The Firangi Factor


  1. They get stared, jeered, hooted at…
  2. Men point at them, make lewd gestures, mumble trash…
  3. Street urchins have been known to smack them (happened to Emma, a friend of Maegan’s who’d come to visit)…
  4. Soaring temperatures and constant humidity makes them uncomfortable and tired…
  5. Mosquitoes sniff them out no matter what and leave their skin cratered and pained…
  6. Dust and mosquito repellant smog leaves their hair frizzy and eyes red…
  7. They get ripped off by drivers…
  8. They have to live with horrible/ weird/ dirty females, if on a budget…
  9. Foreigner registrations are usually a nightmare…
  10. The general opinions and stares of random people follow them wherever they go…

I’m sure I’ve missed points.

They come from well respected, protective, beautiful families just like ours. Their mums and dads are just as concerned as ours are. They have never had to endure this kind of treatment in their lives.

And yet. Yet, in all the while that I have known Maegan or Susanna, have I known them to be complaining and/or bitter. Never will they make a face about sitting underneath a fan, without the comfort of an AC. Never will they be grumpy about going out in the searing heat. Never will they be bitter about walking instead of taking a rickshaw. Give them a ride and they will thank you profusely to the point of embarrassment (keeps happening with M and V)…

They smile, wrestle with their Hindi, take everything in their stride, write humorous blog posts out of painful incidents, and be happy. I have met way more spoilt females… hell, even I am used to more comforts than Maegan!

What is it that makes them this nice? This tolerant? It seems so difficult for me to keep my cool when I am stared at, and I am in my own country… these two make it seem effortless. Surely it is not easy, surely… it is a mystery to me.

There is a lot to learn from you two (cutely crazy) ‘gori’s

6 thoughts on “The Firangi Factor

  1. Hats off to you girls! Its hard for me to live in India after being in US for 25 years though i grew up in Delhi and went to KM. Had all the “CHANG” not coffee at Majnu Ka Tila and Chole Bhature at Kamla Nagar.

    Came across Susanna’s blog on TOI and this blog by accident and read them all in 2 sittings.
    Enjoyed the musings!!! Keep it up.

    I can somewhat relate to them as I left India in 1984 when I was 17 and roamed around the world before settling in the US.

    PS: I am a guy and I can never really understand what girls go thru but I have a sister whom I love dearly, an amazing wife who is brought up in America but more Indian then most Indian girls I have met, very highly educated as well and now a beautiful 10 month old daughter. My wife talks about the famous Indian Stare. Google it.

  2. Thank you! I’m sure most guys are like you, not experiencing it first-hand but having their loved ones go through it (which sometimes, is worse, cause you feel so helpless). But sigh, that will have to make for another post!
    Oh the very idea of a 10 month old princess is grand! Congrats, daughters are the best 😀 !

  3. Thanks! Yes daughters are the best. We are blessed. Unless one grows up with a woman (sister or daughter); one never really learns to respect a woman.

    Btw my little ‘grily’ made her 1st trip to India 2 weeks back. It was only 1 week long but she loved it and handled it very well. We were adventurous but luck favors the fools as they say. We made it thru the visit without trouble but had a ‘karma catchup (or ketchup)’ on the flight home when she contacted eye infection from someone and cough and congestion from someone behind us who kept coughing and sneezing the whole flight.

    Hygiene is a word Indians know nothing about and don’t care to know either becuase “they know it all’!!! I see that 2 ‘gori’ girls have experienced it as well.

    Enjoy writing and enjoy life!

  4. Nice to know that they are that tolerant about all of it. As girls, we all deal with the stares but more so, if you are a foreigner. I have read a lot of blogs where the “gori” mem is forever complaining about India. This is decidedly refreshing.

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