Masala Magazine Thailand

Home » Nama-Slay!: An Indian Reacts to A Non-Brown Person

Nama-Slay!: An Indian Reacts to A Non-Brown Person

by Aiden

Sumati Huber gives us this uncannily familiar interaction.

Ah yes, very nice to meet you too. No, my name is pronounced, “Maa-doo-ree.” Yes, I know it’s spelled like ‘Mad-hurry’ in English but it makes more sense written in Hindi as it is an Indian name. Yes, the language is called ‘Hindi’ not ‘Indian.’ Do you speak American or British? I didn’t think so. Sorry, I never considered going by a nickname like ‘Mary’ to make your life easier, but thanks for your suggestion. 

Oh, you actually know an Indian person named Mary? Yes, I’m sure she’s very exotic looking and you initially mistook her as being from Brazil or Spain. No, I can’t say I’m familiar with Raj who teaches your yoga class. Not all Indians are related and I’m actually more into Muay Thai than yoga but thanks for showing me your downward dog! 

You’re doing a get-together with a few friends and family at your house? How lovely, I appreciate you inviting me. What can I bring? I can make some snacks. Do you prefer vegetarian or non-vegetarian? Really, it’s no trouble at all. I cook everything from scratch every day because I don’t believe in conveniences like the freezer or jarred sauces. 

Oh, you’ve already prepared some cheese and crackers? That’s all you’ll serve? What about the real food? Do you not like your friends? How can you let them leave hungry? I will make some samosas and pakoras, or how about some lamb biryani with my famous mango chutney? 

Yes, thank you for telling me about that Indian restaurant you’ve eaten at before with the amazing ‘naan bread’ and butter chicken. But we don’t believe in eating Indian food at restaurants, nothing is better than homemade, trust me. 

No, no, I don’t only eat spicy food or curries although I’m sure your favourite seasonings are salt and pepper. Please tell me how many people you’re expecting so I can prepare enough. You said your family is coming, right? Does that include all the chachas and buas as well? What about the grandparents? Oh, you only have one distant cousin and a stepfather? I see.

Our gatherings are a little bit different. No, sorry I won’t be able to teach your guests how to belly dance. No, we don’t do that during Diwali, I think you’re getting some things mixed up.

Sure, I will bring my husband as well, thank you. We didn’t have an arranged marriage, and we actually got together in our 30s. Yes, I know you’ve heard all Indians have arranged marriages at 16. That’s OK, I’m just letting you know it can happen in other ways too. 

Yes, my son will be able to join the party as well. Yes, he still lives with me. What difference does it make if he’s 25 years old? Where else would he go? Oh, you moved out when you were 18 because your parents started making you pay rent to live at home? How sad. 

Alright, well it has been lovely chatting. I’ll see you on Friday then. I’ll just arrange a caterer for you to make sure the guests get proper food. I’ll send the details and menu over to you soon. What time does it start? Oh, 5.30pm? OK, I’ll be there by 8pm then.

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.

Related Articles