Listen, My Children...

Every Little Helps

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Friends in High Places

I know this person! The daughter was a friend of mine! While she was by no means the first person of Indian descent I knew (I've since gone back and remembered many elementary school classmates who, by their names, were obviously Indian; I just didn't recognize it at the time), she was the first person whose Indianness stuck out. That was partly because of cultural aspects -- she fed me samosas when I went to her house and she told me about why, with a family as well-known as hers, it would be easier to have an arranged marriage than to risk having her dating life spread all over the papers -- but also because she was by several orders of magnitude the richest person I'd ever met. Her bodyguards weren't as insistent as those of my sister's friends, the princesses from somewhere in the region, but she still had them as well as a chauffeur, guards at her house, an elevator, an indoor pool, and an indoor golf course (you turned it on, hit the golf ball at the screen with the picture displayed on it, and it would tell you how hard you hit it, how fast, what way, and then move to tell you where you're hitting from now). Even so, their new house is a move up. But I thought for several years that, since they were Indian and extraordinarily rich, and my sister's princesses were kind of Indian (thinking of their names, they were perhaps something Arabic), and the sultan of Brunei is called a "sultan," and that's Indian, then one of the defining characteristics of being Indian is being filthy rich!

What's more, on further investigation, I see my friend is engaged, and after going to the school I didn't go to, SOAS. Well, perhaps I'll see her again some day.


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