Hawa Hawa City, the prelude

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All Eyes Byes. Or was it

All Ice Pies. Or perhaps

Al Eis Peis (a.k.a Shaikh al-Haid al-Seekh)

Anyway. While some people were counting upto 20 and other people were hiding in various ineffective places, I chose Chicago. Which is where I find myself for the next 2 days. On work. Which then brings me to the title of the post, an obvious circular reference to 3 things

1. The legendary cult pop song by Hassan Jahangir, who is Pakistani

2. The city of Chicago, which is really windy

3. It’s huge Pakistani population, which leads us back to point nr 1.

Which is ok, because I like people from Pakistan (especially their kebabs and Urdu hard rock) although the cab drivers tend to keep asking me how much salary I earn every month.

The first thing I saw as soon as I settled down was a desi local newsletter (I forget the name, something like “Indian Neighbourhood” or something to that effect) and I did what any sane person would do as soon as he has an American desi newsletter in hand. Check out the matrimonials for humour/laughter/general mirth purposes.

But instead of chuckling/smirking/grinning, I found myself doing a McKinsey/Forrester level research comparison of The Hindu matrimonials and Chicago Desi newsletter matrimonials. I was curious to find out what the differences were. And here is my executive summary. The full report will of course cost $1500 + taxes.

  • American Desi newsletters use American spelling. Like “Fair colored girl” instead of “Fair coloured girl”.
  • They leave out “USA groom” because I am told that it is “bleeding obvious”
  • There is a lack of peter-vudura ads that tend to go “Looking for broadminded/likeminded girl. Caste no bar” etc etc. I believe those types generally come back home one day and go “Papa. This is Rachel”, and dispense with matrimonials altogether.
  • Salaries are usually not mentioned. Unlike the MVSML ( matrimonial vital statistics mark up language ) format that is used in the Hindu. E.g. 24/175/30000/MBA MNC well settled seeks FCED girl. In case you didn’t figure out what FCED means. It’s Fair, Convent Educated, Docile. FCEH (Homely) is also allowed.
  • Some ads mention “Independently settled”, which is a euphemism for “Groom is not a mama-lovin’ house trained puppy“. I don’t find this in the Hindu. In India, the guys parents (and not the girl’s) reserve the right to become part of the married household any time.

That’s it. But I have an idea for desi software types who have settled/run-away/ditched original-visa-giving-company and wish to save money on matrimonials in the US. When you want to say “I like fair, convent educated, homely girls”, say I L1ke FCEH. That way, you could subtly notify the other party of your visa type in addition to saving precious per-word costs. You could also say “H1gh salary” if it fits you.

Ok. The second part of this post will have to wait till I’m done with necessary evils such as work for the next 2 days. Restaurant suggestions (especially the middle-eastern variety) are solicited.

19 responses to “Hawa Hawa City, the prelude”

  1. Marc Avatar

    Nice to know that the Indians are importing their ‘arranged marriage’ techniques to all over the world.

  2. Giridhar Chandrasekar Avatar

    Be careful with those pacha cabbies… (We have nick names pakis as Pacha…a.k.a Green..u know..) Some are Jekyl and most are Hyde..

    How are the ad segregated? Caste? or Income slabs?

  3. maami Avatar

    There is a Lebanese quarter, a little close to the University of Chicago, and it has many eateries to choose from.
    My last birthday present from maama was a huge Picasso poster from the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s gorgeous. Peep in if you like the arts.

  4. Ramsu Avatar

    Hindu/ToI matrimonial ads deserve a separate blog post, methinks. It used to be my primary source of Sunday afternoon entertainment. Some samples:

    * Mr. Freudian slip: One of them said No bars which, taken literally, could either mean that the guy is a teetotaler (or off the wagon at least), or that he doesn’t want to marry a bargirl.

    * Mr. I-want-my-pizza-with-everything-on-it: This species usually inhabits the Cosmopolitan section of the ads. Caste no bar. But the girl must be v.fair, v.beautiful, v.tall, convent educated, employed, homely, religious, capable of proving Fermat’s Last Theorem in the margin of a 40 pages notebook purchased from Ravi Book House, run the mile in under four minutes without the use of steroids…

    * Mr. Second Innings: This species usually has a line that says Innocently divorced, no issues. What does this mean? That his wife left without him even realizing it, and that she took his entire collection of Sportstar back-issues with her?


  5. maxdavinci Avatar

    saar bechalaar saar, mythri-monal-l no idea….

    waat evaerrrr you doo, try tooo go toooo Hydherabaadu houzu on Devon St around 12:30 – 1:00 AM. Yit iz funtaastic site when all desi cabbies of cheegago come together to watch midnite movies, chew paan and rant about savaris….

  6. Rekha Raghavan Avatar

    Welcome to Chicago! I wonder which part of Chicago you are in. If I am familiar with the area, I can give you some suggestions. If you miss good veggie south indian food, aurora temple is the place. The masal dosai, pongal and vadai totally rock! Please don’t put me in the category of ‘Prasada bhaktas’ for this. 😀

  7. Arun Avatar

    i am not sure if its the same place as maxdavinci mentions, but there is a splendid biryani place on Devon Street… it is approximately almost right across Sukhadias (sort of like namma Gangothri)…

    now, I have only heard of this place, but heard from many meat eaters… since you mentioned kebabs, I thought you might wanna check this place out. 🙂

  8. clarissa Avatar

    You travel a long way for just 2 days of work.

  9. Arunk Avatar

    Welcome to my neck of the woods.

    Middle-eastern sappadu kadais:
    1. Check out Pita House (I think there is one somewhere near where you are) – a bit down to earth in terms of ambience.
    2. Also Reza’s – I think there is one downtown and also one in Oak Brook. And yes there are some middle eastern restaurants near Univ of Chicago (a bit dicey around there – dont plan to get lost).

    I liked both but nothing to rave about (got tired for me quickly – i am a sambar guy).

    If first time to Chicago, try Chicago style pizza – cannot guarantee that you will like it, but it is unique to Chicago.

  10. Chennaifan Avatar

    How much feta cheese, hummus and tahini can one eat??

  11. maxdavinci Avatar

    @rekha: aurora type of prasada bhakti is always welcome… the aroma of sooda sooda vadai is plain divine….

    @arun: yup its near sukhadia’s, and now that you’ve mentioned the place I just cant stop thinking of the chaat they offer…

  12. Aneetha Avatar

    Hey Ashok! Chic-la enga irukke nee? Any chances of hitting Denver? mail your ph. no. here da- let’s catch up!

  13. Bikerdude Avatar

    LOL boss only you can think of a circular reference like that !! 🙂 Too good.

  14. Rajendran Avatar

    My two-penny recommendation – Go to Green Mill on 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago. Amazing place for live jazz.

  15. Rajendran Avatar

    My two-penny recommendation – Go to Green Mill on 4802 N. Broadway St., Chicago. Amazing place for live jazz.

    Or Buddy Guy’s legends in downtown Chicago –

  16. DoZ Avatar

    Why McKinsey & Forrester in particular? And if so, where’re the two by two’s?
    PS: As an analyst, I can’t help obsessing over sources, these two in particular 🙂

  17. Rekha Raghavan Avatar

    If you have the time and are interested in fall colors, you should check out ‘Morton Arboretum’.

  18. Santhosh Avatar

    “matrimonial vital statistics mark up language” – I’m dead, thats it; i’m done with.

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