Living your life through someone else’s eyes

In this period when all groups claim they are the vanguard or keepers of family values, let me ask you, my reader, about how you define family. We had no choice as to which womb we come out. Also, we had no choice as to our ethnicity, cultural background, economic background, sexual identification (yes, yes, I believe we are genetically predisposed). So, while as a child, we grow up with adults who try to shape and mold us through their views of the world.

For me, as someone who grew up in a traditional Asian family living overseas, my experiences have been influenced by the “us” versus “them.” I don’t even mean “us” Asian, “you” foreigner. No, it was more like “us” our family, “them” their family. Family is our “pack.” In the animal kingdom, animals that live in packs have social norms that ensure their survival. Animals that do not conform to those norms are thrown out as outcasts so that their genes will not survive.

So, this brings me to us, the gay and lesbian group. We are the tiniest of minorities but we somehow, convey the deepest fears among some members of the heterosexual group. Since childhood, most of us know who we are. We hide our identities from the pack because we know what happens to outcasts. We are also different than other animals. We do not act by instinct. We think and rationalize. So, when we grow up, we do have to decide what constitutes family. As this blogger shows (see here), it is quite sad and dangerous if we have to continue living our lives through someone else’s eyes. So, to my fellow Indian blogger, just my advice (if you are reading this), you have to live your own life and create your own family.


On a lighter note, an Indian ” The Wedding Banquet” movie?…and other tibits

I found this short clip of an upcoming bollywood movie. It should be interesting.

 I guess that is the new standard of a country becoming part of the First World – A movie about man-man love with a woman in between.

 ….And other tibits

In preparation for my upcoming trip, it is time to start familiarizing again with that sexy tonal Thai language:

His name is Wan. Cute guy, isn’t he? I would like to thank Tom in Thailand (see here) for this discovery.



Little things that drive you crazy

nokia_n95_zoom.jpgOne of my friends says that I don’t have good luck when it comes with electronic products. I agree with him. Remember the Nokia N95 that I purchased a few months ago? Well, there is a rattle noise coming from the headset. Ok, so it is under warranty. I sent it to Nokia USA for repairs, some place in that proud southern state of Alabama. So what happens? After two weeks wait, it comes back….exactly the same. All the repair service did was to upgrade the software! I could have done it myself. The repair service center ignored my detailed note. When I called the customer service department, the representative stated that it may be a normal behavior. However, my friend also has a N95 and his does not have a rattle noise. So, back to Alabama it goes. I think I should start buying FedEx stock. At least I should profit from my own mailings.

I think I will put Nokia on my list of blacklisted companies. Another one is HP. That is actually a little horror story with Mumbai connections. Last year I purchased a HP laptop from its online site. Overall, I like the features of the computer and it is actually quite good for the price paid. However, a couple of run-ins with its service department made determined to boycott any future computer purchases from HP. The first run-in dealt with the docking station that I ordered with the computer. It has a headphone/microphone outlet. However, the microphone somehow did not work. I called HP India and after learning Hindu-English, and going through the whole checklist procedure over a couple of months, both the docking station and the computer’s motherboard were exchanged. Still, the microphone did not work. So what happened next? My friend started playing with the computer and opened the control panel. He then started looking under sound and audio devices. By chance he double clicked on the volume slider icon. Guess what? It opened a panel with a check mark slot for external microphone. Of course, it was unchecked. That’s it. Checked that box and the microphone outlet started to work. Who designed the software?

Another run in with HP Mumbai happened when the infrared receiver for the TV remote control stopped working. No matter how many times I called HP Mumbai, they kept sending me the wrong part. I thought it may be my accent, so I enlisted my friend with the perfect American broadcast English. Nope. Still being sent the wrong part. So, I ended up buying the item from EBay.

I wonder how much do corporations lose in goodwill and future lost sales. They do not seem to care about warranty service anymore. They hide under masses of firewalls: customers being directed to websites, automatic phone services, customer representatives that are not train to listen to the customers but just to follow a script.

I think from now onwards, I will just purchase electronic items from local stores. At least there is someone to meet face to face when something goes wrong.