My mom came to the United States from India in the early 1970s, at the age of 20.
She journeyed by herself, bright-eyed, heart full of dreams, and hands and feet ready to work towards making a better life for herself and her entire family back home in Kerala, India.
I knew that I was expected not to talk to any boys and to be, against the grain of my personality, a gentle Indian flower that they could present to relatives and members of the desi community as their prized offspring.
My family was very religious, so church and Indian culture was much like breathing.
What it meant was that I became mashed and moulded into this ball of Indian and American… It was an untold rule at home that dating would be forbidden.
She was recruited as a registered nurse to work for an American hospital that had a shortage of nurses.
She worked hard and looked forward to marriage and raising kids in this land of opportunity.
In time she was married and my brother and I also came into being!
Like most parents, my mother and father wanted their children’s lives to be better than theirs. Yet, they continually struggled with the fear of losing their grip on their homeland.
An Indian woman who uploaded a brutally honest ‘Marriage CV’ has been widely praised for issuing a war cry on behalf of young Indian women against parentally organised arranged marriages. I like motorbikes, I want to do a 5,000 kilometre road trip.
Indhuja Pillai’s parents created a profile on a dating website for their daughter in order to help the 23-year-old find a husband. Pillai, from Bangalore, felt that the profile airbrushed her real personality and has extolled for the candour of her own self-description that she uploaded to her own website in response:“I wear glasses and look dorky in them. Even if I get married I wouldn’t want to settle down, we would just travel, I would want us to be wanderers and backpackers.”Since the piece went viral, she has been inundated with messages from young women who share her outlook and feel inspired by her revolt.“They say we’ll fight back with their parents and make them postpone their marriages.
” Then would come the jokes from the friends and family about one day finding me the perfect husband from India. I’d watch movies and listen to music that talked about love and my heart would just well up at the idea of being in love.