Friday, September 26, 2008

Sold my soul to politics

One of the key issues that concerns me regarding the upcoming Canadian elections, on October 14th, is what role the next government will play in bringing an end to the genocide in Darfur. The incumbent Conservatives have not done enough. Prime Minister Stephen Harper believed, by boycotting the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony, he was doing his "generous" bit to end the genocide.

I know, I cannot do much for Darfur, directly. But during the election season, when the politicians are trying to get elected, and when they actually care about our opinion; maybe we can do our bit by reminding them about the importance of global action against the Genocide. There is an urgent need to put an end to the inhumane atrocities the Sudanese government is committing there.

I wrote to the NDP or New Democrats, Canada's third largest party, regarding their position on Darfur Genocide. Following is the reply I received from them, in regards to their plan of action when it comes to putting an end to the Genocide. I agree, with their proposed solution of sending more Canadian troops to Sudan, collaborating with the United Nations and African Union forces.

"Thank you for contacting Canada's New Democrats about the ongoing tragedy in Darfur. We agree that the situation in Darfur is deeply troubling and that the suffering of innocent civilians is absolutely unacceptable.

Jack Layton and Canada's New Democrats are united in their support for all efforts to end the violence against civilians in the Darfur region. We continue to support the work of STAND and the Sudanese Diaspora to keep the Sudan crisis on the Canadian government's agenda. New Democrat MPs, including Alexa McDonough, Paul Dewar, Tony Martin and Bill Siksay, have consistently spoken out about the need for the Canadian government to do much more for the people of Darfur.

Paul Dewar (MP for Ottawa-Centre) is the NDP foreign affairs critic and has been our lead on Darfur. As you may know, he has been instrumental in moving the issue forward in the House of Commons by initiating a study at the Foreign Affairs committee. Paul is also vice-chair of the parliamentary group against genocide and has been active on Darfur in that capacity as well.

There is a growing concern among everyday Canadians that their public and private investments may be directly or indirectly contributing to the crisis in Darfur. NDP Foreign Affairs critic, Paul Dewar noted, "Knowing what we know about Darfur, business as usual is unconscionable." Despite opposition from Conservatives, the Foreign Affairs committee last year adopted an NDP motion to undertake a study of Canadian funds invested in Sudan and explore legislative initiatives to regulate such investments in light of the worsening crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan.

In May of this year, we have called on the Harper Conservative's take leadership. Jack stated that "this is exactly the kind of peacekeeping role that Canadians have always supported. Canadians would want us to be in Darfur. That sentiment is found right across the country."

Our Party wants Canada to take a lead role in any UN mission to stop the bloodshed in Sudan's Darfur province. Canada could and should commit immediately to the following measures:

-support the United Nations Mission to Sudan (UNMIS)

-offer Canadian troops to complement the advance party requested by the UN

-push for a stronger UN resolution on Sudan

-offer logistical support to the United Nations-African Union hybrid force

New Democrats will continue to speak out on both Canadian and international inaction on Darfur and will lend our support to all efforts to bring peace to this tragically, neglected region.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact the New Democrats 2008 Campaign. We invite you to check our website at to learn the latest about our team of New Democrats and the campaign.


Jack Layton's New Democrats"

If you ask me who I want to win in this year's elections. The answer is, I definitely don't want Harper to get re-elected. Seriously, after approximately 4 years in the office, I don't know what his accomplishments are, and what his intentions are regarding our trembling economy, climate change, and Darfur. I would be glad to see the NDP and Liberals form a coalition.

The major opposition party, Liberals, are suffering from poor leadership, and, on the whole, their foreign policy is very shady, and does not really outline Canada's involvement in the global affairs. However, the Liberal MP from my riding, Etobicoke Centre, Boris Wrzesnewskyj has impressed me with the work he has done on the international platform. He has visited Darfur, represented Canada in the UN meetings, and has urged the Conservative government to send peacekeeping troops to Darfur and Chad. Compared to the Janjaweeds, the UN and African Union forces are not properly trained and they do not have enough resources. They have insufficient airplanes and helicopters, which would be ideal to provide immediate medical and food aid.

I will be voting for the Boris Wrzesnewskyj, not because he's a Liberal candidate, but because of the work he has done. For this reason, I am also canvassing for him, hoping he would get re-elected. To tell you the truth, I know most young Canadians don't care about the politics, and I know politics itself is very dubious. We have seen in the States, what poor leadership can do to a country, and to the world. Only a competent leader can help solve the issues we care about, both nationally and globally. I have been enjoying the canvassing experience, calling up people, and after Ramadan is done I will also be going door-to-door with Boris.

Who knows, maybe during my "door-to-door" house calls, I would stumble upon a young Muslim humanitarian guy ;-) - that would surely make my mom happy.

N.B. Seriously, how desperate is this guy, "teaching" Muslim-Canadians the importance of Laylat al-Qadr: Stephane Dion on Laylat al-Qadr.

I think unlike our neighbours to the South, Canadian politicians actually make a rather visible, albeit sad, and even rather desperate, but nonetheless commendable, attempt at including the minorities in their election campaign. I know this probably is just a sad ploy to get elected, but he does get an A for effort.

Boris Wrzesnewskyj on YouTube

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday

Apologies for subjecting the rest of my (few) readers to this, but I just wanted to write a birthday post for my sister. Happy birthday hotchick^n (a moniker of her choosing).

Hotchick^n, here's an old Office cast interview for you. You would be happy to know that you still have a year to be in the 18-22 age bracket. So you still got it - that's what she said =D.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Debtor's Prism

Leave it up to Margaret Atwood to make literary sense out of the economic downturn, and uncertainty.

This excerpt, from her upcoming book Payback, published in the Wall Street Journal, poses questions regarding the susceptibility of an individual to drown in debt. Atwood also points out the etymology of the word mortgage, in the following paragraph.

I pause here to add that "mortgage" means "dead pledge" -- "mort" from the French for "dead," "gage" for "pledge," like the part in medieval romances where the knight throws down his glove, thus challenging another knight to a duel -- the glove or gage being the pledge that the guy will actually show up on time to get his head bashed in, and the accepting of the gage being a reciprocal pledge. Which should make you think twice about engagement rings, since they too are a gage or pledge -- what actually are you pledging when you present such a ring to your one true love?

The other day, I was on the subway coming home, and I noticed the subway car I was on, at least, had 3 companies claiming (advertising) to rescue people from debt, and pending credit deadlines. This made me wonder, what does that say about our society? Does that mean our list of "wants" is longer than the number of zeroes on our paychecks? However, we don't have a problem with paying someone to get us out of our debts, hence spending more money, which we should be saving to pay off the impending debts, in the first place. Doesn't that sound a bit paradoxical? Pay more, to make up for the money you don't have, and the stuff you couldn't afford to buy, in the first place. Hmm...

p.s. I can't believe it took me this long to finally fess up, in the blogosphere, about my love for anything Atwood. She is a fellow University of Toronto alum, and a winner of the Booker Prize. She has the honour of having 5 Booker nominations. Her novels Alias Grace, and the Blind Assassin are my ultimate favourites. Heck, I even use her as a weeding device, when it comes to "dating". Any guy who has heard of Margaret Atwood gets immediate brownie points.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Black Week

These days, I have been regretting never taking a single business course in school. So, I am not even gonna bother commenting on this article, because I know I would end up making a total fool out of myself. All, I know this week was pretty hefty, economically.

On September 14th, Merrill Lynch was acquired by the Bank of America. Lehman Brothers filed for the largest bankruptcy in the US history, on Monday (September 15th). The following day, they were bought by Barclays. On September 18th, AIG, a major insurance company, was bought by the US government, to prevent a colossal financial breakdown. The same day, Britain's largest banking and insurance group HBOS was acquired by Lloyds TSB.

I guess it's time to dig out the old history textbooks and teach myself about the Great Depression, and the Black Tuesday.

Only in America

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."
* Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* Name your kids Bristol, Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.
* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.
* If your husband is nicknamed "First Dude," with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

Author unknown.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

You ate my sandwich

Want to avoid the risk of having a Ross-like-nervous-breakdown, over a stolen sandwich? Purchase these mouldy bags:

Quotes of the Day

*and my two cents.

Fabiola Gianotti, a project leader on CERN’s particle-accelerator experiment that was successfully initiated on Sept. 10 outside Geneva, and will eventually re-create the conditions just after the Big Bang:
“I think we may have to rewrite our textbooks.”
*Why do I have a feeling Al Gore wouldn’t be too happy about this.

Warrant Buffett, billionaire investor, on the economic crisis after Lehman Brothers announced it will file for bankruptcy:
“Let’s recognize that this is a once-in-a-half-century, probably once-in-a-century type of event.”
*OMG, so our economic crisis makes us special! That makes me feel so much better. Thanks, Buffett the richest man in the world.

Jeannine Wikering, after placing third at the European pole-dancing championships:
“I think one day it should be an Olympic sport – but that will take time.”
*Yeah, only if the Olympics are being held in Amsterdam.

Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, during a peacemaking visit with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli. Washington cut off diplomatic relations with Libya after a mob sacked and burned the American Embassy in 1979:
“The United States, I’ve said many times, doesn’t have any permanent enemies.”
*In the U.S. of A, we like to change it up. We like variety. So how soon can we get our hands on your oil, Gadhafi?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pennies for Peace

Three Cups of Tea is about Greg Mortenson's journey to build schools in Pakistan. After his failed attempt to climb the K2, when he was recuperating from the injuries he had endured at the summit, in Korphe (small village in Northern Pakistan), he discovered that the village's children did not have a school. The government of Pakistan, yes that is the country that received 10 billion dollars in foreign aid from the Bush administration, could not afford to pay the former Korphe teacher his monthly salary of 1 dollar. As a result, he left the village to find work elsewhere. However, the teacher of the neighbouring village came to Korphe once a month to give the students their homework. Mortenson saw the Korphe children learning the material on their own. Some of the children did not even have pencils or paper so they were writing with a broken tree branch on the rocky ground that they were sitting on.

Seeing this, Mortenson decided to travel back to the States to collect enough money ($12, 000 to be exact) to build a school for these forgotten children. Back in California, where he moonlighted as a nurse , he wrote 580 letters to various celebrities hoping they would be willing to help his cause to educate children in a third world country. However, other than a NBC news correspondent who sent a check of 100 dollars, none of the celebrities, including Oprah, wrote back. Disheartened, Mortenson shared his failure to raise money with his colleague at the hospital. The colleague said that he knew of a physicist Dr. Jean Hoerni who might be willing to help Mortenson's cause.

In the meantime Mortenson's mother who was a principal at an elementary school, invited him to speak to her students, about the school he was trying to build in Pakistan. The students were so touched by Mortenson's cause that each one of them donated a penny to build a school in Pakistan, starting the campaign 'Pennies for Peace'.

I will not regurgitate the entire book here. The fact is after initial roadblocks, Mortenson not only ended up building a school in Korphe, Pakistan, but since 1994, he has at least built 60 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has also sponsored schools in Afghanistan that did not have books, or other school supplies, and where the teachers were not getting paid.

Mortenson received several death threats in America after 9/11, because people believed that he was enabling the terrorists, the Muslims. Similarly, in Afghanistan he was abducted because they thought he was an American spy. Moreover, in Pakistan he was accused of propagating western teachings. But, in spite of all these trials, Mortenson is still busy building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

We live in a very shitty world. There are people dying of hunger, children are not provided with proper healthcare and education, women are raped in Darfur so the government could ethnically exterminate the unwanted race. But it is people like Mortenson, who remind us that every action no matter how small makes a big difference.

In the news, we hear about the Republican and Democratic nominees, arguing who has the tougher anti-terrorism policy. Who would be able to obliterate terrorism from Northern Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The American government can kill the Taleban all they want, while collaterally taking lives of innocent individuals and children. In the book Mortenson mentions seeing this boy Ahmed at the Afghan border sitting on a bag of potatoes with his younger brother. Mortenson went up to him, wondering what he was doing alone. The boy said that since his family could not find food in Afghanistan, he and his brother had come to Pakistan to buy food with their father, but their father got killed, on their way back to Afghanistan, by the mines the American soldiers had laid out in the region.

If this boy, is not provided education, food, or proper healthcare, and is constantly reminded that Americans took away his father's life, would it not be expected of him to follow the crusade of Al-Qaeda?

The title Three Cups of Tea reminded me of George Orwell's essay A Nice Cup of Tea, therefore I couldn't help myself from drawing comparisons between the political innuendo presented in Three Cups..., and Orwell's Animal Farm. As George Orwell illustrated in Animal Farm, when a revolution is brought about, it is propagated by reminding average individuals, who have faced years of injustice, hunger, and other hardships, that their problems are caused by the powerful authority.

In Animal Farm, the pigs (Snowball and Napoleon) revolted against the owner of the Manor Farm, by recounting the atrocities the animals of the farm had suffered at the hands of Mr. Jones. Once they had successfully ousted Mr. Jones from the farm, they worked in tranquility for a while, but the superior pigs who had taught themselves how to read and write, had the upper-hand over other animals such as the horses, sheep, chickens, etc., as they did not have the same brain power. But when the farm had trouble sustaining on its own, they needed another scapegoat to blame their troubles on. In order to achieve that, Napoleon (pig) used terror to mute the scepticism that was expressed by the animals, and blamed the economic problems, the farm was facing, on one of their own, Snowball (also a pig). Since the other animals were not as educated, they were made to believe that they did not have the ability or the vision to fully understand the corrupt tactics Napoleon was employing to run the farm. The animals were asked to blindly trust Napoleon, and live by his doctrine.

If there is no education in these troubled areas, if they are not provided with an opportunity to feed their families, the world would always have its share of Hitlers, Stalins, and Osama bin Ladens.

p.s. For more information please buy the book, the money goes towards building schools.
All Animals are equal
But some animals are more equal than others.
(George Orwell, Animal Farm)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Plugging Little Mosque

You know the rishta (arranged marriage) stuff is getting to you, when you start dreaming about potential guys before you have even met them.

This morning after eating sehri (early morning breakfast that Muslims eat in the month of Ramadan, when they are fasting from sunrise to sunset), when I fell back into deep slumber, I had a dream about this new rishta (suitor) who has come knocking at my door. Yes, prince charming may not come anymore, but creepy rishta dudes are very persistent. Since I had to postpone my trip to Nepal, turns out in my dream, I am boycotting this rishta dude, and I refuse to go downstairs to the living room to meet him and his family. So my parents send him up to my room. Don't worry the dream is very PG. I get mad at him, asking what he is doing in my room, as I don't even have my hijab on, and ask him to leave (apparently my subconscious ripped this dream off Little Mosque, the part where Amaar ends up seeing Rayyan without the hijab, scandalous eh?). But, the guy tells me that he just wants to be my friend. Yes, sadly even the guys in my dream are very cheesy. Anyways, in order to make sure I would call him back, the guy steals my first year calculus textbook, which for some reason is still sitting on my desk. The dream me is thinking that now she has to call this guy to get her calc book back. I have always loved calculus, but I never knew it would take a raggedy old calc textbook, to get me to call a guy.

Point of this dream, as Dr. Freud would say, I have unresolved feelings towards calculus. My first year prof should have given me my 4.0.

p.s. Forget flowers, bring me a calc textbook.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

can't make this stuff up

1. "As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?" - Sarah Palin

2. "I've been so focused on state government, I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq." - Sarah Palin

3. "Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending soldiers out on a task that is from God. That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God's plan." - Sarah Palin, on the Iraq war.

More can be found here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The story had potential, acting however sucked. Joshua Jackson looked good, but sounded like a pubescent boy who had smoked his father's cigar, and was reading from a 40's mystery novel. The female lead is not even worth mentioning, her hair was always pinstraight, and her accent kept on slipping up. Joshua Jackson kept referring to her as Sweetheart. Here is a pointer Joshy boy, you can only pull that off with the Boston accent.

The acting was really choppy, but I have to admit I loved Joshua Jackson's winter coat :-). I think he was trying very hard to be that elusive male protagonist, with a sardonic sense of humour, who pretends to be a jerk, but in reality is very humanistic. But he failed, miserably.

The pilot was very methodical. The girl works for the FBI, and is apparently very headstrong, does not fall in love easily. Her character's struggles are akin to that of Jennifer Garner's on Alias, like Garner's character, she is also motivated to fight the impending threat of terrorism. Only this time around, J.J. Abrams brought along our amateurish hero Joshua Jackson, who by the way looked good with the stubble, and his father who is a controversial scientist, to the rescue. The plotline is redundant, nonetheless interesting. The scientific jargon that they throw in there is not plausible at all. But I would have let that bit go, had the acting been better. It seemed promising in theory, but in execution turned out to be ok.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Tinseltown out, Smalltown in

Two words: Entourage SUCKED. I am deeply utterly shattered (and probably a bit over-dramatic too). Sadly, the only 'ok' part of last night's episode was when Drama, and Turtle spared the bitchin' Lamborghini. Seriously, this show is officially off my favourite tv shows list. Scroll down and see it for yourself, on the left. Ah, now where am I gonna find brainless guy humour, and those pretty blue eyes? So long, Vincet Chase (Adrian Grenier).

True Blood, which premiered on HBO last night, was very interesting. The series is based on Charlaine Harris's book series Southern Vampire Mysteries. It is kind of like Heroes. The main protagonist Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin, X-Men) has telepathic powers, and is a small town waitress. In addition, the show also has Buffy like elements. The main story is that the vampires have come out to live with the mortals, now that a Japanese company has developed synthetic blood, called TruBlood. Therefore, the vampires do not have to kill to feed themselves, they can just drink from the fountain of modern development. However, their appearance in our world would definitely lead to stereotyping, and the fear of them killing humans. The show deals with the issue that how our society reacts to people who are different from the mainstream accepted genre. The plot gets interesting when the townspeople realize that Sookie is falling for a vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer); he is the only one whose thoughts she cannot hear. The other underlying issues that the show touches upon is racism, and the Halloween like myths and fascinations we have regarding vampires. I would definitely watch the next episode, interested in seeing where this series is headed.

Couldn't agree more with this TV review.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Love's Blood

Heaven on Earth was one of the three Canadian movies that premiered at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The movie is by Deepa Mehta of the Water fame. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I watched the trailer on YouTube, and it moved me to tears. I do not usually cry, but when it comes to woman abuse I find it very hard to control my emotions.

From the trailer it seems, the movie is about this Indian girl (Preity Zinta) who comes to Toronto to be with her husband and his family, who she has never met before. In the trailer, there is an airport arrival scene, where the husband seems smitten by his new bride's beauty. Then you see the two on their honeymoon, at least that's what it seemed like, but they are interrupted by the guy's mom. His mom is crying and saying how she could not stand to be away from her son, so she just had to see her precious son's face. Zinta's character suggests, they should get another room for the mother, and the guy smacks Zinta really hard in the face. I guess, he was offended by her suggestion, probably took it as a sign of her trying to separate him, from his parents who brought him to this world. Then, you see the guy telling his parents that just because he is married does not mean his love for them has decreased, he reassures them that they are still his top priority. Then we are shown, the guy consoling Zinta, and sympathizing with her, acknowledging how hard it must be for her to leave all of her family behind, and be all alone in Toronto. Then we see the guy hitting her so hard that she falls on the floor. Then we are shown bruises on her face, a busted lip. Then we are shown, the guy being nice to Zinta saying that he doesn't want to harm her, he looks forward to coming home to her, after a long day's work, to talk to her, and to spend time with her.

The other day my friend and I were talking about 'first love', pondering over the age-old question, 'do you ever forget your first love'. My stance was that it would be really unfair to the next person if someone is still thinking about their ex. I mean, I get it, with your first love you are more free, you are more naïve, since everything is very new, there is more excitement. Whereas, with the subsequent partners, you become more guarded. You have more inhibitions. You are more concerned about the outcome. I think age also has a lot to do with these inhibitions. As we get older, we become more wary of our feelings. We protect our heart, and realize that we do not have much time to fool around. We lose the carelessness that is the charm of young or first love.

So what if someone's first love turns out to be an abusive partner? In psychology, I have learned that in an abusive relationship you have both the happy fairytale type moments, and the violent spouts. The crazy barbaric abuser is not always throwing one blow after another. It would be a lot easier for the victim, if he was. If he was unstable 24/7, it would be easier for the victim to leave him. But, as shown by this movie's trailer, and several other examples, even an abusive relationship has 'happy moments'. It is these 'blissful moments' that act like an anchor, and stop the victim from leaving.

Going back to the question of first/young love. Once the victim does leave the abusive partner, is it okay for her to reminisce about the 'good times' the two shared? Or do these 'good times' become too tainted? Would she be scorned, if she was found mourning the loss of the partner who at times cared for her?

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."
- William Congreve (The Mourning Bride).

'tis the season to be jolly

The good old idiot box is about to get a major facelift. The new fall season is about to start.

Entourage premieres: Sunday, September 7, 2008 (tomorrow!!!)
True Blood - a new series by Alan Ball, the creator of Six Feet Under, and the writer of American Beauty: tomorrow
SNL: September 13th
House - so mcdreamy (i know, wrong show reference): September 16th
The Office: September 25th

Dexter - just give Michael C. Hall the Emmy already: September 28th
The Amazing Race - my favourite reality show; the contestants get to travel around the world: September 28th
Little Mosque on the Prairie - 'will they, wont they': October 1st
30 Rock: October 30th - premieres on my BIRTHDAY!!!

p.s. I have reached the peak of my SNL withdrawal, so apologies for the embedding.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


The reason I write about Darfur here is because I don't want it to turn into another Rwanda. My intentions are not to be preachy, but I hope that if enough people got together maybe we would be able to put an end to the killings, and physical violence against women.

Following are the pictures taken by a Harvard student who travelled to Darfur with Mia Farrow in August. I am not trying to evoke pity for these photographed refugees, I just strongly believe that their sacrifices need to be told. The poverty and famine in Africa shouldn't be the expected reality. Shouldn't be theirs and ours legacy.

Chad-Darfur Border

Monday, September 1, 2008


Movies like Second Generation and books like The Namesake express the melancholic nature of disassociation, 'immigrant children' feel whilst growing up away from their parents' birthplace and ancestral homes. Where our parents and relatives back home, in our parents' country, like to remind us, how different and Westernized we are, they often refuse to see, at the core of our existence we do place a lot of importance to their cultural honour and entitlement. But our effort to be more accommodating to their values, and the struggle to find a balance between their culture and our culture often go unnoticed.

I think most of the second generation children try to evolve their own culture which is an amalgamation of both our parents' values, and the opportunities we are provided in the 'new world'. Regardless of what the misconception is, we are not out there to defy them. As explained in a previous post, the marriage procedure that I opted for, where I meet boys introduced by my parents (this may sound a bit whorish), and then get to know them is an example of finding that perfect balance between the custom my parents grew up with, and the dating scene my friends are a part of. However, I would be lying to myself if I said that the process didn't seem forced, or that I didn't wonder if I would ever be able to find someone who would take me as I am. I know the latter is a concern everyone has, regardless of their ethnicity, finding a partner who would accept them for who they are, and share their passion in life.

The hardest part might be the fact that I don't personally know anyone who is going through the same stuff as me, so I'm always trying to read about other people's experiences who were able to survive this excruciating process. I came across this blog entry, where the blogger kia explicitly mentioned details, about her arranged marriage ordeal, that I had never heard anyone talk about before. I was glad that someone had the courage to come out and discuss the 'taboo' things I have always wondered about.

For instance, she mentions that during the process, where she met numerous potentials, she found herself drawing comparisons between them, and picked the guy who was relatively better than the rest of the bunch.

She also points out, the events leading up to marriage become more about the families, and the rituals than the two people who are actually going to be building their lives together. And, that reality sinks in when all the wedding rituals are over, and you close that door, and find yourself alone with the person you have committed to love, for the rest of your life. I have always wondered how two strangers who have never held hands go about doing the deed on the first night, especially if it is the first time for both of them. So for the first time, I read about the awkwardness that ensues when two strangers are about to have the first real contact without any parental involvement and meddling.