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Bharat Mata Ki Ek Beti

Bharat Mata Ki Ek Beti

May 01, 2012

Single, female, and slumming it Delhi-style.

If I have ever been judgmental of gold-diggers or mail-order brides (and I have), then I'm sorry. It will never happen again. I now know how they feel, even in some small tiny laughable way.

I've now been living in India by myself for over a year, and it is solely to that fact that I can attribute my metamorphosis from a fiercely independent and principled pseudo-American career woman to a shrunken Indian version of said pseudo-American who's just waiting to be rescued by the capitalist man of her dreams. Rich socialist bhhi chalega. Do we have any takers?

Don't judge me, my own medicine tastes terrible. Everytime I almost fly off of the cycle rickshaw as the rickshawala decides to speed over a pothole, I miss the shock absorbers of the cars I've ridden in in America (and Canada. You too, Oman). I curse the elements everytime I have to devastate a good hair day by savagely pulling my do back in a behenji ponytail just because it's too damn hot/sticky/windy. Over the past year, I've only ever shopped off of the street because clothes, like people, just seem to fall apart faster in this part of the world. It would hurt too much to have that happen to anything I paid more than 100 rupees for (what is that, like 2 dollars?). I never seem to want to dress nice or comb my hair here anyway. I don't even wear makeup anymore. What's the point? Two minutes on the outside, and either the wind from the autorickshaw ride will ravage the curls that usually set beautifully on their own in a controlled environment, or the monsoon mud will artistically splatter itself all along my calves and precious toes. I now scowl or even fling a dirty look at every car that screams its neverending banshee of a horn into my poor ear. I wonder if the smog and traffic exhaust has formed a permanent layer of hopelessness on my once 20-something-year-old skin. I think of all these things and then fondly remember my vanilla-and-cinnamon-scented sparsely populated existence of the West. What's a pretty girl to do when the shadow of socialism falls upon her?

I'll tell you what she's to do. Visit the parlour regularly, dress the best she can in her budget wardrobe, flash a carnivorous smile or bat a virginal eyelash (both if she's talented), and pray to the gods of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll that Prince Charming (age never a bar) will whisk her away to a capitalist country far, far away. Or at least to the nearest suburb in a nice air-conditioned apartment and car and never let her pretty soles scrape the soil of the motherland again. Inhein zameen pe mat rakhhiyega, mailay ho jaaeinge. 


  • Rajpriya
    21.02.13 07:45 AM
    Richtig gesagt es heißt "Aber Ja" oder kann man auch sagen "Es ist wahr".
  • Khadija
    21.02.13 12:09 AM
    Abay, yaar...!
  • Rajpriya
    20.02.13 11:49 PM
    "What do Rich Bastards and used cars have in common? They are both easy to get- and totally unreliable."
  • Sameena
    20.02.13 10:18 AM
    that was 'uninhibited humor'
  • Sameena
    20.02.13 10:17 AM
    Hilarious! thank you for a good laugh. I am going to leave for India next week and I havent even landed there yet and I am already hoping (well almost, but not really:) I meet some rich bastard who will help me survive the roughness of Delhi. Too bad the only rich bastard interested in me as of now is this old loser who is a maha kanjoos. But you never know, I just might find my rescuer. Your inhibited humor was very refreshing to read; from the comments you received, it seems I am about to move to a country with dour humorless bores.
  • Sushil
    03.05.12 04:09 PM
    To say, that how much I enjoyed reading the Blog would be an understatement. Most of it is true and especially in Delhi’s case. It is supposed to be the Capital (with a big C) of the largest democracy and fastest developing nation.

    The Blogger is being very polite by merely pointing out the potholes. She has, of course, avoided subjects such as open air urination, spitting and, not to forget, defecation. Now, believe me when I say that I too have been and am subjected to all of this while living in Delhi on a regular basis. Mind you I am talking here as a man. As far as the hair and makeup is concerned, I am proud to say that I very seldom pay attention to such frivolous needs (you see I am bald and just shave to look hairless – nothing else). However, I do end up having shower everyday in order to avoid the possibility of catching a disease inadvertently. And the clothes – well, I do try to buy the cheapest from Sarojini Nagar market, having lost all of my expensive ones within three months from the WEST to the man made elements.

    Incidentally, these glorious habits of my fellow Indians have reached the WEST too and one only has to go and visit the North-West London (Wembley and Southall) to witness it. In US, well, places such LA and Texas witness similar behaviour. So, besides Bollywood, (not a great deal to talk about there) we have exported our cultural habits to the West too.

    Now, the subject of the car horns or blaring of ear-splitting horns by every imaginable moving vehicle is something else, one can write a whole chapter about!

    Of course, the Blog is humorous and I applaud her for being self-critical. Self-criticism and humour go hand in hand. Besides, a Blog like this merely points out to every self-respecting Indian to the character and fallibility of our nation along with day to day misery and hopelessness that surrounds us all Delhi Wallas.

    Would I be wrong in saying that the Blogger’s desire to have someone, such as Prince Charming (age never a bar), to whisk her away is case of a cry from a damsel in distress?
  • liberalcynic
    02.05.12 07:05 PM
    Whenever I visit my home in Bombay, I can't imagine how I used to tolerate the heat when I lived there. I love that city, but living a few years in a developed country changes your expectations. I see what you mean. Oh when will those potholes get filled?
    01.05.12 08:57 PM
    @ Khadija Ejaz

    Wellcome to India. :)
    I stayed 2 nights in Delhi and almost died, just looking at the bill of 5* hotel. I know how you feel, but don't expect any sympathy of me, you are still better off then most, who lives there, and goog luck in finding your prince charming.

  • Atheist Indian
    Atheist Indian
    01.05.12 08:46 PM
    It appears that the author meant the article to be humourous, but didn't realise it came off as crass and in bad taste. As my Polish girlfriend would say, a classic case of 'Durak Amerikantsi'.
  • tys
    01.05.12 02:53 PM
    god dammit people, what ever happened to your sense of humour? Shes taking a crack at herself with this piece...damn, i think i just screwed up the joke here.

    She is making fun of her own protected lifestyle she has lead so far...she is in a self debasing way, showing us how India with its hardcore in your face reality is effecting her earlier held views...

    if anything, we need to applaud this woman...

    i, personally, loved it..

    This is India..a rude shock. And its home. I think she got through. Welcome home.
  • shirish patwa
    shirish patwa
    01.05.12 11:12 AM
    It seems it is a fashion to bash at everything that is Indian.If you wish to pick holes only then I am sorry ,that I wasted so much time in reading your article.It has hardly provided anything new.Yes, it is better if you settle down in western countries as second class deserve it.
  • Jyoti Agarwal
    Jyoti Agarwal
    01.05.12 10:13 AM
    I am sorry but I have been living in Delhi for past 3 years and I still love to wear make-up and dress at my best everyday. You don't seem to be a good-fit to your own country. Go back to a land where you think you can wear your make-up and move around in air-conditioned cars.
  • Noel
    01.05.12 06:03 AM

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