I have been labelled a coconut from a very young age, but my life as a coconut was highlighted last weekend whilst attending a family wedding. Indian weddings are hardly a low-key affair and absolutely terrible for the healthy eating, they are essentially and eating and drinking competition that spans over 5 days. Of course the good Indian girls don't drink, a small glass of champagne (most likely cava at these events) in a nod to the heavily adorned bride and groom is as far as it normally goes. This is why at these occasions I prefer to sit on BBB's table - guaranteed the heavier stuff. Friday night was the pre-wedding party. In my opinion a totally unnecessary aspect to an Indian wedding, but it gives the ladies and opportunity to wear the latest season saris and decorate themselves like a christmas tree, and the men further opportunity to cement the fact that all Punjabi men are alcoholics. Of course being a coconut my Indian ensembles are few and far between, I'm more of an 'asos' fan than a 'saree mandir' fan. Thus my Indian outfits are actually english dresses made Indian by my trusty tailor - Geeta. More resembling a confused Asian (pretty apt) than a Christmas tree I swanned into the party basking in my post Dubai glow- that was about the only thing going for me. I was greeted by some elder of the family who all know who I am and still insist on grabbing my cheeks (this does not make for a happy Billie - if I just spent the last 20 minutes bufferring layers of foundation into my skin I do not now want finger marks ruining my supposedly flawless complexion - so inconsiderate). Then they try to talk to me in punjabi and in my pathetic attempt to be gracious I smile and nod not understanding a word and then suddenly they can speak English but the only words they know is "You should learn to speak Punjabi." And the humiliation of being a coconut sets it. The only cure heavy doses of grey goose.
It's really not my fault that I am like this - BBB and Geeta this is kinda your fault too. We have an AGA, everyone in the family owns at least one Barbour, we read the Daily Mail, we shop at M & S, I am neither a doctor, lawyer, dentist or pharmacist. My dad calls himself Baz when his actual name is Balraj. If the above doesn't scream white middle-class suburbia I don't know what does. This is by no means saying that all Indian people are the opposite but I just feel like I'm lacking in something that makes me Indian. In fact here is a prime example: the house next to ours has been bought and demolished by an Indian family and it is currently the bane of my life, scaffolding is not a pretty tanning sight (neither am I to all the prying builder but I genuinely don't give a shit). The Indian owner of the house hates us, there are constant arguments between him and BBB, but shockingly (or perhaps not so shockingly at all) the owner has become best mates with the more traditional Indian family on the other side of the property. Haters.
Perhaps my coconutisms are down to the fact that I hate the movies, the music, the stereotypical way I am supposed be reserved and polite and all that bullshit - when I'm loud, argumentative (only with BBB) and drink like a fish. But at this wedding I felt like the fish out of water. So I thought I need to at least and take a leap into the Indian pool. When it comes to Indian food, I have absolutely no problems we are very well acquainted and having to say no to paneer was probably the hardest thing I did all weekend.
But even punjabi dancing doesn't come easily to me, it's like every bone is my body does not want to conform. I desperately take to the dance floor hoping to simply blend into the crowd and drag my 3 year old cousin with me so I don't look like such a twat (my excuse being I'm taking him for a dance not in fact using him as a toddler sized shield for my terrible Indian dancing...) For everyone else the dancing seems so easy, but for me... not so much. Tripping over my own feet and attempting a half clap half arms in the air move, I find myself exasperated. Just play some bloody Beyonce - I'm good with that. Even on night's out at uni when for some unknown reason Gatecrasher would play Punjabi MC amidst the latest dance tracks everyone would look to me for inspiration on how to dance, and I would quickly throws my arms in the air and run to take cover at the bar. I'm just not a natural Indian.
Here is my attempt at being an Indian poser, photobooth is a dangerous game and yes my hair is now ginger/blonde my hairdress has now rectified the situation her words, 'Dubai got the better of the dip-dye'.
I can honestly say I attempted to rectify this situation this weekend - I even wore a bindi and it wasn't fancy dress. But it seems the only Indian in me is the ability to eat like and Indian and drink like a bloke. Sorry Indian ancestors....I will be bringing home a white boy, having a Babour and Ralphy clad family with 2 golden labs - but don't worry the kids will love a good curry, it's in their British heritage.
I will continue on in my coconut ways, take it or leave it (of course leaving the paneer - sob.)
Fatty BB xxx