Posts Tagged ‘characteristics’

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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Thank you – Come again
Originally uploaded by Jeff B

The concept of a land far far away becomes woefully inapplicable in the case of desis. From the remote islands of Fiji to the never ending animated satirical world of the Simpsons, you’ll find a desi everywhere.

Global desi presence infuses a lot of familial pride into a desi. More importantly, every time the desi feels a lack of <insert latest Apple gizmo> or a conversation topic he can always rely upon that aunt in New Jersey, or that uncle in the bay area or that cousin in the UK.

With relatives and friends spread across the length and breadth  of countries like the US, desis can remain busy hopping between mofussil towns attending desi parties in each town.

Being everywhere also allows the patriotic desi media to take pride in a US senator having Indian roots or on an English film on Mumbai putting Bollywood on the world stage (the Kodak theatre stage really :P) . This national pride is also enthusiastically reflected on a desi’s countenance when explaining the goings-on in a SRK film to a non-desi.

Note that settling amongst different cultures does not deter desis from doing the same things everywhere, like opening a grocery store, starting a motel or playing the only sport they know. Don’t be too surprised if you ever get to watch a cricket game between Italy and Ghana with a Singh bowling to a Patel.

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Indian wedding invitation 2
Originally uploaded by niachan

A direct result of parents setting up a desi on a date.

For most cultures, the concept of an “arranged” marriage might be a bit alien but, for desis who are as far from the dating game as San Francisco is from Hyderabad, this concept is a manna from heaven. There is much to gain in an arranged marriage for all the people involved, including the bride and the groom.

For starters it is something that gives every desi a sense of assuredness.Desis who resist the charms of an arranged marriage eventually succumb to this very comforting sense later in life. Desis who accept their fate early on are well on their way to achieving their parents dream of becoming grand-parents before they hit fifty. Other advantages include helping desis concentrate on building their careers instead of going on useless pursuits of love.

When it comes to arranging their marriages, our otherwise very liberal and progressive thinking desi, must agree to marry a person belonging the same caste/religion. This has less to do with racism, and more to do with our solar system and some simple economics. To be a successful “alliance seeker” , one must enumerate all their positive attributes such as one’s visa status. Another simple rule to be successful is to create a profile on <insert region>matrimony.com. This takes care of most of the background pre-requisites and helps desis arrive at a quick decision (a general oxymoron in the desi context).

A trick question to ask a desi married couple would be whether their marriage was “arranged” or “love”. The really quick-witted ones might answer by telling you that their “love was arranged”.

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Desis take the virtue of sharing very seriously and are adept at applying it in most aspects of their lives. Sharing is fun,yes? But for desis, sharing is also about saving money which adds a whole lot more to the concept of fun. Sharing also allows them to huddle together and is a great way to check out what other desis are upto.

Casual desi sharing is always at display in restaurants with all things liquid (from soup to chai) being split two or even three ways. Then comes the more intimate food sharing process with every desi on the table sticking their forks into the plate of the person sitting farthest from them. This way the food and the plate, both get shared adding that extra something to the whole meal.

Sharing clothes is also a big hit with desis. While women often swap sarees and lehengas for special occasions (since repeating clothes can bring them into disrepute), a desi man’s entire wardrobe (usually under ten clothing items, excluding the essentials) is always up for share and could reach extreme levels of intimacy in certain cases.

Not only is the virtue of sharing used to save money but it is also used to save space. Desis achieve this by making sure that there is at least one more person than twice the number of rooms in a flat, at all times. This tenet , if followed properly, gives them enough reason to share bedrooms. If this condition cannot be met for some reason, then the desis will just move into a smaller flat or split up and help other desis in following this tenet.

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Afternoon Chai
Originally uploaded by Chitra Aiyer

The unanimous drink of choice for desis. Even on the hottest of summer days, a hot steaming cup of chai will go a long way in making a desi feel at home. Desis prefer to get their high on chai and so most gossip happens over a cup(s) of chai. In fact, all desi after-parties are almost always chai parties. 2 am chai is actually quite a hit. Heck, any- hour-of-the-day chai is a big hit.

In case you decide to host a chai party,here’s a friendly tip: buy lots of sugar becuase the sweeter the chai is, the sweeter the chai is. And tea bags are a strict NO. Devising a clean way to make chai is blasphemy. In the divine process of chai-brewing, desis treat the spilled milk as holy and the scattered grains of tea powder on the kitchen counter like sacred ash. Cleaning them later is your dharma.Cleaning them many weeks later will fetch you loads of good karma.

Be very mindful of the process taking anything less than an hour.Desis cringe at the very idea of bringing efficiency to the chai-brewing process. The chai must at least take as long as a three-course meal to prepare. As a result, a chai invite is tempting for a desi not just for the prospect of getting chai, but also because it allows desis to postpone the work at hand by a significant amount of time.

If you need a primer in brewing chai ask a desi who is a well acknowledged “chai expert”. Your lessons will include nuances like the number of time the chai boils over, the precise moment of adding sugar, the amount of milk to be poured, the kind of spices to add and accounting for the number of desis to be served (usually a bunch…). If you happen to ask another “chai expert” he’ll most likely tell you something completely different. In either case, contesting the “chai expert” on any count could make you very unpopular.

ps: If its a South Indian desi, simply replace chai with coffee and all else will still hold true.

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Don’t get too carried away with the title of this entry thinking that if you know a desis’ name you can easily track them on Orkut. Two major problems lie : a. Their name on Orkut is actually “HAPPY…….HOLI EVERYONE” or b. There are hundreds of other desis or communities with that name.

At the core of orkut is a vast trading network of testimonials and “fanhood”.Since desis excel at trade of any kind, they find orkut the perfect way to hone their trading and bargaining skills further.

The “Personal” profile brings out the best in desi humor with guys openly proclaiming “chests” as their best feature(!!!!) and “india versus australia” as their ideal match. Also note the subtle touch with the claim that “in my bedroom you will find” a “bed”.

Desi women usually have warning signs like “don’t scrap if you don’t know me”…..(you cheap, perverted, desi voyeur dude….). Married desi women usually put up a picture with their husbands as their profile picture or better yet of them with their babies . Single desi women are usually “here for” “friends” and have some warning sign in addition (like locked pictures). Single desi men (the suspected voyeur community) usually play it cool either with humor or with forthrightness or a combination thereof (“can’t live without:” – “food, air,water,sleep….& mom”…a dash of emotion goes a long way). If they are a rich testimonial trader, they play it ultra cool by just having the testimonials on their profile (also applicable to women).

Desi scraps on Orkut can be multilingual, single lettered, smiley based or even have some animation for that special touch. Not replying to scraps is probably the most hurtful thing you could do to a desi. In such cases, desis will not hesitate to email or call you reminding you to reply to their scrap. The only other possibly more hurtful act you can do is not join the orkut community started in their honor.

Given the desi population, it is logical for desis to believe that desis rule Orkut ( a potential source of national pride of course). But there’s a shocking twist to this tale for desis because they’ve discovered that there are more Brazilian users on Orkut than desis. This fact becomes even more disturbing when desis realize that they don’t have any of the Brazilians in their network.

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#19 Being Late

Originally uploaded by m00j

Desis hate being on time for any event or occasion. Possibly the only event that occurs on time (accurate upto the thousandth second) in a desis life is their marriage. Desis have a strong belief in life that no event starts on time. Hence they grace an occasion with their presence only a few hours after its scheduled to begin. For a desi, being late is not quite a fashion (unlike the rest of the world), its more like a tradition. Punctuality is not something that any self-respecting desi will strive for, because if a desi is on time at an event, it means that he’ll be the only desi there, for a major part of the event. Now given a desis predisposition to huddle with other desis, this punctuality business can get very stressful.

One might wonder what a desi a does with all those extra hours that he saves by not being on time. Its not that he’s making extra efforts to bring you the perfect gift for the occasion in that time, he is actually using that time to convince other desis to get ready for the occasion. Asking a desi, “Why are you late?”, can actually be a very sensitive topic for desis leading to some serious responses. This is not the regular “dog ate my homework” kind of stuff we’re talking about, there is usually a solid emotional reason for their tardiness (may involve serious topics like parents, birth , death , India…).

Desis also have a sense of saving time by actually not being on time. This holds true for movies especially. Much time is spent on deciding which movie to watch and by the time a consensus is reached, the show has already started in the hall. Desis like to start from home precisely at this moment. Somehow they find racing the movie trailers a real thrilling experience. For many desis, this is actually the best part of the movie. If they are going to be unacceptably late (more than half an hour in case of a movie) you might hear confident desi voices claiming “all hindi movies have the same beginning, being on time is actually a waste of time”. If they do happen to win the race against the trailers you’ll hear desis claiming victory over all odds and how this achievement is a true reflection of good old desi hardiness.

Desis also have this knack of sneaking into a restaurant just when its about to close. Again,racing restaurant owners and making them keep up their publicly announced promise of “open until 10 p.m.” gives desis a sense of bringing justice and fairness to this world. Also, just like movie trailer racing, restaurant sneaking is considered an exciting activity.

A common tactic employed these days is to actually lie about the scheduled start time to desis. Out of politeness though, some people mistakenly think that fudging the start time by just 30 min will do the trick. This is can be very frustrating if you are the host. Recommended cushion time is actually a couple of hours. The desi then might make it half an hour after the real start time.

Also, be very careful with food invites. Desis don’t like to dine early, neither in the evening nor in the afternoon. So you have to do some serious math if you have to invite a desi over for a meal (variables may include number of desis, your regular meal time, desis regular meal time, type of meal, whether there’s dessert….).

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