Hi... are you from India ?

Something happened today morning that makes me think again
-why do people try too seek cheap publicity in the name of God
-why do they wear the “Hi-are-you-from-India-too” mask and embarrass us “Indians”

I live in a private community where I consider safety and privacy as the most basic amenities. Around 1pm on a Saturday, I was freely moving around the house in my bath-robe, when someone knocked on my door- thinking it would be my room-mate, I just opened the door to see 2 strangers standing (which is not at all usual) I was obviously embarrassed a little, but thinking it must be something quick – I decided to just let them finish the work they had come for.
Apparently, they were from some Indian Association and had organized a street play to celebrate the festival of Janmashtmi (Lord Krishna’s birth)
To publicize this, they were apparently going through each name on the plates in the complex and picking out apartments with Indian names against them.
Also, the street play was scheduled to be performed in the swimming pool area of the community.

Now, I seriously doubt that the association (whoever they were) got or rather took permission to have a public event near the swimming pool. Considering a small gathering and a street-play style performance can easily be taken in the pretext of a small private party , which is “allowed “– the association people must have felt unnecessary to go through the right channels to seek permission to hold the event.

To go through every individual name listed in the complex directory, pick out the seemingly Indian ones and knock doors to publicize your event is utterly shameful. There are other inexpensive ways of publicizing your event – take print outs and ask the management of the community to distribute them along with the weekly community letter or simply drop pamphlets in the mailboxes of your short listed apartments.

You come to my apartment, knock and upon answering “ Hello – are you from India? “ and the hospitable people that we Indians are would never close the door on your face, so Inspite of being a bit awkward in my bath-robe and talking to 2 strange men, I did ask them if they would like a glass of water. And with a very brief introduction of the association they represented, I also realized that they did not even live in my community.
I was really enraged and tried hard to let that now show and rather be very polite. They started asking personal questions as in where I am originally from and then which part of Bombay (testing my patience now….) and then the main part – the association publicity….

Now I am a very big Krishna Bhakt and would really encourage such events taking place, so that we the Indian living away from the culture and tradition can get to learn and enjoy these festivals. But I would really appreciate, if rules are not broken , privacy is not breached and things are done using the right channels and hierarchy.

I just feel insecure because they could have been some impostors and using the Indian name and easily fool someone. Also I feel a little ashamed, because some people do not appreciate this uncalled visits of publicity and might go and complain to the management about this incident and tomorrow we might have the management sending us fliers that “Some Indian Association has been going around knocking doors and holding events without permission near the pool area – please BEWARE”

I don’t want that to happen … I really love my country and people and want us to be known for the good reasons…


  1. well Neha, that was indeed very risky...u've gotta be careful ya..and yeah, because of certain sectors of people, the whole country is blamed and doubted...

    tc :)

  2. cheap publicity in the name of god is still forgiven neha.
    Sins in the name of god?

    "We all know how much there is to forgive in this world.How much we sin and are sinned against. We know too, that the worst of them are perhaps the ones committed in the name of religion."

  3. u should blame the association people... how can they give the names to others...

    poor guys doesn't know how to give publicity

  4. I think cheap publicity in the name of God is pathetic. Faith, Beleif are personal words and their significance resides in individual consciousness.

  5. I think that they must have thought that like in India they can barge into anyone's house in US also
    in India we have all sorts of people coming for donations in the name of ganpati, navratri.
    old habits die hard. ( US aakar bas gaye to kya hua, aadat to nahi chutegi na)
    and regarding asking you question about your history, again very common trait in us Indians. to know each and every thing about others. as most of us dont believe in repecting the privacy of the other person. we are basically a friendly lot who try to become familiar with even strangers .
    but pl be careful next time. dont let any stranger enter your house ( In India police has given strict instrctions not to allow any stragner in the house)
    so besides following other traits if Indians take this precaution too

  6. @Anju i agree in India people do that...but even now in India the security has become so strict in complexes that strangers are not allowed to enter the building unless asked by the resident...

  7. And we then say... that why are we Indians known for a bad reputation here in US? I say, exactly for this reason that you can think to barge in anyone's private life on the name of god assuming that the person will give in for god's sake.

    Be careful and call the cops next time if you aren't comfortable. I even advise my wife and son not to open doors if you don't know the person outside the door. Better safe than never!!!

  8. @neha thanks for ur comment Neha...and u r absolutely right...the whole community gets a bad name due to such things...its a real pity

  9. @Sayrem u r right sayrem...but still such things give us a bad name and that is not tolerated ...right...

  10. @Suree the worst thing is...they dint even get the names from the management...they went about doing it themselves...

  11. @OoglersGooglers u r right... thats the reason Indians carry a bad name and its very justified too...
    one bad apple and the entire basket gets a bad name ...:(

  12. I dont think it was to do anything with publicity...its just that their way of approaching Indian community was not correct. Intentions were right...but the action taken was wrong. u got some desi taste there too....u should have told them that this is not the way to do....

  13. Hey Nazish...may be u r right... and thats actually a very good way of looking at it... :) thanks for giving me this point of view

  14. I liked your blog very much. Its very nice and I appreciate for your lovely post.
    You are welcome in my blogs.

  15. U r so right. stuff like this used to happen in my community as well, which was very embaressing. I understand how u r feeling!

    anyway, long time. How r u doing?

  16. U r so right. stuff like this used to happen in my community as well, which was very embaressing. I understand how u r feeling!

    anyway, long time. How r u doing?

  17. Oh boy!! not to forget those few who stop you in mall ask "are you Nikhil ? " and strike a conversation just to get you in their "business" !!

  18. congrats
    u won an G rammy award
    i just read it Ramya's post
    keep it up

  19. Its really sad that 'God' has been been used for everything-right from publicity to barbarity :(. I am surprised those guys didn't ask you to contribute money for the same. Did they?

  20. This is of course no different than those who would come to your door and proselytize their religion to you, as certain Christian denominations are wont to do. Those that do this have no respect for people who may be of a different religion, or perhaps profess no religious beliefs altogether. It boils down to respect for privacy.

    If you want someone to know about your faith, leave a flyer or pamphlet in the mailbox. Back around 1980, when I still had a connection to my Jewish faith, a group of Jehovah's Witness came to my apartment door - on Yom Kippur - the holiest day on the Hebrew calendar. As is tradition, a Jewish home has a mezzuzah - a small marker on the door posts signifying that this is a Jewish home. ours was no different, and these folks knew it.

    I heard them coming down the hallway towards our apartment, and decided that some shock therapy was in order, so I broke out my prayer shawl and yarmulke. They knocked on the door...and the look of horror on their faces was worth the price of admission. Apologizing profusely, they left.

    We were never bothered by their denomination again.

  21. Really you are a brave lady.
    congrats for handling them.

  22. I agree with Nazish here, people do these kinds of things all the time here and they thought they could do the same there also.
    I think you should have been sterner and told them in no uncertain terms that they were not doing the correct thing. It would save them and other Indians in future from such embarrasement later.

  23. Not a good thing to do.

    Next time, something like this happen, you should tell them the right way to do things. Thinking optimistically, they might be ignorant!

    Also, do not let anybody in if you are not comfortable. Don't you have peephole to see who is at the door?

  24. Its sad, isn't it, that our people, for all their very many positive attributes, have not very much regard towards respecting privacy of others even in their own homes, let alone public places! The same callous attitude is also shown in an absence of 'community sense', just look at how easily perfectly decent people have no qualms at all about dumping their garbage just out of sight from their front door.

    Its as sad as it is shameful. And now you are telling me NRIs are no better either.