The Two Faces of an Indian Tourist


The Two Faces of an Indian Tourist

Illustration: Cleon Dsouza / Arré


n 2003, a not-quite-a-stunner named Jassi sent the country into a tizzy when she ditched her trademark braces, oversized glasses, and salwar-suit in Sony’s widely popular Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin. Within minutes, the “ugly duckling” Jasmeet Walia, a mere secretary, transformed into a pretty model, whose makeover became the talk of the town.

That grand makeover, however, cannot hold a candle to the one that Indian tourists undergo when “going to the foreign”. The metamorphosis of a perennially loud, judgmental, scene-creating Indian tourist into a calm, rule-abiding ideal traveller when abroad would boggle the mind of Franz Kafka’s Gregor Samsa. And that dude went from being man to cockroach in one night.