charankanya on July 21st, 2008
When I first moved here, one of the hardest things was making friends. We were renting an apartment, in one of the more upscale buildings. I would take my kids down so that they could play with the other kids. They would ask if they could play with them, and the building kids would say “no”! I was quite surprised when I first heard that. So the next few days, I tried to help them out, and would ask other kids myself if it was ok for my kids to play with them. They would shrug their shoulders, and then completely ignore my kids. I was quite amazed as to how snobbish and rude these little kids could be.
And it just wasn’t the kids. In my first week here, I saw three women my age taking a walk together. I introduced myself, and asked if I could join them. They said sure, and so I walked with them for the next 45 minutes. All that time, they completely ignored me, with the exception of some small talk that I attempted. The next day, I went down again when I saw them taking a walk. I was completely stunned, when they just ignored my “hi” and just strode past me rather rudely.
I would meet people in the elevators or the parking lot, who I would smile at and say hello….and they would look at me as though I’ve come from Mars. It was really really hard. I would feel, that here in my own country it’s so difficult to make friends. And when I was in the US, in spite of my obviously being a foreigner, I was welcomed warmly by neighbours and strangers and found no difficulty in making friends.

It sure took a very long time to make friends, but now two years later I can finally call Pune my home.




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3 Responses to “Making Friends”

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for your blog and I am some one planing to move back to India after 12 years in US. We have a 8 year old daughter.
    I am trying to do my own analysis of your experience and this article is of special interest. Could you please answer me the below question please?

    How was your outlook and appearance when you met the ladies in the article? Did you look totally modern or out of place compared to the other ladies in the group? Is it possible that they felt you are or trying to be superior than them and showing off your NRI ness?

    Also, based on my experience, no body would ask in India if “they could join” bur rather say that “I want join and which side or team I belong to?” Things are not taken by nice words but by convincing actions. Based on my own experience growing up in India.


  2. Anand:
    my outlook: big smile, friendly.
    appearances: quite normal and similar to what other ladies were wearing….sensible “walking” clothes and shoes.
    Good luck with your move to India. Do share your experiences on making new friends in India, would be interesting to hear.


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