is an honor student at a 'good' high school in an affluent suburb
of Atlanta. She was born in the US shortly after her parents
arrived from Hyderabad. She is respectful of tradition and says
that --like her grandparents and her parents-- "I will
marry someone my mother and father choose for me". Throughout
her life, Nisha has been the only Asian-Indian student in her
class and she feels some ambivalence about growing up Indian
in an all-white suburb. While her Indian friends call her 'Nisha',
she drives a red Toyota sports car with a vanity plate that
reads, 'Sabrina', the name her non-Indian friends know her by.
her room, getting ready to go out for the evening, she tells
two "American" friends about the time her mother
made her go to the neighborhood Kroger's in her Indian clothes.
"I was really embarrassed. I know I shouldn't be embarrassed
... but I was". She finds it hard to deal with kids at
school who don't have a clue about Muslim traditions: "When
a guy asks you out and you say, 'No, my parents won't let
me; it's not our custom,' they're just, like, 'Are you stupid?
Go against it!'" At the pageant, Nisha wears an intricately
embroidered costume with henna circles on her palms. She brings
the house down with an Indian movie dance and with a brilliant
answer to her interview question. Backstage, she confides
to her aunt that she had studied the tapes of previous pageants
and memorized answers to all the questions.