Vantage point

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

My Leftist Leanings

Having lived almost all my life India so far, it goes without saying that I have pronounced leftist leanings. And having moved to the US I have no choice but to shake off my leftist leanings. It is impossible to survive in the US if you have leftist leanings.

Now before you bombard me with stats about how Hillary Clinton may just win the Democratic primaries, let me clarify what I mean by elftist leanings. I mean the tendency of us Indians to always gravitate towards the left side. It is of course ingrained in us thanks to the British legacy of driving on the left side. But what is interesting is, these leftist leanings are not relevant just while driving. We tend to stay to the left otherwise too. Be it while walking in a hallway, or climbing stairs, or even jogging.

And when you go to a coutnry where everyone is used to a rightist position, this could present problems. I was first made aware of this problem by Satyen years ago, when on his first trip back to India from Princeton, while leaving a cinema hall with us, he kept bumping into people.

I have had 2 minor collisions (and unfortunately, I report to you curious reader, both have been men) and averted 2 major ones while jogging. It will take a few months for me to get used to instinctively walk on the right side. And by the time I get used to it, I will be back in India for the Christmas break and again start bumping into people.

The world is a very complicated place for sure.