COLUMNS

Right at home here, despite differences

Sruthi Yejju

Editor’s note: Sruthi Yejju is a new intern at the Peoria Times-Observer. She and her husband live in North Peoria. Yejju is a native of India.

Recently, I came across an article that listed things that happen only in America.

It was funny, but what was more hilarious was the comparison when I thought about the same things back in India.

First, however, let’s get clear that both are great nations. I am a patriotic Indian with a great sense of love and respect for America, which is truly the land of opportunity.

This article is meant only as a humorous take on things and not meant to hurt anybody’s sentiments.

So, to begin with, is there any country other than the United States where a pizza arrives before an ambulance?

Well, back in India, it would be a miracle if either of them reaches someone before they give up, as they both will be stuck in traffic.

Only in America can one find people ordering double cheeseburgers, large fries and a “diet” Coke.

But only in India will you find people savoring food from roadside stalls unmindful of all the traffic and pollution.

It’s common in America to leave expensive cars in the driveway while storing useless junk in the garage.

In India, they put their cars in the garages all right, but the junk is free-for-all on the streets.

Only in America can one find handicap parking spaces even in front of a skating rink.

In India, forget handicap parking spaces. There are no fixed parking spaces — one is lucky if he or she can find a place to park.

In America, people use answering machines to screen calls but have call waiting to avoid missing a call from someone they didn’t want to talk to in the first place.

In India, there is call waiting, but people hardly use answering machines — after all, people there love to talk and talk loud.

Only in America, does a babies’ eye drops brand come with the warning “may cause drowsiness. If affected, do not operate heavy machinery or drive a vehicle.”

The label of a hair dryer has a warning “Do Not Use While Sleeping” and my paper shredder has an icon warning not to put my hair in it. I don’t know anyone who would want to shred his or her hair.

While only in India can one find menus with “Garlick Chiken Fry,” signs with directions to “Cool Mobile Mortuary” and huge “Drink Coke” ad posters on the wall right next to a manual water-pump where people have to wait for hours to fill their buckets.

The best are the lawsuits.

Only in America can an inmate in federal prison file a lawsuit claiming NASCAR is responsible for his criminal activities, ranging from speeding to credit card fraud, or can a woman sue a police dog for biting her.

However, it’s only in India that a man can file a case against an actress for a so-called “inappropriate” dress she wore to an awards ceremony.

He should watch the Grammy’s or the MTV Music Awards.

Weirder yet was a case in which a lawyer accused two Bollywood stars of obscenity for a kissing scene they share in a movie. Two words for him — American Pie.

I love both the nations. Both nations have their own quirky yet precious idiosyncrasies.

The forefathers of both countries have fought many wars for all the rights and freedom that we now enjoy.

Both are beautiful countries with beautiful people who just want peace, love and friendship (throw in some rich assets here and there, and everyone’s happy).

This common thread binds Americans and Indians, ensuring a loving relationship and coexistence of the people in these countries. For that, everyone is grateful.

There is one more thing, though, that’s common to both the splendid nations — the use of the word “politics:” “poli” in Latin meaning “many” and “tics” meaning “bloodsucking creatures.”

Now that’s a word the entire world has got  right!