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Thread: I am an East Indian from Mumbai (how looks can be deceiving)

  1. #1
    coeur Chillybebee's Avatar Chillybebee is offline
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    I am an East Indian from Mumbai (how looks can be deceiving)

    Trinidad News, Trinidad Newspaper, Trinidad Sports, Trinidad politics, Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago News, Trinidad classifieds, Trinidad TV, Sports, Business
    Candida Mulrain has the subtlest of accents. The lilt is almost imperceptible. "Where are you from?" I ask. She hesitates, then it comes: "India."

    Double take. What?

    India. Mumbai. Formerly Bombay.

    How?

    Her mother is Indian, her father a black Trinidadian. He has never been to India, her mother has never been to Trinidad. They met in Canada. They had been pen pals and decided to meet on neutral territory. After three months, her mother returned to India - pregnant.

    The idea of a woman in India giving birth to a child who looks so unlike the traditional image of an Indian boggles the mind. Juliana Felicity Quinny lived in Mumbai, formerly Bombay-the financial and entertainment capital of India. Its 14 million inhabitants are the most cosmopolitan and sophisticated on the sub-continent.

    "My idea of Bombay," wrote Milind Deora, a politician, "[is] a waiter serving in the Taj [a five-star hotel]. During the day he might be serving Bill Gates and he'll carry himself with aplomb, be as cosmopolitan as anyone. At night he'll be taking the train to Dharavi, return to his slum, put on his lungi [wrap] and baniyan [vest], help his old parents, help wash dishes, and watch TV. You can be everything at the same time in Bombay."

    Still, it could not have been easy for either mother or child. "It did affect my personality, being different from everyone else," Mulrain mused. "But not in the sense that I have low self-esteem. I just used to wish that I looked like everyone else in my family."

    Her mother's only child, Mulrain lived with her grandmother, four uncles and three aunts, who showered her with love and affection.

    "I always stood out because of my hair," Mulrain conceded. "But I was never treated badly. Once I started talking, people realised I was Indian and they just got past my looks and accepted me. In fact, they were mostly fascinated by my hair, wanting to touch it. They thought it looked hard, but it was really soft, and it became like a cuddly toy." Her classmates would stick pencils in her Afro to see how deep it was, and ask to come home with her to see how she washed it. Obviously there was no Goldy's straightener to be bought. She only straightened her hair after visiting Trinidad for the first time in 2000, to meet her father in person.

    Mulrain, who has been working with the Caribbean Communications Network (CCN) group for two years- she is currently a media buyer with ReachCaribbean-speaks perfect English. Most East Indians do, she pointed out.

    "And when I say East Indian, I don't mean in the Trinidadian sense. Trinidad Indians are not East Indians as we define them."

    The Indians who came to Trinidad, she explained, mostly came from the north. The East Indian community of Mumbai is a minority of English speakers, who trace their conversion to Christianity back to the 5th century when St Bartholomew visited India. They are the indigenous Catholic inhabitants of Mumbai. They take their name from the fact that many of their ancestors, who spoke English, were recruited to work for the East India Company, a British trading monopoly that virtually ruled India from 1600 to 1858.

    They are a distinct group, with a Westernised identity. Every East Indian family makes its own spices and jealously guards the recipe. "This is why, perhaps, our food is not widely known," she shrugged. She cooks only East Indian food, with garam masala made according to her family recipe of 21 spices, which her mother sends.

    Mulrain also speaks Hindi, the national language, which she learned in school, and her mother's native tongue, a dialect of Marathi, the state language of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital.

    She studied sociology and psychology at the prestigious St Xavier's College, alma mater of the great Sunil Gavaskar and former world billiards champion Michael Ferreira. Named after St Francis Xavier, a Jesuit saint of the 16th century who travelled to India, the Catholic college has been affiliated to the University of Bombay since 1869. She worked as a radio DJ, with her own talk show; in banks; then three years in a call centre.

    Three years ago, Mulrain decided to move here, to get to know this side of her heritage. Her first impressions of Trinidad were of a place that seemed familiar in many ways: the architecture in Belmont reminds her of Bandra and Santa Cruz, suburbs in Mumbai; the foreshore reminds her of Worli Sea Face, the coastline near her home. She grew up listening to calypso and knew Harry Belafonte songs by heart, but never realised it was the music of her father's country. East Indian music sounds, uncannily, like a cross between calypso and parang. No one had heard about Trinidad until the emergence of Lara. And the Soca Warriors.

    But she feels no real connection to Indian Trinidadians; not because she looks black, but because India being the diverse place that it is, the cultural practices of the local descendants of north India are very different from this Bombayite's. "Every state in India is different," she pointed out. "We [East Indians] like our pork and drinks, songs and dancing." In that sense she has a lot in common with black West Indians -but then her values are different, closer to the Trinidad Indian's. "Religion is a common thread for all Indians. We all feel strongly about our religion and our family. We are always thinking about the future and our children."

    But any Indian coming here would find the local descendants too

    traditional in many ways, for example, the saris and shalwars that they wear on occasion, the gaudy colours are what "tribal" people wear, she says, far too garish for a Bombayite. The names that people give their children are from her grandmother and great-grandmother's generation, she said, and a few surnames left her stunned. "Chadee means underwear, bikhari beggar and gandoo is a homosexual."

    And the music some Trini Indians listen to-"these sad and melancholy filmi songs from the '50s. No one listens to that kind of music in India now." Mulrain herself loves country music and rock and metal. "More Indian youths are into metal and rock than Hindi music." In fact, she used to be called Boney M, after the '70s pop and disco group, which, apparently, was much loved in India. When she played chutney music for people back home, they thought it was awful. Except Sundar Popo's Pholourie Bina Chutney Kaise Bani, which has been used in a lot of Hindi films. And Lotay La, which she first heard in 1996, when her father sent her a recording; six years later, she heard it playing in clubs in Mumbai, where it had become a massive hit. She's no fan of Bollywood-her mother never encouraged her to watch the films-"all that singing and dancing".

    She is shocked by the age at which many young women marry and have children in Trinidad. The average age that women marry in Mumbai is 25. "The people of Bombay are very open-minded and they are, by and large, educated. There doesn't seem to be any sense of morality here."

    Mulrain is still not sure what higher purpose for her coming here. "I was very comfortable in India. But I wanted to give myself a push, see what the world had in store for me. There is a purpose to me coming here, but I still haven't figure it out yet." She has been influenced by her Jesuit education at St Xavier's and hopes one day to join the list of alumni who have made their mark. "I'm thinking of maybe taking pan there, you know, like an exchange programme. The people of Mumbai love noise."
    Blessed

  2. #2
    I breed Ank Panty Droppa's Avatar Panty Droppa is offline
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    shes focking horrible looking

    she look like a dry mop

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    coeur Chillybebee's Avatar Chillybebee is offline
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    i'm mad you said the woman look like a dry mop...is not she who make herself...blame she indian mammy and black pappy. lol

    Quote Originally Posted by DUTTY{HD} View Post
    shes focking horrible looking

    she look like a dry mop
    Blessed

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    Reign of Fire...Judgement m's Avatar m is offline
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    coeur Chillybebee's Avatar Chillybebee is offline
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    smh....as if something wrong with the singing and dancing. I'm having mixed feelings about her...dunno why.

    btw..i luv lotay la....lol

    Lotay La, which she first heard in 1996, when her father sent her a recording; six years later, she heard it playing in clubs in Mumbai, where it had become a massive hit. She's no fan of Bollywood-her mother never encouraged her to watch the films-"all that singing and dancing".
    uhh, how about to learn about your father's culture etc.
    Mulrain is still not sure what higher purpose for her coming here. "I was very comfortable in India. But I wanted to give myself a push, see what the world had in store for me. There is a purpose to me coming here, but I still haven't figure it out yet."
    Blessed

  6. #6
    coeur Chillybebee's Avatar Chillybebee is offline
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    You're welcome, Marc
    Quote Originally Posted by MarcNY View Post
    VERY interesting article.

    Thanks for this thread Chilly.
    Blessed

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    I breed Ank Panty Droppa's Avatar Panty Droppa is offline
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    "i need a push"

    what she meant to say was i need to find myself a man who will love me for how horrible i look like and im as intelligent as a mop

    if i woke up one morning next to she..id grab she and mop up all the vomit i vomit on the floor before bulling she the nite before

    then rinse she and squeeze she head an put her in the closet

    Quote Originally Posted by Chillybebee View Post
    smh....as if something wrong with the singing and dancing. I'm having mixed feelings about her...dunno why.

    btw..i luv lotay la....lol



    uhh, how about to learn about your father's culture etc.

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    Registered User YardiePrincess's Avatar YardiePrincess is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by DUTTY{HD} View Post
    "i need a push"

    what she meant to say was i need to find myself a man who will love me for how horrible i look like and im as intelligent as a mop

    if i woke up one morning next to she..id grab she and mop up all the vomit i vomit on the floor before bulling she the nite before

    then rinse she and squeeze she head an put her in the closet

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    coeur Chillybebee's Avatar Chillybebee is offline
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    ^ cud lawd.......
    Blessed

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    I breed Ank Panty Droppa's Avatar Panty Droppa is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~SR~ View Post

    look at least i does clean up after mehself

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    Registered User Rinababy's Avatar Rinababy is offline
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    She is shocked by the age at which many young women marry and have children in Trinidad. The average age that women marry in Mumbai is 25. "The people of Bombay are very open-minded and they are, by and large, educated. There doesn't seem to be any sense of morality here."

    Wow...
    She seems a little judgemental...

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    I breed Ank Panty Droppa's Avatar Panty Droppa is offline
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    the express coulda written bout something interesting like penguin mating

    yet they decide to focus on a pirates of the caribbean extra who eh realise filming done 9 months ago

    yu eh see the comments

    shes a focking retard and she look like horseshit in human form

  13. #13
    Registered User BAJANFUHLIFE is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by DUTTY{HD} View Post
    shes focking horrible looking

    she look like a dry mop
    ACCEPT UR OWN, SHE IS HALF-TRINIDADIAN. LOL.


    @CHILLY, IT WAS AN INTERESTIN ARTICLE. I WAS ELATED TO READ THAT SHE WASNT RIDICULED GROWIN UP. THEY ACCEPTED HER AND THEY SHOWED APPRECIATION ALTHOUGH SHE WAS DIFFERENT.

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    Registered User BAJANFUHLIFE is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rinababy View Post
    She is shocked by the age at which many young women marry and have children in Trinidad. The average age that women marry in Mumbai is 25. "The people of Bombay are very open-minded and they are, by and large, educated. There doesn't seem to be any sense of morality here."

    Wow...
    She seems a little judgemental...
    SHE RIGHT, NO SENSE OF MORALITY IS TRUE CAUSE LOOK AT HOW DIRTY{HD} BADLY TALKIN BOUT THIS HUMAN BEING.

  15. #15
    Registered User BAJANFUHLIFE is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by DUTTY{HD} View Post
    the express coulda written bout something interesting like penguin mating

    yet they decide to focus on a pirates of the caribbean extra who eh realise filming done 9 months ago

    yu eh see the comments

    shes a focking retard and she look like horseshit in human form
    behave yaself and stop actin as if u see ya mudda.

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