Difficult questions answered

Given the upcoming trip to India there are several things I am not looking forward to. Most notably, conversations with well-wishers and family friends. [And all you Indians out there thought I was going to be another NRI whinging about the pollution and the corruption and other such stuff!].

So I thought of what I could say in response to some of the questions I just know will be posed to me.

Family friend/Well-wisher: So, when are you planning on getting married?
Me [Putting on a very sad face]: Oh well, uncle/aunty, you see, marriage in Australia is not yet legalised for me and my partner. Same-sex couples are only allowed to have civil unions.
Aim of this response: To get them to shut the fuck up about marriage! I’ll get married if and when I want to!

Family friend/Well-wisher: So, when are you going to settle down?
Me [With a puzzled look]: Settle down? Of course I’ve settled down. I’m no longer living on the streets and eating food out of garbage bins like when I first left home. I no longer have to sell myself for money to get warm clothes. So yeah, I’ve settled down now in a unit unlike before.
Aim of this response: See previous aim. Stop asking ridiculous questions people!

Family friend/Friend/Well-wisher: So all your friends are getting married. What about you? You don’t want to get left behind…
Me: Really? They are all getting married? Let’s see…when was the last time I did something they all did. After the 10th, all my friends took up science or commerce; I took up arts. After the 12th, all my friends took up engineering or computers or business studies; I took up psychology. After my undergraduation, all my friends decided to go the US or the UK or continue in India; I came to Australia. Do you see a pattern here?
Aim of this response: To knock some sense into people who think they apparently know me oh-so-well!

Family friend/Well-wisher: You’re already 27 year old…if you don’t get married now, it’ll be too late to have children!
Me [With a surprised look]: Oh! Didn’t anyone tell you…I already have a daughter. You don’t have to be married to have kids. She’s a year and a half and I didn’t bring her over because we couldn’t get her passport in time. She’s with her father. He and I are not together of course but he’s still her father…
Aim of the response: Similar to all of the above. To shock people into shutting up!

Friend: So how long have you been working as a psychologist now?
Me: 3 years and some months
Friend: So do you think you could psychoanalyse me? I have all these problems…
Me: Well, you have to undergo years of therapy and unfortunately my psychotherapy skills don’t work if I’m not paid…in dollars…
Aim of response: I do not “psychoanalyse” anyone. No one uses psychoanalysis here anymore. Please don’t base what I do for work on Hollywood.

Family friend: Hmm…you seem to have become darker than last time you came over.
Me [Excitedly]: Really? You think so? You see, I tried so hard last summer to get a tan and succeeded really well and apart from the parts covered by my bikini I have a stunning tan all over…unfortunately, it’s been so cold the last few months, I’ve been unable to hit the beach…but it’s so kind of you to notice my tan! All my white friends think it’s fab too!
Aim of response: To show them I don’t give a fuck about my skin colour.

Family friend/Friend/Well-wisher: What’s the racism in Australia like?
Me: Not even remotely as bad as it is here…because they don’t pick on my skin colour, they don’t advertise to me that I need fairness creams, they don’t tell me I’m too dark to do a certain kind of job, I haven’t been told I’m stealing their jobs…
Aim of response: Stop pointing fingers. Check out the racism that exists in India first.

Family Friend/Well-wisher/Friend: So now that you’re all Aussie, India is really bad, huh?
Me: Well, no…I still love Indian food and have always complained about the attitudes of some people here and the littering and pollution even when I lived in India. So it’s not because I’ve become Australian that anything has changed. And yes, I’ve always hated the Indian cricket team since I was 12…it has nothing to do with going to Australia.
Aim of the response: Honesty

I’m sure there will be a zillion variations on the marriage conversations because after all, according to everyone in India, I’m way over the hill . Also, since some people brought that up the last time I visited and the dark skin and the racism bit, I’m expecting the same stuff again.

Has anyone got any more humourous tips for me?

Do share…

Until next time,


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  • Titaxy
    25 May 2011 at 7:09 pm

    the marriage topic is going to spring up more than you like, i am sure 🙂 i’ve been on the receiving end for a while now, and i will tell you that people don’t stop asking no matter how you answer 🙂 or at least that’s been my experience. they don’t think twice before telling you how you are getting old to have children, how everyone else (friends) are happily married and settled down, and what not. i’ve actually tried the ‘i already have a kid’ response on a relative and ended up getting lectured on how it’s not something to joke abt 😛 oh well…sorry abt the long comment

    enjoy your trip. don’t be bothered much by these nosy questions…im sure you will handle it all well 🙂

  • Azj20
    25 May 2011 at 8:20 pm

    lol….very funny and soooooo true….why dont they get it that its not their business to be in our business

  • Comfy
    25 May 2011 at 8:57 pm

    No tips. Just loads of wishes and patience to get past these questions.

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 2:18 am

    Sigh T…you’re right about the whole marriage topic. It’d be one thing if
    it was the parents but it’s so annoying when other people start on about it.
    Cannot stand that! And lol…I can’t believe you tried the ‘I already have a
    kid’ bit…I can see myself getting a similar response from the person I
    tell that to. Along with a stern look and everything.

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 2:19 am

    Welcome Azj20! And thanks for the comment. Yep…I do not understand why
    people interfere so much in other people’s lives in India…it’s one thing
    that has always annoyed me. I do not want their opinions!

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 2:20 am

    Thanks Comfy…definitely need patience…which is not one of my virtues
    when it comes to annoying people like this!

  • soulmate
    26 May 2011 at 5:08 am

    What!!! you are 27 and still not married.. Rather you havent even thought about it.. Completely unacceptable.. This time you have to finalize a boy before you go back to Australia. We cant see you being single (read : free, independent and feel jealous about it) anymore. You need a partner, so high time you chose one before you back to Australia..


  • starry eyed
    26 May 2011 at 5:40 am

    The skin colour one will more likely come at you like, “Oh I thought you’d become fairer there like the Australians”. I was told by a disappointed relative, “Oh I thought your daughter would look like a ceramic white doll being born in US. But she has not even got your skin colour.”

    I loved the skin colour and racism responses! But the other ones…would you actually say that. I think what smarts more than anything else is that I can never get rude and nasty back at them because I don’t want to sink to their level, but sometimes politeness and sarcasm go over their heads, so rudeness would really be the only option. All the best! I used to hate how these people and their nosiness spoiled my trips back to des.

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 6:12 am

    I know…shocking isn’t it? That I’ve never thought about that…!! I’m such
    a bad influence on the youth of today! 😛

  • Sunaynna V
    26 May 2011 at 6:12 am

    Don’t worry I’ll be there all the time to tell everyone to mind their own business and to shut the hell up 😀

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 6:15 am

    You’re kidding me…the skin colour comment was unbelieveable! The last time
    I was there I was darker and a family friend commented on my dark skin and
    asked what happened. I just said I spend time in the sun! Duh! And then
    got a lecture about taking care of my skin and wearing sunscreen (which I do
    anyway but not for fairness reasons). To be honest Starry, I really doubt
    I’d have the balls to say any of the other stuff. Maybe that’s why I’m
    venting here before I actually have to face these questions. I have had
    logical arguments though with a friend who last time thought I should really
    consider getting married so that I can have “someone to look after me”.
    Honest. I think the most I probably would end up telling people is that I’m
    not interested in getting married at the moment and am pretty happy with my
    career and my relationship and my life in general.

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 6:16 am

    Hehe…that’s great…my very own personal body guard! It’ll be like last
    time I suppose…similar to the spiel about the whole racism debacle…you
    and I had both memorised the speech by the end! 😛

  • Prats
    26 May 2011 at 6:20 am

    “So when are you planning to get married?” A question that haunts every Indian at least once in his life 😀

  • Ritu Lalit
    26 May 2011 at 6:57 am

    Awesome, sharing it

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 6:59 am

    Yeah Prats…it’s not even “Are you getting married” but rather “When…”
    How can they be so sure we are all getting married???

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 6:59 am

    Thanks Ritu! 🙂

  • Shail
    26 May 2011 at 7:02 am

    Lol, excellent! :))

  • Indianhomemaker
    26 May 2011 at 7:09 am

    Loved each one of them, my favorite is the response to the racism question.

  • Kamikaze
    26 May 2011 at 7:21 am

    awesome……came here via Ritujee. I get these questions all the time…….the marriage n the dark skin bits! I am thinking of trying one of these responses now 😀 Adding to the dark skin are – oh my what has happened to ur face? so many pimples? You’ve gained so much weight! You used to be so thin……. Gawd the beautician has really messed up your eyebrows. That’s why i don’t go to a parlour – i do threading at home.Once I replied to that Aunty – ‘yeah i like my eyebrows the way they are. By the way – nice moustache…..seems you are setting a new trend. ‘

  • Kamikaze
    26 May 2011 at 7:23 am

     true that!

  • Jake
    26 May 2011 at 8:57 am

    you just narrated the same questions I get asked. Well …minus some of the shots “well educated” Indians do to target women.
    But they do have their set of loony questions for guys too 

    Q : Now, did a lot of those gora girls try to trap you ?
    A : Yeah one of them actually did lock me in a cage, but then sometimes you 
    have to keep trying new things to keep the sex interesting 

    Q : You know its really girly to grow your hair long and people might think you are gay
    A : So then why your daughter is wearing a a pair of jeans and have short hair ?
    Is she a lesbian ?

    Q : (This is probably specific to the south) Oh , you look so skinny. Its because you eat only fruits and nuts. Eat more rice, you will look more healthy
    A : Is that what uncle did to get that belly the size of a hot air balloon ?

    Q : So what kind of a girl do you like ? I’ll start looking for you 
    A : The kind that is NEVER going to ask the questions you just asked me
    I swear, you can stick your hand inside a puddle of mud and still come up with a higher form of life than your average uncle/aunty. They seem to have this weird idea that you are supposed to save up and hold yourself back right now for a life that is supposed to start at some point in the future.

  • Bikram
    26 May 2011 at 9:45 am

    WOWOWO.. hmmm Same sex marriage I like that Answer …
    RACISM :- again what an answers WE indians are the most racist people and we moan at others ..

    Loved the replies

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 10:55 am

    Thanks Shail! 🙂 Let’s see if I have the guts to say some of them…

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 11:00 am

    Oh IHM, the last time I visited India, I had a whole spiel by the end of my
    trip about how not all Aussies are racist. And I kept highlighting how
    things are in India as well, but do you think people listen to that aspect?
    Hah! The irony is one of the people who asked about the racism issue also
    asked me if I had become darker after being in Australia! Go figure…

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 11:07 am

    Welcome here Kamikaze! Oh the weight bit! Of course…I may still get that
    but I think I’m still about the same as 2 years ago. However, when I last
    visited I had obviously put on more weight compared to when I left…so I
    got that from a couple of people. And had to lol at your response to that
    aunty…good one!! 😀

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 11:08 am

    Yeah…the assumptions people make are ridiculous!

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 11:09 am

    Lol Jake…it’s nice to hear the questions guys get too…loved your
    answers! 😀

  • Psych Babbler
    26 May 2011 at 11:12 am

    Yeah…my assumption is the whole same-sex thing will shock the hell out of
    them that they will stop asking any more… 😀
    And the racism thing is one thing I never got…the last time I visited
    India it was amid the whole ‘racial’ attacks on Indian students and so I got
    asked by every single person about “racist Australians” and by the end of
    the trip I had a whole spiel prepared…but you think people listen that
    Indians are also racist? No way. Very good at pointing fingers at others but
    not seeing all the discrimination that exists in India!

  • Sakhi Shah
    26 May 2011 at 3:33 pm

    So hilarious! People should really learn to mind their own business. 😀 

  • Little Fingers
    26 May 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I am sure people will ask questions after questions, I had very bad experience during in last India visit. No matter how much I try to control these questions irritate me the most..My advise would be to ignore than fighting back..

  • Adhokshaj
    26 May 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Hey! Saw your post in Indivine. 🙂 Amazing! I wish I could give such straight-in-your-face replies when ‘aunties’ ask such questions. But I am sure you won’t really say all those things when they end up asking you these questions. 😛 That’s the only resident in India part left in us.  Well written and nice humour. Keep writing!

  • Psych Babbler
    27 May 2011 at 2:58 am

    Welcome here Sakhi! It’s about time people did mind their own business and
    stop interfering with everyone else’s affairs…

  • Gunjaaish
    27 May 2011 at 3:44 am

    Can I tag along with you and take pictures of people’s faces? Kodak moment types! We can make a series on the blog for jaw dropping facial expressions.

  • Psych Babbler
    27 May 2011 at 4:49 am

    Yeah, I am sure they will still continue despite all my efforts. The problem
    is some things I can ignore, but there’s other things that really get my
    goat and I cannot shut up!

  • Psych Babbler
    27 May 2011 at 4:58 am

    Welcome here Adhokshaj! I do reckon I could give some of the answers —
    especially the racism one, the dark skin one, and the comparing me to other
    friends ones…the first answer and the kid answer, I think I would chicken
    out because of worry about my parents’ well being. After all, I get to leave
    but my parents will still be there to bear the brunt of people’s gossip! Do
    keep visiting… 🙂

  • Psych Babbler
    27 May 2011 at 5:00 am

    Of course G! Would love it…and great idea about the series on the blog!
    It’d be fun! 😀

  • starry eyed
    27 May 2011 at 11:28 am

    You know what, PB? You are way above the level of these interfering people. Your achievements, your choices and your attitude really rock. Anytime someone is attacking you about all this cr*p, it’s because they are threatened by you and your value system. Get on your high horse, up from their level. They aren’t worth the attention!

    Best general responses: What do you mean? What a horrible thing to say! I really don’t understand what you’re saying. Why is it so important to you? Why do you want to know? I’m not interested in discussing that with you. Are you paying my bills and rent? You know, in Australia, discriminating on skin colour is racist, how ’bout here in _____, is it a criminal offense? It should be.

    The only thing, is translating this into India language is a bit dicey…but give it a shot anyway!

  • Psych Babbler
    27 May 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Aw thanks Starry! I still don’t think I can stop myself on the racism
    questions and the dark skin questions. I think with the marriage question,
    I’ll try the why is it so important aspect…you can bet they will bring up
    things like someone having to look after me…and then I can just give
    logical arguments. Although I will be itching to be sarcastic! 😛 Oh and I
    speak in English any way to these people, so translating not an issue…

  • Prateek Bagri
    29 May 2011 at 3:36 am

    Hahaha! You really shut and fucked the height of ridiculous question thrown at you. LOL

  • Psych Babbler
    29 May 2011 at 3:43 am

    Hope so Prateek! 🙂 And thanks for leaving the link for your blog! Hopping
    over to it…

  • Avada Kedavra
    31 May 2011 at 5:16 am

    great post PB. Racism!hell yeah.. have faced that in India. I am the darkest in my family and I get that a lot. And “when are you getting married?” is another question to which I will honestly punch someone soon. It is really irritating when people keep throwing that question at you. Especially friends. I told a friend, if at all I do get married, I will invite you. I will not run away and get married secretly. Regarding having children, I have always wondered, is it mandatory to have kids? Cant somebody live without having kids? Irritating lot!

  • Pesto Sauce
    31 May 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Yup..give it to them. If they say marraige is due, tell them your due date is near and would like your baby to help with wedding

  • Psych Babbler
    1 June 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks Ava! Lol at your response to your friend! And yes, I have always
    wondered that too re having children…it’s almost like a when question
    rather than an if question. What if someone decides to not have kids? It’s
    not the end of the world!!

  • Psych Babbler
    1 June 2011 at 4:40 pm

    ROFL! Good one Pesto…have to keep it in mind!