1. Since you are an only child, are your parents so submissive and cater to all your whims? (Everyone)
No. They don’t. Full stop.
2. Why did you not go for medicine/engineering? (Relatives and nearly every Indian friend of my parents)
Self explanatory. Considering the Indian obsession with these fields.
3. Why did you take science at school if you wanted to major in something totally different? (Nearly everyone.)
Well, I’m tired of explaining that I opted for science because of a few personal reasons.
4. Do you have a boyfriend or smoke or drink alcohol? I heard all NRI teens do! *conspiratorially* (Desi Aunties again)
My relationship status is not your concern. Besides I abhor smoking. Also, you don’t get alcohol in the place I live.
5. Why are you wearing a bangle in your ear and a skirt you bought when you were five? (Those desi aunties)
I wear a large hoop earring, because it frames my face and makes it look more pleasant.
Also, I bought that skirt (which is like 5 or maximum 6 inches above my knee) sometime in the past two years. But, why should my dressing sense bother you?
6. Why are you friends with ‘that’ group?
You’ve no idea how much they supported me.
7. So, you live in the Middle East, where in Dubai is it?
I’ve told most people more than once the proper geographical location of the GCC countries and still I get this.
8. So, you’re from South India. Are you a madrasi?
Please, please, do get your facts right.
9. Where in South India are you from?
Because this leads to two options:
One, I answer Chennai, and the next statement is, “You don’t look Tamil at all!”
So, you’re telling me that to look Tamil, I have to wear a big bindi, lots of glass bangles, bunches of jasmine in my hair, a silk skirt or saree and apply turmeric powder on my face and arms.
NO. Please hear my Tamil and then judge. Thank you.
Two, I answer Kerala and then the next statement is, “But, you don’t know Malayalam!” Of course I know Malayalam.
So, this is the thing, both my parents were from Kerala originally, but my paternal grandparents settled down in Ooty and my father did his schooling there. And my maternal grandfather had a central government job and they travelled around India, before finally settling down in Chennai. (Disadvantage of having a grandparent/parent in the Army or with a Central Government job.)
So, I consider Chennai my hometown, although I’m kind of like from everywhere in South India.
10. What language are you speaking, Tamil or Malayalam? (By those Malayali friends of mine)
I do know to speak both Tamil and Malayalam properly and without much of an accent. (Because, refer to previous point. ) But, if you are a Malayalj, I’m obviously speaking to you in Malayalam. Thank you very much.