Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lameass Conversations of The Week - 2

This is important.

Mezba is a guy's name. Repeat, Mezba is a guy.

This is the second time it happened this week. I am emailing a contact for some parts, and he replies back that the shipment is ready, would he come and deliver it? I email back yes. Now, my non-personal emails are usually curt and to the point. Hello. Refer to my last email ... blah blah.. Sincerely, Mezba. End of story.

So the guy comes and walks into our place. I am sitting at the computer.

"Hi, I am looking for a Miss Mezba."

I am sitting there with the biggest WTF look on my face. He's a white, definitely non-desi dude who would never have heard the name Mezba before. And he thinks it's a girl's name? Thank God my name isn't Abeer, Rumi, Shaymol, Pat, or Huda.

A Marriage Talk (again)

No, not me. Not yet.

A friend was going to Bangladesh to get married. His parents throw a small party to celebrate the fact. I ask him about the bride-to-be.

"Oh she's really nice .. yadda yadda yadda .. but she has got straight hair." He announces.


"I like curly hair." He makes a face. "That was my initial reason I delayed saying 'yes'."

"Well, she can always get a perm, you know." His mother cuts in.

"Ya," his father, eager to not be left out, offers his comments as well. "Marriage is compromise. You can't always get everything you want. Everyone has to compromise. For example, when I married I had to ..."

As soon as the words were out of his mouth he froze.

Aunty turned on him.

"Yes, continue? What did you compromise when you married ME?!"

"No, dear, I was just saying, example-wise..."

"Three proposals, THREE proposals my father turned down for you, that also one from a Chowdhury bari, I will have you know..."

And I thought the party was going to be boring.

For the record this happened over a year ago and all concerned parties are happily married.

So far.

PS. Is it my imagination or do most Bengali husbands appear to be henpecked?

Link: Previous Lameness



Abu Sinan said...

I wouldnt have known Mezba was a male's name and I am pretty ewll verses in the culture of the sub-continenet and the Middle East.

So if I didnt know it, average white dude isnt going to have a clue. He is equally clueless on how to deal with it. I have dealt with many people and I didnt know how to say one or both of their names, or whether they are male or female. You just avoid it, he should have just asked for Mezba.

If you cannot prounounce the name, show it to someone. I am the one in the office everyone comes to to figure out how to prounounce names and I am pretty good, except with Farsi names.

Anonymous said...

Atleast that's where a name like Farah comes in pretty handy!

- Farah.

Anonymous said...

Lol at the uncle's discomfort.

However I tend to see that Bengali girls are usually docile - especially those that are married to non-Bengalis such as Pakistanis - people usually like Bengali girls because they are very domesticated. Maybe that's why those uncles appear 'henpecked'; they genuinely love their wives and it just appears to be so?

Just a thought.

neha vish said...

The first few times I linked to you from Global Voices I referred to you as a "She" as well. Heh!

Aisha said...

Is Mezba an arabic name? I have never known anyone but you with the name. Quite unique.

Delayed b/c of straight hair? Seriously?

PS sincey ou do comment moderation do yu need wor verification?

mezba said...

Abu Sinan: That's so true, its really impressive if you can get name pronounciations right. Whenever I meet someone new, I always ask their name and don't move on until I get it right - I read somewhere it tells people you are genuinely interested and a friendly person. I also once had to reply to a Shirn (no typo) so I didn't know whether to add a Mr. or Ms. In the end I just used Shirn.

Farah: Interesting you would say that. There is this certain blogger posing as a fake Saudi reformer who once got caught by Abu Sinan (above) because he mistook Farah to be a guy's name when almost all over the Eastern world it's a girl's name.

JD - Let it be clear here that I LOOOOVE bengali girls.

As to why men are henpecked, or appear to be so (the word I used) I will hopefully let you know in about a year's time.

Neha: Hehe, I noticed it once and called you out on it I think. Yeh, I am actually surprised people think its a girl's name.

Aisha: That's a good suggestion - I switched of word verification - let's see how it goes now.

Mezba (should actually be spelt Misbah if people want to get picky about proper Arab transliterations) means a lamp or a source of light or light itself. It is there in Surah Noor of the Quran (24:35).

Allah is the Light (noor) of the heavens and the earth.
The Parable of His Light (noor) is as if there were a Niche
and within it a Lamp (misbah): the Lamp (misbah) enclosed in Glass:
the glass as it were a brilliant star:
Lit from a blessed Tree, an Olive,
neither of the east nor of the west,
whose oil is well-nigh luminous,
though fire scarce touched it:
Light (noor) upon Light (noor)!
God does guide whom He will to His Light (noor):
God does set forth Parables for men: and God does know all things.

And is one of my favourite verses, for obvious reasons also because it talks so eloquently about Allah.

Shoaib Muhammad said...

LOL, couldn't stop laughing at your post. You're right, Mezba is an uncommon name.

I guess from now on in your memos, you might as well include "Mr. Mezba"

:) Enjoy!

Muslim Apple said...

I thought Mezba was a female name the first few times I was here on this site because I know a lot of sisters named Misbah. And Misbah Rana has been in the news lately.

But it's one of the names that is unisex like Nur.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend called the same.
We "lovingly" named him Maize :D

mezba said...

Shoaib, Muslim Apple: *sigh* I guess I will have to update my profile and mention that this is guy's blog. lol. Which would probably explain why I try to analyse Muslim desi girls a lot on the blog.

Funny, I never thought it was a unisex name. Hmm....

Shovon: Maize? OK... I sympathize with your friend already .. just kidding. But the name given to me by my friends is more... authorative...

Em said...


"As to why men are henpecked, or appear to be so (the word I used) I will hopefully let you know in about a year's time."
wOOt wOOt!! Is this an allusion to what I think it is?

BTW, I know a male Farah (he stresses the H as in the earlier arabic alphabet). He's a North African Muslim...

Aisha said...

Mezba. Hate to tell ya this but if the arabic version is misbah it is deinetly a unisex name. I knew two Misbahs who were female.

Make you hate the guy who said Ms Mezba a little less? :)

mezba said...

Em: Yes, when the case of the Religious Policeman came out, that's when I learnt that somewhere in North Africa (Somalia) there are guy Farahs.

Aisha: Hmmm.

There is this guy.

Maybe it's good I am spelt Mezba... lucky typo.

Ek Umeed said...

I read the posting, which is pretty funny. But you know what really caught my interest? That bit about finding out about being a henpecked husband in a year's time in the comments' section! Mezba, why do I think Em was onto something... Maybe because she was? Mr. Mezba, we better be getting updates on that front as your loyal readers. ;)

Suroor said...

Haha! You are a funny GUY :-) The only reason I had doubts that you were NOT a girl when you visited my blog is that my best male friend's name is Misbah :-)

mezba said...

Dear Ek Umeed and Em: In a year I will.. um.. complete my thesis .. that's right, thesis .. on desi women.. and thus can claim to have truly understood them finally...

*evil laugh*

So don't be reading any meaning into my sentance... ya that's right...*grin*

It's not Wedding or Bust.. nowadays with the cost of most weddings it's Wedding AND Bust.

Suroor: Thank you, and welcome to the blog. Atlast, reports of another male Misbah!

Anonymous said...

I know a female Mezba :)


isheeta said...

Sorry, but this is a little late...


hahahaha, MS mezba!

awwwww, its a cute story though, MR mezba!

In my opinion, Mezba is such a... unique... *pretty* name.. yes, the arabic version IS unisex, but I can usually tell if a woman writes an email or male....

Im sorry, Im still laughing


mezba said...

SH: omg.. females: 6 male: 2...losing the battle here.

Isheeta: It is a unique name eh? I am so glad my parents did not name me a really common name. Nothing wrong with those names, it's just makes a more interesting starting point when ppl say Mezba? What does that mean.

sonia said...

:-) funny stories. i like the one about the uncle and the aunties. ( i like your small font..) you know Mezba you've hit on something there! according to my observations - it appears to go a bit like this...when people are first married, the woman is under pressure to be 'gentle' and appear malleable. ;-) then the years go by and there's definitely a proportional relationship here - the longer they've been married, it appears the more the husband gets henpecked.

the poor men. some of these aunties are extremely vicious and busy keeping all of us modern girls down down down. if a guy wants to marry a 'modern' girl these aunties will be all over him full of wrath - chi chi! meyeta KHUB kharap. i have to say ive heard more women tout that line than men.

Anonymous said...

I think you should change you Blog Title too. It should be, " A Bengali Guy in TO"

whaddya think? Anyway, I've never seen, heard, or read the name Mezba, so when I first stumbled upon your blog I didn't have any clue of whether you were a guy or girl. After I read your blogs, I knew you were guy.

But you are right, how come you have so many female readers? That's not a bad thing for a guy is it Mezba? ;p

Now you can boast to all your pals and especially to the guy who called you Miss.

Also, unique names are awesome! I have yet to hear, read, or meet a person with my name! It's a bengali name and apparently no one in Bangladesh has my name. How peculiar... Of course, I haven't met each and everyone of the 140 million people....

mezba said...

Sonia: I think your theory makes sense. So Bengali women win, over time. Too bad.

BFob: Yes, I think a couple more mistakes later, I will change my blog's title. What is your name? Any clues?

sonia said...

yeah tell us bFOB! im very curious now about your name.

apart from actually observing these things, ive actually heard some women coming out and saying so - as advice to young women on how to handle married life and husbands! 'first play demure' ( esp. before marriage + in newly wed life) then slowly slowly...stick the screws on. .make him dependent on you and your cooking/household management - and then voila! he won't be able to leave you.

! {it appears the domestication and the henpecking are closely related.}

sigh - little wonder i was much disillusioned with the thought of marriage for a long time! ( just as well i wasn't a man, id be even more disillusioned :-)) how much more manipulative can life get eh?

Ahmed said...

If I had seen your name before coming across your blog I wouldn't have known if it were a girl or guys name either.

I can't believe straight hair becomes a deciding factor in marriage, thats just terrible.

mezba said...

Sonia: I am sure guys reading this blog will now be aware of "demure" new wives lol

Ahmed: u'd think so too right... lot of stupidity in this thing