How to stop faking it and start living in the real India
Not one to shy away from the occasional delusions of grandeur, Neo often gives his “we choose to move to India not because it is easy, but because it is hard” speech to the sundry relatives and friends who visit Neoville.
Could Neo live in Cousin Preeti’s “real India” by moving to a village and riding to work in a bullock cart every day ? No – as it turns out, according to Preeti, Neo (and you!) could start living in the “real India” right here in Namma Bengaluru by doing the following:
1. Stop sending your kids to a fancy school.
Cousin Preeti nailed this one – sending Neo Jr to any school in India that has white kids in it will result in Neo Jr getting 5 women pregnant before he is 14 – and possibly even more women, provided he isn’t high on drugs on most weekends. Or doesn’t “become gay”.
Also, according to Preeti, all the porn that they show in these fancy schools will cause Neo Jr to “go in the wrong direction”, although Neo argued that the porn might actually help Neo Jr go in the “right” direction instead of having to fumble around the first few times.
No, it is far better to spend that money on a fancy car and instead send your kids to a “middle-class” “value for money” school, where Neo Jr can learn important stuff like “dumb girls should be forced to learn cooking”, “how to skip going to the bathroom for 8 hours because the bathroom is so dirty”, “how to use a pair of binoculars to find your teacher in the classroom”, and “how to fake being unconscious so the unsupervised giants from the last bench will stop hitting your head repeatedly with heavy objects for no apparent reason”.
2. Become more social.
Instead of having an intimate party with the ten people that Neo Jr actually cares about (which oddly does not include Preeti), Neo should invite at least 834 people for Neo Jr’s next birthday – so that Neo Jr can spend quality time alone watching the Disney channel in his room, while Neo mingles with the local Amway e-commerce guru, his “I was a quarter-finalist in the Mrs. Jayanagar beauty contest” wife and their “professional TV watcher” son who apparently has a restraining order to be within 5 feet of high-calorie food at all times.
3. Stop being an American.
Neo should stop wasting money on “American stuff” like the commercial-free Worldspace Satellite Radio (which carries NPR). Even though Worldspace costs less than Preeti’s weekly haircuts. (Plus you gotta get the even more expensive hair-wash – because really, it’s incredibly tiring to stand under the shower for 10 seconds.) Besides, not having NPR/Worldspace allows you to seem smart because you can then bemoan the poor quality of FM radio in India with the other members of the fancy-haircut club.
Also, why buy everything in a convenient, everything-under-one-roof supermarket with transparent pricing when you can get the same thing for mostly higher prices (unless you bargain) at the local convenience store ? It makes no sense at all, unless you’re American.
4. Stop renting a fancy apartment.
Instead of wasting money renting an apartment 10 minutes away from the Neos’ workplaces and schools, Neo should pay thrice his current rent in “owning” a similar apartment in a ghost-town equidistant from Bangalore and Mysore, because, unless you own (a mortgage), you’re never really “settled down”.
Furthermore, imagine the increased job opportunities by being just 90 minutes away from two metropolitan cities! Yes the monthly payments (and fuel costs) are massive, but you’ll be done in just 20 30 40 years! By the time you’re done with those payments, who knows, there might even be a decent hospital close to your apartment – even more appreciation! And don’t forget – real estate only goes up, since they’re not making any more land!
Preeti gathered quite an audience that evening. She went on to regale the crowds with more gems like how Neo “wastes Rs. 100 more on Tata Sky” when he could be saving that money and complaining about the grainy pictures and frequent outages on Cable TV like everyone else.