Beyond "Identity" Fiction
We get it. We, as Indians, sometimes feel torn between the east and the west. If we were born here, we are intrinsically "American" but, at the same time, we have values rooted in a decidedly un-American heritage. Thank you to all the literary trail-blazers who put "identity" fiction--and literature about South Asians in general--on the map. But let's get on with it already. How many times do we want to read about one foot in New York and one in Delhi? Eighteen times pretty much sufficed. Onward and upwards, let's see what else the glorious Indian women who roam the pages of fiction can do.
I have learned the rules but they still don't make sense. That $1000 lengha? With the hand-done embroidery and gold spun by hand? You should wear it once and carry around a spotlight so everyone can see how gorgeous it is...but then you can never be caught dead in it again. Okay. I'll play by the rules. But why not let friends reap the rewards of that spun-gold and Swarovki glory. Or forget my friends, let a stranger wear it, why does it have to hang in sad confinement in my closet (read: lay in a sad pile under my bed). Somebody has got to get on this. Bindi Borrow or Steal. Or something.
A Turmeric-Sensitive Cleaner
Members of my family believe that turmeric is a magical panacea. When my kids are coughing up lungs and their noses are perpetually leaking, I would try voodoo so turmeric is completely fine with me. But it is a disater on my home. The faint yellow residue has left impressions on high chairs and fabric long after the colds have passed. There's got to be something to get this out and even my magical Folex has failed me.
While we're at it: How about something to get that "I just came back from india" smell out of your clothes. Don't even tell me you don't know what I mean. Febreeze doesn't cut it, it just makes it seem like you were hugged by an Indian airport that had a Febreeze free sample kiosk.
Luxe Lipsticks for Brown Ladies
I have found foundations, blushes, skincare and eye makeup that I think looks great on Indian women but, for some reason, most lipsticks still manage to make me look like a clown. It's not that hard is it? Listen up Chanel: We have money to spend (sometimes): Give us a reason to.
A Short Primer On Important Traditions
I need to be able to sift through which traditions are really important to my extended family and which ones are really just filler on the calendar. I am a mutt--half Gujarati, half South Indian--and my husband is Punjabi. In terms of tradition and culture, we may as well be from different countries, it seems at times. I need some Cliffs notes. AND, I would LOVE to know what the ritual and pomp and circumstance surrounding the many traditions I've never heard of actually mean. I am still trying to get to the bottom of the significance of the strainer at karva chauth. And are we allowed to steal shoes at all auspicious occasions? And is eating panjiri THAT important?? I wish the people behind these books would get on this.
More South Indian restaurants
Just saying the word "dosa" makes my mouth water. There's more to Indian cuisine than Tandoori chicken and yet, many people have no idea.
"Petticoats" that don't suck. And lenghas that don't attack you.
I have war-wounds from some of the Indian garb I have worn. Cat-claw-like scratches under my arms from bronze adornment on lengha blouses. Near-rug-burn on my waist from "petticoats" that need to be "so tight they hurt--if it doesn't hurt it isn't tight enough." And the "petticoats" (love writing such a silly word!) are often of this horrible synthetic, satiny material that feels horrible against my skin. I'm thinking it doesn't have to be like this. Somebody please show me the way.
Non-cheesy Indian-inspirted housewares
I don't need Ganesha on my plates and I would prefer not to have Lord Shiva on my accent pillows. But it would be great to be able to showcase Indian art in my home. We keep hearing about how thriving the Indian art scene is but it remains difficult to gain access to it from here. I would much rather throw some money at a modern Indian art emporium than Design Within Reach--if I knew how.
Got Any Indian-Inspired Wishes on Your Wish-List?