culture and youth

Some young people want me to address them on a theme that has me amused: While the global demand for Indian knowledge-workers hurls them into workplaces everywhere in the world, how are they to arm themselves to stay rooted in their culture? They have chosen me to speak who has the least advise on the matter, but I have agreed to go. I've no idea what I'll tell them and the only thought that comes to my mind is the image of a young Indian in a bus in Helsinki: He was fast asleep, his rump a little beyond the edge of the seat, his knees raised and supporting a black laptop bag, his back sunken and slouched, his head limp and low and shaking below the headrest. The stubble was old by many days, the hair was oiled and tousled, and in the open space in a vast summer brightness, shadows of leaves fell and lingered upon his face, and shook in jerky lines, sideways and up and down. We went into town and then the shadows were of old stone buildings, and they held longer than before, and fell full on his face. He was still sleeping when I got off the bus. I had sat the whole time looking into his face with a smile set on mine. If he'd woken I'd have inquired into the toil that had exhausted him so.