Archive for the ‘compare’ Category

Originally uploaded by .krish.Tipirneni.

Desi inquisitiveness is a complex phenomenon, ridden with emotional highs and lows,replete with dramatic twists and turns. Peskiness, curiosity and an unbound spirit of inquiry go a long way in trying to satiate this inquisitiveness.

Not that desis mean to be overly enthusiastic with their inquiries; it is just that their well-intentioned selves care so much for you , that the proverbial nose-poke into your business turns out to be as feeble as having a feisty festoon.

The inquisitiveness also happens to be selfless, with the inferred information and the carefully deduced conclusions shared amongst fellow pursuers of knowledge. The experienced experts throw in their own enlightened judgments into the mix and the purists apply a liberal dose of “Indian traditions” on top of those judgments.

In the factors that inform these conclusions; education, caste, achievements, job, salaray levels, relationship status and religion figure prominently. The connections drawn between these are bizarre yet probable; flippant,yet elaborate. Sample this : “How can someone who only has a bachelors degree, not be from a lower caste and have a white girlfriend, when they just got laid-off ?!!?”

If you are subjected to desi inquisitiveness, you are walking on a fine line between desi adulation and desi abhorrence and there is no real recipe to successfully negotiate through it. Conform or take a stance. In case you decide on the latter, don’t reveal it all at once in the interest of keeping everyone hooked. Desis like to play it like a video game – just enough challenge and just enough reward, at all times.

If all else fails, you can always huddle with other desis. On the other hand, if you want to kick-off your own career in the curiosity business, you just need find the flame within you and start bartering information.


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all eyes on me
Originally uploaded by kaboiano

You dont have to weigh 750 pounds, or be 7 feet tall, or an albino, or stunnigly gorgeous or a celebrity for that matter. You dont have to belong to a different race, class, color, creed, tribe, breed etc etc.

You dont have to be different in any obviously distinguishable way. You can be as normal and as average as possible, but you will still be promised a stare from a desi.

Desis love staring. Not just the casual one, but the more intense one. Any white person who visited India can tell you about the diffificulty of picking their favorite stare from the 1000 odd stares they got. It helps to know that these stares in India mostly mean nothing except that you are being their reality television for the day.

Desis brought along this habit of staring to their emigrant nations, but with an interesting twist. Instead of staring at white folk, they stare at each other, for a very good reason.

Desis size up each other with intense staring. They try to determine if the person is a Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Punjabi or an ABCD. They try to guess whom the person works for. They look for every possible clue like company names (in 8pt font) on their T-shirts to extremes like eavesdropping into phone conversations in public spaces, even if it means a language they dont speak (the rationale being, they are bound to be some English words and it is not too hard to reconstruct the rest of the sentence).


Originally uploaded by kiranraj

Desis add another interesting dimension to staring. By some divine intervention (sometimes literally, like in temples), they find every third desi familiar and keep wondering where they might know him/her from. At that point, the conversation with the sidekick-desi turns into how that person resembles someone whom the sidekick doesnt know.

They might even go upto the person (who is being stared at) and tell them how he or she resembles his third cousin’s distant friend’s close relative now living in Ghaziabad and working for ICICI Bank. “Really! I never knew that. I am glad I do now”, as a reply will not only make them happy, but also makes you popular story among his/her friends.

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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”.

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