Friday, April 29, 2011


Around 10 pm my phone starts ringing and buzzing like it's having an anxiety attack. Tinku’s father has called so many times, from so many different numbers, that I finally blocked him. Because I am curious, I decide to read a few of the emails. Most of them are flat and bland. Until I come upon an email from mumbaiparag55: Madam, I read your recent ad. I m gujarati 56 y. if u have no problem in age diff.. i have interest in you. Im hungry of love, if you belives in love, there is no problem in love. When r u coming india ?. if you are in mumbai, we can make a meeting in this regarding, and we can know each other. Thanking You, I hope that you will give positive answer.

Ugh. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry. So I forward his email onto my urban family and Bangalore Cousin. Ten minutes later my cousin calls. “Who is this man?” Bangalore Cousin demands. “My potential husband! How do they have my email address and phone number?” I snap. “Uncle must have posted it in the ad.” I don’t EVEN believe this. I can only presume that my ad reads like this:  (1) 36 year old Khatri girl (2) American born (3) resides in New York (4) educated in communications.
“Have you lost your mind?” I demand, loudly, in full Punjabi angst. “I am trying to help!” Bangalore Cousin argues. “Most people set up blind dates. What do you do? You post some bullet points and my AGE, my NAME, my PHONE NUMBER and my EMAIL in the Times of India? I don’t even believe this!” My email address is my first name, last name at
In that 10% of me that is currently rational, I know they are well-intended – but HOLY MOTHER OF GOD, they posted my contact details in a publication whose circulation is at least 16 million in a country of one billion people. I mean … REALLY?! Fine, forget that I find this somewhat mortifying, but what about my safety?! I already feel like a loser most of the time. We, desis, invented outlandish weddings and arranged marriage that a billion people partake in. Yet somehow I seem to repel desi men. I cannot get one to date me, much less marry me. What kind of INSANITY is this? Deep sigh. OMG. What the F***.

“You need to calm down!” Bangalore Cousin says. “You don’t think I have other things to spend my money on? And frankly you’re difficult and get mad over the slightest thing. No one wants to help you,” Bangalore Cousin states matter-of-factly. Here is where time freezes. Fine, I am difficult --- the desi Bridget Jones meets Sally Albright from When Harry Met Sally. But I really think I could find 10 people who agree that I am entitled to be outraged over the fact that she has posted an ad with all my personal information. I guess I should be thankful she does not know my social security number.

“I just wish you had run the ad by me or at the very least posted an alias email address,” I say somewhat calmly. “Now please, just take the ad down,” I ask.  “Uncle and I paid A LOT of money for that ad,” Bangalore Cousin counters. Okay, fine. Except I didn’t ask them to butt into my life and fix what clearly is broken. “Please, I am begging you take it down.” I plead. “These people call at 2 am, you want me to marry someone whose mother cannot convert time?” I ask. “But it is a big ad,” she replies. Lordy…really? I have not slept in THREE days. So not in the mood for suitors from the homeland and their parents. “Please, just take it down. I need for this to stop being my fault,” I ask softly. “Fine,” she mutters in defeat.


Sunny said...

Actually five bullet points, considering some of the responses, they must have included your height in your ad.

I was going to say "whats wrong with your relatives", but I realized that I have some relatives who would have done exactly this and not even have an inkling that there is anything wrong with that. very often the most hurtful things are done by people who really mean well.

Humanity is only as good as the filter you put on it. Here you needed a reverse osmosis filtration, what you got is a stream filtered through a wide grate covered with slimy algae.

They should have filtered out uncles and aunts, they should have filtered out Tinkus, they should have filtered out Dinkus who are flat footed; they should have filtered out the much older guys and they should have filtered out the families that lack the thoughtfulness of trying to find what time it is at the place they are calling; and IF there is anybody left, they should have interviewed, matched your horoscope, make sure they are not manglik, and then may be, connect them with you.

Giving your direct number and email is like giving a cat an unlimited phone order privileges to an anchovies factory that delivers! Anchovies, smothered in olive oil and a little catnip sprinkle! You might have had 43 missed calls, but chances are they are from the same 4 guys/uncles.

And what is the big deal about publishing the ad in printed paper? Who is the target candidate? Somebody who doesn't know how to use a computer or somebody who is afraid to use the mouse, lest it offend the Lord Ganesha, for usurping his transportation?

Of course you deserved some, by that I mean most, of it; you were so focused on hiding your meeting with Mr.Cheesecake, that you didn't pay attention to what your cousin was saying. You should have crafted the ad to dissuade Tinkus of the world.

You told her that your biodata was the same. But biodata never remain the same; they change everyday. You are not the same person you were before you found out that your dad was ill and from an emotive point of view, you are not the same person you were before you clicked "not interested" on Dr. Froggy's profile.

Just saying...!

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Sunny -

What you write is VERY true and correct. And I was exhausted and not thinking about what she was asking, and I def own my part in this madness.

And I dont know who shd have been filtering, but I agree there shd have been something more. :)

Ms. 101

Sunny said...

That's why it is fun to be a part of a punjabi family; things are always interesting and exciting.

I am glad your writing is time shifted, one can look back and get a broader prospective.

Tinku will never know what he missed! :-)

Venusallure said...

"Privacy" has different meaning everywhere.

I applaud your vigor for hunt. I gave up years ago. I sans my cats/dogs/eels/parrots will be enough for me and sanity.

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Venusallure -

You said it! Privacy DOES have different meanings for different people!

And thanks for the applause. We all have our own understanding of moxie too! I think your life is perfect for you!

And the hunt continues :)

Desi Girl

101 Bad Desi Dates said...

Dear Sunny -

I agree. Writing now, rather than then is hands down / was hands down a great idea.

Because when my phone started ringing at 2.41 am - I thought I was going to go postal ... that Desi Girl was MAD Desi Girl ... this one is like "Eh, Sh*t happens in my khandhan" ;)

And yes being Punjabi IS very funny, amusing and head scratching!

Ms. 101