Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yeh hai India meri jaan

Last night as i was driving back at mid night from a movie, two little men, big boys zoomed by. The sight of them made me smile. They for that moment were India, representing the two different sides that I had seen and witnessed last evening.

The pillion with a Bob Marley haircut a jacket carelessly slouching on his shoulders. The back of the jacket embossed with a bright red Harley Davidson imprint, the rider had his face thrust into the road and was spinning probably his DAD's ancient Bajaj scooter for all the life the scooter could emerge.

I smiled at their youth, the innocent aping of the west, the Indian Bajaj scooter accepted as a tradeoff for style and the Indian bending of the helmet less driving adding to the audacity of it all.

Witnessed two Indias yesterday, one left me amused, the other touched.

MM and I landed up at this place called "HINT". Turned out to be ladies night and what a spectacle we got to see.

The table next to us had three DELHI girls. Each of whom was playing the "lets see who can drive the waiter mad game" by shrieking. Dressed in their best heels and glittery clothes they sat like puffed up pigeons waiting for someone to notice.

Sadly for them, the table adjacent was occupied by a couple. The woman represented "Blore" for me. Noodle strap black dress, with the plastic straps showing, the mangalsutra dangling in between and gold jhumkis. This balanced with a lament in heavily accented South Indian English "Huuneey you left the ciggies in the car da" while she proceeded to convince him to groove for the rest of the night

Table 3 was the most entertaining. One chikna boy. Very very fair, spiked hair and body hugging T shirt. surrounded by 1,2,3,4 and 5 chikni terms (sorry know it is racist. not intentional though) who never spoke but squealed at intervals of 3.5 minutes. The exact time it took them to arrange themselves in various permutations and combinations around the chikna never shaved boy man.

While I was noticing all these interesting case studies, MM was drooling at another spectacle all-together. His eye brows disappeared into his curly hair and he stared, stating this is an amazing place. HUH??? What? WHY? You payed 700 bucks for a crap orange juice and vodka?? what the hell are u referring to....

Then I followed his gaze.

The dance floor was empty. The "we are so cool, check us out crowd with sunglasses on head and nipples thrust in various angles" crowd glued to the bar. However, everyones eyes were doing this strange dance. Darting to the floor and the drink, sneaking glances before gazing sheepishly at the date.

Object of lustful stares

2 immensely free spirited women, who dirty danced and kissed with wild abandon on the floor!! The men were hooked and how.

Infact one brave fellow decided to convert the two some to a threesome and was promptly banished. Needless to say in all this, me with my chappals and more brains than brawn walked out feeling very out of place.

Road Movie. Was the entertainment two for the night.

India two loomed out from the canvas, grabbing you with its imagery. The silent expanses saying more than the dialogue's. Dev Benegal, said what Swadesh said in 4 hours by simply showing us the silent haplessness of the Rajasthani nomadic tribes in their search for water, in the empty eyes and the creased faces.

Abhay Deol representing the urban youth, much like the crowd I saw at Hint was ill equipped to handle the odd balls that India threw at him. Be it the caustic tounge of the dhaba boy, the overpowering familiarity that each of his hitch hikers seemed to slip into or the sheer simplicity with which his road romance accepts the inevitable. He almost always is the recipient of the journeys experiences never the creator.


The reason for this post is neither to critique Hint or applaud Road Movie.
Rather is simply to cheer the kalidescope that is India. It has not managed a very balanced growth but has allowed freedom to occur. It remains a place, where in some select pockets two women can feel strangely secure being themselves in the middle of a vast crowd. It remains a place, where in some pockets a women is raped for simply coming in the path of a drunk cop on a lonesome night.

Where 700 is spent on a drink and where that is the salary of our domestic help
a young india where majority of the youth is finding its identity in being cool
and a few are finding it in being themselves, their different selves

That is why the Bajaj scooter -Bob Marley and Harley Davidson made me smile. Was the perfect bhel puri mixture to everything the evening bought to life.

thodha Indian thodha western., total bindass.

India for me is the wise grandmother, smiling an indulgent smile as the new teenager India stands at the mirror fretting about her pimple. The granny is wise, knows it is a phase, this too shall be absorbed forming one more crease in the ever expanding saree.