high, but not for us. They might be unaffordable for a person earning $50 bucks (2500 rupees) a month (about 30-40% of population) but if a person of his stature is complaining, it is at that point baseless whining.
My point is that things are always going to get more expensive and worse than before, but if one always focuses on the negative side of life, complaining at every little detail while also refusing to let go of those luxuries, we indians will never ever be happy. We must take a lesson from the westerners and live life truly in the moment; quit our fretting and constant nagging and just be simply happy...