April 23, 2008

Do you have children?

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:30 am by RJ

Folks, I am gonna be writing more frequently now – I promise. I have been busy watching IPL and reading “The Reluctant Fundamendalist” by Mohsin Hamid. I have also started studying again and it feels good to be doing something different than the usual.

I wanted to share an interesting conversation that happened during my recent kickboxing class – Damn! I was so confused!

Xena, a japanese girl, petite & strong has been training for 3 years or more. We were engaged in our regular kickboxing drills wherein at one point you just stay out waiting for the other guys to complete their drill. She started talking to me in the class of more than 10 people. I was a regular and picked up the moves pretty well, pretty soon – maybe she kinda liked my determination! I am not being pompous.

Xena: hey, your moves are good & too soon
Me: hey..thanks a ton! Your kicks look powerful too. I am Raj and u..?
Xena: (smiling) I am Xena. Yeah! I am surviving
Me: You taking the class on Thursdays too?
Xena: No, I have a late class and I hate my school
Me: (smiling) You sure do. I work and I like it, moreover, this class and tennis keeps me refreshing
Xena: Not that I am a ubbie, it’s just that I hate the long commute. Again, I have no choice as my daughter learns dancing in Jersey City.
Me: Daughter??..!! (Here’s where I start getting confused & my confusion never ends. Remember folks, I told you she was petite, looked between 18-22)
Xena: Yeah, she keeps me on my toes
Me: How old is she?
Xena: The elder one is 15 and the younger one is 11
Me: (about to faint) Ok —-I had no other choice but to respond as if I expected the answer—- nice, should be fun
Xena: Do you have children?
Me: No, I am not married yet
Xena: (confused) Yea, but do you have children?
Me: (confused to the core) No (by this time my mind was completely shambolic)

I walk away from that place with a confused look and asking myself, “Do I have children? – damn”.

Thats when I remembered my friend telling me when I first entered America. He said, RJ always remember 2 things. First, don’t forget the cross streets when you street park you car. Secondly, if somebody asks you “do you have children?” doesn’t mean you have to be married!! It is highly possible that a girl might say, “these are my kids and they are living with my boyfriend. I am not married yet.”

This is kinda difficult for me to digest because my culture back home in India teaches me to get married and only then have kids. I ain’t complaining about the American culture, I understand they have been following this for ages and the Indian culture maybe anal for them. I am just not comfortable with these questions because I can’t answer them. Lol!

I am Indian by birth, I understand, I respect & follow my culture. I respect all the other cultures in the world too. If you happen to be in the States and face such a question, be prepared to answer!!

Over & out.


  1. priya said,

    i enjoyed reading ‘do you have children?’..this is what i guess is called as culture shock!!I have always wondered about d “american culture’ and now have come to terms with it.Having said that,in the next decade or so this is wat we cud be witnessing in India too..Gen X has arrived!!!so lets wait and watch..ciao

  2. Sandeep said,

    nice post dude πŸ™‚
    Culture shock huh

  3. kurt said,


    Something similar happened to me lately, I was having a call with my Onsite Client Manager & she asked me “Where do i live?” & i replied saying “I stay close to the office & i live with my parents”. She was shocked to hear my reply. She couldn’t believe me tht i lived with my parents. She made me feel so bad abt it 😦

    It was a shock for her…

    btw nice post dude

    Keep posting

  4. RJ said,

    @kurt – One of my other friends who lives here with his wife and kid was very excited to call his parents to the US for a couple of months. Infact we all were excited to see uncle and aunty.

    His managers Mr. Becker asked Shai, “So how long will your parents some and live with you? A week?” Shai replied, “Atleast 2 months”. He was shocked! Amazingly shocked to hear 2 months. Apparently, living with your own parents is a shocking news!

    Stay cultured,

  5. Neelam said,

    hi raja, really it also does happens here in australia..

  6. Sakhi said,

    That was the best post of yours, till now. Though peole say India has adapted the foreign cultures but I think in our hearts we are still INDIANS. And I love being that.

  7. RJ said,

    @Neelam – I am sure and I am not surprised!

    @Sakhi – Thanks! I noticed that out of 34 posts you liked just one πŸ˜€

    I love being an Indian and I love learning good things from other cultures too!

  8. smallstar said,

    I don’t like respecting just my culture. I like respecting every culture in this planet. However, I appreciate that you love respecting your one. ^.^

    keep waiting for other question like this! *funny smile*

  9. RJ said,

    @Smallstar – Now I know what questions to expect! πŸ˜€ I sometimes ask such questions too – just to be part of the group. Only sometimes though πŸ˜€

    *funniest smile* – I dont have to try this one – its just silly when I smile according to someone πŸ™‚

  10. smallstar said,

    @my dear king RAJA: ahahah yeah, just to be vendictive, no?? πŸ˜€


  11. RJ said,

    @Smallstar – I am not vindictive πŸ˜€ πŸ˜› Just letting them taste their own medicine πŸ˜€

  12. smallstar said,

    Ahah you’re damn funny!! {{{AAP BADE MAZAAKI HO!}}} πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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