So I Married a Desi…
Desi (pronounced Day-C) is a Hindi term meaning Indian national. The odds were stacked against us when Hubby and I tied the knot or mangal sutra*. Numerous cultural and religious differences struck fear in the hearts of both of our families. While there are definitely challenges, we are both better people having found each other. In fact, I have acquired new and special abilities as a result of our version of East meets West.
Five Skills that I Acquired Since Marrying a Desi
- I Can tie a sari with one hand behind my back – no, not really. I need both hands… and a safety pin is always appreciated.
- I can cook a variety of Indian dishes such as palak paneer, pav baji, sambar, chole etc. but have somehow failed to master the skill of mixing white rice with plain yogurt to make a decent curd rice. Go figure. It’s always the simple stuff that gets me.
- If I listen attentively, 8 times out of 10 I can discern the difference between Hindi, Tamil, and Telegu. I won’t know what anybody is saying, but I can tell you which language they’re sayin’ it in. I can also count to ten in Hindi and Tamil. This is especially useful when… I’ll get back to you when I can come up with something.
- I got the subtle allusions in Slum Dog Millionaire. Did you see the characters in the film filling plastic water bottles in a restaurant kitchen and then put a few drops of Krazy Glue on the caps?
- I can hang on to the back of a vespa scooter with one hand, while trying not to let my knees hit pedestrians, bicycles, busses, cars, auto rickshaws, and the occasional buffalo while holding shopping bags in the other hand and keeping my dupatha** from flying away… while looking stylish the entire time (OK, maybe not really looking stylish).
It may look like just a scooter to you – but in India it can double as a mini-van!
Five Things Hubby Has Learned Since Marrying an American Sista of Caribbean Descent
He can now pronounce the word van as “van” instead of “wan”. And by the way, my brother’s name is Wayne not Vayne!
American women are not lazy, contentious, or housework averse – just his wife!
Apple pie, and baseball are very important to the culture: because I like them.
The art of the multi-state, one or two nights in each destination family road trip. (We try to get around as a family – see La Quinta for a whiff of the fun!!!)
This one was a joint endeavor: When I learned to read and write the Tamil alphabet, I was able to read and badly mispronounce words whose meanings I did not understand. Hubby who speaks but doesn’t read or write Tamil, would decipher and translate my mispronunciations. After about ten minutes we would have read and understood an entire Tamil sentence! Ladies and gentlemen, that’s team work. I have promptly forgotten the alphabet after having no exposure to it in daily life… I could always learn it again!
* mangal sutra: traditional symbol of marriage worn by women
** dupatha part of a lady’s attire consisting of a long scarf