Category Archives: Indianness

Up Close and Personal

There is a couple that is very dear to our family. They have been together for quite a number of years, but due to the desire to pursue certain professional and personal goals, they have put off having children till now.

A couple in their early to mid-thirties without children doesn’t raise half an eyebrow where I live, or where they live, but on their occasional trips to India, they are alternately interrograted,

Problem, aah?

guilt-tripped,

*Sigh* “I wonder when I will get to hold my grandchild/grandnephew”

and insulted

Girls these days with their ambitions, lofty ideas, equality and all..

with the stress on what they consider to be the most disgusting aspect of her female person.

Coming from family members who actually do care about you, in their uniquely bizzarre and twisted way, makes this okay. Even despite their almost flawless ability to turn you into a borderline homicidal freak.

Well, not okay, but Grr.. GRRRR.. %&%$ (under the breath) WHATEVER.

You get the general picture.

The lovely couple I’m referring to were recently visited by another couple. Friends of friends who were new to the city. Without so much as chit-chat about the weather or waiting for the coffee to cool, the Lady Visitor asks my friends,

So.. no kids, eh? Is there a problem?

At this point, she lowers her voice to a hush and leans into my friend, as if to indicate that she invites such intimate confidences all the time.

My girlfriend, being a normal and discreet human being, found herself totally thrown.

On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is appropriate and 10 is totally inappropriate, please note how the Lady Visitor (and total stranger) whacked it out of the stadium for a stunning 60, only present on the scale of How Is This Your Frikking Business Again??

But wait. She even improved her game.

The girlfriend’s spouse, who is not easily gobsmacked, politely explained that they could not be sure if there was a problem or not since they had not actively been trying to make babies. He may even have tried to look stern, but this is always harder for nice people  and completely lost on the insensitive shmuckteroons.

She placed her hand on my friend’s arm, like the True Friend she wanted to be and said:

Don’t wait too long. It’s harder to conceive the older you get, you know.

But of course. Postgraduate education at ivy league institutions has this annoying tendency to make you forget the basic facts of biology. But hey, with such good friends, who needs biology?

Who needs to plan parenting when complete strangers will tell you that you should just f%&# a lot ASAP before your biological ship sails?

None of us is who. We are in good hands and those wrists are wearing watches dammit.

And because my head is still spinning, did I mention that THEY JUST MET THIS WOMAN??

In my book, her questions are the equivalent of going up to a complete stranger and enquiring,

Wow. That vaginal thrush infection is a real bitch, eh?

or

Doggiestyle really does it for you, huh?

I’m sorry. Was that inappropriate? Did I offend your innate sense of decency? Did I insult your good breeding? I just assumed that since we’ve known each all of two seconds now, we could just move right onto your Hoo-haa. This is just me being concerned about your well-being. Don’t be so sensitive now.

Indians get a lot of press for being lovely, informal and friendly people. This is largely the case. It is the blessing and bane of living in India that people will not leave you alone much. If you can’t find your way, if you half-faint in the middle of a street, if you’re struggling with two kids and baggage at the crowded airport, chances are that a complete stranger in the crowd will come up to you, offering their concern, help and often a pair of arms.

This is the wonderful bit. This bit will make you smile.

But what is it exactly about that welcome, that smile, that gives some people an automatic license to exercise over-familiarity? To go straight for the jugular of all that is sacred and personal and often, very sensitive?

So, in summary. NO.

Don’t ask me about my preferred form of contraception or current state of Hoo-haa unless

a) you have known me since before I had tits (which was waaaay late, but now its my turn to overshare)

b) I really, really like you and we have an instant and amazing connection. Five seconds doesn’t count.

If you’re too dumb to resist, I need you to know that I absolve myself of all responsibility for the look of hurt and disgust on your face when I casually ask whether you have recurrent dreams of getting gangbanged.

You were warned.

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#1 – Annoying Allegation

When travelling to India, you always have to mentally prepare for the deluge of ridiculous questions/allegations, statements and assumptions you will be met with as an adult who has lived abroad for over 11 years. I’m going to attempt a list and the responses I wish I could give – and would give if I didn’t really love my parents.

Annoying Allegation #1

Oh, but you are so westernised and you’ve become a Norwegian lady now.

Desired Response Lost in Chickenshit-ness

Really? What gave me away? My underwear with the Norwegian flag on it? Lady, I could spiritually be a Martian and it would still be none of your business.

And what has made me Norwegian? Do I speak my mother tongue with a trace of Norwegian accent? Or any accent at all? Do I vaunt unnecessarily over Norwegian life? Do I shrug my shoulders at the dismaying ways of fellow Indians and relentlessly diss the country of my birth? Do I complain about the roads, the water or the service in hotels and shops?

No. I take it for what it is. I can be uncritical about the things that don’t really matter and critical about those things that do. How Indian I feel has nothing to do with the colour of my passport or where it was assigned. Or whether I wear capri pants and a short top and disagree with your parochial views, while leaving my hair unoiled.  But for you, its all about appearances and streaked hair and everything that is insubstantial.

Escaping your cretinous ways is one of the greatest joys of living abroad.

See, my biggest problem is you. And the fact that you are in my face with your shallow crap. So take it to someone who’s buying.

And FYI, using deodorant doesn’t make you less Indian, but it will make you a sweeter smelling one. Give it a shot.

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