02 March 2007

another blow against ego in india

the computer here, at the house of jayeshbhai and anarben patel, runs the type macrosoft xp operating system. it's only use profile is called "rajvi ma'am", named by sansu (the daughter of the household) after her favorite teacher. thus, "rajvi ma'am's documents" and so on.

i've been wanting to mention concept for a while -- there seems to be little notion of personal identity here. its all bleeding kheer with the divine. this becomes especially evident with computers, whose software is designed for western people to create their personal alterego on the internet.

so last summer when i set up email for chandrabose (my flute guru), i was this close (two fingers!) to getting him to have bosemash@gmail.com  but at the last minute he changed it to mdcponnuti. ponnuti being a strange diminutive form of his daughter's name (shruti, normally called chickoo).

or  when i set up some internet chat program for my aunt and she had to pick a picture for profile that  shows up while she's chatting, she  only wanted to use a picture of her son.

or, deeply now, the fact that everyone here uses the first person plural ("we") when talking about what i would consider their personal life. as in, "we woke up at 6 oclock". "we haven't had dinner". "we need to go to the bathroom".

all of which makes my mom telling me  "we dont want to take these liberal arts classes" back in college a lot more intelligible...

happy holi,

because elephants are vegetarian.

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