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My parents very well knew the peer pressure and mainstream American culture that went against much of what they believed in.

So, my life growing up was a constant struggle between two very different worlds.

She journeyed by herself, bright-eyed, heart full of dreams, and hands and feet ready to work towards making a better life for herself and her entire family back home in Kerala, India.

She was recruited as a registered nurse to work for an American hospital that had a shortage of nurses.

She worked hard and looked forward to marriage and raising kids in this land of opportunity.

In time she was married and my brother and I also came into being!

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”My days and nights were lived in this dreamy cloud of wanting to be like my other American friends.

They began placing a matrimonial ad for me in Indian newspapers and proposal letters with pictures attached began flooding in from India. The next time you watch a Bollywood movie and feel like cringing at the worn plot of ‘Boy meets girl, they fall in love, and all hell breaks loose among their families’, remember this: Art continues to imitate life for many of us, and painfully so!

Indeed, this struggle between who I am as an American and as an Indian is at times more than I can bear, and I continue to be torn between my two worlds.

What it meant was that I became mashed and moulded into this ball of Indian and American… It was an untold rule at home that dating would be forbidden.

I knew that I was expected not to talk to any boys and to be, against the grain of my personality, a gentle Indian flower that they could present to relatives and members of the desi community as their prized offspring.

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