My (Biggest) Struggle of being an Indian Girl

If you’ve kept up with Jointly at all in the past almost two years (ahh!), you probably know by now that one of my favorite things to write, discuss, and vent about is being Indian. In most cases I like to joke (but never exaggerate) about what it’s like to be an Indian girl, but today I want to be totally honest and share with all of you, my biggest struggle as an Indian girl.

I’ve always known my biggest pain point with my ethnicity, but the full extent of it didn’t really hit me until I finished Mindy Kaling’s latest book, Why Not Me. The number one reason I struggle with being Indian is because Indian culture prohibits me from being 100% real with all of you. I always think about my goals as a writer and how I can further refine my voice and skill only to realize that I can’t really, because I’m Indian.

Now, before going any further, I would like to caveat that this post is based solely on my personal experience and feelings. Additionally, I would like to make it undeniably clear that I love being Indian and could not imagine my life in any other way. Okay? Okay, moving on…

I feel that, as an Indian woman, I have a certain image to maintain. I should conduct my life with the perfect amount of grace, respect and reservation. I should share little and keep my personal life, especially the portion of it grandparents may frown upon, personal. And to a certain extent, I totally agree with this. I am all for grace and you probably can’t find a girl who loves and respects people (who deserve it), more than I do. But not sharing…I’m sure you can see how that would hold me back as a writer.

bollywood animated GIF

                          Indian girls should be all shy and shit

As I got deeper and deeper into Mindy’s stories, I couldn’t help but go a little bug-eyed as I read about her love life, how she enjoys filming sex scenes and her excessive drinking (and McDonald’s eating). I was shocked but inspired and could feel my already present admiration for her grow as I flipped each page. She is real, I thought. I want to be real too.

And I try to be. I really do. I’m sure you can tell from some of my writing. But there are certain personal topics I avoid completely, as I know my audience. But I’m getting to the point where I’m old enough to not care what other people think. I’ve been raised well and I know right from wrong and appropriate from inappropriate. I mean…it’s not like I want to be a lingerie model. Just a good writer. If you want to be a lingerie model (which I would also totally support, to each their own), and this post inspires you to do so, please do not tell your strict Indian parents that I gave you the idea. If you need someone to blame, blame Mindy.

Love,

K

P.S. For all Indians reading this and preparing to judge me for the unfiltered stories I am to tell in the future, just know – I heard young adults in India are way worse.

Dreams For Sale

Happy hump day!

After searching for what seems like ever, I’m finally bringing you my latest playlist. It has months worth of emotions in it, so I can’t say it only has one feel, but I can say that I always put soul in them, but this one has heart.

Dreams For Sale

.99 dreams

Special shout out to P and N for sharing their impeccable taste in music with me.

Hope you grow to love and feel these songs as much as I do!

Always yours,

K

On Making Choices

I found this quote on Mashable today. Now I don’t usually seek out life inspiration on Mashable. It’s generally reserved for updates on digital behaviors or stats on how many Millenials play Flappy Bird. But as I was skimming through my Facebook Newsfeed over my morning cup of coffee, I saw “In case you need them… 10 Mister Roger’s quotes to remember on bad days.”

My day hasn’t been bad per se, but couldn’t we all use a pick me up on a Tuesday morning?

Anyway, one of these Mister Roger’s quotes really stood out to me. It’s a feeling that’s been weighing heavy on my heart a lot these days.

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It’s glaringly obvious these days that there is time for very little outside of work (& secondarily wedding planning). I try and call my family every day (even for a few minutes), I hang out with my fiancé, eat some food, and sleep. A lot of what I envisioned for this year has already fallen to the wayside, but I’ve learned not to be too hard on myself. I’m trying and prioritizing the best I can!

So when we decided to get a dog, everyone’s opinions really hit me hard. Some people expressed their disagreement, and others, their concern. Some people asked us how we could be so irresponsible. Why were we choosing such a busy time in our lives to get a puppy?

My answer to them (and myself, because of course when the people you love are against something you’re doing, you experience a bit of cognitive dissonance), is because it feels right. Because we’re choosing to do this over other things. Because it’s coming from a deep sense of who we are! It’s something that we’ve always wanted and from the inside, looking out on our lives, it makes sense. Even if from the outside looking in, it doesn’t.

And this sentiment from Mr. Rogers is so inherent to everything we do, no matter what phase of life we’re in. Do we take time off after college to travel? Do we move to a far away city to fulfill what may be a pipedream? Do we quit our job because we hate it? Do we get married? Do we break up? Do we put our careers on the back-burner to raise a family?

People will always disagree and have something to say, but if your decision comes from “a deep sense of who you are,” how can you be wrong?

Love,

A