Hindu Swastika, Jaipur, India by Floppylion
Originally uploaded by Floppylion
Even if it involves fudging numbers.
Desis revere the classical language Sanskrit. But unlike whites, among whom liberal education is popular, desis never get a serious chance to study classical languages. Added to that, the priestly high class and all the scriptures have created a perfect aura around Sanskrit over the past several centuries.
An occasional forwarded email or a news paper article exhort praise on the sound, the beauty and the perfect grammatical structure of the language, pushing desis into deeper levels of shame.
The inability of desis to formally learn the language, the high reverence held by the culture and the deep connection it has centuries old traditions and scriptures, make desis crave for authentic-Sanskrit sounding names for their kids.
This simple and genuine craving has far reaching implications like (a) identity crisis among kids who grow up in a alien culture, (b) pushing non-desis into embarrassment for not being to able to say the name right, (c) delayed customer service because of unpronounceable and undecipherable names (bingo! offshoring helps.) (d) and of course plots like The Namesake.
Potential examples of victimizable names include: Pradhyumna, Manognya, Yeshashwini, Viviktha, Shragvi etc.
Desis usually hang out at places where other desis hang out. This is not on purpose and its actually more than just happenstance. Most desis have similar ideas about how to spend a weekend: Visit Golden Gate with friends and family on a great SF weekend, Go to a desi movie or the most-authentic (if not close-by) Hindu temple or Devon street or that movieplex on Times Square.
Desis obviously encounter large desi crowds when they go to such places. But instead of happily getting along with other desis, they love asking one question again and again: “Where on earth these large crowds come from?”. Some extra-introspective desis delve deeper by asking follow-up questions like “Look how un-American some of these people behave on this ‘holy’ land of America! How unfair I stand in line with the same people for visas?”
Eventually, they move away from gaping at the crowds to some sort of popularity contest. They start thinking, “There is bound to be at least a few people I know. Why cant I find them?” and when they do find them, they end up justifying how they never belonged there and how they should have been doing that other fun thing they planned.