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And Then He Says…

“Babe, you’re so smart, talented, and beautiful, and you know I’d do anything for you. You’re just like a sister to me.”

Translation: Don’t get any ideas, I’m not really interested in you (at this moment). I think you’re cool, but I’d like to keep playing the field – see what my other options are.

Ugh.

Next!

“Babe, you know, I am ready to settle down. I wish I could find a Desi chick just like you.”

Translation: My ammi promised me a rishta prospect who looks just like Ash Rai, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed she can cook and won’t spend all my money!

Double Ugh.

And you know five months… six months… a year later – when the 5’2”, 95lb. DAP (Desi-American Princess) has left; when the Ash Rai rishta prospect turned out to be anything but; and when you’ve completely forgotten about him, he’ll be back saying…

“Babe, I’ve always said you’re so smart, talented, and beautiful, and you know I’d do anything for you. You’re just not like all those other Desi chicks. I am ready to settle down. My ammi loves you. I love you.”

WTF?

Next!

“Babe, I’ve always thought you’re so smart, talented, and beautiful, and you know I’d do anything for you. You’re just not like all those other Desi chicks. I was scared before. But last week I was in the hospital with the most horrible stomach pains. As my life flashed before me, all I could think of was you. My ammi will love you. I love you.”

Double WTF?

And if you’re really lucky both guys will have these breakthrough epiphanies within the same week, because guys (very much like us girls) PMS at the same time. This is a scientific fact. But that is another topic, to be covered at another time.

Why, oh why, do Desi (Muslim) guys insist on using the sister line? It is insulting. It is demeaning. It is basically saying, “I don’t see you as a woman, but you’re a fun distraction for the time being.” Ultimately, it always backfires. The relationship gets complicated. The line between virtual incest and actual romance becomes less and less clear. Sooner or later someone gets hurt.

Out in the real world, outside of the Desi bubble, it is not as common for a guy to arbitrarily call you his sister. Non-Desi guys are fairly straightforward…

“Babe, you’re so smart, talented, and beautiful. You know I’m not really looking for a relationship right now, but right now I’d really like to fuck you.”

Translation: No analysis necessary.

*sigh* Damn morals. But the honesty is appreciated.

Next!

I’m not buying it anymore. Desi/Non-Desi – they’re all the same. The next time a Desi guy tells me I am like his sister, I am calling it out for what it is – a pickup line. After all, if I am to be his 43.7th sister in a society where boy-girl relationships are of the strictest taboo, and we are all ‘brothers and sisters in Islam’ – I say virtual incest is in.

“So, how you doin’, brotha?”

*wink wink*

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June 19, 2007 Posted by | perspectives, Relationships | 5 Comments

A Banana a Day Gives You a Bikini Body Right Away!

So I’m back to the morning NJ-NYC commute – waking up at ungodly hours, rushing out the door, applying make-up in the car, stumbling off the train half-awake. The smell of pastries, piss and sweat wake me up as I exit Penn Station. Ahh, brings back memories.

There’s a new addition to my morning routine, though. About a dozen obscenely cheerful, painfully beautiful women in bright colored bikinis and heels greet me every morning offering free bananas. WTF?! Trust me, I could not make this up even if I tried. Curiosity finally gets to me so I take a banana today. I am told they can help me get a bikini body. This must be some sort of nightmare. Allah, you have a cruel sense of humor.

The Ambassador wants to go for coffee soon after I get in. Not one to say no to free food, I oblige. We walk down to Au Bon Pain. Klutz that I am I spill my coffee.

“Nadia, you’re not supposed to say thank you. You’re Pakistani; don’t you know that in Pakistan the men do everything,” the Ambassador says, after I muster an embarrassed thank you as he cleans up the coffee I just spilled on the table.

I nearly drop my coffee again. What… why was I not notified of this? Where are these chivalrous Paki men? Evidently I’ve been hanging out with the wrong generation.

Chivalry is indeed, alive and well at the UN. Doors are opened for you. Meals and drinks are paid for you. Every man smiles at you. I think this may have something to do with the high ratio of old full-bellied men working with young supple-bodied women – just a theory. Even the Saudi interns are dressed in skirt-suits that would make Monica Lewinsky blush. I guess the application of the Saudi burqa law is relative to your geographic proximity to Mecca. The Desis, ironically enough, keep it conservative – the Pakistani women seem to have a strict shalwar kameez and chappal dress code, while the Indian women prefer their saris.

In the Security Council Chambers it’s easy to spot the US Ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, he is loud and overly cheerful. While all the others hunch over and (pretend to) study the Darfur documents in front of them, he leans back and stares directly at the speaker, a little smirk showing up on his face every now and then. Oh, the joy of representing a superpower.

The guy to my left isn’t even paying attention, he’s chatting away on AIM. Tsk. Tsk. Reminds me, I need to start bringing my macbook.

Proving that it is a small world after all, I run into a friend of a friend. He doesn’t remember my name, but remembers my Element. It’s OK I tell him, it was about 1am and he was a little inebriated when we met. He is working with the Pakistani mission. We agree to meet for coffee after 40th Anniversary of Palestinian Occupation session. Israel’s seat is conspicuously empty. The nation statements start to get repetitive. I turn to eavesdropping to keep myself from falling asleep. The bubbly redhead next to me is also a Nadia. She is Turkish and planning her wedding.

It turns out the dude at the Paki mission also has an Element. He confirms that the Pakistani women have an unwritten rule to wear only shalwar kameez. It is expected of them.

The cafe is full of smoke. My throat is killing me. This may have something to do with that fact that the UN is probably the only place left in NYC for smokers to smoke indoors.

I’m exhausted. I walk back to Penn instead of taking the subway, saves me a little spending money, it’s a beautiful day and, well, if I’m to get that bikini body I have a lot of catching up to do.

*A friend sent me this link… and I have to say it perfectly sums up my thoughts on the UN and diplomacy right now, lol: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/end.php

June 8, 2007 Posted by | perspectives, RandomDesi | 2 Comments

Telephone Pyar

Back in the day, before the internet, before the advent of caller ID, before people were so paranoid and suspicious of other people, we kids in Pakistan spent our free time *crank calling*… and *tauba tauba* we cranked called BOYS.

Generally, these calls consisted of dialing random numbers asking for some generic Paki boy name until we found one who would entertain us. That usually didn’t take too long. We’d then make up whole new identities in which we were older, smarter, more sophisticated and more beautiful then our pathetic teenage selves. The idea was to see if we could fool him into meeting us somewhere. (Of course, we’d never actually go, just get all giggly over the thought that he’d actually take us up on the offer. )

I being the shy and horrible liar that I am, I completely sucked at crank calling. I had no game, for which I got teased about endlessly. I still suck at crank calling and apparently, I still have no game. I guess somethings never change. But I digress…

While sitting in my car listening to Nazia Hassan’s *Telephone Pyar* (click here for video) the other day, I got to thinking to how this song holds no relevance anymore in the age of Facebook and Naseeb.com. I could never explain to my little sister the giddy excitement of crank calling while she and her friends peruse MySpace trying to fool guys into thinking they’re older, smarter, more sophisticated and more beautiful then their pathetic teen … wait, what? hmmmm.

So is this it? In the evolution of *Telephone Pyar* we now have *Naseeb.com Pyar*?

What would the new lyrics be –
(Salam Salam)
(Khoun Hai)
(Salam)

Anhaan..Anhaan Haan
Dekha Nahi Mein Ne Kabhi
Tujhko Ahaan
Kaisy Profile
Kaisa Hai Photo Ahaan Anhaan Haan
Tu Hai Khoun Yeh To Bata Itefaaq Se Tera Screenname Mila

P-A-K-I-MD
(P-A-K-I-MD)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Profile Mein Dekha Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Naseeb.com Pyar

Anhaan..Anhaan Haan
Dil Ki Baatein
Tujh Se Kehdi
Mein Ne
Tu Bhi Mujhse Apni Dil Ki Kehday Anhaan Haan

Karo Kya Yeh To Bata
Jaanay Kyoun Tera Screenname Mila

On a side note: Yes, I bake, and I’m pretty damn good at it! 😉

*****

TELEPHONE PYAR lyrics:
(Hello Hello)
(Khoun Hai)
(Hello)

Anhaan..Anhaan Haan
Dekha Nahi Mein Ne Kabhi
Tujhko Ahaan
Kaisy Awaz
Kaisa Hai Raaz Ahaan Anhaan Haan
Tu Hai Kyoun Yeh To Bata Itefaaq Se Tera Number Mila

33-22-44
(33-22-44)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Awaz Mein Sunno Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Telephone Pyar

Anhaan..Anhaan Haan
Dil Ki Baatein
Tujh Se Kehdi
Mein Ne
Tu Bhi Mujhse Apni Dil Ki Kehday Anhaan Haan

Karo Kya Yeh To Bata
Jaanay Kyoun Tera Number Mila

33-22-44
(33-22-44)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Awaz Mein Sunno Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Telephone Pyar

(Hello Khoun Hai)
(Yeh 33-22-44 Hai)
(Wrong Number)

Telephone Pyar

33-22-44
(33-22-44)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Awaz Mein Sunno Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Telephone Pyar

33-22-44
(33-22-44)
Mujhko Ho Gaya Tujh Se Pyar
Teri Awaz Mein Sunno Baar Baar
Mujhko Ho Gaya Telephone Pyar

(lalala)
(lalala)
(lala)

June 1, 2007 Posted by | RandomDesi | 1 Comment

Nilofer Bakhtiar – Pakistan tourism minister resigns for obscenity

Nilofer Bakhtiar - Pakistan tourism minister resigns for obscenity

What? Are you kidding? Has anyone been following the story of Nilofer Bakhtiar? She resigned from her post as Pakistan’s tourism minister because she gave her paragliding instructor a hug?

This is even dumber than the Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty scandal…dumber than Tabu and Nelson Mandela…this list could go on.

More on Nilofer Bakhtiar here:

Pakistan’s Tourism Minister Nilofer Bakhtiar has quit after weeks of controversy surrounding a photo of her hugging her French paragliding instructor.

Sources say that she is upset that her own party, the PML Q, did not support her.

Earlier she was asked to step down as chairperson of Women’s Wing of the Pakistan Muslim League.

However, the Pakistan government has neither confirmed nor denied Bakhtiar’s resignation.

Pakistan’s Information Minister Mohammad Ali Durrani said that a decision on her resignation would only be taken after Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz returns home from Jordon, which he did on Sunday.

Bakthiar, however, seems adamant, and sources close to her say that she is determined not to take her resignation back.

May 29, 2007 Posted by | perspectives, Social Justice | 17 Comments

Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty Kissing Scandal?

From Time.com

By SIMON ROBINSON

How can the country that gave the world the Kama Sutra be so prudish? It’s a longstanding cliche to note that India has produced both the world’s most famous guide to love and erotic pleasure and some of the most conservative social rules this side of Saudi Arabia on such questions as kissing in public. That paradox was on display once again this week in the firestorm that swept India following a seemingly innocuous — and obviously staged — celebrity kiss on the cheek at an AIDS-awareness event.

The nationwide furor began when Hollywood actor Richard Gere and Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty appeared together at an AIDS-awareness function in New Delhi last Sunday. The event was supposed to highlight the risky sexual behavior of truck drivers, who have some of the highest rates of HIV infection in India. At one point in the proceedings, Gere embraced Shetty, bent her back in an exaggerated kind of dance hold and kissed her on the cheek. If it looked slightly awkward, Shetty said later, that’s because it was unexpected. “Richard does not understand Hindi,” she told a press conference. “All he knows is that Bollywood is all about song and dance. So, he decided to give a dance pose with me to entertain the crowd.”

But it may be more than than the Hindi language that Gere did not understand: His dance move and smooch on the cheek went way beyond what is acceptable, at least according to India’s Hindu nationalists who claim that Shetty has dishonored her culture. Protestors burned Gere and Shetty in effigy, and now plan to lodge a complaint against Shetty with the police. “How much can you degrade yourself because you are being paid money to make an appearance?” asked Sumit Mishra, of the youth wing of the Hindu nationalist BJP party in the state of Bhopal. As a foreigner, said Mishra, Gere could be excused. “We are not bothered about how many times he kisses how many women in Hollywood. We are troubled with Shilpa’s behavior. When the man was being outrageously indecent before a large gathering, why did she keep giggling?” Mishra railed to the Times of India newspaper. “That encouraged him more. Why didn’t she protest?”

But were the protests generated by real indignation or were they just a ploy by the BJP and other nationalist parties to bolster their support. Sudhir Kakar, who has written a novel based on the Karma Sutra and one of dozens of new translations of the ancient text, says the answer is both. “The people who protest want the masses to be offended by [the kiss],” says Kakar, a psychoanalyst and a former senior fellow at the Center for Study of World Religions at Harvard. “They want people not to go down the road towards erotic freedom. There’s a struggle going on for their votes actually.”

This Indian version of America’s “culture wars” is at a much earlier stage than its U.S. equivalent. The upper middle class that Kakar says is finally becoming “free from the sexual conservatism of the past” is still quite small, especially in comparison with the hundreds of millions who remain culturally conservative, if markedly less strident than the Hindu hardliners Indian newspapers dub “the moral brigade.”

It’s this silent majority, says Kakar, whose anger the extremists are trying to arouse. “The main thing is family, so they see any kind of sexuality as a threat to the family,” he says.

Shetty believes those protesting the incident are missing the point. “It is such a small issue,” she told reporters after the Gere brouhaha exploded. “Actually, I think it is not even an issue. There are bigger issues like AIDS in our country, which no one seems to be interested in talking about.” As politicians around the world know, though, it’s always easier to exploit controversy than tackle the difficult stuff.

April 18, 2007 Posted by | RandomDesi, Relationships | 10 Comments

Praying at Work

praying-at-work.jpg

March 24, 2007 Posted by | perspectives | 11 Comments

duped indian brides

Saw this on BBC today. Good to know the Indian government is recognizing spouse abandonment as a problem.

“The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs says women who are divorced or deserted within two years of marriage will be entitled to legal and financial aid.”

Click here for more

February 23, 2007 Posted by | perspectives, Relationships | 1 Comment

The Desi OC?

An interesting perspective off of Sepia Mutiny I think most of us can relate to:

“Sepia Destiny Part II: Dating while Desi”


**RaisingDesi production –

February 22, 2007 Posted by | RandomDesi, Relationships | 7 Comments

Alarming divorce rates!

A friend sent this article to me and I thought it was pretty interesting. I don’t think the rushing into marriage without thinking is specific to just Muslim communities.

Alarming divorce rates amongst Muslims!

Excerpt from the article:

“Divorce is on the rise in the Muslim community, especially in the West. According to a study conducted by Dr. Ilyas Ba-Yunus, a sociology professor at State University of New York, the overall divorce rate among Muslims in North America is at an astounding 31%. The state of California ranks highest with a 37% rate of divorce and New York, Ontario, and Texas follow closely with a 30% rate. Compared to the overall rate of divorce in the U.S. (49%) and Canada (45%), the increasing rate of divorce among Muslims is cause for alarm”

What do you all think?

-Miral

February 15, 2007 Posted by | Relationships | 5 Comments

Indians find spouses via online macking

Networking sites aren’t just an American trend. We came across this tidbit on BBC today.

Arranged marriages are adapting to the hi-tech era.

 

Love-seeking Indians head online

 

By Sanjoy Majumder
BBC News, Bangalore


Sowmya and Sandeep

Sandeep and Sowmya are very happy with their arranged marriage

India’s rapidly growing economy has led to a transformation in the lives of its middle-class – but how well have the country’s long-standing traditions stood the pace of change?

The city of Bangalore is India’s Silicon Valley, home of the country’s booming IT industry and employing hundreds of thousands of young Indian graduates from across the country.

It is one reason why it is also India’s most cosmopolitan city, a buzzing metropolis dotted with bars, cafes, trendy restaurants and glitzy shopping malls. But scratch under the surface and you still find traditional India.

Sowmya and Sandeep Kulkarni represent the face of modern India. They are both software professionals, IT graduates in their 20s who, nevertheless, found it natural to get married the traditional way – and have it arranged.

“I don’t see any flaw in arranged marriage – it was good enough for my parents and so it is good enough for me,” says Sowmya….[more]

February 9, 2007 Posted by | Relationships | Comments Off on Indians find spouses via online macking