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Vijay Uncle
xx Responses to the write up & Presentations
« Thread started on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 6:53pm »

I am posting some of the responses I got in response to the write up about "Confused Desi who is really confused"
« Last Edit: Jan 19th, 2005, 09:03am by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #1 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 6:54pm »

I just wanted to comment on your article. My friend referred me to it saying I should read it. I think it is very true and excellent job. I'm a 18 year old Indian-British-American Teenager. Although you article states realities of our desi community today, it's, of course, naturally not ALL true but for most part very true sadly. Personally I believe that desi youth takes advantage of their parents because they can. The youth shouldn't be undermined, as it is. Desi parents are controlling, but yet have no power. I can see that most American families have control in their families, the Indian ones. Why? Because while trying to show control and values, they are weak in feeling they aren't doing 'just' to their kids. That their kids are suppressed by Indian values even though those values are superior? Definitely confused parents.. I just have to speak up for the youth of desi society today-- who are upholding values needed in today's society. I know many others other then myself who don't smoke drink do drugs aren't sexually active But I do pray for well-being of desi youth not only here in US but in India as well. Times are bad.

Bye, Jai Swaminarayan
Urvi (High School Senior)
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Nageswari C
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #2 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 6:55pm »

I have read the articles 'Confused Desi! Who is Really Confused?' and 'Defining Age : Teen Years' written by you. I want to let you know, I am glad that I did. I found your articles very original and honest; they seem like an outcome of serious thought and deep reflection. Thanks for sharing
your views and thanks for thinking about our(desi)kids and seeing them for what they are.
Keep writing, Regards
Nageswari C

Nageswari is a mother of a teenager.
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xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #3 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 6:55pm »

OMG .. ur soo rite!
Mann .. ur lil article juss said everything that the majority of the DESI TEENAGERS feel but never get to express it to anyone but their peers! Thank you for writing this article .. it really helps out parents/kids to figure out stuff! MuCh LuV
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xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #4 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 6:56pm »

Points to Ponder
A friend forwarded your articles on 'Confused Desi, Defining age etc. Articles are excellent and very informative. Well, in the same vein I am sending you some thought provoking quotations they are brief and says a lot.

Violent attempt at reforms always end by retarding reform. If you don't allow one to become a lion one will become a Fox. Swami Vivekananda

The main object of teaching is not to explain meanings, but to knock at the door of the Mind. Anonymous

I now clearly see that the mistake is to judge children by the standards of the grown ups, to forget that a child is quick and mobile like a running stream: and that, in case of any touch of imperfection need cause no great alarm, for the speed of the flow is itself the best corrective. When stagnation sets in then comes the Danger. Rabindranath Tagore

What is important is that those of you who are dealing with children should not impose upon them your own fallacies, your own particular ideas and experiences. This is very difficult thing to avoid because older people talk a great deal about all the unessential things that have no importance in life; so gradually they communicate to the children their own anxieties, fears and superstitions and the children naturally repeat what they have heard. What they should do is to create an atmosphere in which the children can grow in freedom and without fear. Krishnamurthy

Enjoy. I sure enjoyed your articles.

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Rashmi Bhakta Austin
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #5 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:00pm »

hi vijay uncle i had a chance to read your piece on desi culture and i must admit i have never read something so precise about the way most desi kids feel. It is rather odd for me because some parents like mine are so open about everything and then there are the extreme ones that pretend like such scenarios dont exist. I really liked this piece and I am assuming that you are not done, but when you are I would really like to read the rest of it.

I was really thrilled about Reenas experience with you. She told me that your Bone Marrow Project is very fulfilling. I guess I just wanted to do something in the community and she told me that you would be most interested in having volunteers. Thank you for replying and letting me read your piece on the evolution of desis.

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Baldev Sood Toronto
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #6 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:01pm »

dear Dr.Mehta
thanks for bringing up this subject.
I have one son who went through the same.
What we need is educate our kids be open with them.Explain not dictate the morals and the values but certainly not give the children the feeling of neglect andsuffocation.explain the possivblity of consequences of their action.
Never threaten them of disowing them.Keep ur doors open even if they make mistakes.
baldev sood
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Lavnaya Shah
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #7 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:03pm »


Nameste !

read your article on who is Confused Desi ? & thougt it very interesting.

You've raised the prime Q. that many of us desi parents face at this stage in America.

Here are some of my writings ~~ take a look ~~





& this is an article on my late father, Pt.Narendra Sharma --


& an introduction to my father's work ~~


My daughter Sindur wed Brian last Nov. & it was a fusion of both cultures for us.

My son Sopan is at ASU & we await & pray that he has a happy / successful life.

I feel a tremendous need is facing all of US to breath easy & let the 'ankur' thrive in the land of plenty and turn into a huge Banyan which will always b a source of shade & peace for the many different particles of human soil to gather around it . Our heritage & Culture is strong & all encompassing & thrives in diversity & gathers strength in difficulties.

We need to help OUR Future generation reach a point of take off into distant time & space.

I myself consider --my own self -- as a world citizen & not just an Indian - NRI -- USA citizen.

The time has arrived to prove the old adage -- "Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam" ring true.

These are my views. What is your conclusion after the study ? I'm curious 2 learn abt. that.

Hoping to hear from your side,


Lavanya D. Shah
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Kavita Shah
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #8 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:05pm »

Hey uncle,
I read your confused desi sounds great. I'm sure you are not finished and want some more ideas, so here goes. You might want to include some of these themes as well:

1.) Indian parents fear of the "others" (anyone that is not Indian)

2.) Any engagement with the opposite sex is considered sinful until you become 21 and then they wonder when the hell their son in law (daughter in law) is coming into the picture.

3.) The main difference between Indian and American culture. In indian culture one is not considered a seperate entity from their family. All actions, good or bad, are considered reflections of how you were raised and the mannerisms of your parents. Whereas in American culture everyone is independent of their family and if you think about what you want in your life and govern yourself accordingly, your are considered strong and independent not selfish and bringing shame to the family.

4.) The way Indian parents think that they understand "Americans and American lifestyles" by watching Opra, Hardcopy and Jerry Springer, and if we allow ourselves to be a part of that culture we too will appear on such tv shows and discrace our families.

5.) Indian parents are afraid to do anything else that might allow society or the Indian society to percieve them as being different. They don't allow their sons or daughters to go away for school because their cousins didn't and they turned out great. So why do I have to do anything differently??

6.) The way some elders might even resort to such actions as discouraging young females in their families from getting a higher education because they might now be such an attractive candidate for marriage.

7.) Many parents feel that as their children are growing up they shouldn't introduce their native tongue to them because it might confuse them and they might end up with not so perfect english. What they don't realize is that they are robbing that child of a true chance for them to get a grasp of the beauty of their culture.

8.) I think the biggest problem I have with Indian parents is that they love their children so much they end up suffocating them with their love. It's that same love that prevents highschool kids from going to their homecoming or begin dating. It's that same love that prevents the a future writer from pursuing his dreams and puts him on the path of a more stable career like medicine or engineering. It's that same love that prevents a young adult from acknowledging his or her own needs first and acknowledging what is acceptable for his family. And one day we get tired of being suffocating and we lash out at the world and our families. Some of us resort to drugs or sex, others have bitter contempt for their families and rush into marriage as a manner of escape, and some of us just disassociate ourselves from the very thing that seemed to cause our misery to begin with...being Indian.

That's it for now. I hope it helped. If I think of anything else I'll let you know.

Kavita Shah is a med student at San Antonio Med school
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Abrahm Thomas
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #9 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:11pm »


What a way to wake-up the neighborhood...hats off uncle! I'll definitely be
forwarding the e-mail to my dad, brother and some friends. I'm studying for exams (two) next week. Mitali also told me that you met her what do you think? smiley

I think, meeting my parents will be a more "memorable" event than hers wink

I didn't know that 143 means I love you...i see the connection with the
number of letters...but arent' these ABCuteDesis reaching a little far
out...tell them to be gutsy like me and to say what's in their
heart...instead of hiding behind numbers.

I'm disappointed you didn't mention Kerala Christians in the essay sad

I'll have to keep bothering you about that from this point on...


Abe is finishing his M.D. at Baylor Medical School in Houston. A devout christian himself fell in love with daughter of Hindu Priest! They are navigating their love, religion and Desi culture. We hope to print their story later on-Vijay Uncle
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A Shah
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #10 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:20pm »

Dear Vijay uncle,

Thank you so much for sending me your article. There is so much truth in it and I am so glad that these issues have been addressed and actually written down. I hope that this chapter as well as the upcoming ones open the lines of communication for desi families.

About a year ago, I talked to my parents about some of the conflicts between the cultures that you have mentioned in the article, and having an open conversation with them has really improved our relationship over the last year. Getting their perspective and sharing mine cleared so many misunderstandings and has made our relationship so much healthier. I hope that your article encourages other families to do the same because there is so much that both generations can learn from each other.

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts and look forward to the upcoming chapters. I have passed along the link to my friends and hopefully they will pass it along as well.



A Shah is a medical student at the Texas A & M University.
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Hafiz Lalji
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #11 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:27pm »


That was a very timely and thought provoking article. As a first
generation desi parent, you described my thoughts, emotions and attitude
as though scripted!

My daughter is turning 10 this year and I thank you for opening my eyes
to a broader perspective.

Keep up the great thought provoking articles.

hafiz lalji
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Geetha Devdas
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #12 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:39pm »

Dear Dr. Mehta,
Hi, how how are you? I checked out your Confused Desi website last night...very interesting. Some VERY good pointsmade, but I was wondering what kind of reaction have you gotten from parents? I think kids can relate to practically everything in there, but I can see many adults denying what they read. Also, I was thinking about the next couple of generation of kids here in America and how the issues are going to change, how the problems we have now will seem almost like nothing.
I don't know, I think problems arise when we
make problems out of things, if our kids are healthy,
happy, living "good" lives, what does all this matter?
Just some thoughts. Well, I hope everything is well
with you, I'm going to get back to Pathology, talk to
you later. With love,

Geetha Devdas is a medical student at Texas A & M Medical School.
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Rahul Kasukurthi
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #13 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:43pm »

Hello Vijay Uncle,

I was at your Confused Desi talk at the ATA conference in Ft. Worth this past 4th of July. I just wanted to say that it was very thought provoking, and articulated a lot of things that I had always thought about but had not been able to express well.

Your talk has allowed me to start some great discussion with my parents about many of the issues you brought up, and they especially enjoyed your flyer (they were not at the conference).

Also, my family and I were interested in knowing how we can sign up for bone marrow donation. I didn't get a chance to do it at the conference. Should we just contact our physicians, is there a website or phone number? We would all like to participate.

And finally, you mentioned to me that you were on the admissions committee at Texas A&M, and mentioned that you might be able to send me a questionare that would highlight my strengths and weaknesses as a medical school applicant. Could I get that? Thanks a lot.

Your seminar was quite amazing, and I'm sure you know that you've touched many people.

Thanks Dr. Mehta.


Rahul Kasukurthi

(from Portland, Oregon, and currently a student at USC in LA)
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Pradeep Singhi
xx Re: Responses to the write up
« Reply #14 on: Mar 2nd, 2003, 8:52pm »

Dear Sir,

I have read your articles, namely "defining age" and "confused desi".

My congratulations on such incisive views on the mind of an average Indian teen abroad.

I was stunned that many of the points mentioned by you have striking similarities with the modern Indian teenager too. I ascribe many of the syndromes to the bandying of highly complex psychological words and phrases by persons barely equipped to do so. I refer to many teen and womens' magazine advisor columnists and show-hosts like Oprah. These kids are made to hear deep psychiatrics-based jargon at the drop of a hat, and their still immature minds give these impressive sounding words and phrases entirely unintended meanings. More often, as escapes to their own insecurities, which are bound to crop up at that tender age in some form and some measure.

I mean, what would an 18 year old understand about "mood swings" or incompatability at a supranatural level"?

A key note in your article states " They say they love me, but they are controlling me" - it merely echoes the confusion of their young minds. Love and control are two entirely separate things, notwithstanding that 'controlling' is not the appropriate word here, but used extensively on talk shows. To an adult mind, this would read as "They love me, and they are guiding me".

No parent likes to control, though some, in an over-protective stance, have an impractical list of dos and donts. (I don't include here the emotionally insecure parents who need somone or something to control in order to feel better about themselves. )

Similarily, most of the other points have a very negative slant which kids are apt to proclaim, to prove that they are more mature than they can biologically be at their age. In today's world, it is the "in" thing to criticise. And what better place to begin than your own parents, or for that matter, for some warped adults, your own children.

I could go into a more arguable discussion on the subject, but all I wish to convey here is my kudos to you for very well written articles.



Pradeep Singhi.
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