A Fijian Life

Dear Politicians of Fiji, Do We Even Live in the Same Country?

Dear Politicians of Fiji,

In my almost 30 years of being a Fiji-Indian  Indo-Fijian  Fiji Islander  Fijian, I will be voting in the national elections for the first time. So I hope you understand that how important this is for me. I assure you that I am taking my voter responsibility very seriously because it is my understanding that should my vote be counted and you are elected, it will be you who will be looking after me for the next 5 years. You see the next 5 years is quite imperative for me. As they say, it’s a woman’s ‘prime time’. And before casting my vote, Continue reading

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An Indian Heritage

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

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An Indian Heritage

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.
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Kuch Bitiya Ki Baatein

An Understanding A Little Too Late

My grandmother died last Friday. She was about 91 years old. The past couple of days has been a whirl with funeral arrangements, family dramas and the slight adjustment of our daily lives for the next 2 weeks of the funeral rituals. It wasn’t till I was told that I was going to be speaking at the funeral on behalf of the family that I thought about my relationship with my grandmother. Continue reading

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A Fijian Life

Once Were Villages

Something our household hasn’t partaken in a long while is to visit extended relatives living far and further in the rural Viti. “Visiting Extended Relations” used to be a national pass-time in our recent past however thanks to the Vodafone and Digicel towers soaring high on our island hills; our mobile phones and Facebook, visiting family has now become a rather bootless sort of activity.  Continue reading

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An Indian Heritage

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

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A Fijian Life

A Disappointed Fijian

My god-father once told me that 90% of anything is ‘looking the part’ and its an advice I’ve never forgotten. Unfortunately as much as I try, I don’t really look like an English teacher. Well I don’t look caucasian. White. Hence it always puts students in the dilemma whether they are getting what they have paid for with a brown-looking teacher!

I have come to dread the question, ” Teacher, where are you from?” My answer is usually Fiji Islands (sorry The Fiji Islands), followed by making circles in the air indicating Australia, New Zealand and a middle circle indicting Fiji’s location. This seems to satisfy them for a few days till they come back and ask “sooo but what are you?” Continue reading

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