Narendra Simone

Kismet, Karma & Kamasutra

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India is explained as the land of many experiences from where, when you leave, you take only half of you because the other half you lose due to dysentery, nausea, vomiting, sickness and such other weight-loss techniques—Dr. Atkins paradise, you might say.

Roots? Hell no. A cruel twist of kismet, or rather a need of employment to pay alimony, brought me back to my country of birth, India, that I had left almost a quarter of a century ago seeking greener pastures overseas. But it was perhaps a foible of karma that upon returning and during our two years of staying in India, we lived in the two most amazing and diagonally opposite in nature cities for an equal amount of time—Calcutta, the City of Joy, and New Delhi, the City of Sorrows.

Although considered fictional, the story of City of Joy is based on true characters. It revolves around the trials and tribulations of a young Polish priest, the hardship endured by a rickshaw puller, and the experiences of a young American doctor. My stories are about the trials and tribulations of a non-confrontational Canadian engineering executive (me…really) and his thrill-junky Canadian doctor wife.

I must admit it was rather nostalgic for me to return to my home country after a three-decade absence. I guess after the sudden loss of my job, I was very thankful to find not only a well-paid, senior position but also to have the opportunity to come back to my country of birth—all expenses paid. Besides, ever since I watched ‘Roots,’ I was convinced that only by returning to India would I find answers to all those questions that had been hounding me for a very long time.

You know the questions we all tend to think of when we lose a job through no fault of our own, like: Is there a god? Why me? Will I find peace? Will I come back as a woman in my next life? Okay, maybe not the last one, that may be my crazy thinking because just once I would like a chance to find the meaning of life in morning coffees, shopping trips, elaborate hairdos, and hours in beauty salons and spas while some sucker who spent half his life educating himself looked after me, worshiped me and cared for all my needs. Anyway, here I was, back in India and thankful for being gainfully employed.

Here is an odd thing. Just when one thinks that one knows everything about something, one is always inevitably in for a surprise. I thought I knew everything about my country. You know, the corruption, bad service, and dirty politics. No, no, I am not talking about Canada. I am talking about India. Wait a minute. Come to think of it, it could well be Canada. Anyway, this time I am talking about India.

Even though I had become a resident again, as a Non Resident Indian for the last three decades, I obviously have lost that Indian edge. Read my humorous, misadventure stories of how as an Indian I barely survived India and at the same time my wife as a Canadian thrived in this blessed place. These stories may give you an insight to how to survive corporate India. It is all about surviving India or die laughing.

Namaste and may all 35 million Indian gods go with you.
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