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{VIDEO}: Interesting Brown Girl Dating Experiences

New Years Look 😉

Hey party people! First, HAPPY NEW YEAR or New YASSS as my friends Tara says, lol. Second, I made my first YouTube video. And it’s on a fascinating topic: dating. Specifically, dating in the South Asian community.

TARA! <3 Best

GUYS, I MADE MY FIRST YOUTUBE VIDEO

You’ve heard Deepa Berar and I shoot the shit on her Deep Beauty podcast on dating in the South Asian community. Our conversation really inspired me to finally shoot this video. In fact, I’ve been planning this video in my head for months. You see dating was never really my thing, still isn’t. But I did it, a whole lot of it in 2017. I rarely ever made it past the first date. Why, you ask? Well you’re gonna have to watch below to find out:

Brown Girl Dating Experiences 

Just Find the Humor

So there you have it…I have had some pretty WACK experiences dating Brown guys. Maybe I just don’t know how to do it right, or maybe ATL is just not the place, but I took the tail end of 2017 to do some MAJOR reflection on what I want and how I want to go about finding a partner. Being the Gemini I am who constantly needs to be entertained I choose to find a ton of humor in all of this nonsense. I mean someone telling me I look like I could be their bodyguard on a date is pretty fucking funny, don’t you think? I do. I am strong…..and maybe a bit less petite than your average desi girl, but no girl wants to hear that, LOL.

Hope you found some reliability and humor in my video and if not. The dating game is a shit show, know you’re not alone in this mess.

P.S: I REALLY wish I had called wack dude a pipsqueak to his face. HA…maybe I will grow some balls in 2018. BYE FOR NOW.

Happy New Year,

xoxo Pri

New Years nails 😉

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What are the challenges of first generation South Asians?

 

Hi, Hi, Favorite South Asian chick over here. I feel like I am finally getting my shit together after the holidays only to lose it again because my bestie is coming to town for New Years! I was in Vegas last year for New Years and didn’t really think I could top it this year. But Tara coming to town probably will. First, ATL is LIT (insert fire emoji), IDGAF what anyone says. Second, TARA IS LIT AF. We grew up together and went our separate ways as adults, so we are just getting to know each other as adults. She came down for my birthday in June and really brought the party. She is super cute, super crazy and super fun. In addition, she is an #OG YouTube queen. Maybe I can convince her to shoot a viddy with me.

I was lucky to have Tara as a best friend growing up because she loved all things Indian and zealously participated in them with me. I don’t know how I would have overcome the challenge of assimilating into my American environment with a South Asian upbringing otherwise. Having a best friend to share both worlds with definitely made my life more fun and my mother’s determination to teach me Indian culture successful. In my opinion, the top three challenges any first generation South Asian faces are: choosing a profession, choosing a partner and balancing both cultures.

Choosing a Profession

Every first generation South Asian faces immense challenges personally and professionally. My top challenge growing up was picking a profession. All I saw around me where people becoming Doctors, Engineers, Accountants, Business owners and Lawyers. My desire to become a writer was always met with, “Unless you become the next JK Rowling, you won’t make a living.” UMMM… false. It wasn’t until I graduated college I realized there is a whole world out there for every “creative” profession where you can make a decent living. My ex’s sister went into fashion merchandising because her father exposed her to that industry. It wasn’t until I experienced this that I wondered…what all could we do if we were exposed to other opportunities? It’s not our parent’s fault, most didn’t know much beyond the five professions listed above. I can’t wait to foster my kids’ creativity one day and be able to guide them to create a career they can love.

Choosing a Partner

Deepa Berar and I did a hilarious podcast on whether or not as a brown chick we can date without thinking about marriage. My answer was and is no. Now more so because I am 27 and she does not have time to play, no she DOES NOT. But before, I couldn’t get what had been ingrained in me since birth out of my head long enough to NOT think about marriage. I JUST overcame the ultimate challenge and told my family that I will do things my way and be my own person when picking a partner. Honestly, I’ve only ever been attracted to brown guys and Jamie Foxx (but that’s neither here nor there). At 27, I don’t know who else I would be attracted to physically, emotionally and spiritually. It will be interesting to see what life has for me. And then there is caste, religion and language that often serves as a barrier to falling in love. Know you are not alone and it’s only as complicated as you make it. Whether you marry a brown person or not…do YOU.

Balancing Both Cultures

I could write a book on this..maybe I will? I can’t count the amount of times I’ve told my mother, “If you didn’t want me to be American, you should not have had me here.” It’s a challenge assimilating to both worlds and it never feels like you’re enough. But here’s the thing..you don’t “have to” be anything or anyway to be either South Asian or American. You are who you are and your values are what they are. To a certain extent, core values are universal so as long as you focus on being a good human…the rest follows suit. Your environment subconsciously plays a role so no matter what you will be as desi as your environment. You can run but you can’t hide…I’ve tried, LOL.

I leave you with this DO YOU and just trust that both worlds will love you <3

Happy almost New Years (or New Yasss as Tara says),

Xoxo Pri

What’s your top challenge being a first generation South Asian? Comment on my insta. Let’s Chat.

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Caste and Arranged Marriage: My Thoughts

Hello everyone,

We’ve talked about sex, so let’s dive right into another taboo, rather, controversial topic shall we? ARRANGED MARRIAGE & CASTE. Caste is something that interests me because I always thought it was something only my family was really into. No one in my family has married outside of our caste. Needless to say, it’s a big issue between my mother and I. She prefers I marry into the same caste and I could care less. I mean it’s hard enough to find someone decent, let alone desi, let alone same caste. AM I RIGHT? (I know I am, tehe).

 

Caste 101, shall we (sorry for those of you who already know). In fact, I am no expert on this subject so if any of you have any insight do tell..I MUST know. But here’s what I got for ya.

 

 

Going in order of hierarchy:

  1. Brahmin: Priests, Teachers & Spiritual/Religious guides (the caste my family is).
  2. Kshatriyas: Warriors (comparable to present day military/army).
  3. Vaisyas: Farmers, Merchants & Artisans (WHAT UP #Patels). Seriously the largest caste ever taking over the world.
  4. Sudras: Commoners, Servants & Laborers (includes every modern day profession)
  5. Harijans: Also known as “Untouchables” (current day-the servants and housekeepers that work in homes in India).

Historically, caste was determined by your profession which determined your place and contribution in society. Naturally, as generations progressed, similar professions ran in families and caste became something you were born into. Brahmins, the priests were the highest caste because they served as teachers and guides to all the other classes/castes of society. It was never meant to be that one caste was “better” than the other. Unfortunately today, the caste system can divide people and often causes disparities when it comes to access and opportunity.

So what does this have to do with arranged marriage? Well, a ton. Caste is one of the biggest filters used when looking for a spouse. Remember someone telling me they couldn’t seriously date me because I wasn’t a Patel on Deepa Berar’s podcast? YA….

My thing is-does it honestly matter? Sure if it matters to you, go for it. But don’t blindly dismiss people because of caste. Do your research, talk to your parents and find out YOUR reasons for wanting to marry into your own caste. I’ve done my research and have decided to give more importance to a person’s character, habits and life vision. Oddly enough, the reasons my mother gives me in support of marrying into my caste have to do with character, habits and life vision. Then, why BE so hell bent on caste labels? I’d rather look at a person than a label.

Just my thoughts-ya know? What do you feel?

Till the next taboo topic,

Pri

 

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Sex and South Asians: The Ultimate Taboo

Being sexy, bollywood style

 

Raise you’re hand if you’re brown and never got the “birds and bees” AKA SEX talk. –RAISES BOTH HANDS IN THE AIR BUT SHE ACTUALLY CARES-

Diving right in, shall we? I had the pleasure of meeting Mandip from The Hungry Orchid (bad-ass platform for women, BTW) yesterday and she pointed out how I am not one for small talk. –guilty-. I love songs that start right away and I love getting to the point right away even more. I’ve been thinking about sex a lot lately, actually. (not like that, you weirdos. Or maybe, lol).

If you heard me on Deepa Berar’s podcast, then you know I’m not currently dating and am in isolation mode. Rather, I am in reflection mode. Reflecting on the concept and importance of sex, reflecting on being South Asian and what that means for my personal life. You see 2017 was the year I pushed myself to the limit in terms of what society’s expectations were for my personal life. And two months ago, I finally told everyone to fuck off and decided I was going to do me. However, that is a story for another day.

S-E-X. I can just see my mom and all the aunties face palming. Stating that sex is taboo in the South Asian community is a massive, massive understatement.

Bollywood movies tip-toe around it, Hollywood movies make it seem normal AF to go around having it and the new on-line dating culture damn near makes people feel entitled to it. “Like NO F BOY I DON’T WANT TO BANG YOU I JUST FUCKING MET YOU. SEX IS PERSONAL (I think)?” Especially for women. I mean just the mere thought of the social consequences of an unintended pregnancy or someone in the South Asian community finding out you’ve had sex when you’re not married have scared me enough to just plain not have sex, not think about it, not be curious about it from ages like 8-25 (oh how times have changed). So much so that I never got the birds and the bees talk and I don’t know too many of my South Asian friends that have.

I mean I am not complaining…I had enough friends and the internet to teach me everything I needed to know. BUT…it would be nice to not have this dooming fear surrounded around such a natural thing with my parents.

See the thing is because sex is such a taboo topic, I never got to openly talk to my mom and learn about the emotional side sex plays in relationships, dating, etc. And it may not be our parents’ fault, they probably didn’t get the talk either. At 27 years old, I am JUST learning about men, sex and relationships. And the only reason I am is because I serial dated for a while and asked the dudes I went on dates with and my guy friends very, very honest questions. (I may have only gone on those dates to fulfill this little social experiment of mine…SHHHHH).

To be fair, my parents come from a generation of folks who didn’t date so maybe they wouldn’t have been able to provide me with the information I needed to navigate in this online-dating, matrimonial site, F Boy culture I am living in.

I think making the topic of sex less taboo would really help the next generation. It would give them perspective on questions I never got the answer to until I was in my late 20’s like:

1. How to deal with and or not give into societal pressure to have sex?
2. What do you do if a guy you thought loved you left you after sex?
3. How can you distinguish a FUCK BOY from a REAL DUDE (it took me wayyyy to long to learn this).
4. WTF to do after you’ve had sex?

I know I am setting myself up for a hard time here, because my future kids will expect a pristine “birds and bees” talk from me. On that note, let me go prepare myself…

What’s a taboo topic that tickles your fancy? LMK…I’d be happy to write about 🙂

Xoxo,

Pri

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The Stigma of Mental Illness in the South Asian Community

It’s no secret there is a lot of stigma associated with mental illness and mental health in the Indian (and South Asian overall) community. I am usually all sunshine and rainbows, but it takes a lot of work for me to get there. Today’s post gives you an insight into some of that struggle.

Two years ago I woke up feeling different. I knew what it was, I had felt it sneaking up on me for months. As a healthcare professional, I had a hunch as to why I was having difficulty getting out of bed, lost all interests in my hobbies and woke up daily with raging thoughts and anxiety. I knew I needed help and fast. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Two years ago, I wanted my life to end, had no motivation, no ambitions and lost the love of my life to this illness.

I immediately went to see a doctor and came home with a bottle of antidepressants. I was alone and had a job and bills to take care of. I couldn’t afford to halt my life entirely, so I took the medication as a crutch to get me back on my feet. A friend came over to ask me about my appointment. As I sulked into a chair I said, “They gave me antidepressants.” “Don’t get depressed about being on antidepressants,” she joked.

And she asked: “Would you feel bad for taking medication if you had diabetes?” “No,” I said. “Then why do you feel bad for taking medication for anxiety and depression?” she replied. This analogy has stuck with me ever since. If some one had asked me a few years ago if I would ever consider taking antidepressants, I would have said “hell no.” I used to judge the individuals in my classes who performed poorly due to mental health issues. “Why can’t they just suck it up, I’ve been through some hard shit and I am fine,” I used to say to myself.

Me and Dr. Andrew Solomon, author of The Noon Day Demon

That was until it happened to me. Two years ago, my body gave up on me and it brought me to my knees. It wasn’t something a vitamin, deep breathing, Yoga, exercise or a pill of St. John’s Wart could fix. Two years ago, I had two friends who literally saved my life, a bottle of antidepressants, and a ton of faith to get me through.

The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality and your life.


As I was going through hell, all I needed and wanted was my mother. I was more terrified of telling my mother I was on antidepressants than I was of overcoming challenges of the illness. The shame and stigma associated with mental illness in the South Asian community is worse than the shame the disease makes you feel. I’ve heard my family and other members of the Indian community criticize Western medicine when it comes to mental health for years. It’s interesting to see that treatments for diabetes, heart disease and cancer don’t hold the same stigma. You can see it, right? But what does depression look like? I wish I could post a few pictures of myself from this time in my life; no one would ever know. I have deleted most of my pictures from that incredibly dark and trying time in my life, but below is a picture of myself and mental health activist and best-selling author, Andrew Solomon. I may look tired, but not depressed. But then again, what does depression look like?


I have yet to tell my mother, or anyone in my family about what I go through. My mother knew I was sad, but that was it. And I prefer it that way. Because sometimes, in the Indian community, it is so hard to get others to understand that attempting to get them to understand may hurt you more than it would help. I, along with many others, desperately wish this wasn’t the case.

Common phrases people throw at me include: “Just snap out of it.” “It’s all in your head, just think happy thoughts.” “You’re so young and successful, what could you possibly have to be depressed about?”

Well, I’m here to tell you that someone struggling from depression or any mental health issue cannot “Just snap out of.” And yes, “it is all in our head.” And the fact that we are young and successful only makes us feel WORSE that this disease is convincing us not be happy.

Depression is physical; it is chemical. It is “all in your head.” Because the chemical imbalance in your brain causes your body to ache, your sleep cycle to be ruined, and allows your thoughts to run wild and terrify you. You know it’s going to be okay, you know it’s anxiety trying to ruin your day, but it still affects you. It’s tiring, exhausting and so hard to remain hopeful. Oh, how a person suffering from depression wishes they could “just snap out of it.” That is why it is called an illness, condition, or disease.

You can’t just tell your pancreas to produce more insulin and you cannot just tell yourself to not feel depression. There is a huge difference between clinical depression and feeling sad.

And unfortunately, this gap is something the South Asian community is still ignorant about. This ignorance causes so many South Asians to suffer in silence. This ignorance makes it extremely difficult to get help. This ignorance is costing our community lives.

So I say proudly to my South Asian brothers and sisters: You are not weak because you are on medication. You have not failed your family, yourself or your community by reaching out for help. You are not alone in your struggle. You can and will overcome this. Today, two years after my initial breakdown from depression, anxiety and a heart-wrenching breakup, I live and work in an amazing city, have started this blog and am a Yoga teacher. To say I am living my dreams would be an understatement. I am rebuilding my dreams, one step at a time. I survived depression, a break up and successfully battle anxiety every day to live a life I am proud of.

And yes, I am still on a small dose of antidepressants daily. And no, I am not ashamed of it. And no, it doesn’t discredit my strength in any way.

Please reach out for help. And don’t feel bad about it. Your future self will thank you. I promise.

A few resources:

Andrew Solomon is a leading mental health activist and best-selling author, his book, The Noonday Demon, really helped me understand and fight through depression.

Famous Bollywood actress, Deepika Padukone is a depression survivor and mental health activist for the Indian community. Check out her interview here.

The following Ted Talks are very informative and provided me with a lot of hope during some dark times.

Therese Borchard, is a leading mental health activist in the U.S. Her blog is an amazing resource for all things mental health.

Here is an article by Dr. Jyothsana S. Bhat on the taboo of mental illnesses in the South Asian American Community.

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27th Birthday, 27 Things

 

Hello hello,

I recently had a birthday. I am a whopping 27 years old. 5 years since I graduated college, about 4.5 years of working full time, tons of writing/freelancing gigs, a GRE test under my belt, a 200-hr Yoga Teacher certification, a baby blog and 4 cities later, I have learned a few thangs. I have listed 27 crucial lessons I have learned in my 27 years of existence below, enjoy!

  1. It will all be ok.
  2. Taking things too personally can be detrimental to your health, wealth and progress.
  3. Enjoy being young and party, but don’t forget to strategize for your future before the pressure of car loans, home loans, relationships and kids enter your life.
  4. Use your freedom wisely (see # 3)
  5. When you don’t know what to do, start by investing in your passions.
  6. Things start happening and clarity starts coming when you just DO (see # 4).
  7. More caffeine is not (always) the best option but most of the time it will do.
  8. Learning how to say no leads to being able say yes to ALL the right things down the line.
  9. If someone doesn’t like you for saying no or having boundaries; let them go. Your future self will thank you (see # 8).
  10. The best is ALWAYS yet to come, if you think it and act on it.
  11. Be efficient with rejection: decrease reaction time and keep it moving. Apply to three opportunities for every rejection.
  12. If it seems everyone is wrong and or against you, it most likely is you (it’s def you).
  13. Self awareness is extremely humbling, but THE most important quality to get ahead (# 12).
  14. It’s 2017, you don’t “have to” do anything to get what you want. Do you.
  15. Caring about what your parents think is normal, but at this point it’s your life not theirs. Respectfully let them know that if need be.
  16. Never let anyone pressure you into anything. ANYTHING.
  17. Educating yourself on proper nutrition is essential for longevity. Just eat right. Did you know: your cells replace themselves every 7-10 years. Your cells get their energy from the food you put into your body. You really are what you eat after all!
  18. Call your parents. No matter how bad you think you have it, their time is limited and one day you won’t be able to talk to them.
  19. Travel. Take a solo trip. Study Abroad. DO IT…It may save you down the line from the quarter/mid life crisis of wanting to give up your life and move to the mountains (hey, we’ve all thought it).
  20. Save your money. Pay off debt and stop spending more than you have. Money looks better in a savings/retirement account than on your feet.
  21. Focus on your strengths and find a way around your weaknesses. Time is money and efficiency will take you far.
  22. It takes money to make money so don’t get TOO hung up on money.
  23. Prioritize going above and beyond for those who do the same for you. Everyone else can wait, they haven’t earned it. You can still love them equally, but your time and most of all, your energy is precious.
  24. Mental health is a thing and you need to learn how to take care of it.
  25. ‘Everyone that is anyone exercises, you should too.
  26. Serial dating is overrated. Invest your time where it counts, be patient and trust the universe. Love will come and love will go, your relationship with yourself is forever.
  27. Learn to be your own best friend. Nothing brings contentment and inner peace like emotional independence (see # 26).1.

xoxo, Pri