Sunday, October 26, 2008

Winds of Change

Reading the reports about the US presidential elections, I usually find it interesting that a significant few of the reports on the web are written not in the US, but in the UK! Brits actually comment on news articles on US presidential elections, participate in online opinion polls, lament the state of affairs, passionately make the case for a candidate, and even indulge in ugly spats with fellow brits over Obama and Palin!! (no one's really bothered about McCain anymore, if you noticed!)

Now I may be the wrong guy to find that strange, 'coz I'm doing the same!

My approach is a slightly different one compared to them, because I follow the UK politics, Zimbabwean presidential elections, Russian voting patterns and the Philippines' political system with an equal fervour, if not with the same attachment to the results. It is a part of my insatiable curiosity about the world politics I think!

But the brits actually talk about the whole thing as if they were a part of the whole voting process in America! They are so wired to the american way of life and glued to their politics that they forget sometimes, I think, that they are from a different country!On my recent trip to the UK, my travel companion told me that I come across as a pretentious character because I was trying to speak with the british accent when I spoke to the locals. I defended myself saying I try to speak english with a slight Russian accent with Russians and my natural accent back in Indian office, a bit of black-brother accent with friends! I even speak my native langauge in telangana accent with my friends in Hyderabad, Guntur accent with my family and north coastal andhra accent on some occasions with other people! I try to make myself more understandable that way to people around me, so much so that some Russian colleagues at office ask me to be present when other Indian colleagues are talking to them (in english, mind you), so that I can translate it to english of their understanding!

My point is, though I may come across as a guy trying to be what I'm not, I feel I'm just being aspirational. I want to be a brit accented guy in britain for sure, coz I find that convenient. That doesn't mean I don't like my natural accent, which I still use with people who like to hear it that way. Some may find that delusional. Like I'm trying to run away from my identity. I defend it is a part of the continuing human endeavour to be better, to be one step higher!

Now back to the topic of the brits participating in american political debates, does this indicate that popular opinion in UK is veering towards becoming the 51st state of US?

Well, may be not! I think it is just the internet obliterating boundaries and nationalistic feelings. For better, if you ask me! While some Indians want to be like Brits, some Brits want to be like the Americans, some yankees look to Japan may be and all this will lead a cosmopolitan culture erasing idealogies and beliefs that built these walls around us. It'll take a century or two before people decide to tear down most of these country-specific economies and politics and create a sort of global order. But I feel it is coming, and it is long overdue. Not like an empire built by the conquests of Alexander the Great, but by the victory of democracy - not just of one nation, but of the of the world!

By the way, how many of you heard of the 'Winds of Change' songs by Scorpions? It is a song that starts with walking down the River of Moscow across to Gorky Park and feeling the winds of change. I do that daily, just for the record. Coz I live on the banks of Moscow River across the Gorky Park! I realised only recently that I'm bloody living in that song, which is among my all time fave songs! And I bloody well feel the winds of change too!

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