Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I am proud to be an Indian!

...Snatches of conversations in Paris... S and I stroll across the open-air market in Odeon and as we are window-shopping, we found a shop that sold ties. Its an interesting package in a cute box that opens up to hold, a tie, cuff-links and a silk scarf or cloth or whatever people wear on their formal suits. S goes to office in formal suits and he often needs lots of ties ( not that I need any excuse to shop!). So we pick one among them...when the owner, a slightly old man...very excitedly...

Old Guy: Are you Indians? ( with a big smile on his face!)

Me: Yes! ( S conveniently leaves the talking to me, as always) ;-)

Old Guy (skeptically) : You are from the real India, not London?

Me: Yes !! ( amused)

He grabs my hand and very excitedly, shows me all the stoles.

He tells me all this is from your country, very beautiful, eh?

Me: I know! :-)

Old Guy: India is such a vast and beautiful country....He says 'Namaste' and folds his hands and bows!!

I am very pleased and we thank him.
I am ravenously hungry as I have not had lunch so I stop by to have Crêpes, on the way back home from my French class. I spent a long time figuring out how to get there and all the tension to reach on time!! Its a really old lady who is making them and I feel sad as her hands shiver as she spreads the batter.( S and I often disagree with this, I feel sad that old people have to work at this age, instead of having a relaxed life while he thinks its good that they are independant and active!)

Crepe Lady: ( in French) So which country are you from?

Me: ( hearing the only word 'country', I get what she asks...) I am from India!

Crepe Lady (very excited and a big smile on her face!): Big country, lots of speak 30 languages?

Me: I smile and say that there are about 26 states in India and each state speaks a different language! Oui! ( Yes!)

Crepe Lady: (speaks in broken English now)...You are very beautiful...all Indians are very beautiful!

Me: Merci Madame...

Crepe Lady: They are very intelligent too! Indians..very intelligent!

Me( amused): smiles...

Crepe Lady: You know Sonia Gandhi, she is from my Italy! Indian man married her...very intelligent!!!

Me: !!!!!!! ( now I know why she thinks we are intelligent)...LOL!

Jokes apart, I was very pleasantly surprised to know that she knows so much about India and is generally aware about other countries as well. I felt very proud. It feels good to hear such things about our country! :-)


homecooked said...

You are tagged and awarded :) Dont know if you pick them up but it would be fun to read your list.

Raaga said...

Have to agree with S here... independent is the way to be :)

Pretty Woman said...

@ Raaga,

I just feel they have worked all their lives and now its time for them to retire and relax...

chitra said...

wow! another great post.
i've heard a lot about the french, especially in paris, being short with people who do not speak french. reading your blog, reminded me that there are all kinds of people - both among the french and among those whose experiences i've heard! :)
about older people working, i get the same feeling too. i respect their independence. but, if i get the feeling that their decision to work is not really a choice, then i find myself wishing that the situation wasn't the kind that needed them to show their independence in this way.

Pretty Woman said...

:) nice of you to share your insight...I appreciate it!