A box on the dining table has been piquing the entire household’s curiosity as it catches each one’s eye. A return gift from a recent wedding, a akhand jyoti diya. Having shifted through quite a few Delhi markets last month, I estimate the hosts probably paid around 200 rupees for it (approx. FJD$6 – even less in bulk buy) so I am not too impressed with it. Neither is Suruj (considering the extravagant kind of money she blew on presents for this wedding). The only person in the household dazzled by this exchange is the head of the household who feels Continue reading
Category Archives: An Indian Heritage
Dear Desi Parents, Your Children Are Not Your Property
Insert pitaji, daddy, baba, abbu, bauji, appa – whatever your term of reference. “Yes, father” is a fundamental code of conformity drilled to desi children as their unquestionable submission to the patriarchal head of the household. Right from the Vedic era some 1600 BCE, desi parents have been revered as Gods living on this planet demanding a worship-like devotion from their offsprings.
My adolescent years could be divided into episodes of me and Suruj battling Continue reading
The 101 Hindu Festivals That My Mother Celebrates
I’ve just devoured a box of Lale’s fried chicken (a recent favourite) and now sitting back in the wonderment that how fried chicken could make a person so completely content? I mean this is a cooked carcass of a bird that’s probably died a long time ago. How could the death and the fried aftermath of another living thing provide so much happiness to another? Especially to a Hindu. Continue reading
Big Cars and Tiny Women on My Island
Let’s talk about size today, dear reader. More precisely, the size of women.
Working on construction sites in Sydney is a bit like wandering through a global food expo. You’ll find subbies working in packs from all corners of the world. You’ve got your Italian form-workers, Czech crane-operators, Greek steel-fixers, Vietnamese welders, Samoan concreters – you pick. Being a young cadet and usually the only female on sites, Continue reading
This is Where I Stand in Fiji
Something I wrote last week on this blog got a lot of flak. And not just on my opinions. While I can understand the strong reaction to what I had written, I can’t fathom the personal comments and insults that went around on social media especially by people who have never met me.
If you’re one of those people who judge someone based your assumptions without actually meeting them in person then I’m afraid what you think is really your business. Continue reading
I Wish Modi Hadn’t Come To Fiji
Change is inevitable and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s whirlwind stopover yesterday signs for a change of things to come in Fiji. Actually more of an ultimatum. For us to either leap forward and catch up with the global race or be forever left behind. And we Fijians don’t handle changes or ultimatums too well. We had just started coming to terms with our new national identity. We almost had made peace with the 2014 election results. We nearly had it all buried away… Continue reading
Indian TV Serials Made Me More Social!
There was a time when admitting to watching Indian soap operas was the biggest faux pas one could make. Especially in middle school. Even if you were desi. Hindi TV series were for fobs (Well in my school, it was us urban kids vs. the rural). The cool kids watched Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and pretended they knew all what went on Baywatch. Anything Bollywood or Indian TV was disdainfully shunned and forever banished to the uncool planet were those who ever dared to broach into the land of Continue reading
Things Desi Parents Don’t Talk About
The distinctive desi get-togethers. No matter how causal the dinner invite, nothing is ever causal about the whole affair. The hostess’ best china and crystal ware are brought out for what will be an extravagant banquet accompanied by the same or even better whiskey to what was served at the Singhs last month. Lighter drinks for the ‘ladies’ such as wine or vodka will also be served if one preferred. And no matter how insistent the hostess’ would be while inviting that it’s ‘just a small get-together’, everybody decks up in the latest banarasi silks and diamond drops (mind you, a branded western outfit is just as acceptable these days). And amidst this lavish setting to compliment the fine food and free-flowing perfectly-aged alcohol, only the creamiest of conversations are exchanged. “Business is going verrrrry good.” “My husband bought me this fabulous sapphire set last week.” “We just came back from Sydney yesterday.” Till inevitably the conversations turn towards their children who are missing from the party.
Nine Colors and Lessons of Navratri
Maha Navratri is a 9-day Hindu festival which is widely and exuberantly celebrated throughout India and wherever you will find the Indian diaspora settled throughout the globe. The celebrations and rituals differ depending on the region you are from however they all pay homage to the divine Shakti, goddess Durga and her nine forms (avatars) of power. Out of the many (and I mean many) Hindu festivals in a year, Navratri is one of the few where I actually don’t mind going vegetarian for a while and giving up alcohol and some other vices. Continue reading
The Holy Cow Issue!
Tafel-spitz, Schweine-braten, Gulyas, Gschnetzeltes Kalbsfleish and the humble Wurst in over 1000 varieties! These are just a few names of the many local dishes that you come across in Europe. Unfortunately though I won’t be able to give you a culinary account of the above dishes.
Travel is just not for your sense of sight. A good journey should involve a thorough stimulation of all five human senses. In my opinion, the 2nd most important responsibility of a traveller is to ensure his palate is constantly acquiring new tastes though food enthusiasts may argue otherwise and shift it up to the top.
Unfortunately for this nomadic Hindu, Continue reading