The Sunday NYT's "Modern Love" column - freelance first-person essays on various aspects of relationships - is one of the paper's most popular features. In fact, the most e-mailed item of 2006 was a "Modern Love" piece about how a woman learned to deal with her husband by using techniques used by exotic-animal trainers - see "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage." I haven't kept track of South Asian-themed pieces, but there's been at least one. Sarita James published "Mom, Dad Let Me Find My Own Husband" in May 2006 (you can listen to it as a MP3 podcast, too.)
In today's paper, the column is by Saba Ali, a 29-year-old from a Kenyan family of Indian origin, now living in upstate New York. In "Close Enough to Touch was Too Far Apart," she writes about her experiences as a scarf-wearing Muslim trying to navigate the world of relationships.
Her piece begins:
WHO knew that holding hands, the very act that signals the start of so many relationships, would be the end of mine? It seems the mullahs were onto something when they wagged their fingers against premarital relations, of any kind.
Born in Kenya of Indian heritage, I came to the United States at age 6, settling with my family in upstate New York. Growing up Muslim in suburban America, I missed out on the typical “Dawson’s Creek” method of courtship: the flirting, the fighting, the making up and making out.
Read the rest of the essay and post your comments below (and write to the column's editors at modernlove at nytimes.com). And if you know of any desi pieces we missed, let us know.
EARLIER ON SAJAforum: