Sepia Destiny Part II: Dating while Desi

Much like the girls on Sex and the City would get together to dish, my girls and I will get together and dish about the dilemmas of Dating while Desi. Yes, girls do talk, far more than we blog about. And Dating while Desi ain’t easy, as the mutiny has informed us on Sepia Destiny Part 1. In these talks, we girls will touch on questions such as, “Do you date desi only or non-desis or anyone but white boys? Do your parents sneak around behind your back with biodata and pictures? Do your parents give out your numbers to guys that call and don’t leave messages – from obscure area codes? Do your parents even know that you date? Where do you find desi guys that haven’t gone back to South Asia to get their bride already?” These questions (and more) are indicative to the plight of the single, 25 yr.+, independent-thinking desi girl and is why I love to find solidarity with my single desi sisters – whether over chai, or virtually by reading my favorite desi gal bloggers ( Rupa, TheBarMaid, Chick Pea, brimful, SP, to name a few).

Saturday night while I was surfing on YouTube alone in the North Dakota bunker, I came across this episode of Desi OC – after watching the video I thought to myself, maybe I’ve been playing the game all wrong…

The Desi OC episode above comes out of production company Raising Desi, and one of the film maker is Los Angeles comedian Tarun Shetty. (You may also recognize the gal pal from Timberlake’s Senorita music video.) All of Tarun’s addictive mini-movies are far more polished than the typical YouTube video, but the thing that struck me about this episode in particular were the rules they had for Dating while Desi. We all know the general “Dating Rules” — Wait three days before calling back, never talk politics or religion on a first date, and never say yes to a guy that asks you out the day of.

But I realize now after watching the video, that there are a whole different set of dating rules set aside for Dating while Desi. Who would have known? I certainly didn’t know the rules changed between dating desi, and dating non-desi. So, to summarize what I have learned so far…

Dating While Desi Rules (For Guys)

  • If you get a desi girl’s number – three day rule is out. Call the next day if an ABCD girl. But if a FOB girl, you have to pace out with e-mails and phone calls.
  • If she asks you what you do, where your family comes from and stuff, she’s no good. She’s grading you to see if you meets up to her social standards.

Dating While Desi Rules (For Girls)

  • Make sure to make the guy chase you a little bit and space things out accordingly.
  • Go to the bases three times slower with a desi guy than you would with a non-desi.
  • Never tell a desi guy that you are really a doctor (or an engineer, or a lawyer). Instead, lie with a less ‘threatening’ career.
  • Don’t date a jobless bum. Or desi doctors.

Maybe if I had known these rules, I could have figured out the desi dating game a lot sooner. Hence, I make an appeal to you, oh mutinous crew. Are there other rules to Dating while Desi that I don’t know about? Is it really harder to date us desi girls? (Not that dating you desi guys are any walks in the park.) Or as Tarun says in the video, “Desi girls are hard, man. Stick to dating goris…”

Let the Sepia Destiny virtual dish begin.

This entry was posted in Issues, Musings by Taz. Bookmark the permalink.

About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

413 thoughts on “Sepia Destiny Part II: Dating while Desi

  1. Taz – Will poster #442 get a prize?

    Only if we can behave over the next 80 comments…So behave! Or an SM Intern will come and get you.

  2. Lingam hee hee Tourist hee hee, I am tickled pink, how do you guys come up with this! I am going to be using that in ‘real life’! God! I have to get some work done today or I will be spending diwali @ work.

  3. HA HA ha, now that you have pointed it out, it does sound a little ‘of color’. I wish I had the will power not to click on this window, concentrate. concentrate

  4. Tig, I can guarantee that you’re about a split-second from getting banned from this website.

  5. Taz, no need to apologise to me. I just wanted to immediately shoot down that nonsense assertion.

    Anyway, as long as you and the other Mutineers are consistent and even-handed with quickly dealing with any jerks on this blog who abuse the facilities for their own warped amusement, it’s all good ;)

  6. Whaaaa? 1.5 Gen is an actual known term? I independently coined that sometime last year!

    So you haven’t heard of the of the what-gen formula which says that if you joined the diaspora at the age of Y, you are a (2/(1+(Y/21)^5)) – genner ? (That makes you 1.? genner if you came here between the age of 0 and 21.) Don’t quibble with the formula; the experts have spent years of research fine-tuning it.

  7. Ashvin – I think I am gonna concieve my kids here and let them be born in India, just so that I can mess with your formula.

  8. GujuDude, you have an open invitation to join the party — I’ll keep a Persian rug unfurled just for you.

    Brother Jai, I’ll bring a box of sweets and pakoras. And booze, of course.

  9. Is it the Canuck in me whining, or does anyone else find it extremely depressing that while the US President is farking up royally we are chatting (banally) about stuck up women and intimidated men?

    The Military Commissions Act makes me want to cry. It seems to me that the American people should be rioting – do they just have faith in their judiciary or what is it?

    Sorry for the threadjack. Bye.

  10. I don’t have the time or energy to read all them posts. But, I must say, thanks no Desh. That radio link in post No. 11 is one of the funniest things I have ever heard.

  11. This one time, in college, back in India, we were forced to take down a poster which advertised a valentine’s day celebration :”Celebrate your Love day”! ……..

  12. Is it the Canuck in me whining, or does anyone else find it extremely depressing that while the US President is farking up royally we are chatting (banally) about stuck up women and intimidated men?

    I feel no guilt about living my life while other events unfold concurrently. People die in the world of war, hunger, and general depravity. It isn’t depressing that people are chatting up about women and men, after all, mating and propogation of the species is something we share in common with most of the animal kingdom and lies at the heart of living.

    So, as long as this discussion continues with mature commentators giving emotionally honest, well thought out, and open responses, I will read them. I don’t put my life on hold with every disaster (or perceived political slight) and go crying about it.

    This thread is not mutually exclusive with whatever else goes on in the world and gets fed into the media machine. Or thought for that matter.

    Even though some posts here would make baby Jesus cry, its a far fetch from providing analysis on what’s next on Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie’s agenda. Wait! Bush, the crude cowboy is saying something again, everyone, STOP! Black out televison channels like the Food Network and E!, people die of hunger and everyone banally discusses gossip on E!

    Look, I don’t have anything against anyone here. I frankly don’t know anyone well enough, it is the internet after all. But you trying to give people a guilt trip about chatting on X-Y relationships for YOUR politial viewpoint is uncalled.

  13. I think it’s normal to be intimidated by people you are attracted to. That’s what makes the chase so exciting.

  14. GujuDude – you have no real idea what happened with that Act, do you?

    I actually do and people do read the news. But this thread isn’t about you or your views, or who knows what about politics, the Military Commissions Act, whatever. Still trying to make me feel bad? Not gonna happen. Even if I didn’t know about the law being signed yesterday, you were still trying to give people a guilt trip. Constructively inform folks, don’t take the passive aggressive path.

  15. Guju,

    Commenting on an apparent disproportion in the things we are focussing on does not translate into a desire to make people feel ‘bad’.

  16. Back on topic…

    would like to open another topic for discussion, if anyone’s still following along. I mentioned this earlier, but I feel like when you’re desi there’s no such thing as casually dating (no I don’t mean casual sex), and I’m unsure why.

    Rupa, I think lot of what you said makes sense. It’s all a delayed learning curve IMHO. Kids in the United States go to junior high dances, high school dances, homecoming, prom, etc. Even though one doesn’t learn much in those years, atleast people begin to socialize, starting the learning process with the opposite sex (though we don’t want to go the teen pregnancy and saran wrap route)

    I’m sure many of you watched Saved By the Bell, or similarly situated shows. How many lived vicariously through it? Or friends (if you had any) of other racial backgrounds?

    For desis, college seems to be what high school, from a socialization standpoint, should have been for second gens hitting their mid twenties -30s (the kids of the 70s wave, I can’t speak for younger or older folk since I’m out of the loop). These are generalizations and maybe a bit solipsistic. In my observations, women seem to do better navigating without much direction, when younger, than men. Which is why I stated mentorship from a male role model (brother, father, uncle) is always helpful.

    I’m sure once our generation starts poppin out babies (WOAH!) we may be better prepared to inform our kids of the options available to them. Casually dating, exercising your social skills, takes some maturity. If our community has a learning curve, it leaves a small window where casual dating makes practical sense. Once you start getting older, people want more, hence dates have a lot more riding on it (even in the back of your mind).

  17. I think it’s normal to be intimidated by people you are attracted to. That’s what makes the chase so exciting.

    I don’t think that’s what the women here were alluding to. They were alluding to the fact that desi men are intimidated by desi women that don’t fit their “preconceived” notions of what desi women should be, and are taken aback when they engage in deviant activities, like talking, writing, and stepping outside of the kitchen. White men on the other hand, don’t mind if their women talk, and give them roses and shit, so clearly they’re preferable.

  18. Rupa, I think lot of what you said makes sense. It’s all a delayed learning curve IMHO. Kids in the United States go to junior high dances, high school dances, homecoming, prom, etc. Even though one doesn’t learn much in those years, atleast people begin to socialize, starting the learning process with the opposite sex (though we don’t want to go the teen pregnancy and saran wrap route) I’m sure many of you watched Saved By the Bell, or similarly situated shows. How many lived vicariously through it? Or friends (if you had any) of other racial backgrounds?

    Exactly what I said in posts #68 and #352.

  19. I’m glad I’m married, because I absolutely sucked at dating. I got played, I played myself. I was manipulated and manipulated back. IMO, its only age and distance which gives you the humility to know you were not always right, not always good and not always innocent. During the course of things, some people -myself included- just couldn’t see that.

  20. Woops! Sorry. It’s a long thread.

    Gujudude, I didn’t mean it like that, I was just affirming what you said and showing jubilation at someone else who concurs. It’s so starkly obvious, but its something I wish more desi women understood. Instead of saying things like, “I wish I had a desi guy, but they’re all too intimdated and don’t have any balls”, and realize certain behaviors were never instilled, or validated in the younger years. When we can go on and on for “what it feels like for a girl” , very little attention is given to “what it feels like for a guy?”

  21. Another thing, and this one goes all the way back to the Wonder Years (aka grade school to high school); remember the cool indian girl who would not look at you if you were indian and hung out with anyone else but you, if you were an indian boy?

    So sometimes, that memory comes back in a subtle feeling you get that kudi over there kind of sees herself as way too cool to be talking to the other brown kid in the room.

    That, again, is not intimidation. Thats called having a memory.

  22. My Desi girlfriend said her Indian men were large lingamed but not good in bed. Whereas my experience has been they were small lingamed but pretty OK in bed as far as skills go.

    Are you serious? Lingam? I nearly had an asthma attack reading the word Lingam? This is a adult blog…we can say penis for cryin out loud. And what’s this obsession with big penises? It’s not a bottomless pit down there for petes sake. I realize it’s about bragging rights with girlfriends but you can lie and tell your girlfriend your man’s phallus is massive. She isn’t going to know the truth! Average sized men who know what a woman want is way way more desirable than someone who needs a wheel barrow to carry it around and doesn’t know what to do with it.

    And if there is one thing I’ve learnt in my life it is that stereotypes about penises and race are almost ALWAYS wrong. And it has nothing to do with the wrist or palm or foot or whatever nonsense methods women have created for themselves to measure a man.

    Rupa,

    There is definite truth to the “not dating casually” with older desis. I don’t know about when you are under 25. I didn’t even start dating till my 20s so who the hell knows. All I know is while I’m not fixated on marriage I don’t necessarily date someone just for the hell of having company and going out. I need something more substantial out of the relationship and that is where the “not dating casually” comes into play. Almost all my girlfriends are the same way. When my non desi girlfriends tell me “well just go out and have fun with him” I find it a little bit difficult to relate. I of course want to have fun but I also need to understand that the relationship is monogomous and going somewhere substantial and that doesn’t necessarily mean marriage.

  23. And I think when someone mentions doing diverse activities beyond what a regular indian is accustomed to thinking about; ie attending NETIP or what-have-you, some of the pull-back you experience has to do with being unsure as to whether you dig Indian guys.

    We front like we’re all that, but I’m sure most of you girls remember us from high school; most of us were not Mr. Jock-Brown Version and no one thought being Indian was, like, totally hot. Instead, if anything, the number one association was that India = curry. Maybe that has changed with this new generation, but that was a big part of my generation’s formative experiences. Even Mr Hipster artiste was probably known better as Raughbir the curry head when he was little.

  24. I don’t necessarily date someone just for the hell of having company and going out. I need something more substantial out of the relationship and that is where the “not dating casually” comes into play. Almost all my girlfriends are the same way. When my non desi girlfriends tell me “well just go out and have fun with him” I find it a little bit difficult to relate.

    have you seen the quirkyalone website?

  25. have you seen the quirkyalone website?

    Wow who knew there there is actually such a phenomenon!!! A person who enjoys being single (but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefers to be alone rather than dating for the sake of being in a couple. With unique traits and an optimistic spirit; a sensibility that transcends relationship status. Don’t get me wrong…I love men, I enjoy spending time with them, and sometimes even needing them. I just find it highly silly and overrated to sit around moping and crying for them when I’m not with one.

  26. In my observations, women seem to do better navigating without much direction, when younger, than men. Which is why I stated mentorship from a male role model (brother, father, uncle) is always helpful.

    One more thing to add, women do have better brains for communication, and discuss social dynamics earlier in life. (You should hear some of the conclusions my 6 year old cousin has already drawn) But I must also say, what they must navigate, (ie the skills they need to acquire) are much simpler, in the sense, they never have to navigate the approach vector. Which, I’d say is considerably more difficult then saying “No thanks”

  27. women do have better brains for communication, and discuss social dynamics earlier in life.

    you’re essentializing. i have a better brain for communication and discussion of social dynamics than my gf and she’s female and i’m male.

  28. Well, look man, get a grip. the women of the WWE can certainly kick the living sh*t out of me, but in an aggregate sense men are physically stronger than women. There’s loads of neuroscientific basis to show women communicate better, earlier than their male counterparts.

  29. don’t think that’s what the women here were alluding to. They were alluding to the fact that desi men are intimidated by desi women that don’t fit their “preconceived” notions of what desi women should be, and are taken aback when they engage in deviant activities, like talking, writing, and stepping outside of the kitchen. White men on the other hand, don’t mind if their women talk, and give them roses and shit, so clearly they’re preferable.

    I don’t think that’s intimidation. I think that is a conscious choice on the part of men to be with a certain kind of woman, and as I said on an earlier post, I don’t think this is a desi thing. All my male cousins in India are married to perfectly succesful women who may or may not know how to cook; my male cousins here are unmarried and don’t necessarily date succesful women. I think it’s an American thing, so maybe an ABCD thing by extension. White men are just as chauvenistic as desi men.

  30. RE: ylrsings

    fellow K-DIGZ in da house. Anyways, hey im a desi guy, not really an ABCD anymore, and im all for the outgoing desi girl. In fact, the more outgoing she is, the merrier. Gives a couple something to talk about. I hate guys who make their girls submissive, conform to indian stereotypes, blah blah blah. ylrsings…if i was older (im 21), u’d be just the type of girl that i wud like to be with. It makes a relationship exciting, if both of the partners are outgoing. Sadly, what i have found here…in southern cali…are desi girls that are a: wayyy to quiet or b: too stuck up for their own good. I still dont get the whole..”im daddie’s little princess” act and i think most desi guys are sick and tired of it. I guess the middle ground is what most guys are after and ive met very few grounded and level headed desi women here in socal. Ive been in india for the past year (i moved there for med school-i know i know…but whatever i like it :D ) and ive noticed some things about the whole dating scene. First, its not even open to the extent that it is here, even in the cosmo places. Second, FOB girls are really really reserved about dating, but they’ll do it if u can get them to open up enough, which in itself is hard. Thirdly, FOB girls will flirt as good as anyone but usually, it never goes beyond that…its all a tease, lol. Another thing, Desi girls who are smart or wordly or outgoing or whatever…repress it. Dont do that!

  31. Not all quiet desi girls are so because of some pressure to conform to traditional stereotypes of the “good Indian girl”…