Single Indian Woman; Very Accomplished but Can’t Make Round Chapatis
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Mine is a story of a British Indian woman growing up in a town where my family was one of only three non-white families and where my brother and I were the only children of colour. It is a story of expectations, duties, hopes and dreams lost and found. My parents’ immigrant story was of ‘downward mobility’ and of ambiguous status in relation to social class. My story contains both familiar and unfamiliar elements—parental aspirations for a daughter to be accomplished in both classroom and kitchen; to enter a profession; to marry into a good family. I failed and succeeded: failed to conform to ‘traditional’ notions of what being ‘clever’ as a girl entailed; failed to ‘please’ my teachers, who communicated highly confusing messages about my abilities; but succeeded in making my mother and extended family proud despite following my very own path to fulfilment.