I was two years old when my parents left the shores of India forever and came here to build a new life for themselves.
This was the land of dreams and opportunities; it offered them a future that India never could.
They had to act now, before I grew too fond of my independence, before I began to test the boundaries of my Indian womanhood, set so painstakingly for me since childhood, before I met someone like you. You can understand a daughter’s reluctance to inflict grief upon her parents by her choices.
How can I explain to you why their happiness hinges not on my own happiness and trust in my abilities, but on this meticulous desire to control every aspect of my life, to tie my destiny irrevocably with this man I do not know, and do not care for?
And only an Indian parent has the strength, the unshakable mettle, to put honour, tradition and duty above all else, even an only daughter. Wherever I go, whatever I do, I will always be followed by a billion eyes, and a billion tongues, watching my every move, judging me at every turn, ready to shred me to pieces at the first sign of falter.
For I am an Indian girl, and this is the burden I have been raised to bear.
I see the confusion in your eyes, my love, and this was how I felt too.Deepak Dhankar, 29, used photos of a muscular, blond stranger and adopted the name 'Jamie' for a dating profile he used to arrange a tryst with a Melbourne woman because he thought it would get him more hits.The married father of three was sentenced to a community corrections order in the Victoria County Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to procuring sex by fraud after the woman discovered he was not who she thought he was.The air was cool and temperate, not hot, damp and sweaty; the children were plump, fair and healthy, not weedy and malnourished; and the streets were clean and litter free, not writhing with the tangled limbs of the handicapped, destitute and starving. We played together in the blissful lighthearted way that only very small children can, but I was always reminded that I was not one of them.Their kind was to be treated with suspicion, with their depraved concepts of single parenthood, divorce, boyfriends, pubs, gay rights and female bus drivers.I was told that it should be my priority at all cost to stay away from boys, as they would bring nothing but shame and disrepute, and who could recover from that?If I argued that all my friends were allowed to go, I was reminded time and time again that it didn’t matter; the rules were different for Indian girls, even ones that had no living memory of India at all.As you know, I finished school with top grades and secured a place at an excellent university to read the subject deemed best for me by my parents.Despite finding it both unchallenging and uninteresting, I finished top of my year, and went on to be hired by one of the largest and most reputable firms in the world.You do understand, of course, that this was all for my own good. They only wanted to give me the best education, the best career and the best shot at life in this foreign country of dreams, with no unnecessary distractions.So I did my best for them, I made sure that their sleepless nights and tears and raised voices didn’t go to waste.