Not long ago, English speaking classes sprouted up all over urban and small-town
This well-established trend has been the subject of much debate and discussion in academic, business, media and popular circles. Its upsides and downsides have even been addressed in some of Bollywood’s new-generation movies. But an incipient new trend has gone largely unnoticed. This is the trend of Western expatriates to
Among the things British babus are advised to learn is to say ‘namaste’, to abstain from greeting women with a kiss (Mr. Gere won’t forget that one in a hurry) and to expect unpunctuality. It seems that the boot is on the other foot now. I am reminded here of something Rudyard Kipling (of Jungle Book fame) wrote. A little ditty that is part of a larger poem, this bit of Brit wit goes:
Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.”
All these decades later, the UK India Business Council’s advice seems remarkably similar. Perhaps the boot is still firmly on the foot it always was on, after all.