Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Black Desi and White Pardesi

Once upon a time would be the logical way to start the story of Desi and Pardesi… Their first encounter happened more than nine months ago. Both were students at IIMB; him as a genius having cracked the CAT, her as an exchange student having obtained her first destination choice, India.

Everything seemed to separate them. He had traveled India, she had traveled the world. He was dark, she was fair. He was Hindu, she was catholic. He spoke Hindi, French was her language. He had black hair, she was red headed. He was fluent in English, she could hardly use the language of Shakespeare. But more importantly, Desi was a boy and Pardesi was a girl…

Was it really love at first sight driven by a common open mind and an attraction for contrasts?

The first time they met was purely accidental. He was pursuing a blondish girl who was temporary staying in Pardesi’s room. Gosh, he wished that girl would be alone in her own room. Who was that girl, Pardesi, doing there? Pardesi and Desi politely talked for a while, Desi looking at the blonde, Pardesi unimpressed by that pretentious guy.

Pardesi was quite a busy girl. She was willing to discover the real India and used to spend most of her time out of the campus with her Indian friends. Making Indian friends was a full-time job in which she succeeded despite a hint of Indian xenophobia and a load of stereotypes about foreigners. The most difficult cliché to fight was the erroneous belief that all foreign girls are easy. Hence, Pardesi avoided any ambiguous situations.

In the meanwhile, Desi was busy with his classes and his grass gang. He didn’t really match the IIMB profile, enjoying life to the fullest and studying only when absolutely needed. Besides spending time with his friends, Desi used to love flirting with girls, especially the ones with boyfriends.

Their story could have ended here but life is an unpredictable adventure. Two weeks later, Pardesi was coming back from a pub and heard some noises coming from the L-square. “An IIMB party?” she thought. Curious, she followed the music and discovered a strange scene. People were fighting the air with arms and legs in an unsynchronized way. She went to the dance floor trying to imitate the acrobatic figures. Much later in the night, Pardesi was still energetically moving her body. Desi, a dance lover, was up till dawn as well. He noticed Pardesi. He couldn’t say she was a good Indian dancer but recognized the fervor in her movements.

Desi and Pardesi became friends. During his vacation, discretely, he used to go at least once a day to Pardesi’s room. She was stuck on campus to study for her mid-term exams the following week. They used to talk about everything, getting mentally closer.

Both were enjoying their friendship but no physical attraction existed between them. She was relatively too tall and he was relatively too short. Innocently, like a guy naturally inclined to touch a girl skin, he was sometimes trying to play with her body but she always fought back.

Life seemed great when, one day, a small incident happened. That night, Desi slept in Pardesi’s room for the first time. They had known each others for more than a month and Desi massaged Pardesi to comfort her.

Were they already in love?

"What is love?” would say Desi. Pardesi didn’t know either.

On the campus, Desi and Pardesi would rarely show up together in public. There were only a few couples among IIMB students and Desi and Pardesi skin contrast, which they both loved, would have drawn attention on them to an undesirable level.

The secret was not fully well guarded. Desi’s grass gang knew about Pardesi hardly a few days after their first body interaction. They didn’t really approve Desi but Desi, a free thinker, didn’t care. On Pardesi’s side, all her friends knew about Desi and it created some jealousy sometimes resulting in friendship loss.

Their life was incredibly busy, hardly sleeping four hours per night, meeting friends, studying, working on projects and sharing some more than needed couple time. Pardesi had also planned to travel in the northern part of India. She left by train leaving Desi on the campus due to his academic obligations. They both had a hard time sleeping alone, feeling lost in their respective beds. 10 days and an abnormally high mobile bill later, he went to pick her up at the station and they happily reunited.

Both were tensed. Pardesi was about to go back to her country. She had tried to prolong her visa but India’s bureaucratic administration didn’t allow it. The nervousness was tangible. One night, when Pardesi came back late on campus after spending the evening at one of her friends, she found Desi angry in their room. He was supposed to work on a project with one of his groupmates and Pardesi didn’t expect him to be waiting for her. They silently fought. No word was exchanged but it was in their mind, she was returning home…

They both thought the relationship would end when Pardesi would go back to her country. On her way to the airport, Pardesi cried in Desi’s arms. Since then, they are still in touch, spending hours daily on the internet or on the phone. Does someone need to miss his/her lover to really feel love?

Maybe they were unconsciously in love before admitting it. Desi and Pardesi are shy about their emotional feelings and have a hard time publicly expressing them. Both are proud characters and loving someone was almost a sign of weakness from their perspective.

Do Desi and Pardesi have a potential future together? As Desi’s elder sister would ask, are they going to marry or is it only a pastime? Both know that their relationship won't be easy. They will have to accept the stares, the peer pressure and the cultural differences.

Update: Four years later, Desi and Pardesi are still together.


ashwin said...

all the best to desi and pardesi.. they sound really cool.. i wish i had a pardesi myself

priya said...

Many indian girls would like to experience real love and physical pleasure but most of us are taught from a young age that s** is a bad thing. Of course, things are changing but it will take time... In a way, I am a bit jealous of your relationship (i guess, you are talking about urself and your jaan)... Good luck to both of you!

deepak said...

Effect of the globalization? ;o) Keep it up, guys! Enjoy life! deepak

I said...

total 3 fights!!
hmm.. make a correction, today we had the fourth fight.. but then did we ever fight, only one of us remains angry at an instant while the other one is lost :-D

Anonymous said...

Do you know any other sweet Pardesi? ;-)

erasmus-in-india said...

True, vikas, no fight at all... just a few misunderstandings and it had never lasted long... Desi boyishly remained silent and Pardesi girlishly cried a few times ;) Pardesi's friends must really wonder what happened to their unemotional Pardesi...

PS: anonymous, Pardesi is not a marietal agency :D

Vishal said...

easy love relationships rarely happen... but, guys, being a desi n pardesi make the relationship really tough... Pardesi says that desi's parents know abt her. But what do they think of their relationship? what abt pardesi's parents?

anyway, long life to ur relationship!!


Benoit said...

Ca sent le vécu, miss ;) pas peur de choquer la respectable et bien pensante communauté indienne en parlant de **censuré**? mais la facon dont tu l'as écris sonne presque romantique... lol

Entre nous, tu ns quittes vraiment pr l'Inde ou on peut tjs te faire changer d'avis?


Anonymous said...

Nice story! Waiting for the next episode... Suspence, suspence ;)

Anonymous said...

I hope you spend the rest of your lives together.

dazedandconfused said...

great story and best wishes!

erasmus-in-india said...

Vishal: well, let's see how it works on the longer term before giving a heart attack to Desi's dad.

Benoit: yeap. c décidé et presque bien réfléchi. je pars... et hmm, romantique? moi? ;o)

Anonymous: Slow down... let's enjoy the moment first.

Dazed and confused: tks for ur wishes!

Keep it up, guys (or girl... Anonymous??)


zoe ji said...

Aussie paradesi also diwani about her NRI jaanu.... learnt hindi....learnt gobi aur dhaal! can cook perfect chawal!!licken, i know i will never be seen as "good girl" to my jaanus parents/family (ex. wealthy punjabi... traditional.. sister has had arranged marrige) he managed to stave off one marrige for me, now maa says its 4 years tops!! oi i love my motu but we both are thinking there is limited time....i wish i could meet maa aur papa ji.. they could see im a good girl then.They know about me but dont think its serious.. good luck to you, its hard to be apart.. but indian men have the biggest hearts, and once they love you, thats it you are loved. just be thankfull if his parents are ok with it.