An AB(C)D Kind of Love
Being an ABCD is not an easy task. It’s
something you have to live with each day. An
ABCD is an American Born Confused Desi.
Trust me when I say I’m no longer confused.
You know that people will talk about it and use
other similar words or phrases but you keep on
going. You realize that what you have is a gift
that others feel jealous about. That is why they
try to treat you differently or sometimes make
fun of you. I never realized that till a few years
ago. I realized that being different and unique
makes you special. It makes you more attractive
as a value or an asset.
Being born and brought up in USA, and then
moving here left me with a different type of skill
set. My English is fluent, yet my Gujarati and
Hindi suffer. Though I have been here in India
since ages, my secondary languages fail to come
out right. There is the hint of accent that makes it
sound funny (or cute as I later found out).
However, one of the best things about the friends
I have is they speak to me in multiple languages
letting me get the best out of my worst. I felt that
speaking in an accent could be looked at by
people as a sign of my strength or their jealousy.
Earlier it used to bother me what they said or
how they called me “Angreji or Foreigher”. The
fact of the matter is I am a citizen of both the
lands. they are citizens of just one. the other
important thing is they call themselves Indian,
was born in America but wanted to move here.
that makes me more Indian than the rest.
Similarly i feel that writing things by using
multiple dialects or languages expresses to a
larger band of people. i feel that using a mix of
languages in my writing makes me feel less
perfect and more human. everyday we all use a
mix of languages in our conversation. My
pointing out things in English, we fail to show
some of the best expressive thoughts. There are
certain key words and sentences that have a
better impact in native languages than in the
international code of English.
In a relationship – whether it is family or friends,
I have realized I speak a mix of all languages. I
earlier started with just English but it seems that
speaking in a mix of them all or trying them all
out one by one has a better impact and shows a
better all round personality. I feel that expressing
your love does not have to be in a single
language. You don’t need to limit yourself to one
way of expressing.
Sometimes the funniest things you say or do
come out to be the cutest. They are often ones
that you would have expected getting you
laughed at or with. The truth is that expressing
yourself is important. What medium you use of
expressing yourself, doesn’t matter. If you make
mistakes, grammatical or spelling – you don’t
need to worry about it. The fact is you tried and
you tried your best.
If everyone was limited to their core competence,
the world would have only specialists and not
generalists. In a world where you are expected to
be different and ready to play different roles in
life – husband, father, son, lover or other – a mix
or different traits is important. I feel that if you
have a little of a lot, you are better than a lot of
just one. In a relationship if you are the best at
one thing you can be certain you can impress
your love with that. How about when she expects
something different or something unique? She
knows you’re good at swimming Does she know
that you’re decent with the flute or the trumpet?
People often ready my other language writings and
tick me off. They say I should focus on English
content because that’s what I’m good at. I feel
that I’m truly better when I go with a mix of
cultures a mix of emotions and a mix of
languages. It makes my work more complete.
Using a variety of languages and mix of different
colours, I feel my work shows more dynamics of
a real life rather than a painted one sided story.
In a relationship I see myself wanting not to
Impress the other person by flaunting my riches,
But saying look this is who I really am – I’m a
Mix of different colours, some bright and some
Dark, I’m not perfect. I don’t make money on
Trees. I don’t have some things that others have
And there are some things I have that other’s
I could flaunt around if I wanted to – but I am a
Person who can live on basic necessities too. One
Of the factors that I feel is important to my being
Who I am – the “ Sanskar” I believe in I’m not
One who says never speak lies or don’t say bad
Words. I am not the perfect “saint”. Then again,
nowadays half the saints aren’t as ‘saintly’ as
They seem to pretend.
My point being is that I’m a guy who can let go
of a lot of visual eye – candy objects and come
Down to earth. Give me a girl, a place and a real
Relationship and love and I can be the real me.
The rest added just changes or adds something to
The image. The decorations are not important,
The real me is the most important thing. I’m not
Chinese. I’m not small. I’m not American. I’m
Not a cow boy. I am ‘desi’ in my own little way.
The truth is I am Indian. I’m as true as one can
Be. And for that matter I carry a motto “proud to
Be Indian” whether I go.
-Written By Shivam Parikh.