This week I had one of the things which I fear/hate the most. I ended up managing a project on which a couple of desi colleagues worked. I'm strongly believe and advocate the theory that developing a personal relationship with a collegaue (discount the rare occurances when a person known to you joins the company) at work.
Its quite easy to maintain a strictly professional relationship with non-Indians. My manager is a dutch person and his boss is a korean guy. I maintain a semi-formal relationship with them - I do end up car-pooling with one of them or giving the other a ride to the airport on a weekend - but other than that and the odd weekend (when I end up alone with nothing to do) where I do some kind of activity with them like sailing or playing basketball or going for a combined cuisine cooking - mostly fusion of Indo-Dutch/Continental European.
This entire delicate arrangement becomes utterly impossible in the case of desi colleagues. They end up asking you to help them buy a car or they call you when they are sick and you get to see their softer/weaker side and once you get know that side, the other person, I believe, thinks he has to keep you a personal contact. They try to talk to you in indi (which is a no-no to me) or they ask you about your family/personal life, which again is something I would not like to share with someone who happens to work in the same place as me. So the entire gist of the last few lines have been that, much against my wishes, I ended up with a non-formal/non-semi-formal relationship with these 2 desi colleagues. And I ended up being in charge of supervising their work/approving their work times and all the hajaar work and I can tell you my posish is what one Mr.Bertram Wilberforce Wooster frequently finds himself in the master's works - if only there was Jeeves at work?!