How NOT to Date an Indian

Dear Ms. Miller,

On June 1, you posted a most excellent and helpful piece in The Huffington Post’s Living section called “How to Date an Indian (Advice for the Non-Indian).” As someone whose bio states that she has “lived in Mumbai for three years,” and who is in a relationship with a man of Indian descent, you are especially well-qualified to advise the rest of the world on the best means to bag a brown man/woman. Or as you write, “my husband… is from New Delhi, which, in addition to providing me with lots of Indian friends and in-laws, have given me a pretty good perspective on the desirability of the people from the world’s largest democracy — and how to woo them.”

Thank you again for pointing out that we are the chosen ones. I tend to agree with you about our superior good looks and other redeeming qualities. As a brown woman myself, I wanted to personally testify as to the truth of your points. Favorite actor. If you are pinched for time, you can simply claim SRK is your favorite and move on. Totally! I wear an amulet with SRK’s face on it around my neck. And every morning, my family prays to him at a makeshift altar I composed in our living room. SRK isn’t just a deity, he’s THE deity for Indians.

  • Finding a place that plays Bhangra music and going there together is sure to get you something straight from the Kama Sutra, especially if you exhibit the right dance moves, i.e. patting an imaginary dog while screwing in an imaginary light bulb. Okay, I probably shouldn’t be telling you this, but some of those bhangra moves are actually Kama Sutra moves and vice versa. So do yourself a favor and find a bhangra hall; it’s a major aphrodisiac to brown folks. A turn-on like no other, you’re entirely correct.

  • Indians love their food. I’m happy to share a dal recipe that is unbelievably tasty. (Really, it is called “Mrs. B’s Magic Dal.”) This is true, and probably the reason why I’m having so much trouble in my own dating life. You see, I really can’t cook and daal is like catnip to Indian men, So if you could please post this recipe in the next few days, I would be more than grateful.

  • Language. Indians love when you speak their language. .. I suggest you pick up a few and break them out at an appropriate time, probably somewhere well into the second date. You are absolutely, 100% on the money with this, Ms. Miller. Nothing gets a brown person more hot and bothered than a few well-chosen phrases in the mother tongue. I personally recommend, “Main ullu ke pati hoon,” a guaranteed win every time, always good for some Kama Sutra action.

Thanks again for enlightening the world about the habits of Indians. The next time a man comes up to me at a club and breaks out into the title dance in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, it’ll be all thanks to you.

Your #1 Fan,

PG

UPDATE: H/t to mutineers Sugi and Melissa.

79 thoughts on “How NOT to Date an Indian

  1. wow. WOW.

    the bhangra thing is kind of true…if a man can bhangra with the best then i’ll probably keep my eye on him :)

  2. From the article:

    one more big bonus when it comes to dating an Indian: communication with cabbies. Think I’m kidding? New Yorkers: Just imagine if you could stop a taxi during the 4pm transition time and your date could say, in Hindi, “Hey brother, will you please take us to Spring and 6th?” You’d find Laxmi did indeed smile upon you.

    I hope Laxmi decides to smote her instead. Kama Sutra? REALLY?

  3. Read the piece as if it were prepared by Stephen Colbert, then it’s funny. Like when he was recruiting people to be his New Black Friend.

  4. Even though the article does stereotype, its amazing to see in the comment section how people were absolutely horrified about racism, when something positive is said about Indian people. I guess the same people find the Metro PCS ads funny.

  5. Daal?? the ace up your sleeve will be rotli!! and that would impress future mother in law too! ;)

  6. What is it about playing the victim that so many people find so irresistible?

    There can be no S without an M.

  7. Dear Phillygrrl,

    Get over yourself. The article was written in good faith and has tidbits of humor and wisdom; kindly excuse the well-meaning gori. Your facetiousness is unfunny.

    Your #1 fan, NSK

  8. Totally agree with the language bit. We moved from one state to another in India while growing up due to my dad’s transferable job. If you made the effort to learn the local language, the people were very friendly. It is not restricted to India alone.

  9. Main ullu ke pati hoon

    Wait, wait, wait. Did you just make a Kite Bollywood movie reference?!?

  10. bleck… first of all… writing an article about “how to date (fill in blank with ethnic group)” is bound to put you in stereotype land… but secondly, her knowledge of India appears silly and superficial at best. “I lost my green socks, sahib, let’s do some kama sutra with watching kuch kuch hota hai and eating mung daal.” Awesome.

  11. Stupid yes, “racist” no. I prefer her simplistic objectification of the Indian male over the stereotypes peddled by our own film-makers and authors

  12. As a Punjabi, I’m personally offended neither side mentioned our profound “aqua vitae” and or incidental intelligence on all things boozy.

  13. Oh yeah, just try bhangra, dal and kama sutra on a South Indian maami. That will go over like a lead bartan.

  14. Oh yeah, just try bhangra, dal and kama sutra on a South Indian maami. That will go over like a lead bartan.

    Hey. We eat dal in the South!

    Although her advise is kind of backwards. I actually find it rather annoying when non-Indians try to show off how informed they are about Indian stuff as if to say “Hey! I understand you!” I understand it’s well intentioned, but you can’t “understand” someone because you absorbed some superficial and sanitized cultural markers any more than an Indian could say they can “understand” an American because they watched a lot of Seinfeld or a weeaboo would think they understand the Japanese because they love anime. Women (and I suppose men too) are much more attractive when they’re too busy being awesome to bother trying to impress anyone.

  15. Oooh, for once something I (and probably a ton of other people) sent it got written up! :)

    Um, I hated HATED this article. I showed this to an Indian guy friend of mine (incidentally NOT a lawyer, banker, or doctor, as the article implies all Indians are) and he said if I ever told a desi date that I loved KKHH, he was likely to schedule my second date as a setup with one of his aunts. I love me some Indian men, but I’m not willing to make myself sound like a complete pandering buffoon, which is what Mrs. Miller sounds like.

  16. Thanks again for sending us this article, Melissa! Appreciate your keen eye.

    I’m always on the lookout for fuel for the mutinous hordes. :p

  17. I hope Laxmi decides to smote her instead

    looks like somebody didnt even qualify for their local spelling bee.

  18. Read the piece as if it were prepared by Stephen Colbert, then it’s funny.

    Almost. She just didn’t hit on enough word play or general cleverness.

    but you can’t “understand” someone because you absorbed some superficial and sanitized cultural markers

    Thank you! You can’t even make wry humor out of such superficial knowledge, but you can provide the “understood” culture with buffoonery laughs.

    Per the language point: I keep my language abilities strategically mum. In particular, I like to wait until the others make critical remarks or outright insults before I retort in their language. The result is usually astounded embarrassment coupled with respect, which I find hilarious.

  19. Her knowledge of New York cab drivers is on par with her knowledge of everything else. I don’t remember the last time I met a New York cab driver whose first or second language was Hindi. Urdu, sure. Tamil, you betcha. Kannada, rock on. Hindi, not so much.

    I don’t even–I mean, she lives in Mumbai. Isn’t Marathi the first language of most people in Mumbai?

  20. If you are pinched for time,

    travel in a nice old desi train or bus and you will be pinched for A LOT OF time.

  21. I hope Laxmi decides to smote her instead

    smite. looks like somebody didnt even qualify for their local spelling bee.

  22. I don’t even–I mean, she lives in Mumbai. Isn’t Marathi the first language of most people in Mumbai?

    Probably not in the circles she travels in. Most middle and upper class Indians in the cities speak either Hindi or English when interacting with people who aren’t kith or kin. It’s part of the reason the Indian elite has virtually no conception of how the other 80% lives.

  23. RE: Smote

    “Smote” is the past tense of “smite.” If you hew to the Boethian notion of God(s) existing outside of time as we understand it, all tenses can be considered appropriate usage.

    Yes that’s an overwrought justification for a grammatical oversight, but sometimes it’s just more fun to assume these things are intentional.

  24. Nahasapeemapetilon, are you seriously so bored you had to put up the same not-too-clever insult twice, on top of caring enough about a misspelling/typo to even do it in the first place?

    On the other hand, I’m kind of glad you were that bored, since I love Yoga Fire’s rationalization.

  25. “Indian men love to dance” – from the article. how stupid. Which indian men ? How many mallu men dance even when after downing 4 pegs of JB black :) – sort of like saying all black men are 50 cent wannabes!!!

    “I hope Laxmi, Goddess of Prosperity, smiles on you as you endeavor to date one of her people” – key word is endeavour – freudian slip ?

  26. Hmm, I thought it was amusing, tongue in cheek humor. What are people getting so offended about? It kinda reminds me of “Stuff White People Like.” At least it’s not another article focusing on slums or outsourcing. Maybe Indians are the new hot thing to date. Works for me. :-)

  27. Seriously? The way to snag an Indian man is to tell him you love SRK? Wow, left that one out of my playbook.

    I just felt really embarrassed for her while reading this. It was the same kind of creeptastic revulsion I feel when reading comments from (usually) white guys on their search for a “porcelain-skinned, submissive” East Asian girl. As positive as the exotifying and objectifying she’s doing in this article is, it’s still exotifying and objectifying, and shows a very superficial understanding of India and Indians in general. Reminds me of the author of “Dreaming in Hindi,” who walks up to random brown people and speaks to them in Hindi, without even getting to know them first or if they speak Tamil or Nepali instead.

    You can be in an intercultural relationship without the “culture” being the defining part of the relationship. But not if you go about it like this. Yuck.

  28. Snagging a brown desi man is easy. Just be white.

    amirite?

    (where is pardesi gori/teri ma)?

  29. I don’t remember the last time I met a New York cab driver whose first or second language was Hindi. Urdu, sure.

    Unless the man (or lady) was quoting Ghalib or Faiz there would be little to no observable difference.

  30. I will say from personal experience that my brown-ass will inevitably lose the competition for a NYC cab at the “4pm transition time” to the Charlotte York character with the big Louis bag every time. ;-) )

    Unless I am with said Charlotte character, that is. Perhaps this article will help make that the case! ;-)

  31. I came running over to SM to write about this and find PG beat me to it:)

    This article is the best thing ever. I’m so thrilled to be recognized as a gracious social creature. One most often found in natural habitats like rhythm-filled bhangra halls, bollywood theaters, dhaal-scented kitchens. My instinctive reaction when anything makes me happy is to get naked and stretch out my favorite kama sutra pose, ready to be mounted…because happiness = rutting. I’m giving like that. Smiling and generous.

    This woman is like one concentrated dose of everything that’s wrong with cluess white fetishizers. But she’s also inspired me to write the response post of my dreams:

    “How to Date a Whitey (Advice for non-Whites)”

    As a brown woman married to a white man, I feel uniquely qualified to write this. After all, I’ve lived in America for decades! And did I mention all the white friends and in-laws he’s provided me with? It’s totally given me a pretty good perspective on the desirability of the people from the world’s self-professed greatest nation — and how to woo them.

    Before getting to “how,” let’s start with “why.” There are obvious reasons one would want to date a white person, such as how successful and professionally desirable they are. White people dominate as politicians, models, CEOs, Media pundits, NASCAR drivers, golfers, philanthropic donors and Ambercrombie and Fitch employees.They make up a large proportion of our graduate students — just walk around the campuses of Harvard, Columbia or Stanford or and you will see these incredibly attractive white people all over the place. Which leads to point number two.

    [oh crap. I have to get going. If anyone's interested in more of this let me know.}

  32. Nahasapeemapetilon, are you seriously so bored you had to put up the same not-too-clever insult twice

    if i was bored to put it up there, how bored must you have been to respond? and so tritely at that.

  33. for once in my life i’m glad the penis thing didn’t come up

    i guess you get that problem a lot

  34. Unless the man (or lady) was quoting Ghalib or Faiz there would be little to no observable difference.

    Both the guys (as with the all the subcontinental Urdu/Farsi poets of the last ~200 years) composed a bunch of stuff in the vast melange of languages from the Gangetic plains – Awadhi, general sansiboli, braj bhasha, etc., etc., The picture we have of built for ourselves of a Ghalib dressed in silken robes reeling out sher-shayiri is an elite hijacking. Ghalib was man of the masses and indulgence for him was a bottle of Old Tom (an expensive whiskey of the time that cost Re.1/- a bottle!) It was a dense patois in those days peppered with all sorts of literary and folkloric allusions. And all that is dying out in favour of SRK and KKHH.

    But give it Ms.Miller, she is married to a man she loves and is happily settled. And correction Andrea, Lakshmi is for everyone, as is Sarasvati or Ganesh, or any of the devathas. Even if you weren’t married to an Indian/Hindu you could have them, and as can anyone else.

  35. Indians love when you speak their language

    Not sure about that. It’s great when you don’t share any language with the object-of-one’s-lust. You don’t have to hear “We need to talk” or “Tell me what you are thinking”.

  36. I found the article hilarious. I don’t know why many people are getting so worked up. I have two more points to make any Indian fall for you 1. Tell the Indian that you like beef & pork 2. If you are an artist, tell them that you like to draw nude Hindu goddess or the Prophet’s face or working on a story similar to Da Vinci Code (Caution: Strategy is to figure out which religion is your object of attraction, else it will back fire)

  37. I always find articles like this hilarious, but a little bit creepy. Am I supposed to feel better knowing that if I -or any other Desi male – fail to find that ideal Desi wife, there will be a creepy white woman around the block with a Brown-fetish checking me out? Lol. Whatever, heap on the praise gori. A little more worship won’t kill us. (Maybe an offering of two would be nice as well.)

  38. Pyaare Behnon aur Bhaiyon! Chill maar! There’s heckuva lot among us (excluding guys like me) who are married to a vilayati non-brown. So what if a vilyati someone finds a mohtarm or mohtarma ogleworthy or not? Unless they’re unfunny. It’s all good then.

  39. this is real rich coming from a guy who is the living embodiment of the 10000 hour success rule..