Rekha Desai


As Interviewed by Sesha McMinn, March 20, 2011
"When my teacher asked who wanted to go to the college, and I raised my hand, I was perceived like a fool. "
Rekha Desai

Introductory Profile: About Rekha Desai

I interviewed Rekha Desai, who is my Aaji (the Indian word for “grandma.”) The interview was mainly about gender discrimination, and included different questions pertaining to that central topic. The angle my Aaji and I took on the topic was that gender discrimination is not fair to women, and is an unfortunate and wrong act. A few things that I thought stood out from the interview were the amount of stories my Aaji had about being discriminated against. Also, it was surprising how many people could be such terrible discriminators.

My Aaji is very kind, brave, intelligent, persistent, and happy. Whenever discriminators were mistreating my Aaji, she never got angry at them. Instead she just kept being persistent. She is always very kind to everyone she meets, and was brave to stand up to her family about getting married. She is also very intelligent because she always knows the best way to go about doing things. She is short, has a huge heart, and has long black hair down to her hips. She is from India, has glasses, and has brown eyes.

She was originally born in India, which is where my Mom was born as well. They lived in Zambia for eight years, but when my Mom was 10, my Aaji came with my Grandpa to the United States to get a green card, and to become legal citizens of the United States. Once they were legal citizens, and my Grandpa had a job, they went back to India to get my Mom and her brother. Since then, my Aaji has lived in Los Angeles, California. She is a middle school teacher in LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District), and teaches mathematics. She enjoys her occupation as a school teacher, and enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren.

I felt very good about the interview because it went smoothly through all twenty questions. The tone of the interview was friendly, relaxed, and informative. We were both very serious about this topic, but were about to do the interview in a friendly fashion because this was a big part of my Aaji’s life. My Aaji’s behavior and manner was relaxed and serious because this was a very important topic to her. Her tone of voice was normal except for a slight edge of sternness and importance. I think she was happy to express her point of view on gender discrimination, especially since it was a huge part of her life.

My Aaji’s thoughts on gender discrimination was serious like I said, but she also viewed gender discrimination as a big story in her life that lasted throughout it. My angle on gender discrimination is that I am glad that I am not involved in any discrimination, and am very interested to hear a first hand opinion on how it felt to be in the midst of gender discrimination. The interview went very well, and was informative. I am glad that I got an opportunity to learn about the issue of gender discrimination from my Aaji who was happy to share her personal experiences with me. I would also like to thank my Aaji for taking time to talk about gender discrimination, and how it affected her life.