I was surprised when in America many people told me straight on my face that I was good. That never happened to me back in India.
For example the Princeton Review instructor at Berkeley told me that he had seen no score higher than mine. I expected him to have seen many top scores, Berkeley is full of people like that. He himself was not a laggard. When he told me he has a 790 (out of 800) in GRE verbal, my eyes where popped. I had scored a 730 (98%), which paled in comparison. It was possible to have open conversation with him.
My CEO, a professor at Cornell, wanted to see my scores because he thought he was among the best in the world, but..
Even in Japan, at Mitsubishi, Dr. Shinya Fushimi, from Todai, University of Tokyo, who was a gentleman, commented that I was better than him. He was a great achiever, invented a data base system called GREO, at an young age. But he had time to praise me.
Or at Berkeley, Prof. Steve Evans like my work so much that he invited me to apply for Berkeley’s PhD program.
Indians were a class apart. Constant lying and making others feel inferior is in Indian genes I suppose.
I wrote a story about how two IIT Kanpur guys tried to make fun of my graduate fellowship. (IITians – in search of Excellence). One will find peculiar about Indians, especially IITians that very rarely they will reveal their test scores, even the ones at places like Berkeley, or MIT. It is like meeting the miss beauty contest winner but not allowed to see her face otherwise your head will be chopped off. Even MIT has quota for underprivileged kids – poor children facing discrimination I believe they have used those quotas. In places like Harvard money will do. The poor Chinese student who sued Harvard for admission, is just wasting everyone’s time. In Indian places like IIM or even the IAS, it is very simple. Simple nepotism. It comes natural to us.
I tell Indians that IITs are not especial. But Indians tend not to believe me. Many believe that IITs are better than MIT, India is already a developed nation.
Japan knows it well. They were a world super power, and just missed ruling the world, involved America with its atom bombs. One thing they can do very well was to bribe the underdeveloped world, and Indians are the undisputed champions of bribery taking. A match made in heaven or hell.