Having Desi friends requires parental approval and support

Having American friends is easier than Desi friends. As long as you have similar interests and are willing to make an effort, a friendship with an American is quite possible. Being friends with Desi’s is a lengthier and more demanding process. Not only is there heavy parental involvement, but also the constant worry that secrets will be revealed and reputation ruined.

Having Desi friends can be very formal and restricting. I know an 18-year-old girl, let’s call her Reema, who still only befriends and associates with those her mom approves of. She plans activities and trips for the girls to do together.

Reema’s entire group of friends is Desi. All her friends are Muslim, Pakistan and upper-middle class living within 10 minutes of each other. This is quite convenient, but it is hindering the girl’s tolerance and understanding of others.

When Reema was 12-years-old, she was best friends with Komal. Their mom’s had an argument that got out of hand, ending their friendship. Reema is told that Komal belongs to a corrupted family and she is a bad influence. She is no longer allowed to be friends with Komal.

The moms decide to keep their differences hidden and are not obvious in their circle of friends. Meanwhile, Reema bad mouths and starts rumors about Komal. All the girls take Reema’s side and Komal loses all of her friends. Komal is lonely and confused. She becomes depressed and starts taking interest in other things. To this day, neither girls know the reason why they are no longer friends anymore.

My reasoning behind explaining this story is to show that parents can sometimes be too involved in their children’s friendship. Children lose their identity and cannot base decisions on their own judgement. Reema does not see if her personality clicks with someone else’s. Her mother chooses her friend’s for her.

It is a good idea for parents to know who their children spend their time with, but they should not hover to the extent that they cloud their children’s ability to form opinions of other people and develop friendship based on their own preferences. Sometimes Desi parents can be too overprotective, which can negatively impact the child in the long run.



Successfully arranging marriages depends on how good the arranger is

arranged marriage
Depending on the circumstance, having an arranged marriage can be beneficial or harmful.

The concept of arranged marriage is like a business dealing. This transaction is settled by older men and women close to the bride and groom-to-be. Family, education, occupation, appearances are all factors that play a part in deciding whether or not two people are a good match. Love comes secondary, after marriage.

Usually by the time a girl’s family receives a rishta, marriage offer, from a millionaire family in New York City whose son is a good looking cardiologist from Harvard Medical school, the family has agreed that he is the one. On paper, everything sounds great. This man has everything going for him. This man, and this rishta, is one in a million. The answer is ‘yes.’

But what about compatibility? What is his personality like? What about hers? What are her hobbies and interests? How many children does she want? Are there any restrictions he will put on her? What does he do for fun? What are her dreams? What are his expectations?

Often times, these questions are not considered in the decision-making process. But that’s okay. He’s a cardiologist from Harvard with a Jaguar in his driveway. It’s all manageable. It’s all okay.

In many cases, the rishta others find for us is better than what we could find ourselves. What we could find the tough Western way–through love.

I know of a few instances in which girls have married well due to their parents networking skills. One girl barely passed high school and wasn’t interested in continuing education, let alone be a stay-at-home chef or pious girl. This girl with constant stories of her hookups all of a sudden receives a rishta for a doctor, the son of wealthy business owners. She accepts. Her plan is to never work a day in her life. Score!

Please keep in mind that her parents are smooth talkers and strong personalities. They made it happen. Can yours?

In some cases, the parents are not the most suitable players in finding a rishta.

Another girl I know is a hard worker who just finished medical school. She is beautiful, funny and fair-skinned. She belongs to an upper middle class family. Her parents are nice and honest. They do not play tricks to get a rishta. They do not lie, embellish or put on fake appearances for the sake of marriage. Surprisingly, this results in no rishta.

This girl comes from a family that opposes dating or even interacting with the opposite gender. With her attractive looks and her intelligence, I’m sure if she found herself a decent boyfriend, she would have no problem. She could instantly find herself a like-minded man who had similar beliefs and values as her. She could find her own rishta.

Unfortunately, her family is troubled by her not having a single decent proposal yet. They are ready to settle her marriage for someone who might not be suitable for her. In this case, if she were to find her own partner, she could do better for herself.

All in all, it the business of arranging marriages depends on who your spokespeople are and how well they can “sell” you. It is up to them to embellish your achievements and present you in an attractive manner. Do all you can, do all you want, just hope you have the right people to represent you.


Characteristics of A Desi Girl’s Facebook

Facebook logo

Here’s a list of characteristics unique to a typical Desi girl’s Facebook. Do you agree?

-Well aware of your privacy settings, no one but your friends can see more than your Facebook profile photos or friends list–at most. Some of you may have your friends list hidden and no one can see your likes/dislikes/quotations/etc.

-As far as family is concerned, it is likely you have them on a special list where they can’t see your photos or certain information. You may even claim that you do not have a Facebook whereas you have blocked them.

-Maybe you’ve blocked your Facebook from everyone. You are unsearchable and only you can add friends on Facebook.

-The settings for the photos you post on Facebook are always Friends only. It’s never Friends of Friends or, God forbid, Everyone.

-Your status updates are never about drinking or partying.

-You will never tag a boy’s name to your Facebook status (unless of course you are quoting a deceased famous person).

-After a weekend of harmless fun you are always on Facebook, paranoid that someone might tag you in an inappropriate photo. Not a photo where you look silly or stupid, but a photo where you look like you’re having too much fun.

-You are aware that even though your family can’t see your photos, someone they still manage to get their hands on that photo from the weekend.


Posted by on August 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


You Can Change Yourself, But You Can’t Change Your Desi’s

Today I was reminded again (for the million and one time) how huge of a disappointment I am. My mom told me that one of my cousin’s wife’s cousin has graduated from medical school this summer. He’s looking to move to America and now that he’s done with his studies and settling, he will be in need of a wife. He wants a wife who is a doctor as well. And what can I do about this? What should I do knowing that I don’t meet his demands? I just don’t make the cut. I failed to pass the first round. I’m not in medical school and I don’t plan on it. And that’s why my mom gets mad at me. Aunties secretly resent me for not being on par with their expectations. And I just hope I make it big in whatever field it is that I have chosen. So that I can prove all the doubters wrong.

It really does aggravate me when not just my mother but all the Desi aunties and uncles and perhaps even their sons are against me. It’s as if it’s me and my (degree) against the world. And I can’t take it. I may act very sure of my choice to not be a pre-med student, but honestly I am not as sure it is the best thing for me. Already I can see rejections from people who haven’t even seen me or know anything about me. Already I can see them dismissing me as if I am some low-life with a bird brain.

So here I am, ranting about a situation that is beyond my control. They say you can’t change others, but you can change yourself. So to ameliorate my changes of a better proposal, I have to change my major and future plans. I can’t change what others want for their sons/daughters. Since I can’t change myself, I guess I’ll just be prepared to live with the consequences.


Desi Boys Can Break Your Hearts Too

The heartbreak expressed in the letter below is advice to all of the Desi girls who think they are in a more promising relationship because they are dating a Desi guy. Just keep in mind that he is a guy first, then Desi. If you think otherwise, you’re racist. Just joking! But I mean that they are just as capable and likely to take advantage of you and to break your heart. I promise. Read below…

My Desi Love,

There’s a limit to how much you can love, and how much you can wait for love. I mean that most sincerely. I was not asking to be loved by an entity hundreds of miles away. Maybe an indication that you care for me, just a minute amount. I care for you to the ultimate extent yet you always toy with my feelings. Our friendship means absolutely nothing to you. You’ve only played games with me. I thought we had an esoteric connection that was beyond the understanding of others. Something deeper and eternal, beyond expectations. Something the world wasn’t ready for. I guess I’m just that optimistic and blind not to see that you have your heart set on other interests. You say your tactic to achieving affection is from ignoring those that want you, by maintaining an aura of mystery around you, by being so self-conceited. I admit, that is very cunning of you. But now I’m done. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t lower myself anymore just for a hint of interaction with you. It’s too degrading.

From our discussions you and your family has decided you should espouse a submissive and tolerant woman. Despite what you say to me, it is now evident to me that yo are interested in being the dominant figure in a relationship. You always respond to and interact with submissive and low-minded girls. I’ve always thought so highly of you that I always wondered what it is you see in her. I thought you wanted someone whose intellect and humor was on par with your, hence I thought you and I were a better match. But since you like to control others, you have picked my friend. I don’t know why exactly you display such affection towards her via technology. She isn’t even capable of giving you a decent loving reply back. Not because she doesn’t dislike your affection, she just isn’t able to give it back to you. And if you are one of those guys who like to torture your object of affection by flirting with her close friends, then maybe I don’t want you. If you think winning my heart involves breaking my heart and hurting me, then I guess we aren’t made for each other. The way I approach such delicate issues is with gentleness and care.

What hurts, what isn’t fair is that if you ever came to me with a broken heart I will not turn you away. I will hold you through the night until you smiled and laughed. Until you were so cured you are funny enough to make jokes and make me laugh. When I came to you with issues, you turned your head and walked away. I never understood why you would do that to me, but now I know–you just don’t care. That’s the hardest thing for an innocent girl to understand. You just don’t care.

Don’t you think I was too young to be messed with? She didn’t know what she wanted or what she was doing, yet you were set to corrupt her. Why did you do that? What pleasure did you get? Why would you knowingly want to hurt her? Does it feed your ego? Does it give you power? Does it help you sleep well at night? You’re a hypocrite and a twisted person. I guess I’ll never be able to understand who you are. That, along with many other reasons, add up to why I have decided to forget you. But no matter what, my Desi love, I will always love you.

Here Till The End,



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Desi Mom’s In America Hate America

Is it just my Mom or does your Mom hate you too? My Mom is always mad at me. I do everything she says but I’m never good enough. We’re always talking about how stupid I am and how I’m ruining my life. My Mom doesn’t agree with my friendships with non-Muslim people.

I love my friends for who they are. Not what religion they are. I do not discriminate. I think my Mom shouldn’t either since she is reaping benefits from a non-Islamic nation. It is agreed in my household that our lives would be much worse were we still in Pakistan. We’d be bound living with numerous others a house under the “extended family” system. I wouldn’t be able to pursue an education as freely as I have now. And I wouldn’t be able to do everything without much hesitation.

My Mom is always yelling at me that I am turning Western. That each day I am getting older the situation is getting worse. She’s always talking about how no one will approve of marrying their sons to me if I can’t serve chai right, if I don’t look proper, if I am seen talking to boys, etc. It’s ridiculous how much I go through everyday. Everyday I am told there is something wrong with me. She never thinks it has to do with her parenting or with trust. No.

Desi mothers have made up their minds that their children are doomed because they are being exposed to foreign culture. They need to understand that if we fail in life, it just might be partially their fault. They need to know that by imposing impossible restrictions on us, they push us farther from their and tempt us to be rebels. They need to know. They really need to know.


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Don’t Be the One to Fall For the Bad Boy…It’s A Trap

Today I was talking to one of my close guy-friends.  He is a complete, should I say, bad boy.  Sure, he’s smart, very smart. But his character isn’t as great as his GPA. He sleeps around…countless hook ups and one night stands. Terrible, right? And somehow I am friends with this low-life.  Maybe it is because we were both in Physics with Calculus 101 class together.  He had an A in the class, so I figured he could be my “buddy” for the course.

I was talking to him and he said that he was interested in another girl from our school.  However, this girl is almost a complete.  Almost on par with him.  Perfect match, right? Nope.  He told me, his stupid Physics-challenged friend, that he is only sleeping with her for the sexual pleasure and has zero intentions of being her long-term boyfriend or introducing her to his family.  In fact, he said his family would screw him over if he brought her home.

My point is that guys like those girls who are less difficult to sleep with because they are…well, less difficult to sleep with.  They are just passing time and fulfilling their so-called “needs.”  But after they are tired playing around or are simply bored of their sex-partner, they try to find that nice modest girl who has been there all along.  As unfair as this is, what I am trying to say is that, although I preach rebellion as our motive in life, we should not take it too far as to be objectified and used by other men.

We need to find the balance between what is socially acceptable, and what is socially degrading.  You don’t want to be the girl who is used as an example for someone who has wasted her life.  You want to be the girl who changed herself, adapted to her new surroundings, and made the most of herself.  You are a first generation immigrant.  You have great responsibility.  You are a role model and represent many people.  Don’t lose focus!


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