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Oh, India. October 16, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.

My favorite part of Yahoo messenger is the random IM. I actually leave the program up just for that reason – if I am online at 2 am, I know someone will IM me and entertain me, asking curious questions even if my only reply is ‘ok, ok’ and ‘what?’

This said – Men from India. What on earth?

Now, I have met many perfectly lovely people from India. Most of them are polite and well spoken, both the ones here for tourism reasons, and ones who have moved here permanently. I like Indian silk and Indian food and many other India-related things. Yay, subcontinent.

That said, someone (Does anyone from India ever stumble across this?) please tell me – what is up with your ‘male under 35’ demographic? Because these people seriously confuse me. A typical conversation consists of them saying ‘hi’ over and over until I get back to my computer and say ‘hello’ back. Then they quiz me – they require a laundry list of hobbies, a description of my family, and ‘what is ur figure?’. Then they drop the ‘do you have a boyfriend?’ question. When the answer is ‘yes’, they either get pissed off at me (W. T. F.?), or then ask me about my sexual habits. Depending on my mood, I’ll tell them it is none of their business (which tends to result in either really pushy questioning, or wounded replies), or just answer ‘yes’ a lot without giving details. Typically, they then a) ask to be my boyfriend (um….) b) tell me they love me (um….) or c) offer to fly me to India.

(I figure I’ll just add here – I am aware that the concept of ‘family’ is more central to Indian society than it is to mine, currently, and that the whole family thing is a logical question. Also, it is natural to want to know what people look like, etc. I’m more curious about the progression. The thought pattern that yeilds this apparent ‘I will IM a completely random person, ask them a few general life questions, and then see if they’ll marry me’ course of action. I mean, if I decide to ever randomly IM someone, it is about something specific that caught my attention on a profile or message board…I’m not fishing at complete random for a life partner. And this particular IM style comes to me unfailingly, over and over again, from different people in India and Pakistan.)

A few years ago when I first started getting these, I was more polite, but as the number of random ‘IMs from India’ reached the hundreds, I’m now just short and unforthcoming in the name of research. But really – does this ever work? Do young Indian men with computers seriously think this is how American women work? We’ll just decide we are in love after a ten minute conversation and hop across the pond and marry Random Indian Male without so much as an involved conversation? (Seriously. I have had professions of love from people I have only said ‘yes’ ‘no’ and ‘what?’ to. Really.)

I occasionally have a lot of time on my hands, and during these interesting ‘conversations’, I’ve formed a few half baked theories. Perhaps Indian men have gotten a very odd idea of American culture and women through various media and are truly under the impression that this is what will win us over. Or, perhaps, in India it is actually common for a guy to speak to a girl for five minutes, says he loves her, and then propose…and actually have a reasonably good chance of success. (Though, the people I have spoken to in person from India really don’t give me this impression…most tell me the whole traditional ‘arranged marriage’ thing has fallen out of favor). Or perhaps they’d never dream of actually speaking to a girl like this where they live and just act inappropriately for the hell of it.

Certainly I am devoting entirely too much time to this.

An easy solution would just be to ignore them entirely, but I enjoy being irritated and perplexed by their behavior. I tend to be a polite person, but sadly I am pretty entertained by the…weirdness, by my standards. The ones who say they love me and then are hurt and outraged that I am not immediately buying my ticket to India are my favorites. Also, the ones that suddenly turn pervy – ‘ur family? see my cock?’

Why do I never get random chatty IMs from Indian /girls/? That would be so much more fun.

Along the same lines, I also often get random IMs from Pakistan. In fact, I have one random Pakistani guy who changes his screenname so I cannot ignore him, and then spams me with random Farsi and then insists I love him and he is my boyfriend, without seeming to realize that those are not things you can declare and make so. (Yes. He is entertaining, and I am a very sad person. I know.)

Is is just that area of the world? I never get these kinds of IMs from, say, Japan, or China, or Germany, or Brazil.

And I know it is not because I am all that alluring and entertaining, seeing as these guys see…my screenname, and the word ‘ok’ over and over again.

What gives? Is there an anthropologist in the house?


1. Sameer - October 16, 2006

well i am in indian guy, and i read ur blog, and i agree that indian young man send this kind of IM’s to foriegn girls, but as u wrote “in India it is actually common for a guy to speak to a girl for five minutes, says he loves her, and then propose”, so i would like to say that it not so common habbit of indian guys, but the fact is that they just want to flirt over internet with girls from america and europe and they know that gilrs from this countries are quite open in their ideas and that they can discuss anything they want, which in general they cannot do with indian girls….and ya one more thing that even if u say that u r ready to marry them, perhaps it will be a big problem for them to marry you, coz u r not indian…so…if u r recieving this kind of IM’s jst dont think into detail, coz they just enjoy talking with you and to know about your ideas, that how amrican girls think..and ya they enjoy talking with girls from abroad….

2. brianna - October 16, 2006

(I’m just copying my reply from email to here, as well)

Well, I wasn’t so much saying that it /was/ common than I was asking if it were common and I just didn’t know about it. I honestly don’t think that that is the case anywhere in the world!

I don’t mind people IMing me and wondering about the culture I live in, but the way they’re going about it is all wrong. Talking to me for five minutes and then quizzing me on my sex life isn’t polite by any standards…I always wonder what these men would do if an American man IMed their sister and asked them the same sorts of questions. I’m sure they would be very upset.

It’s one thing to know that one culture is more open than another culture…but I still don’t understand why they think that means it’s appropriate to IM me things like

why u liked what
u show me ur passy
u do so sex with me hisexy

(which is an actual IM i got just a few minutes ago)


3. Arun,India - November 14, 2006

Here we go… I am also an Indian. Wat you have posted is right. I blame the Indian Society for such attitude. In India its not as casual as in Americas or Europe to date with a gal. Coz, the family structure in India wont let gals on their own way (infact 50% of Indian gals dont even know love-making in detail..!). So pity guys will try to chat with some abroad gals.
I hope now you might ve got the answer for such IMs from guys and no IMs from gals.
But one thing is for sure–> 95% of Indian gals will not marry more than one man. Also 80-90% of men wont go for second marriage.
Hence a Indian child will have strong hold to his/her family. But in Western culture men and women have great probability for second marriage. This definitely has an impact on their childrens mental growth.

4. SUZIE Q - November 19, 2006

Excuse me and I don’t mean to be rude to anyone.India men do loose ther children when the wife’s mother comes and takes the daughter and grandaughter home.India men in america are very flirtaious with american woman.If a woman is friendly does not mean she is easy.I have chatted with men all over and like a man from India.If you think American woman are so open go to Europe and stop picking on american woman.If you men because I see no Indian woman answering(whats up with that???) say your woman aren’t geting out of marriages well sorry but it’s because they have not had the means to leave.Welcome to 2006! I am sure that there are many things americans could learn from India but not one thing I have read about a typical marriage in India today makes me jealous.I am sure you have good relationships but my mother has been with my father for 60 years and all the old woman in my family say diviorce is not a bad thing.Seconed marriages can be much more fulfilling because hopefully one has learned.I read in India that when a man marries he does’t get a virgin either.Heres to a happy ,healthy.,lustfull realationship for all men and woman.

5. AL - November 22, 2006

Oh, what am amazing post! I also have lots of time on my hands and of course I have a lovely tendency to procrastinate. That’s when I start browsing posts like this and engage in meaningless conversations with strangers via various IMs. Unlike you, however, I keep getting random messages from Chinese guys. Just like you have described they often tell me how they love me and get very upset if I don’t respond. Once in a while I get IMs from India too. But not as many as from China. Oh, I should mention that I am a gay guy living in Canada. I’d be very curious to know how you think it fits into your theory.

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