That Asian-Eyed Girl

I spent my early childhood in Jhansi (MP) and Ambala (Haryana), and yet I had never felt any different. The art of defining people by their exterior features was never my forte. Maybe because I was always the odd one out. Not that I am complaining. I loved the attention, after all, I was the darling of the party and everyone would pinch my cheeks and call me Oshin. 
I thought Oshin was some Haryanvi word for cute 😛 until I realized it was a Japanese Serial telecast on DD1. 
{If only I had that much of an eyebrow. My eyebrows do a disappearing act in photos}
I have studied in Army Schools and Kendriya Vidhyalayas, where my classmates hailed from different parts of the country. I don’t remember anyone pointing at my eyes and asking where’s the rest of it. {Maybe because I was a class topper and, well, no one messes with the class topper} 🙂 On a serious note, I never felt any different from my Keralite friend or my UP-wali friend. To top it all, I had a Hati (meaning Elephant) in my name, glaring at me from every notebook. Yet my schooldays were just as normal as any other Indian kid.
So why is it that when I grew up and started working, all of a sudden I started feeling that maybe I was different. Did my eyes shrink a size or did people around me find me so dazzling that they couldn’t help staring at my beautiful face? 😛  

Imagine Jackie Chan introducing himself as Ashwiniranjan Subramanium , that too in a place like Chennai. It’s actually funny to see the reaction every time I introduced myself as Rajlakshmi. Or the surprise that my Hindi is accent-proof. 

It’s strange how as kids we were never judgemental but after growing up, our minds became narrow like the lanes of Chandni Chowk.
People have asked me weird questions, no doubt, but maybe I am a little tolerant when it comes to ignorance. I have always explained, shown them pictures, and no matter how bored they looked, given a lecture on Ahom Dynasty and my ancient roots.
Ahoms are descendent of ethnic Tai people that accompanied Prince Sukapha, of a province which is now in China. There are over 2 Million Ahoms in India {see I could just get started anywhere}
It’s been a year in Sydney, and it seems I am back to my school days. I don’t feel different any more. It’s disappointing sometimes that people don’t stop and glance twice at me, but the feeling of being so extraordinarily normal, so comfortable in my surroundings, is amazing. Well, I still have to explain my name and people still give me baffled looks when I explain my Indian ethnicity. Sydney is so multi-cultured that you will find people from almost every part of the world.
I fit in fine, I look like a Burmese, a Bhutanese, a Tibetan, a Nepali, an Indonesian, Chinese… my friends sometimes jokingly call me Miss International. 😛
It’s easy being the odd one out, the only task is to find one other person who’s just as odd, and that my friend, is the toughest task.
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31 thoughts on “That Asian-Eyed Girl

  1. India is a land where people are judged(at least in the beginning) on their looks. Loved the way you have put up your experience with sprinkles of sarcasm. 😉

  2. Growing up does mean becoming judgmental. Sad, no? We have a habit of asking too many questions when we see someone who is not like us. But the good part about living in India is that you learn to live with different types of people and enjoy it. Not many nationals enjoy this privilege.

  3. You are my first friend from the north east and i feel guilty for stealing your thunder when it comes to eye size…lol
    But dear old Hati princess, Hat(i)s off to you & your attitude towards life. Tere jaisa kisi ko aaj tak Mila nahi, aur baap re milna bhi nai 😛 Tum jaisi ho, sahi ho yaar!!

    PS: wrote a comment before this praising you more…lekin gayab hogaya on posting. Dunno, aankein itni choti Ki dikh nahi raha shaayad…hehe

  4. People in India are pretty judgmental about others' looks and that's something that you don't find in other countries. People comment whether you are dark or fair or fat or slim.
    You look beautiful the way you are!

  5. Princess! You are a princess and that is all I know 🙂 I like the way you write from your heart, with a touch of humour and sarcasm.
    I totally agree with you in that Sydney is multi cultured. I never felt alone walking down the streets of Burwood 🙂
    and you know what Princess? Like they called you Oshin, people have pronounced my name like this – 'Oshini' – Imagine that 😀 hahahaha

  6. Nice post. I am glad you are taking it sportively. In USA, calling someone Asian Eye person is considered racial discrimination. The strong arm of the American Law will take that very seriously.

  7. Oshin!! Before I even read your post, I went back to my childhood 😊

    Raji, not all questions and comments are meant to be offensive. Ignorance is bad? Yes! Ignorance is unkind? Not always!! When I was studying for Bachelor in Commerce, there was this Sindhi girl in class. I had never seen/met anyone who was not from Andhra until that time. Everyone in my class sang her praises all the time 😊 I am sure you hear plenty of praises too 😇 Your patience is admirable. Just when you feel exhausted, remember why you call yourself and your friends call you princess!!!

  8. I know a lot of people from the North-East get silly questions from people in India. It's sad that people don't take the trouble to find out more and just club people together. For example, many North Indians, will refer to anyone south of Hyderabad as 'Madrasis'!
    Big cities have their advantages – one of them being anonymity – that's the one thing I really appreciated in Mumbai!

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