Liz Hurley and Arun Nayar
Originally uploaded by Heat Mag
Desis, as a community, adore desi-white interracial couples. They are in fact perceived as huge success stories like some sort of compensation for everything that went wrong with desis since the British Raj. If you read between the lines, the blockbuster Lagaan has two prizes for the Indians: the tax-rebates, of course. But more importantly Elizabeth Russel, the commanding officer’s good-hearted sister.
As much as these couples are adored, they are also deeply envied at an individual level. When a desi spots a desi-white couple, he/she runs a comparison algorithm almost instantaneously. The algorithm would start off by comparing visually obvious things like height, build, color of the skin, looks, sense of dressing, hairstyle and then eventually the most important attribute: Accent.
A binary tree is then put in place to determine if he/she is an ABCD or a just-desi. ABCDs will be largely left alone at this point. Just-desis, however, will be put through a series of further tests which include how fake or real the accent is, any clues as to since how long in US, any ‘eclectic’ hobbies like guitar-playing, been to a top school like Stanford or Berkeley, 6-digit salary, or works for a reputed firm and other similar questions that are deeply related to the desi framework of defining personal identity.
A mental spreadsheet is then put in place with two columns, one obviously being him/herself. The outcome of the spreadsheet varies from “This is stupid, I should be able to do it too” to “Looks like an IIT bred and so way out-of-league”.