My Masala Life

I have been thinking about writing a blog for a very long time now. I have tried a thousand times to sit down and start typing it out, but I have always found some apprehension and fear in doing so. Would writing out the story of my life for everyone to see make it less meaningful? Will my attempts at self-representation come off as contrite or hollow? God knows I am not a talented writer like many of my bloggers friends. I fear that the depth of my experiences and my feelings cannot be adequately expressed into words. These fears have kept me from attempting to even try, until now. There is something about the human experience that pushes us to share. There are some who write, others who paint, sculpt, knit, dance, sing or a million other forms of self-expression. We want to be heard and seen and felt. We have a natural need to connect with others. This need for self-expression is what drives me today to finally set my fingers on the keyboard of my laptop and to finally start typing out my story.

My name is Tina. I am 26, a wife and a mother. I am a humanitarian, a feminist, a world traveler and I am married to an Indian man. The term Indian really says nothing about who my husband is. India is country made of hundreds of cultures and languages, so the term only describes a geographical location and even that is very diverse from place to place. I am married to a Punjabi Sikh, an identity my husband is very proud of. Six years ago when I was studying Political Science in college I met my future husband. I was sitting at my desk outside of the student dorms checking in guests and listing to music. I made conversation with my co-worker, who I had just met. I asked him what type of music he liked. I remember when he spoke he had an accent. I knew that he was Indian but at the time I knew close to nothing about India, outside of my international economics class and what I could remember from my 9th grade world civilization lessons. I did not know at that moment that my life would change forever.  Talking to him was the easiest thing I have ever done. We connected in that instant, as if we were meant for each other. (I will write more about the beginnings of our life together in later pieces).

Of all the words I could use to define myself, I choose masala. Masala is a term in Punjabi and other Indian languages to mean “mix” specifically a mixture of spices. Cooking is a cornerstone of Punjabi culture, and each dish is passed down for generations. In reality they are works of art, the perfect balance of sweet and savory and sour and spicy. The masalas are what makes the dishes unique and colorful and aid in digestion. The Masala, the mixture, is what keeps life delicious! My life has always been “Masala”, long before I knew what the term meant. Long before I met and married my husband and was introduced into the Indian culture. Long before my sweet “masala baby” was born and truly combined my husband and my genes and cultures into one beautiful human being. I have always lived a Masala life. It has not always been beautiful or perfect, sometimes is has been quite bitter, other times colorful, and many times sweet. This blog is where I will share a glimpse into my Masala life and family. I am not an expert in inter-cultural relations, nor do I know everything about India. I am simply sharing my perspective on life, which is ever so humble. So welcome and I hope you enjoy.



  Sikh Wedding Ceremony

Christian wedding Ceramony



when nasreen was only a week old


Nasreen’s 3 rd Bday



88 thoughts on “My Masala Life

  1. Im excited to read more of your blog’s… and please post some good recipes sometimes too 🙂 … thank you for sharing your life with us …

  2. I really enjoyed reading such a lovely post! Your story is a very lovely one and you are so sweet and earnest. I love your writing, it was thoroughly entertaining to read and I am really excited to read more of your fascinating life! Your family is so beautiful – bless you all.

  3. aww.. such a nice blog Tina, loved reading your posts, loved reading about you, can’t wait to read more..
    You are beautiful and so is your family, oh and so are your recipe posts 🙂
    Nasreen is just ADORABLE ❤ ❤

  4. I read some of your posts and I am so glad that there are still people out there who are open minded and don’t believe that religion defines them. I have witnessed and faced much discrimination because I am “Indian”. I look forward reading more about your Masala life, and hope that your blog can create awareness of Sikhs coming from India. That just because a person wears a turban does not mean they are bad people.

  5. Welcome to this blog world and I read that your husband is from chandigarh MY CITY.. WOWOWOW..

    you both look beautiful and the little one is gorgeous.. god bless the little one

    say hello to your hubby .. my fellow chandigarhian .. 🙂

  6. Hi. Thank you for following my blog. I’m interested to read more of yours and the different perspective of an indo-western marriage in the US, as I’ve seen so much lately of the opposite perspective here in Nepal. I travel and try to make a home in different places so much, and my blog is really about trying to make sense of the adjustment and new experiences that I constantly have to adapt to. I’m in a bit of a lull right now. I think I need a little break from Nepal but am trying to get back in the groove. Happy blogging!

  7. You’re a wonderful and engaging writer and I enjoyed this piece very much. A very interesting blog and life. I almost married a Sri Lankan and what a gorgeous child you have made together!!
    Will be visiting again and thank you so much for following my blog!! Keep writing!

      • Wow, thank you so much! I meant what I said about your writing.

        On Fri, Jun 27, 2014 at 8:16 PM, My Masala Life wrote:

        > My Masala Life commented: “Awww thank you, your kind words inspire me > to keep writing! I love your art and writing! Such a wonderful and > inspiring blog!”

  8. Hi there :))) I really love your blog for all its simplicity, sincerity and most of all-beauty ! 🙂
    I’m really curious about a lot of things, like the sikh religion and just other completely random things. Is there an e-mail address I could perhaps contact you on to ask my questions
    Take care xo

  9. came across ur blog n what can i say, im hooked! i can totally relate to most of ur encounter with the colorful punjabi husband is a punjabi sikh from punjab n im a malay muslim from its really a big diff from cultres to race, language n also religion..its comforting to know that someone else is also living the masala life.. me too have a beautiful masala daughter who is now only 2 mnths old n yes his family was wishing for a son as well..but i love my daughter more than anything in this world..

    well..i shall continue reading ur blog n thank u for sharing ur life with us.. =)
    sat sri akal

  10. Hi so happy to hear this lovely story. I would like to share my experience dating a Sikh punjabi. I met him on a dating site and everything was great until I found out he was married with 2 kids that really broke my heart.

  11. You may remove the link if you like after reading it. Don’t want to clutter your blog 🙂
    You follow the recipe in italics for the English versiom.

    They are actually great fun as you can make them as hot or mild as you want. Also different shapes. And add other ingredients from your store cupboard.

    I have yet blogged about the boondi that I also added, but that is even easier. 1 cup besan, 2 tbsp rice flour if you like. No ajwain or hot oil, and add 1/4 tsp of soda bicarb just before frying. Make a thick runny paste, and let it fall into the oil through a slotted spoon (the kind with holes). I use the back of a spoon to help push max amount of batter through.

  12. I had a question
    When you married was there a clash in regards to religion?
    What were some of the greatest difficulties in having an interracial relationship
    Him being a Sikh and their traditional customs?

    Hope to hear from you
    Thank you so much

    • Thats an excellent question and an important one. Religion is important to both of us. I am a christian him a sikh. We are both dedicated to our religions. On the other hand we both share the belief that there is one God and that religions just interpret god differently. So when we attend each others gurdwara and churches it is just another way of praying to god so it is not a threatening feeling. Sikhism and christianity both are very similar. Both focus on charity, equality under God, and life of devotion. Really the main difference I see is the turbans for sikhs. I think the key is seeing the beauty in each others traditions and avoid feelings of being threatened or taken over, think more of being exspanded. The same goes for our daughter, we teach both religions the same, both traditons to celibrate God

    • Good Morning Tina —

      I had another question if I may ask what was your families reaction to your relationship at first? Were they concerned due to the difference in culture?

      At the moment I am in a relationship with a man that is Punjabi Sikh as well and we find a balance as well.

      My concern is my family and friends I find that they are so rude, careless and so easy to judge without even knowing his culture or giving him a chance. I am trying to explain things more importantly to my mother but I am Mexican and mothers are as strict as they come lol but from what she has seen from people from India she is quick to judge. I know there are a multitude of customs and cultures in India, and Punjabi Sikh is beautifully special in its own way.
      Example some people that live in our town have multiples wives so she is already prejudging him without even letting me explain

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