René Seifert

Entrepreneur, Global Citizen, Flat World, Internet, Web 2.0, Innovation, Start-Up

Watched the Movie “Outsourced” in Bangalore

Took a break from work and went out for a little stroll through Bangalore, the mood is different on Sundays than during weekdays. For one, it's more crowded, yet less hectic. People have time for shopping and in economically challenging times even more so for just for window shopping.

Brigade Road in Bangalore in Twilight

So I saw many couples walking hand-in-hand, but also the usual scenes from India with men walking hand in hand. I have gotten so much used to that view in the last 5 years that I didn't even realize until my comrade Dirk was killing himself laughing during his India-visit.

Ya, ya, T.I.I. (=This is India), and also this billboard for Levi's. 

Brigade Road in Bangalore in Twilight

Explaining such a picture to some new visitors to India has proven to me one of the most difficult pieces as it runs with the biggest possible contradiction. On the scale from 1 to 10 in rating India's openness to talk about sex in public, I'll give it a straight 1. There is hardly any more prudish country in the world. Yet, in a layer that is so far away from reality that it is impossible to conceive, almost everything goes. Take Bollywood where you have beautiful, sexy half naked woman dancing under the rain-machine.

But you will never see any Indian woman walking with a short skirt in the streets. That's why I call Bollywood "fiction of fiction" as even in a obviously fictional setting, reality gets skewed to a point where there is sufficient attachment to create recognition with the world, but then moves beyond it where it tickles unspoken desires that are too removed to be ever satisfied. So it doesn't pose any danger to existing norm and order. 

Then, finally after a long time of failed intentions, I watched the movie Outsourced. I really enjoyed it a lot as it packs all the possible cultural shocks that India has to offer into a lovely story. The American manager Todd has to outsource his procurement-centre to India, goes through all the Western struggles before he not only finds his peace with India, but even a likening of her people. Even more so as he falls in love with Asha, a young lady he has been training in the call-centre. Here is the trailer:

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Unlike the movie Darjeeling Limited which i liked a lot, yet had to label non-Indian, Outsourced comes as close to Indian reality as it can get. Just to get two minor things right: There are not too many "Ahsas" around in call-centres who would engage in any (hidden) relationship with their supervisor and Auntie would never ask a visitor if he was homosexual. (See above "prudish", and by the way Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code prohibits "carnal intercourse against the order of nature".)

Minor things hardly worth mentioning. I believe that for those who have been to India already, the movie will provide a very rich context and bring many memories back. For those who haven't, watching the movie might create the desire to have onself "outsourced" to the subcontinent – at least for a limited time during holiday.

Come, come all, Mother India with 1 billion opportunities is eagerly awaiting you :-)



  1. January 4th, 2009 | 3:29

    Seems like a great movie. Too bad DVD shipping is only available in the US. Any chance to watch it somewhere else?

  2. January 4th, 2009 | 3:36

    Ah, very good point, thank’s for asking: DON’T buy the DVD, I tried twice from the US, and the version was corrupted both times. It was not the problem with the region code, my computer didn’t even recognize the DVD as such. I bought the movie on iTunes U.S., but you either need a U.S. credit card or someone from the U.S. who sends you a virtual gift voucher. If you travel to the U.S., you can buy “real” gift vouchers with $10 to $100 in any Apple store.

  3. January 4th, 2009 | 3:43

    I own an iTunes US account (don’t ask why and how…), but usually don’t buy movies — but I rent them. Too bad you can’t rent this one.

    Ah, and if you want an iTunes voucher for your US account, just go to and buy one. The seller will scratch the card for you and send the code. I tried this many times and it always worked.

  4. January 5th, 2009 | 12:05

    […] ich danach gesucht habe, ob ich mir den Film Outsourced mal reinziehen sollte, bin ich zufällig auf Russel Peters und sein Bühnenprogramm “Outsourced” getroffen. […]