Saturday, 12 June 2010

Amused...I am not!

This post actually belongs on the 'About Me' page. I have been asked this question as a kid quite often and have always had the same answer to it, yet people like to keep throwing it at me. 


By people I mean long estranged family [because I have hardly met them and don't consider them a part of my family] members. Perennially, my sister and I are asked, by amused onlookers, "tumi/tomra maach khao?" meaning do we eat fish, to which we promptly nod and say no, we are vegetarians. You should see the amusement being wiped off their faces in a jiffy. Serves them right! 


I am a half bong and a half gujju. Yeah, my parents had a love marriage in the days of the yore. To most people, love marriages are 'oh-so-exciting' but to my sister and I, its normal. It does not amuse us. Frankly it is our parents who are the love birds in question, so what do you expect? 


But every time our mixed-parentage is mentioned to people, especially women, they break into a beaming smile which is followed by a "how sweet!" exclamation. Yeah, so its sweet and its old...25 years. It doesn't end here. We have to answer a question bank which goes like:


1. "Your parents must be really cool na?"


2. "Isn't it just like a Hindi film?"


3. "So do you speak Bengali?"


4. "Can you speak Gujarati?"


5. "What traditions do you follow?"


6. "Vegetarian or non vegetarian?"


And so on... phew! We also have to add how our parents met, whether or did they face any objection or not and much more. Women drool on the story. I am not exaggerating here. My parents are cool and there are no two things about it. My mom loves going back in flashback and we have been told stories of their courtship too. So yeah, on the whole its fun...to the others. Its normal for us. [In addition to this, now that I am of marriageable age, I am asked whom would I prefer? A Gujju? A bong? None...I say!]  


People find it amusing that we spoke both languages and as a family we can speak 5 languages [Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati and English]. The funny part is when we are introduced to people, they first speak to us in Hindi thinking we can't either speak and understand Bengali or Gujarati. Why? Grasping two different languages is so difficult? Maybe we are just plain lucky or brilliant...lol. Bengali women never talk to my mom in Bengali, even though she replies back in bong. My dad speaks good gujju and people believe him. As for my sister and me, we are always lost in the crowd. Or rather look so snobbish [only look..we are nice kids!] that no one comes up to us.


Love marriages run in our family. Practically every single couple we know or are related to, have had a love marriage. Isn't it normal today? Apparently not. 


I going to be tying the knot soon and of course it is a love marriage. My fiancé is a Punjabi and this is going to be the first love marriage in his family. And no we did not face any obstacles...touch wood!


So here I am; half bong [East] and half gujju [West] living in Maharastra [West again] and now marrying a Punjabi [North]! Cool mix, ain't it? Yup...maybe my kids will have to bear with the amusement as well. And yeah, they hopefully will know more languages! 

32 comments:

Ajan said...

aah ! i loved it :) good one . !

amitek said...

hey nice one :).well i am not amused,its quite normal now a days,even orthodox Indian families r accepting love marriage (recently i witnessed 1st luv marriage in my family too),neways i am happy for you en dun forget to invite me in your marriage.
Note : Non-veg food is must in ur marriage as ya knw me en Bhagat sir dun like ghas phus :P

Pavitra .... said...

Hehe...nice post...Like the way you write! :)

Nikita Banerjee said...

@ Ajan

Thanks! :)

@ Amitek

Shaadi mein toh sirf veg hee hoga! Aana toh aapko padega hee!

@ Pavitra

Thanks :)

SSD said...

I have asked only 2, 3, and 6.

Nikita Banerjee said...

@ SSD

Lol...have you?

Jyothi said...

Hey..Congrats! A nice read. Love marriages are normal now.I am sure your kids will have much less questions to answer...:)

Raghav said...

i can relate to that, as im a hindu married to a muslim girl... wonder what my son's gonna have to face!!

ZB said...

CONGRATS, wish you happy days to come.....My great-great-great-great grandparents had love-inter caste marriage. He was from Tamil Nadu( a Aiyer Brahman) and she from Kerala(a Nair warrior caste), even before that, many generations ago( somewhere in 15th century) my grandest grand parents too had love marriages. So it runs in my family too.Mine was also a love marriage, so u c, we have lots in common.

LOve marriages were always normal in India. I feel only in 1900s, people became overly obsessed with caste and religion.Nice post.TC:)

Raj said...

lol. :P

i dunno why i feel this way but people who actually ask such questions must be strikingly dumb na?

...Jitsy... said...

try makin ur kids fall in luv wid sum oder caste dan panju or gujju or bong..dat way u can hav all d castes under one roof...would be so cool...;P

Ancel said...

aahh!! nice one :) :)
I dont remember asking you any of those questions.. lol

R. Ramesh said...

Thanks danke merci danyavad nanri shukran shukriya….(i dunno in gujju and bonglo)

Hitesh said...

Awesome combo.. u shud be the brand ambassador for india's picture of integrity.

Apoyando said...

Moral of the story is that there has been one big change in your thoughts---You've begun to think about your kids :P :P


Loved reading this post :)

Sneha said...

Well, I face this all the time. The saga of love marriages has been following right since my nani. My mom's Maharashtrian, dad a South Indian. And all the time I'm straddling between the two, coz some say "Oh you southies" and the southies say "oh you north indians"!
Can understand you perfectly!

Nikita Banerjee said...

@ Jyothi

Lets hope they don't have to answer any queries!

@ Raghav

Waah!

@ ZB

Wow...yeah I agree with you on the 90s bit!

Nikita Banerjee said...

@ Raj

Oh yes...dumb is the word!

@ Ancel

yeah...you knew all of it without even asking anything na!

@ R.Ramesh

Hehehe....

Nikita Banerjee said...

@ Hitesh

you know my ma says the same!

@ Apoyando

Come to think of it...yeah! OMG!

Julia Smith said...

'Grasping two different languages is so difficult? Maybe we are just plain lucky or brilliant.'

I'll vote for brilliant and leave it at that. I have to admit I loved hearing about your family's history of love matches. I can't see marrying any other way. Even though people in North America aren't as culturally inclined to say they made an arranged marriage, people basically marry for economic or social status reasons all the time and pretend it's a love match. But those couples are doomed to divorce - so why bother?

Nikita Banerjee said...

@ Julia Smith

I can't see marriage any other way as well. :) More stories to come for sure... :)

ani_aset said...

all the best nikki :). Now i can say you are having it way too easy ;)

Himanshu said...

@ani_aset - nazar mat lagao yaar! It isn't tht easy either! ;)

@Nikki - awesome! Kids can wait :P

R. Ramesh said...

hey nikki..Nayak and me too missed u this time in mumbai..it d have been gr8 if could have caught up along with H...anywy..next time..now u 2 plan a visit to dxb...wishes

Nikita Banerjee said...

@ ani_set

Lol hehehee


@ Himanshu

Koi nazar nahi laga raha sweets!


@ R.Ramesh

:) :) yeah hopefully we will meet up again!

Srushti Rao said...

hahah nice read! I have a love marriage too and trust me some times I get these amazed looks asking... and did u have any difficulties and I say no, they are further amazed. My brother also is married a Jain girl and yes, she had to leave her house to get married but then they were blessed by her parents eventually. So yeh, most conservative families also agree to love marriages now and for me its normal nothing out of the ordinary... My parents had always given us the freedom to choose our partners.

All the best to you. your kids will be a superb cocktail and let me tell you genetically speaking they would be brilliant - they would get best of 3 worlds ;).

Nikita Banerjee said...

@ Srusti Rao

Yup I am hoping for that too!

Haddock said...

Being multilingual always helps in India, and people look at you with different eyes if you speak in "their" language.

MangoManBunty said...

:D I won't ask any questions!

You seem to be a perfect postergirl for Regional Harmony campaigns!

Nice read (:

Nikita Banerjee said...

@ Haddock

I see what you mean...I could do with less amusement though. Me human after all!

@ MangomanBunty

Thanks! My mom calls us national integrators!

JA said...

congrats :)
wish u both loads of love and happiness. always remember the love in every moment.. happy or sad.. or angry ;)

Wish everyone were lucky as u both :)

vishesh said...

wow! Congrats :)

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