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Posts tagged ‘asian’

155. Types of People You See On the Dancefloor at an Indian Wedding

The Closet Professional

These people have to be physically dragged onto the dancefloor but once they get there, they’re busting out moves you’ve never seen before and they’re bruk-bruk-brukking it down like no tomorrow.

The Girls Standing in a Circle doing ‘Tali’

You know what I mean. Shuffle around and do the customary clap in front of you and behind your shoulder. Basically the brown version of ring a ring a roses.

The Bhangra Champions

I swear at every party, there’s a duo of Punjabi guys hitting such fierce moves that it makes your thighs hurt just watching them. Balle balle my friends.

The Uncle

Towards the end of the night, Coca Cola and/or alcohol lead to over confident uncles dancing the dances from three decades ago. I’m talking moonwalk, night fever, the standing-on-your-toes Jackson style and randomness.

Luna Lovegood

That one person in the corner who’s just doing their own thang oblivious to everyone else.

The one that wants to dance but isn’t allowed to

Sometimes people are forced to contain their enthusiasm in case they dishonour the family name with booty shaking. Doesn’t stop them trying though.

The kids

Their dancing basically consists of jumping up and down with their arms in the air. 

The Non-Indian People

Usually looking mildly uncomfortable and attempting to do the one hand on hip, other hand doing the lightbulb. They start getting really excited when a Western song comes on, only to realise it’s a Bhangra remix. Sorry guys.

The bride and groom

Ahh the awkward First dance. Here several things are observed. The couple maintain a safe distance apart. His hands are super glued to her side, no wandering allowed! And of course the mandatory sway/ shuffle. All the while the aunties look on tutting.

Over and Out!

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153. Ten Things You Really Shouldn’t Say To Me After I’ve Just Completed My Degree

1. Oh- I didn’t even know you were at university.
What did you think I was doing for the last four years?

2. Mathematics- Isn’t that a boy-subject? What can you do with Maths?
1) Maths isn’t gender specific. 2) Plenty.

3. You got a First?! *surprised* I thought you didn’t specify because you only passed and were embarrassed.
-_-

4. Yes it’s all very well you can do this Maths-shaths but how are your rotis?
Edible.

5. Acha good, uni finished. When you getting married?
*sigh*

6. You know this degree paper means nothing till you find a good boy and settle down. Life isn’t complete without shaadi.
*sigh*

7. Did you meet anyone at uni? *suggestive look* You can tell me, I’m your Aunty.
*sigh*

8. Oh you’ve finished your degree. My daughter got married this year and she’s pregnant. She has a family.
Good to know.

9. Oh you have a job. Will you leave when you have children?
I haven’t even started my job yet. Gimme a chance.

10. Look at the girls these days. They all want to do the job-shob but can they run a home? No.
Thanks for the vote of confidence.

I am sad to say there is no embellishment in this post. In fact most of them are quoted directly. Aren’t people sensitive?

Ahh the plight of a brown girl!

 

Over and Out!

96. Neck pain, aching feet, stiff arms….yup sounds like a good day of SHOPPING!

My cousin who is about to get married came to visit to buy all her accessories and decorations. First of all I’ve gotto tell you IT IS SO MUCH FUN SHOPPING WITH A BRIDE.

We only had 2 days to buy everything so we had to be fast! Of course we went to Southall ie. Mini India in England. I got to go all the fancy shops and actually buy stuff instead of just walking around dreaming and contemplating my future (with excitement but also a heavy dose of fear). Everyone was super willing to help because they knew we had big moneys to spend. Additionally Southall is one of the few places in England where you can ‘negotiate on the price’ and I swear my mum is a force of nature when it comes to bargaining. She is FIERCE! The vendors might come up with a figure of £120 and she’ll just dive in and say NO £60. Like I would be too embarrassed to even start that low… She’s clearly not though and to her credit, she’ll walk away probably paying £80 because she is BOSS.

My friends will know that I like all things shiny but my cousin really puts me to shame. She loves her bling! She wants to wear the biggest, shiniest, brightest jewellery possible. She picked out what I thought were HUGE earrings and dismissed them casually… ‘nope not big enough’. Like woah sister! Are you still hoping to have ears after this?

If she could have this, she probably would… It’s wayyyyy too much in my opinion but each to their own…

She also bought 5 inch heels. I made the mistake of trying them on and I seriously could not walk; the best I could do was an awkward shuffle and even wearing them for under a minute killed my feet. She on the other hand was strutting like a model, no problem. Talking of shoes…

Me no like

So many of the heels I saw were poor excuses for shoes. There was literally just a small strip that was supposed to hold your foot in place. I tried one of them on and my feet felt naked. Why would anyone want so much of their feet on show?! Feet aren’t even pretty. Also I don’t know why but wearing them made me feel like a stripper. I almost expected people to start throwing money. Maybe it was the clear heels I dunno. All I know is, never again.

 

 

My cousin was also very excited to buy some parandas which are things you plait into your hair. It’s essentially a decorative piece that some brides like to wear on their Mehndi. Ooh we also got her chooriya which are bangles. We went to this guy who specialises in this sorta stuff and showed him what colours she was going to wear; he rummaged around in the back for a while and came back with a lovely bangle set that was spot on in terms of colour combinations. It was expensive though!

Bangles bangles everywhere

This is what parandas look like

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This shopping trip was also a chance for me and my mum to look around and buy something for ourselves to wear. I saw this stunning blue dress thing that had lots of shiny stuff around the neck and they let me try it on. Guys, I looked good…my first thought was wow I look like a Middle Eastern princess. If I wore that to a wedding and didn’t come back with at least three marriage proposals, I would be disappointed. That was how good I looked. Howeverrr I was in danger of upstaging the bride and it was rather expensive so I didn’t buy it. In fact I didn’t buy anything which means I need to go to Southall… again!

Car Shambles

I also need to tell you guys about our car.

My dad was dropping us all off at Southall; he pulled out the driveway and drove a little way down the road when I started hearing this funny sound from the right hand side. I told my dad to stop and as soon as we got out of the car, we noticed that the back tyre was flat. Great start!

My dad keeps all sorts of tools and equipment in the car boot so we had everything we needed to change the tyre. I was in charge of jacking the car up (manually by the way- took bloody ages). My mum and my cousin were very helpfully still sitting in the car- thanks a lot for making this harder. Me and my dad undid the nuts and lugged the spare tyre out, replaced the tyre, redid the nuts…only to realise that it didn’t have enough air in it. Yup our replacement tyre was also flat! Wonderful! We had a (manual) foot pump in the car so again it was me standing there like an idiot pretty much jumping up and down to get air in the tyre. However I was failing epicly… because the foot pump had a crack and air was escaping. Eventually we borrowed an electronic air pump and got it all sorted out but my God, anything that could of have gone wrong DID go wrong….

Just another day in the life of Aliya.

Over and Out!

 

82. A Bachelor No More…

Looks like my brother has found himself a lady… finally. He’s turning 30 this year so everyone was kinda like… get a move on. He’s actually been ‘looking’ for quite a while but his list of requirements was so long that I didn’t think there was a woman on Earth that encompassed everything he wanted. My Dad succinctly put it: ‘Stop looking for the perfect woman. You’re not the perfect guy’. In the end he compromised.

He’s actually my half brother so I haven’t really been involved in the ‘search’ process. We just heard updates every now and again. For people that aren’t brown, here’s an insight on how some weddings happen in our culture.

  1. You announce that you are single and want to get married.
  2. You ask your friends and family to spread the news far and wide.
  3. They return with details of other people who are also in the marriage market that they reckon might be compatible with you.
  4. You then request more information about the people who piqued your interest. In particular, questions are asked about the family and whether there is any unsavoury gossip about them floating around.
  5. If these basic tests are passed, a meeting is requested, usually at the girl’s house.
  6. Often the first time, the guy doesn’t actually see the girl. He meets her parents first and everyone chats. Here the guy gets drilled on his job and future prospects. The girl will probably be listening to every word from the banisters.

Sometimes the process ends here. a) One of the parties isn’t keen on the other or b) both parties like each other and decide this is enough to agree to a marriage.

If you’re a ‘modern’ brown person, the process can continue.

  1. The guy and the girl get to talk and if they’re really lucky, they’ll get some privacy by which I mean her parents are on the other side of a glass door that’s left slightly open.
  2. If they can still tolerate each other, there will be more meetings of this kind until they find something major they disagree on (in which the whole process starts again) or everything is dandy and it’s happy days. In my brother’s case, this took approximately 7 meetings which personally I think is really quick for such a huge life decision but hey.

I have SO MUCH to say about this process (not all critical) but I think I’ll save it for another post. For now, I will continue with my story.

Right so my brother is 29, turning 30. Here’s the shock, horror part. The girl is 20, turning 21. That’s right, SHE’S YOUNGER THAN ME. I am having real problems getting over this. I know everyone is different and we all have different levels of maturity but if someone asked me to get married right now (lol theoretically), I would request another 3 years.  Because I’m not ready. I would need a separate post listing all the reasons why but the biggest one is that I couldn’t possibly take care of someone else when I only just about manage to take care of myself.

Anyway, I’m going with my Dad on Sunday to meet the girl. Not only that, my Dad will be making a formal proposal on my brother’s behalf to the girl’s dad for her hand. To be honest I was surprised to be invited, but I’m curious to meet my new sister in law. Should be interesting….

Over and Out!

P.S. Mele, if you’re reading this, don’t tell everyone else about it.

64. Brown people at the airport

I go to Heathrow a lot. Usually I’m picking up or dropping off relatives coming from/ going to Pakistan and I’ve noticed a number of things.

– Before we even get to the airport, we do the customary weighing of the suitcases to find out just how overweight they are. Instead of putting the case on the scale, my dad always insists on standing on the scale, noting his weight and then lifting the suitcase and calculating the increase. Apparently this is more accurate… but you gotto feel sorry for the pour soul (usually me) who has to have their face against the floor (and near feet) to get the readings. *grumble grumble*

– You don’t need to look at the screen to find out which area of the airport you need to go. Just follow the masses of people talking really loudly (in Punjabi or Urdu) and you’ll soon find your way to the PIA desk.

– There may be 3 or 4 people actually getting on the plane but a good 10-15 people coming to see them off. This might make them feel special but to every other passenger, this is hella annoying. Why are you all congregated right in the middle of the check in? Why are you all in the queue if you’re not travelling?! You’re making the queue longer!

Image Credit: thehindu.com

– Suitcases. About 70% of the passengers have suitcases from the 1970’s that look they they weigh a tonne and don’t have wheels. Even worse, some people just bring a hench cardboard box and mummify it in string. This is understandable if you’re taking something odd shaped abroad that won’t fit in a usual suitcase but most of the time it’s just full of clothes.

– The ladies are travelling in clothes that I would usually reserve for wearing to a wedding. How can you sit through a 7 hour flight in such heavy garments and make up? You are going to look like your face melted when you get off the plane. And heels too! You’re already struggling with your overweight luggage. Your inappropriate footwear is only going to this worse.

– The luggage is always overweight and not just a little bit, outrageously so.  My relatives actually PLAN on taking overweight luggage and create a ‘lucky bag’. This is a bag that they’d like to take but if it doesn’t go- oh well. They’ll wait in the queue and try and suss out who the most lenient check in person is and try and go for them. Then they will try and butter up the person behind the desk (I genuinely heard one man say ‘you’re looking very smart’ and the lady said ‘don’t even try it’).  One time we managed to convince someone to let us take an extra 15kg on board including golf clubs and other times we get the really anal check in person who is like hmmm you’re 1kg over, cough up. I have to add that nearly every time I go to the airport, I meet someone who wants us to check in their bag if we have room. The cheek!

How can my luggage be overweight? I weighed it at home!

– Every child is carrying their own body weight as ‘hand luggage’. Their parents are telling them ‘it’s only for a little bit’. I have experienced being that child and trust me when I say it is not a little bit and it canes your back.

– There’s always that one family that didn’t come prepared with a ‘lucky bag’ and has to open their suitcase in front of everyone and start removing things. What you notice is that they are filled to the brim with ‘gifts’ such as 5 packets of kitkat, a dozen cardigans from Marks and Spencer, Vaseline moisturising cream and random things like jam or baked beans which aren’t as nice in Pakistan. Hey…whatever makes them happy.

Over and Out!

62. This makes my blood boil.

So Aliya, you’re next! *wink*. Aliya, when are you getting hitched? Hey Aliya, have you thought about your wedding? You know what, I got asked all of these questions today and it’s not the first time. I keep getting asked these questions, particularly since I hit 21. It is just relentless.

Of course I want to get married, of course I want a family but I want to finish my degree first. Every time I say that, some of the aunties give me this look of disdain… oh you’re one of those ‘career minded’ women. They say it like it’s a dirty word. I’m sorry I actually want to use the education I worked so hard to get. I am sorry my ambition isn’t solely linked to finding a husband. Today an aunty said to me, haw you’re 21 and you can’t even make kheer (Indian dessert). Fine, it’s true. I can’t make kheer off the top of my head but I can prove S5 is an insoluble group and if I can do that, I sure as hell can follow a recipe and make some bloody kheer. Do you notice how the reverse argument doesn’t hold? Being able to make kheer doesn’t mean you can prove S5 is an insoluble group. But did I say that? No- because aunties get a free pass to be condescending but any retaliation from me makes me a ‘gustaak larki’ (ill mannered girl).

My mum is like the community agony aunt and being her daughter, I have heard all sorts of stuff about marriage problems and I have learnt a lot. I’mma speak some hard truths today because I am supremely pissed off. If you are a woman and you work, your marriage will be fairer. You know why? Because you put money on the table and guys might not respect you but they sure as hell respect money. There, I said it. If you don’t work, you can bet that when you go shopping, for every two things you put in the trolley, he will take one thing out and justify it with ‘but I pay the bills’. He won’t do that if you’re paying.

You know what aunties… I’mma get a real good job, buy a nice house and a nice car and if I want to buy new shoes, I’mma buy them because I can afford it.

Disclaimer: If this sounds like man hate, I apologise. If you are offended at my generalising, I apologise. I know there are exceptions to every rule but everything I’ve mentioned, I’ve observed firsthand. If you haven’t, then you’re very lucky.

Over and Out.

58. Paris Baby!

I’m going to Paris! Not right now, but in July, smack bang in the middle of my internship, for my cousin’s wedding. We booked the tickets today!

It is going to be EPIC. My cousin is the bride and she is French hence the whole going to Paris thing. This is the first time in years that a really close family member of mine is getting married. Weddings are totally different experiences when it is your family member getting married. You have more responsibilities but also a whole load more fun. You get to help behind the scenes, get everyone sorted and of course you’re allowed to dance like an idiot (this is normally frowned upon at other people’s weddings).

I have family all over the place and we’re all going to be converging in Paris which is basically a logistical nightmare. Everyone wants to go together but it’s hard when you have people from America, Scotland, Manchester and 3 families from London, particularly if they can’t agree on a mode of transport. What is even better is that all of us, yes ALL of us will be staying in one rented house for the duration of the wedding. I can picture it already… sleeping on the floor, arguing over bathroom schedules, not having enough plates for breakfast etc. There will be a good 20 of us living in this one house. It will be absolutely manic but that’s all part of the appeal.

My experience will be particularly crazy because of the fact it’s in the middle of my internship. It’s probably not great to be taking holidays (even though we are allowed two days off- I checked the contract) in case it affects my job prospects but my cousin will only be getting married once (I hope) and I really don’t want to miss it. Basically… YOLO I’m going. I emailed the company requesting the day off and it’s not a definitive yes but it sounds promising so we took a gamble and booked the tickets anyway.

I’m going to be going on a Saturday in the afternoon. The wedding is on Sunday and I’m leaving on Monday at half 6 in the morning. I am going to be sooo dead when I return. I can’t believe half 6 in the morning was the only train left on Monday,  almost 3 months in advance. Mental!

Eeee I’m so excited!

sarahshaadi

My cousin’s registration last week

Over and Out!