Nine (plus one) ways of identifying a US-returned techie in India

CHETAN KRISHNASWAMY writes: On dull weekends, Rajeshwari and I indulge in an engaging pastime. In hotels, parks, supermarkets… we eavesdrop on idle banter.

Our score is high when it comes to identifying the quintessential US returned techie.
Here are 10 telltale signs:

1) As if suffering from acute dehydration he constantly swills from a mineral water bottle.

2) The chap uses words like leverage, alignment, strategic, synergy, macro picture, framework, data driven, ping, off line, validate, awesome…while recounting a visit to the nearby amusement park with his 7-year old.

3) Perks up and practices ‘effective listening’ the minute there is any reference to real estate. This is almost always followed by the inevitable question… “Is there any land available in Mysore or Gorakhpur?’’ depending on his geographic affinity

4) It’s a sure give away when he dwells on subjects that no longer captivate the average Indian mind: traffic congestion, pollution and, oh yeah!, India’s corrupt politicians.

5) This guy keeps looking into his fancy handheld like as if it is a divine compass guiding him through India’s sweaty pell-mell.

6) He sports the latest model of New Balance sneakers, fresh import from dust-free San Jose. This would be most likely given away to a cousin or a friend disdainfully when grime and soot begin to give it that unacceptable desi character.

7) If he has a ‘sensibility’ and has spent his early days in Mysore or Bangalore, his conversation invariably drifts to his abiding passion: old Kannada songs and movies discovered after painstakingly trawling the Internet. He holds forth with the zest of a historian.

8) Suspiciously eyes every morsel of food that comes his way and insists on “pickin up data’’ on the source of each ingredient that goes into the food… It’s another thing that he was brought up on this fare during his early days

9) The accent betrays the mindset: it oscillates from the West Coast to Rajajinagar and rests tentatively somewhere in between. Friends back home say that he talks and… well… in certain angles resembles the rakish Antonio Banderas. Hmm.

10) This one is for Churumuri readers to say…