“Dr. KannAn! You want to go out with me friday for some shopping?”
“Are you serious, Stacy?”
“Yes, I want to get a Saree and I really want to get to know about you more too”
"Really?" The more you know more trouble will start"
"Come on kannAn"
"Hey! You should call me Kannan. Not KannaaaN”
“OK, Kannan! I will pick you up in your home on friday, at 7:00 pm sharp"
"Fine, Stacy. Are you punctual?"
"I am not an Indian, Kannan!"
“You drive an Infiniti, Stacy? It is an expensive car! I cant afford one”
“Sure you can!"
“Nope, I cant"
"I know why you can not? You want to save all your money and die rich”
"That is not it, I have lots of commitments. There is so much need back home in my family. No matter how much I support, it is never enough for them. OK, Where are we going?”
“I told you, right? I want to go to Devon street. I want to buy a Saree and matching blouse for that”
"Oh those Indian shopkeepers are going to kill you"
"What do you mean?"
"They will irritate you and force you to buy some crap and they will cheat you. I hate them. We should deport them all back to Gujarat and Rajasthaan"
"That is why I am going with you. See I am smart"
"Probably not. I dont bargain well either"
"That is OK. HEY! What do you have in your mind? You think I dont have a good figure to wear saree or what?"
"You do have good figure. In fact you will look really sexier in Saree. Every man in Chicago is going to come after you, Stacy. Just watch your butt"
"I am serious"
"So, how is Brindha doing, now? Fully recovered? I heard that you really took care of her, Kannan?"
"I hear you talk to her everyday. I am sure you are updated. Anyway, just spent some time with her. She is doing great now. She will be back to work on Monday"
"Kannan is your first name or last?” she smiled.
“We have only one name! It is first and last!”
“I don’t know why. That is the way it is. We just have a single name”
"Who is we here? Is "we" Indians?"
“Then you cant get your family history and track the ancestors easily”
“Why is that so important? Does it really matter what my ancestors were and what they did?”
“You can be proud of your own history”
“Good thought. But,”
“What if one of my great grandpas was a murderer and rapist, and a great grandma was a promiscuous woman? I can not be proud of my last name or history, right? I don’t think every ancestor of mine are good”
“Ha ha ha! You are funny. You think differently though. Do you mind going to an Indian restaurant in Devon street for dinner after the shopping?”
“Honestly, I don’t want to go to an Indian restaurant, but if you really wish to go, I am fine”
“OK, I WANT to go to Indian restaurant. Tell me about you, Kannan?”
“About me? OK. I was born and brought up in Tamilnadu, South India in a middle-class family in a small town. Actually middle-class means poor class with a decent family background.Like everybody else I love my mom and dad. I am really lucky to have such a wonderful parents. I speak thamizh as it is my mother tongue. I am living in this country for almost a decade now. I love living here. Of course I am a single”
“Brindha speaks tamil too?”
“Yes, she does. You noticed us speaking in thamizh several times, right?”
“Is that why you are too close to her?”
“May be so. We speak same language and so, we understand each other better. Right?”
“I am not sure, speaking same language can unite two people. It is a personality match, which matters”
“You think so?”
“I know so, Kannan”
“Hey! Brindha and I are just friends that is all. OK?”
“I know. Brindha told me about it but you never know. You respect friendship a lot?”
“Nope, I had been unlucky when it comes to friendship, Stacy. Lots of bitter experiences”
“I don’t know, it starts well but never ended well. May be I am a complex personality. My expectations are too much and so nobody can fulfill that I suppose”
“Any specific friend you can tell me about?”
“I knew a guy, Raj, we used to hang out together a lot. Now, I don’t even know whether he is alive or dead. That is how our friendship is now. Is that not sad?”
“That is sad but you dont know what is going on in the other end. He may be dead. No offense"
"Yes, I dont but in any case when it comes to friendship it sucks!"
"Here is one more question to you. Why you Indians still do arranged marriage?”
“I don’t know. For us it works our really well. There are quite a few cases I know of. Once we are married we learn to appreciate our partners and really love them. I am not joking. BTW, even love marriages fail, right? I don’t think love lasts long enough to hold a marriage for ever. Love is a short time thing and it has a short half-life. May be there is no love, it is all infatuations. Just emotions. By the way, I might end up doing an arranged marriage too”
“Yeah, love does not last for ever. My parents are divorced too. But I will find my life partner. Not my parents”
"These days, people come here choose their partners and educated people in India choose their own partners too. However arranged marriage is still the big contributor. Almost 90% people still do arranged marriage. It really works for lots of people. They really find a caring, loving, partner in this set up too"
"I believe you"
"May be for a change you should do an arranged marriage, Stacy. It will be thrilling"
"Even if I wish, my parents will say, "that is not their job to find a partner for me". So it is impossible, Kannan"
“When did your parents get their divorce?"
“When I was 18 and my sister was 16”
“I don’t know. It did not work out after a while for them. How about your parents?”
“They are still together. Theirs was arranged”
“But they fight with each other almost every day”
“Yes. No physical abuse or whatsoever”
“That is good”
“Today, we have a very confused culture than what we have in US”
“Yeah, today our youth mostly engage in pornography and appreciating low-class writers who educates them how to screw around in the name freedom of speech and what not?”
“Are you serious?”
“They think this is what the real freedom”
“Was it not the case before?”
“It was better then, I believe"
"Yeah but you Indians only came up with Kamasuthra"
"So what? There is nothing wrong with sex as long as it is happening between the walls with the "right people" and not exposed to minors and children"
“Let me ask you this first. When did you have sex for the first time, Kannan?”
“Hey I am still a virgin!”
“That is hilarious, Kannan!” (she laughed out loudly)
“It is true”
"So you admit that you are skill-less in this part?"
"May be. I will learn when it is time"
"You are not going to live for ever, kannan"
"So what are you saying? You are going to educate me? Just kidding, Stacy"
“What I am saying is I am more experienced than you. I kissed a boy when I was 13 yr old and I had sex for the first time when I was eighteen”
“Was a boy or girl?”
"The first lover of yours?"
“Ha ha ha, he was my boyfriend”
“How about girls?”
‘WHAT GIRLS?! I am not a gay!”
“You have any boyfriend now, Stacy?”
“For a while, NO”
“I don’t know, I don’t want a relationship just for sex. Most of the men are like that. They dont want any commitments. They just want to use innocent girls for their advantage”
"I agree. Most of the men are bastards"
"Are you including yourself too?"
"May be, I dont know. I dont want to judge myself since I will be biased"
"You talk as if you are a very nice, wise guy. But I suspect whether you are a real crook"
"You sound like Brindha now!"
-to be continued