Naturally, given an opening like that, I rattled off a whole series of activities: navel-gazing, table-mat-picking-up, salt-shaking, rum-bottle-emptying ... somehow, inexplicably, each one only seemed to get him more annoyed.
So to put him out of his misery, if that's what it was, I eventually asked him: "All right, and what are you doing for India outside India?"
He drew himself up, puffed out his chest, and said: "Do you know, I teach Indian children who live nearby about our culture and traditions?"
He waited for applause. Instead, I said "And?"
Got him still more annoyed. Haven't heard from him since.
But in the years since, I've sometimes wondered: why is teaching Indian culture and traditions to Indian kids abroad considered a virtue (this guy saw it that way, for sure)? Why do it?
Can anyone take a serious stab at an answer? This is a serious question.
Postscript: And if that's a serious question, there is also this cartoon.