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Nama-Slay: 10 Things You Can’t Say to Indian Parents

by Aiden

Sumati Huber gives us a comprehensive (and relatable) list.

1. “I feel stressed.”
Their response: “Stress? What stress? You have everything so good. When have you ever had to work hard for anything? It’s because you spend too much time staring at your phone. Youngsters today are always thinking so much. Drink a glass of water and finish your homework.”

2. “Can I sleep at my friend’s house tonight?”
Their response: “Again with the friends! Every day a new friend! When was the last time you went to visit your bua or chacha? Running after friends all day! Why do you need to sleep there? So their parents can think you don’t have your own bed at home? What’s the point of me changing your sheets every week if you don’t want to live here?”

3. “I don’t want to eat daal.”
Their response: “You’re too good for daal now? Our ancestors didn’t invent yoga by eating pasta all the time. You must be getting too influenced by your friends and forgetting you are Indian. Even Mary and Susie always love it when we serve daal at our house because they probably only get cheese and ketchup at home.”

4. “I don’t want to get married.”
Their response: “Oh great, excellent, very super! We worked so hard to give you the very best education and everything you could dream of. Now you’re telling us you don’t appreciate anything we have done for you. All our sacrififices for nothing. Good, be alone forever then and we can also live in shame for the rest of our lives.”

5. “I need time to figure some things out.”
Their response: “Figure what out? Why don’t you start by figuring out a maths problem? Then maybe you will learn some things. People now really have too much freedom. At your age I was already married, running my own house, had a full-time career and raising three small children.”

6. “I have an appointment with my therapist.”
Their response: “What are you talking? What is this therapist? Why do you have a therapist? You have a problem, you go see a real doctor.”

7. “I’m not hungry.”
Their response: “Are you sick? Eat something, you will feel better.”

8. “My boyfriend’s name is Dave.”
Their response: “Listen! Did you hear what she said? Shameful! Who said you are allowed to have a boyfriend? And what name did you call him? Dave? You mean to say Davinder, right?”

9. “I’m going out tonight and won’t be eating dinner at home.”
Their response: “Out again! You just went out yesterday. You have been going out for the past 36 years! People must be thinking you are so bad for gallivanting all the time. Dinner is made already, eat before you go.”

10. “I won’t be able to make the wedding, my job won’t let me take time off.”
Their response: “How can you miss the wedding? What will Auntie Sona say if you are not there? She gave so much at your wedding time. Give me the number of your boss, I will call and talk to him myself!”

An unreformed party girl and mother of two, writer, editor and observer Sumati Huber tries to make sense of our unique Thai-Indian society and the aunties that she will one day become.

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