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My Summer at an Indian Call Center

Lessons learned: Americans are hotheads, Australians are drunks — and never say where you’re calling from.

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In a sense, Arjuna is too westernized to be happy in India. He speaks with an American accent, listens to American rock music, and suffers from American-style malaise. In his more candid moments, he admits that life would have been easier if he had hewn to the traditional Indian path. “I spent my youth searching for the real me,” he says. “Sometimes I feel that now I’ve destroyed anything that is the real me, that I am floating somewhere in between.” 

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India | Magazine | August 2011 | Business

Image gallery

Arjuna thought he would just work in call centers a few months. Now he’s in his thirties, feeling trapped between East and West.    PHOTO: SANJIT DAS Call-center worker Monca Joshi shops on a day off.     PHOTO:  SANJIT DAS Arnab saw culture training as a weak brainwashing attempt, noting: They “hardly took the Indian out of us.”     PHOTO:  SANJIT DAS “We were asked to hate everything Indian,” said 26-year-old Arnab (shown in his Delhi flat).    PHOTO: SANJIT DAS Monica Joshi, 22, kills some time before her graveyard shift at a Gurgaon call center.     PHOTO:  SANJIT DAS

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