Sunday, August 24 2009
Note: Desi boys = Indian boys
If there ever lived an Indian girl who had bad luck with Indian guys, then it’s me. I’m not kidding, and no I’m not exaggerating. I knew this from a long time ago. I attended what was then called a Model C all girls school. My friends were my classmates and girls who did the same afterschool activities as I did. I had white friends, black friends, coloured friends, Korean friends, Taiwanese friends, Christian friends, Catholic friends, Jewish friends and even some who believed in a bit of witchcraft. I had friends who shuddered at the word, “hell” or “shit” and then I also had friends whose every second word was “fuck”.
During my university years, I had friends from all over Africa – Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Kenya and Zambia. During lunch and dinner, we occupied nearly two tables in the dining hall. In the group, I was the only South African and the only Indian. They were all in various fields – from pharmacy to BComm. I was the only one pursuing Journalism. In my final year of Journ, when I specialized in Television, I was the only Indian in my class. I was also the only Indian in my Anthropology class – my other major.
I had random Indian acquaintances on campus – people I’d met via other friends. Very few of these people (acquaintances) would later earn the title of friend. I think we use this term very loosely. And besides, a friend is someone whom you would confide in and share exciting and share moments with. But few of these people were that. Also, I found that we had very little in common except that we were Indian.
Then I moved to Korea in 2007 to teach English at an elementary school. I work with Koreans. I socialize with Koreans. So much so, that I am sometimes mistaken for being a Korean when talking on the phone. With my broken Konglish and all (Konglish = Korean + English) The only thing that would give me away was my chocolate brown skin and big eyes.
I’ve had some broken small talk with a few Indian guys through various circumstances. Nothing of substance or value really. During my campus days, I spent a fair amount of time at the “kaif” (cafe) a popular hangout and meeting spot for students and socialites. I spent some time there, usually with another Journ / Anthro classmate.
There wasn’t a single time you would go to the kaif and there wouldn’t be an entire table (or two) occupied by entirely Indian students. They reminded me so much of the group of cool kids on campus in Bollywood films. I always watched them from a distance. There’d be one guy in particular who seemed to be very popular. He was dark in complexion, wore black glasses and always had a cigarette attached to his hand.
Now I am attracted to two very extreme kinds of guys. The first kind is the type that seems to always be the life of the party. He’s friends with everybody and everyone around him adores him. Someone who keeps people at the edge of their seat with their stories and cracking up someone with a funny anecdote. The other kind that I’m attracted to is the quiet kind. Please note. I said quiet. Not shy. They only really speak when spoken to, but when they do have something to say, it’s of substance.
So sometimes if I see a guy who fits the above description, I'm curious about them and want to know more about them - JUST to know about them. NOT to have us married in a couple of years time. OK?
I also noticed that most Indian guys (in general) shared one passion. Cars. With many of these guys, I couldn’t carry a conversation with them. I'm sorry about this, but my knowledge of cars and rims and sound systems is shocking.
During university, I started writing a column in a national magazine. Kind of like your Indian version of “People” magazine. My column was thoughtful and cheeky at the same time. I certainly didn’t go around campus advertising what I did, but when people got to know (Correction: Indian people my age. Second Correction: Indian guys my age) what I did, they often fled in the other direction. It was only after I graduated that I learned why.
I spent two months in Cape Town where I was studying towards my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification. I met up with a friend from university (an Indian guy, no less!) We spent quite a bit of time together and I was introduced to some of his friends. One guy in particular, we’ll call him Andy, was one of them. He was also guilty of ignoring me when we were in the same company back on campus.
During lunch one day at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, we were in the same company once again. Right now, I don’t know how it came up in conversation, but I asked him, “Why did you never talk to me on campus?” His reply blew me away like a hefty gust of wind.
“I was intimidated by you.”
What I’d been told by my mum and other friends was confirmed. And I was flabbergasted to say the least.
“But why?” I had to get to the bottom of this.
He went on to say that some students on campus used to talk about me if I walked past, saying that “It’s THAT girl who writes for that magazine”
I met a few other guys during my trip to Cape Town. After I returning home, some of them added me on Facebook. Of course, I accepted and was pretty chuffed that I was starting to make new Indian (guy) friends. I’d send a message to say hello, they’d reply with a similar greeting. And then – nothing. These guys still live in my Facebook account, albeit dormant. Talk about being dissed.