Your Hole Is My Goal

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Or is it?

Fuck yeah, click bait headline.

If people are crediting the bylines to their name with screenshot based writing/journalism, I can very well make a living out of being JNU's Shobhaa Dé. All I need is a marriage and then another.

Speaking of marriage (and bad ideas), I would publically like to thank my theatre teacher from Masters degree. All his lessons and workshop, including the one where I stood against a wall and repeatedly yelled, "मुझे एक्टिंग नहीं आती" for what seemed like 12 hours (4 hours, pre-lunch) came in very handy last night.

For those of you who do not know, I'm a degree holder in Theatre Performance (and Puppetry, and cutting paper and calling it Visual Communication- let's leave that for another day). It's quite something to say that, and why not. I survived one whole semester (Saturdays if you may) of Theatre and Performance in 2012.

If you knew me in circa 2012, you'd remember I was pretty fucking angry. Angry at my idea of staying back when everyone I knew fucked off to the UK to celebrate their single's honeymoon in the guise of a Master's degree. I was stuck inside the air-conditioned classroom, next to Man Friday (MF), who chewed Digestive Biscuits loudly in the middle of exams (he also once offered me a ripe banana in the middle of a class). Imagine sitting next to Sinner with her sophisticated sense of humour for three years only to move to seeing Anid talk about half fried eggs fondly in the middle of the examination. I love half fried eggs and I also love bananas, but I love my sanity above both those. I was convinced that I was losing it all in 2012. Theatre was one of the top reasons.

Imagine my surprise last night, when I pulled a cover on my face and pretended to be in deep sleep while my sycophant of a distant relative tried waking me up. There's a thing called getting a hint and then there's a thing called Indian relatives. Those two things somehow do not add up.

Indian relatives and personal space are kinda like mixing oil in a bowl of water. No matter how much you shake it, it'll be distant and in no mood to cooperate.

But the twist is, I'm quite an asshole. If the oil don't mix with personal space, I literally take a spoonful of water mixed with oil and dispose of it in the sink. If my metaphors are being heavy and nonsensical, then allow me to make sense: I evaded my relatives by pretending to fall asleep while they came to check on me.

Which says a lot about how nosy relatives can be, and not as much about me. Me? I make it clear. I'm an asshole.

An extended family member dropped by uninvited (because everyone thinks this is circa 1991 and it's totally chill to do so). Hospitality is taken for granted, and at some point, we ourselves are to blame. I'll come to that later. First, my heroic activity.

After what seemed like an entire night worth of struggle of pretending to play tired, dead, constipated, in need of a shower (in that order), my mother entered my room to deliver the bad news. She announced that they were not willing to budge and that my father and those guys had discussed my presence till this point. Exasperated, she narrated the conversation-

Assface Relatives - "We are not going until we meet Snobster. It's been years."

Father - "Then you'll have to wait through the night because she's not going to meet you."

Assface Relatives - "Okay."

Father - "Okay."

True to their words, they stayed till 1 in the morning. What came to rescue at that hour were the acting skills I'd inculcated via Mr Bhupinder (whose second name I shamelessly do not remember). I told my mum I'll play dead if that's what will take the aunt monkey off my back. I also told my mother that there was no way in hell I'd give in to this terrorism. Over my dead body.

I told her to inform those guys that I'd fallen asleep. So she did.

Literally a minute after this dialogue, the lady relative entered my room. She turned the tube light on, removed the quilt from my face. I made all my agnostic prayers in my head, stuck my double chin close to my shoulder and pretended to be in deep sleep. She began caressing my face with her hands violently covering my face while repeating the lines,

"Kinne sone haath hai. Maa varge. (what beautiful hands she has, just like her mother's). Eyeliner vi ni utarya? (she didn't remove her eyeliner?)"

While I tried hard to not throw up at her hands smelling of a ridiculous mix of oil, meat and sycophancy, I kept my face puffed up. As if a thousand goldfish had died inside my mouth and I was going to drool any second. I could feel the bed shake with my sister's attempt to control her laughter. At this point, she had her face covered with a quilt, mine was visible.

Those twenty seconds lasted longer than a math examination of three hours. I have performed on stage wearing a Saree at 13. I have played the bass to an auditorium full of parents. I have written an MPhil thesis. Adding to that rich repository, I have now acted like a person in deep slumber just to avoid pleasantries and nonsense from someone who's hell-bent upon calling herself, family.

At some point, I have to reflect inward and point the hypocrisy of my own family's idea of diplomacy. Of being so cuckolded towards etiquettes, traditions and old-fashioned hospitality that they really do not understand where and when to draw the line. Sure, my methods are radical but they do bring in a significant amount of result in one go.

Having said that, it also amazes me, the obstinacy of people. If someone has ignored you to your face all evening, then they must really hate you to continue that. If some legitimate adult decides to not look at your face, give them the fucking freedom to do that. Maybe it's them. Maybe it's you. Whatever it is, these cocktail of reasons and acts are enough to give one an idea what they're trying to convey.

Then, I look towards people like GurMehar and the likes of Randeep Hood and Virendra Sehwag. They equate the rights of a citizen of this country to make a 20-year-old sound insignificant. These are our role models, they define who's right or wrong.

How do you expect one to rise above flashy, loudly spoken ideas, the likes of such relatives if you yourself are not taken seriously, just because you belong to a different generation. It's not as much a question to me or to the others, as it is a solid state of affairs for us to stare at.

Trolls, relatives- when are we taking a stand? If Maya Angelou were living in India today, she'd be falling and not rising in a pit full of crap dictated by people who believe they know the better of us. Sometimes, it's good to take a stand and not budge. Even if it means you pretend to be asleep. 

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