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.
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.
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.
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.