By Nabeela Ahsan

photo credit: code_martial via photopin cc

photo credit: code_martial via photopin cc


Everyone knows her, the desi woman.  She’s the one who looks you up and down, inside out as you pass her in the mall- a look more invasive by far than any from the opposite sex. If she recognizes you she will ignore you, if she doesn’t know you, she’ll acknowledge you with a nod.

Here are some things you know about her.

1. She loves to play ping-pong with your dishes: If you take some food to her house, she will return the dish with food in it and more in her dish. Then you return her dish and so on and so forth. It just doesn’t stop.

2. As a shopper: The average desi woman is the last person you want to go shopping with. She will unfold all the clothing, drag merchandise from the shelves, tear open closed packs of underwear and let merchandise slip from the hangers. We are still talking about the merchandise she isn’t interested in yet.

3. Devout complainer: She will complain loudly that the product of the company is worthless- as if by doing so the owners will rush over from Sweden and give her complimentary products. Because that happens, right.

4. As a driver on the road: If the car in front of you is driving at 20 in a 70 kph speed zone, chances are you are tailgating a desi woman. Should you pass her, you will find her totally engrossed in yelling at her kids who are buckled up in the back seat. Let’s not even talk about the grey hair you get waiting for her to make a left turn at an intersection.

 5. Let-them-eat-cake mentality: If you tell her you are struggling financially, she will let you know that there’s nothing like investing in a good Michael Kors bag to lift your spirits. Retail therapy and all. She will also do you a great service by informing you that there is a 20% sale on that darling little $800 bag.

6. Judging your upbringing: What do you mean your son/daughter doesn’t go to Islamic classes? Obviously you are not much of a Muslim if you don’t send your child to the $400/month Islamic classes her child goes to. Enough said.

 7. Dress deducing par excellence: She can tell, to the exact date, the last time you visited Pakistan – all this by just looking at your clothes.  Anthropologists have a thing or two to learn from her.

8. Public service: She will think nothing of disciplining your child – especially if hers is at fault.

9. Proud Mom: Her children are so intelligent, so smart…that even their “B’s” look like “A’s”! True story.

10. Oh those house-keeping woes: You have heard nothing if you haven’t heard the pitiful woes of the sad desi woman who has to attend to her household chores. Self-pity unlimited. She will move you to the brink of madness by the stories of her household servants back home. Honestly? We all had them. We all clean our toilets. Deal with it.


About the author:

Nabeela Ahsan is a mom of three, living and working in Missisauga. In her free time, she likes to watch “Dr. Who” with her boys and “Two Broke Girls” with her daughter.  She has closet dreams of doing her PhD. She has co-foundered a companyInterCloDesigns that provides sustainable clothing aid in countries affected by disaster.

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