Sunday, September 09, 2012


Need a break from the regular romantic flicks? Want to watch something out-of-the-box comedy? If yes, then press the rewind button and go back to 2006. A movie got released that year that claimed to be not only something different but also a downright reality. The film is aptly titled ‘Outsourced’ and follows the journey of an American guy arriving in a small village named Gharapuri in India. How he adjusts in the Indian culture forms the main punch in the movie.

When his job gets completely outsourced to India, his boss tells him to go to the country. At first, Todd Anderson couldn’t believe his ears. But when his boss makes it clear to be his final decision, Todd comes to India. His main motto is to train his future replacement named Puro. Todd faces a lot of difficulties before arriving in Gharapuri. He has to race to catch a moving train when prompted by a local commuter. He gets harassed by taxi drivers on the road. When he finally meets Puro, an ambitious fellow, he thinks that Puro is an ordinary taxi driver. He realizes his mistake when Puro shows him his funny visiting card. Todd is taken to live at Puro’s aunt so that he won’t feel alone in a hotel. The aunty immediately asks him about his family history and even attempts to give some tips on marriage. Todd is astonished with her behaviour. He is called as ‘Toad’ by everyone. He is given homemade namkeens to eat. His room has photos of Indian gods which he doesn’t understand. His ultimate test comes when he has to go to bathroom. No western toilets in the house!

His stomach becomes upset the day he lands up in India. He is not happy with the place selected for the call centre. Cows come and go inside it whenever they want to. There is no glass frame in the main office.  Most of the call centre workers are not professional and do not possess the required communication skills. His thing like mobile and pens gets stolen. He is pestered to give huge amount of money by beggars. And Todd’s mission is to get the MPI down to 6. He becomes frustrated and angry. But as days go by, Todd learns to keep his head cool and eventually mingles with the people around him.   He learns a lot about life from people in Gharapuri.

An accidental meeting with an American call centre man makes him realize that he must get with the flow of things instead of resisting them. He organizes tutorial classes for his call centre workers where they try to learn to sound like American. They are taught to say Chicago as ‘Chi-cah-go’. One day, he forgets to read a note written by the Aunty which prohibits him from going outside on the streets as it was Holi. Todd walks outside and gets Holi colors splattered on his clean white shirt. He doesn’t understand and tries to run from it. He meets Puro half on the way who explains him the celebration of the festival. When bombarded by water balloons by some kids, Todd responds by hitting the same on their faces. It was a direct hit. Excited, Todd explains about his sporting history and impresses Puro. Later, Todd joins in the celebration with enthusiasm.

He is invited for a simple lunch by an ordinary dhobi-Walla who does not have a house. He lives in an open space with his mother and wife. His wife makes rotis and boils eggs under the Sun. Todd graciously receives them and eats the lunch. The boy who had stolen his mobile comes at his side and returns it to him. The mobile is beautifully decorated with stickers and drawings which Todd likes a lot. In order to have more efficiency from his workers, he encourages them to bring photographs, murtis and any personal belongings that they like for their working desk. The result is that the office resembles someone’s private home! When Todd orders some Western Novelty products for them, the materials land up in another Gharapuri having the same MG road. Todd and Asha, his favourite and outspoken call centre worker, visit the place and fall in love. After spending a night in a hotel room, Asha declares that they must not go further into this. Because she is already engaged to someone else since childhood! Todd is surprised and asks her to describe their love as she sees it. She calls it a ‘Holiday in Goa’.

The arrival of Todd’s boss turns into a surprise. Both for Todd and for the boss! The office is in mayhem. The floor gets flooded due to the water leaking from an irrigation supply in the neighborhood and the boss is aghast to see the sorry state of the office. But Todd orders to shift the whole office on the roof. Quite impossible in the U.S. but possible in India. The work continues the whole night and the MPI goes down to 6. Everybody becomes happy. Eventually the boss reveals that the company is going to be outsourcing to China and Todd should go there to train his new Chinese replacement! Todd is shocked and breaks the news to his workers. They are not disappointed. Instead they continue celebrating. That was because they would get other new jobs in India. What’s the point in moaning? And as for the China trip, Todd sends Puro, now his new friend, in place of him. Todd goes back to America with a lot more satisfied with life than he ever was and full of memories back from Gharapuri for a lifetime.   





  1. Outsourced...It is in my collection of backpacker's choices..It is really an interesting movie..and Holiday in Goa, rather near Elephanta Caves...that was really cool..Loved this post..

  2. After reading through I realised that I had seen this. It was a well made movie.....mostly candid captures.

  3. I came upon this film by accident as the opening shot of the building I work in is in the opening scene. I am trying to figure out what Todd gave the vendor that made him so happy.