Monday, June 27, 2011


Ayyo: What does it mean?

I suppose it's our equivalent of 'oops,' 'ouch,' 'oh my gosh,' or any small exclamation used to express shock, disapproval/displeasure, surprise, etc.

In the beginning months, it felt so unnatural to say it. Even if I tried to say it at appropriate moments, it just felt...weird.

So I couldn't help but laugh at myself earlier today when I realized that I've been using the word involuntarily for a while. I was in my room, and had just accidentally dropped my comb in the toilet. "Ayyoo," I muttered to myself.

When did I start saying that? I wondered. And then I started thinking of all the other little Indian mannerisms I do involuntarily now. The head wobble...saying 'ah' repeatedly when someone is talking to me, to show active listening...making intentional blinks at people as a way to say hi...answering a question negatively with a shrug of my shoulders and a strong blink.

Those are just a few that I can think of at the moment. I don't know when I started doing all of that...maybe seven months ago...maybe six, maybe five...but what I do know is that until I can break myself of these mannerisms, after arriving home to the US, I'm gonna get some strange looks from people, that's for sure. ...Ayyo!

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars." -Henry Van Dyke

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