Visit. (Beware of senti-shit)

It has been quite difficult for me to blog ,with my laptop given away for service.
Hp , battery fail within a year.
What ya expect?
Anyways I’ve always wanted to rant about this play of frequent occurence in any Indian/any sane,sober orthodox societal country , “The Visit”.
The Visit is often casted by precariously curious aunties, whom you might have randomly been introduced during a marriage somewhere sometime with often big eyes (or they make it look big).
Jabber Devils they are , with new leather handbags swaying away to glory for attention ,supported by the headlines of the new dearest gossip filling the air and ears of the lady host.
This is often punctuated by the big , short uncles with bountiful bellies just enough to make their presence felt in a comparitively small hall once they arrive along with their sense of humour which is by the way unquestionable because of their self-ignited laughter which goes on about a minute interrupted only by an occasional fart stressed for a long time and this creates more humour as if there is something missing already.
Gastric problem , they claim and start laughing again.
These are just the post-food entertainment guys.
Let me bullet it out.
The Attendance.
Greetings by the stench of an arbit Arabian perfume (NRI relatives) pulls you out of your room and just when you are about to say WTF?!! , you are compelled (or rather forced) to silently smile back at their already beaming white faces.
The attendance in this play , instead of raising hands in a classroom , is either a firm handshake (for uncles) or the widest smile you can stretch (for aunties) to make your presence felt. You better make the attendance exact otherwise you will be  filed with a complaint of concern from the lady visitor to her respective counterpart.
If the Visitors are accompanied by Children you are in for some shit my friend.
This Kid is the real deal .
He is the only entertainment factor in this play.
They start searching toys not to play with but to throw .
Sometimes a slipper comes flying across if he/she is angry due to lack of attention or an apple on the table to aim at his/her own mother or better sometimes a host member.
The attendance for the kid is quite normal.
You just need to ask him which grade he/she is in .
This is usually reciprocated with the kid just not replying and running off to grab the nearest familiar leg ,meanwhile ,you must continue smiling and make remarks romanticising the baby’s cuteness , eyes so on and so forth.
In some cases the kid might just utter gibberish and ask what are the videogames you’ve been playin.
Then you are supposed to escort him to the laptop/pc which at that exact moment might be decorated with a sexy Scarlett Johansson flaunting her curves.
Shut it!
The kid starts crying and you are left fumbling with the fucking keypad.
Even better if the kid is smart, it won’t cry ,it will just stand there staring at your stupid face or in some weird cases at Scarlett Johansson.
The visitor aunties come to the rescue and then start questioning on your future and fortune.
What are you planning to become?
MBA, Ph.D or GR-fucking-E ?
and when you start talking she keeps staring at you lost in something else.
suddenly she breaks conversation and turns to the host mother “He looks so much like you.. “.
That is when you realise you are just a character in this play.
In this beautifully set-up ,brilliantly performed orchestra of human actions and expressions.
I am in awe.
The purpose of a visit is never important in “The Visit”.
It is a gathering of the most trained thespians.
Masks fit so tight that people have forgotten there is a mask.
They have become the inevitable , to be.
The play nears the intermission when the members of the host and visitor are left with their respective counterparts.
You are left with your siblings(if you have any) and these people will be waiting to fuck with you only just at this time.
It is mutual , actually.
You also tend to be in the fuck-around mood with the visitors.
The Offer.
This may range from food to forcing the visitors to stay over in the house for a day or two.
It doesn’t matter whether they are your distant cousin’s wife’s fuck-up-brother-in-law or your persistantly cheerful uncle’s new son-in-law or even your worst enemy,  The Host has to OFFER.
There is a saying in Tamil (Thirukkural) which substantiates this social and conversational default.
It would be poor of me to state that in English.
Declining the Offer.
With the offer laying about it is also a signal for the visitor to the get the F out of the Host’s house or in other words ,Its about time.
The play has reached its finale.
The offer in return is declined and you will be in awe on how subtle it is dealt with.
It in itself is an art.
Reasons are put forth first in an arbit fashion.
Then the reason’s take shape and weight gradually.
A heater has to be fixed.
The paper guy has to be paid.
The kid has tuitions.
Then the offer’s gravity is praised with promises of another visit which, they are sure ,will extend longer.
The Withdrawal of the Offer.
Just when the host observes the declination he persuades the visitor even more and this makes the visitor make more reasons and this battle goes on for a while.
Silently the offer is buried among the hugs and the wet kisses exchanged symbolising departure.
Here again if a small kid is present , he is tortured with cheek pinches , anti-gravity stunts and sometimes even bites (usually from overtly hyper uncles) that make marks on the skin.
That poor kid.
Again as said, the purpose hardly matters.
But visits are always fun.
And it is like when people leave or die that we feel their absence.
The cars take off and you stand there ,waving your hands as vigorously as possible .
Happy you are, that it is all said and done with.
You turn to your host parents for a sign of acknowledgement.
There is none.
You find them to be genuinely happy.
You beg to differ with them.
I asked my dad ,why all this? ,he bluntly said,
“People need people.”
Yesterday was my dad’s birthday or so that is what he made us think all these days.
This is For a man who doesn’t remember his birthday.
It is all in the play .
It might be, but it is often amazing to me that people come in/with different forms and faults.
…friends , families and so many different kinds of them…
Each one makes everything about themselves interesting.
By the way ,I came across this Canadian movie,
C.R.A.Z.Y 2005 (French)- about 5 brothers in a family.
Pretty crazy, try watching.

Boards and the Bullies.

A year back ,Kapil Sibal as his first act as the new HRD minister wanted to scrap the tenth board examination.
He made it optional , but due to the inevitable urge of each and every aspiring student , no sorry, parent, that didn’t work out quite well.
So , he then told , Marks will be there but students will be judged on grades and that has hit the jackpot.
Oh, the relief and freedom.
Women especially from where I studied ,become evil soap artists as public exams near.
Every evening you can watch Clash of the Aunties on my school road.
Just before the school disperses , you can see the silent assembly of Elite Moms .
Elite Moms are those whose Kid/Kids are topping a class for 2 years minimum continuously.
A group of hyenas silently waiting and hating each other’s presence but always together picking on that day’s model examination’s problem and wondering how her son/daughter would have tackled it.
It is a battle out there.
Yo yo yo..
“Yo Son is so fat you haveta roll over twice to get off him.”
“Yo Son is so stupid that he can’t even calculate 789*373 in his head.”
And mind you this starts during Eighth grade.
Pride is also a drug , apparently.
Hissing like snakes they avoid the other not-so-elite moms.

The inside politics is so cruel that if you have under-performed this may reflect when you are back home after school expecting a tasty evening snack and what you get is Dry Dates and a loud voice disturbing your SWAT KATS time.
True story.
But lucky me, it stopped with this.
The Toppers are the ones that get mothered.
ha!..
The Elite Moms behave in subtlety.
The most common example is the 99 crisis .
It is when you have scored 99 out of 100 in a Math paper and you had wished that this day wouldn’t come.
I mean WTF!
I have seen many of my classmates (class toppers) go beserk after seeing their paper when given out.
The teachers say, “Ah, 99 . Well done ,Arun.
And the guy gives the I-peed-in-my-pants look ,“What have I done?
Because You see ,there is no other shame worse than a 99 crisis that you can bring to an Elite mother.
It is like you are second best , finishing second in a Grand Prix.
Now, who likes that?
The next few periods he thinks of a plot.
A plot to escape the routine.
A fake stomach ache?

9th period is about to end.
The school bell rings.
SHIT.
He reach the school gates .
It is the Gates of Hell.
I am thankful for once that my mom wasn’t/isn’t the elite kind.
Still for all the 10th standard kids out there.
You ,Lucky Devils.

Seriously ,thanks to Sibal for common sense and humanity.
Phew.

Pot and Peace.

Ever wonder why these are mixed always?
When Brady Kincaid (Norton) is asked by Bolger his life mate (Tim Blake Nelson , who also wrote and directed this movie), “Do you believe
in higher power?”.
Brady , the free spirit ganjahead who has set up a hydroponic marijuana garden , talks about parallel lines and how man managed to create a virtual reality in theory .
Meaning parallel lines are lines that never intersect  , referring that they meet at infinity . But what man can’t fathom is infinity.
That which is unanswerable is God. Though, we can’t see him , we try to conceive him.
And our job is to stick to the lines and enjoy it.
But , his brother thinks otherwise.
He has got it all figured out.
With high philosophical undertones Norton as Billy Kidcain , the much respected thinker of modern times Ivy league professor, starts the movie with quoting Socrates’ take on Plato.
Brady and Billy.
Then,it is Film Noir treated with much respect by blake Nelson , trying nothing new .
But Norton delivers double.
Noir is a rich genre in cinema and should be kept that way .
But Norton as  two utterly different intelligent Kincaids. What can you expect? 🙂
Billy ,one who has managed to get rid of his Oklahoma accent to fit in with the ‘prospective’ rational side of life.
Brady , a free spirited fuck-up as the rational world would refer him as, is utterly and equally intelligent but lacking diction and jargonry.
Globally the movie has earned name as a rich regional American movie.
But has been refused by Hollywood critics as nothing but a stupid movie .
I mean it is exactly what the Coen brothers do ever so frequently (the whacky crime comedy genre) so why can’t Tim Blake Nelson do the same  (Delmar in O Brother where Art thou ?)?
Coen Brothers somehow escape with high critical acclaim with whatever they do.
I seriously think that this movie(Leaves of Grass) is better than the brothers’ latest A Serious Man.
Underrated in IMDB.
Not to mention the whacky actor/director (Nelson) has previously made a modern adaptation of Othello. Check it out. “O” and a World War classic , The Grey Zone.
It has been unravelled and compared that the film has a lot of Tim Blake Nelson and regional American themes in it.
The local Tulsa Jew community  and the anti-semitic Oklahoma community.
It is good to see Susan Sarandon playin the Hippie-I still live in the 60’s-fuck-up-Mom.
The actress Keri Russell (as Janet) plays Billy’s love interest deserves to be mentioned ,still it was the qoutes and Nelson’s writing which held the movie in a piece.
As always , I am not going to summarise the plot but I must refer to how cleverly the violence in the movie has been visualised.
Poignant Violence .
Nelson puts a heavy price on this one by telling Life should be lived and Shit happens no matter how much you tried to “figure” it out.
And if anyone was wondering who that horny college girl who made a pass at Prof.Kincaid was, yeah you are right,
it was Lucy De Vito, Danny de Vito’s daughter.
“We are animals prof. Kincaid, having brains that trick us into thinking we aren’t .”
“We break the world, so help repair it.”