Can Indian Men Handle Foreign Women?

Heads turned, she was luscious. Men anywhere in the world would have given her a second look. Her auburn hair, grey eyes, lightly-freckled Caucasian complexion and that throaty laugh being just the sort of invitation for a wide stare.

She was reckless, a lady with the mind of a backpacker. India was her dream country -- the colourful mirror-work skirt swirling to reveal silver anklets, the junk jewellery, the carvings, the very grand feeling of experiencing somebody else's world in your own currency that would go very, very far indeed.

She felt safe in the second-class compartments. She got used to the water and the oglers. Life was to be enjoyed and she was going to make the best of it.

No, the real India, the much-maligned India, did not leave her crestfallen.

There is something else which she does not even know about. About the champagne clique that twirled around her on the powdered floor, about the dizziness of wine mixed with the delectable high that strangers experience on dark nights, about the dim lights, the hands moving lower down the back, the jive turning into a close embrace, someone groping into her blouse and then that deep soul kiss.

She was too engrossed in the momentary bliss to notice that she had become an item. Her partner of the moment, who had initiated the proceedings, was let off with a, "Mazaa aaya kya (had fun)?"

But the young woman became the 'floozy'. And the explanation the hot-blooded youngsters of the party-till-you-get-a-headache set had for it was a sharp, "These foreign women are so available."

And the guy – surely, he wasn't dragged to the guillotine? "Oh no," they said in his defence. "He was just feeling sentimental, his girlfriend was not in town and he was missing her!"

Some sentiment this. You miss a loved one, transfer your pent-up lust to another, use the latter who may no doubt be a willing accomplice, but instead of making a graceful exit or perhaps even a genuinely affectionate farewell, you end up bad-mouthing her.

This chap was heard telling friends, "Come on. She came on strong and wanted it."

Not only do we have a budding social worker on hand, but someone who is extremely finicky. Asked how far he went, he replied sagely, "Just the oral stuff. No further, who knows what diseases she suffered from?"

If this guy came near me I'd probably throttle him, but he seems to be quite popular in his group. Since this girlfriend is away quite a bit, his friends understand his biological needs and his temporary sentiments. They also envy him his fleeting forays. He keeps them happy by recounting his tales and making them laugh. It gives the men in his coterie a chance to fantasise and the women in their crotch-snuggling jeans an opportunity to feel terribly respectable.

We just can't handle foreign women -- we don't know how to treat them or what to think about them. Indian men abroad go completely bonkers -- from the ones who describe the strong vaginal muscles, to the ones who think every western woman finds them exotic, to those who think that an invitation to dance means that he is irresistible.

And then, there is this incident about an old professor in Delhi who visited a close colleague. There he cornered a male foreigner, who was chatting with a lot of Westerners who patronised the place, and pleaded with him, "You seem to know everyone. Can you please arrange one white woman for me? I am willing to spend my whole salary for the night!"

He could be an uncle of our young 'sentimental' friend. They are all alike. If only they knew that Western women may be open, but they are not free with their bodies and emotions. And if they do share a healthy relationship, however brief, they don't hold you responsible for "tainting" them.

They too get married, have kids, help run a home, have a career, have feelings.

It is extremely insensitive and unfeeling of the Indian man, and woman, to sit on a high horse and pass judgement only because, often, the Western woman can ride better and fall freer.
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(This is an old column of mine from 1998. The people mentioned were all known to me.)


  1. Farzana,
    very nice column.
    It reminds me of my youth in west(not teens)Most of the older people in America told us it was ok to have fun with American girls but you should get married in India.What a irresposible statement from very upright citizens of my India.Most of us were very prude and did not fall into dating and mating ways of America as we felt that our fidelty required that we behave so for our own sake. Now i tell all that they should go with an open mind in all relationships. If it is not absolutely possible to mary the one you love ,why play the games of love. Many times our relationships are hindered by our own expectations built from childhood.
    Youth in love may behave in charming ,silly and comical ways.Dishonesty should not be part of this behavior.I love americans for their absolute honesty(again personal view).I find your writing very charming for there honesty and naughtyness .I wonder that nude woman tree is it fake or you are just playing with us.
    kul bhushan

  2. dear farzana,
    i know emotions are difficult to control..but as they say ...control yaar.
    A number of crimes have certain lurking emotions behind them.sexual crimes too have their roots in illusions, disillusions, misinterpretations, follies....
    Does these crimes happen in west too?
    i think these happen.so using "Indian men" and indicting entire Indian male population in one stroke may not be correct.
    All races have made and perpetuated distorted image of other races....like west thinking Indians to be poor snake charmers.So a section of Indian men may carry such foolish beliefs about white women...but then what? do such fools represent Indian men..no and a big no.

  3. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/Rape-linked-to-manhood-in-S-Africa/articleshow/47
    handling women ...white or brown needs education.....:)

  4. FV did you ask about the womans experience in Pakistan or Saudi?All this is India bashing where woman is treated like goddess. We respect our guests and welcome them with open arms. Travel in the country instead of foreign trips.


  5. Kul Bhushan:

    I absolutely believe that there ought not to be dishonesty and backbiting. I am aware that guys are told they can have fun and return to garam-garam…rotis later.

    Thank you for considering my work honest and naughty. I am serious about both! As for the tree…it looks like a tree to me :)

    Control nahin hota…itna ghussa kyon? These days even my nazms are not hazam for you :(

    I have often hit out at the West for several beliefs and attitudes. Did I say this problem is only prevalent in India? I took an example and, trust me, it is very much there…if I have had to face it in India, then can you imagine foreign women? Okay, I used the word ‘India’ in the headline, but these “fools” are Indian.

    like west thinking Indians to be poor snake charmers

    Arre, at least we are charmers!

    handling women ...white or brown needs education.....:)

    What?? A man from IIT or IIM or Ivy League (everything is I, I, I…) is better at dealing with mood swings and waiting as begum sahiba indulges in her shrinkara ras?

    Chalo, at least you smiled…you did, na? Now I shall make up to all the angry Indian men later…

    Of course, some of these guys really are good with open arms, and I have travelled widely in my country. Why must I ask anyone who recounts a bad experience about other bad experiences? It is possible that she met unsavoury people in Pakistan or elsewhere…does it take away from this particular instance?

    I did encounter such characters in Pakistan and in the West too. Mashallah, abhi bhi inn baazuon mein dum hai :)

  6. dear farzana
    When i say education ..please donot confuse schooling with education. i have met asses with degrees and then even bigger degrees. education is what is taught at home, at mohalla..in the gully.
    thats where one learns about respect..to women and to others.
    your nazms...i do relish and read.
    smile...i do all the time...when happy, when sad,at follies ...mine or others...:)

  7. sexual assaults on women in rural and urban India...needs a massive education drive ( lets not rely on our education minister for that)
    whatever happened to community teaching
    Is there a role women can play...can their be societal pressures?
    ya fir lets indulge in best passtime..lets crib and grumble.

  8. Dear Manoj:

    Sexual assault is a serious issue and I do not know how we can educate people about it; it isn't like sex education. Rape, molestation and even just being looked at in a certain manner can be prevented primarily by how the men perceive women. I understand when you talk about education coming from the family and environment but do we then blame such acts on 'bad education' ?

    There has to be indivudual maturity and stringent laws, but here too the onus is on the woman. Women can be a support system for one another. NGOs are doing commendable work but here too there are unfortunate instances.

    About cribbing, I'd like to state that many people who don't have the voice or forum to do so manage to listen to just such a 'pastime' and become aware. And sometimes awareness does equal action.

  9. FV
    not familiar with the word cribbing .Please tell me.My vocabulary is getting better,soon i can take SAT.

    kul bhushan

  10. Dear Farzana,
    I agree with u,how to educate is a major problem.
    But i feel we have come to this stage because we allowed our social values to deteriorate.
    If you notice...are sexual crimes regional too? are there more incidents in north India vis a vis south..
    R there less crimes against women in Scandinavian countries?
    Next point regarding how can society help??
    Indian mythology states that a man should not use force against women..i guess we stopped informing our young boys.
    when a boy misbehaves with opposite sex and it becomes known...does he become hero amongst his peers? but simultaneously..does his mother sister, maasis, cousins look down upon him and make the fact known?
    What kind of self image such men have? Does his act bring shame to family or does life continue , while no one mentions that he has been a cad?
    Law....hmmmm...i guess it has its limitations.
    PS: At our workplace we call cribbing healthy:)

  11. Manoj:

    Men have always wanted to behave like cavemen, and I agree with you that no one makes the effort to tell the guy off and penalise him socially for his behaviour. In fact, unless it is rape and becomes a criminal case, even the term used by people and the media is 'eve teasing'. Rather disgusting.

    Recently in Mumbai there was a rape case that got some coverage, but the fellow was referred to consistently as a 'sex pest'. Imagine that...

    There are indeed regional and cultural differences, but you will still find individual behaviour and the response to it different based on class and status.

    The law can only ensure that there is provision for some action to be taken.

    PS: Kindly put in a word for me at your workplace. I will become an example of the very healthy...in fact, tandurasti ki raksha :)

  12. Kul Bhushan:

    Cribbing is grumbling...slang usage, which does not sound very slang. The real meaning is of course to do with baby crib and stealing info etc...

    Are you talking about that SAT - South Asian Tattle? Then, do take it!

  13. Wow! You know some really freaky people. A talent of your?

  14. ...and to think they think they know a freaky person :)I do believe I have a few talents, though...I shall add this to my CV...


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