Thursday, March 22, 2012

Entertaining the douchebags. (Although I so much prefer the word namoonas).

Got home later than anticipated -- blame the weather -- but still in time to spend the entire evening with pleb relatives of blogged about yesterday fame. They were all there, the extended junglis, taking up every inch of visible sofa -- except one cousin (younger brother of the cousin who got married), 4 days younger than me, eternally unruffled, immensely likable.

I walked in and everyone was looking at me, mistakenly sympathetic as if to say, poor thing, long day. Some even said it, as I one by one, made my way to them all. No feet touching. Some side hugs. Some clumsy handshakes, all unfelt gestures performed in split seconds before continuing to navigate tables and knees, zigzagging from the mami to the mama to the cousin to the next to the other mama then the OTHER mama, their wives, the kids, oof, and finally the daughter in law.

Yea, her.

My mother asked when they left, what do you think? And as much as I want(ed) to reserve judgement and not blurt out what could be a mistaken half-baked impression, I said truthfully: as expected, total cow.

Maybe my mother said poor thing to that. Maybe she threw it more at me, for my being incapable of making margin for certain gaps in plenty people. I don't know what exactly the gaps-in-people trait is called. But I've seen it before.

I used to have this classmate in the 11th standard, one insecure thing who I was quite fond of, and whose only goal in life was to be thin and loved by boys. She used to be pretty harmless or as the phrase still deployed, "sweet only", till I suppose I couldn't deal with -- again, I fail here -- I don't know what exact gap I couldn't deal with, I don't know what the specific off putting quality is, but how much can you discuss the shape of your eyebrows and your cool aunt who's bringing you ten pairs of jeans from London?? Anyway, for all my issues with her, her brother took the cake when he told me once, I'm not kidding, he BOASTED: "I don't read, I tear pages from books and wipe my ass with them".

Sure. This was a joke. Apparently. I hope. Or not hope, I don;t know. But what made it worse was his ha ha after he dropped this astoundingly uncultured bomb. Like he was proud to think this, like this was a COOL thing.

This distant sister in law of mine, for her body language, her cultivated-in-the-wrong-direction manner and some unsmart wannabe-glib remarks, reminded me of the book ass wiper. I sensed an overlap. And it was more tragic than funny. It wasn't funny at all, actually. How can the collapse of traits that make us human and endearing and lovable ever be funny? Maybe it was for their -- book ass and bridey -- their seemingly shared conviction that this behaviour, what they say, how they say it, in their shrugs and curt smiles, their absence of humility made them... cool? Incompetence, ignorance, vacuousness, vapidness -- all of it buttoned up and cloaked in confidence; it's like being in a car with someone new to Delhi, so with no idea of roads, and you're driving and he or she or whatever is telling you to come from Vasant Kunj and take a sure shot left at Andheria More to get to Gurgaon, you know? The audacity. Where do you get off being so cocky of you can't back the shit up?? And isn't the point of humanity to remain all the more uncocky ESPECIALLY if you can back the shit up? Why don't the fuckers understand the appeal in humility? Arrogance should be made into a chemical, bottled and poured over stubborn baby peepals that take root in cement and eat up concrete structures.

So anyway, I was very troubled by all this nonsense. But more than the daughter in law -- and we'll get back to her to illustrate what exactly about her put me off so -- I was troubled by one little boy. My cousin. NOT the groom, another cousin who is now a teenager who thinks he's a guitar-weilding samurai. So, not really a little boy. He's as tall as I am, with skin as bad as mine was, his voice breaking, his face crumpled in a frown. I guess he's dealing with normal body image issues. All that is fine. And I started with being nice. I asked him how school was, how his exams were, are the results out.. blah blah, I was playing good elder sister, and on a tip I got from quiet standing smiling unruffled cousin of first para, I asked Image Issue Boy if he was looking forward to his exchange programme and his month in Germany. And you know what he says, this impertinent leech? He says, "yea, obviously".

Yea, obviously.

I felt a snap in my head. And a very distinct evaporation of this good elder sister role.

I didn't react. He's sitting back in the comfiest sofa in the living room and playing with his some fancy phone that I would never make the mistake of commenting on because 'these kids' get a bit floaty in the head. But I felt angry at how he could say it. Stupid question, I guess, but you're not a dream conversationalist bringing out my inherent skill at badenage, you're just a twerp. And I know it can't always be the case that I look back at my childhood and say, I was never like this. Or my brother was never like this. I mean, we had our share of fucked up bad behaviour, and often we were incorrigble but it wasn't ever THIS.

And then something broke my heart. Image issue cousin boy didn't lean forward when a tray was brought to him by an elder, our cook, Bahadur. What made me angrier is that I didn't tick him off, wrongfully imagining it's not my place. All I did was, leap up, take the plate from Bahadur and swipe the kebabs away from right under kid's pimply face.

And there, my impression of him was formed. Bit harsh? Perhaps. You could argue that he's just a child. But it put a serious few black marks on the chart next to his name. On his way out, he rolled his 'r's. And I exposed his weakness. I thought this time it was my place to teach him a lesson and -- really, how pathetic is that -- but I was so sure nobody else would, that everyone else, his immediate family, his friends, hadn't corrected his oversights in this long, so why would they now start so why should I NOT take it upon myself blah blah -- and SO, I put on an accent. I mimicked him. Of course, I was the smiling devil, and ha ha, I could have just been joking, couldn't I have? Except I wasn't. I was being a bitch. I told him the 'yups' and the 'nopes' and the 'rrr's are so, like, passe -- do you know what that means? And nowhere is this thing (he earlier said) that i-don't-read-the-newspapers-because-its-such-an-effort going to fly, unless of course you're working toward making the whole ignorant ass thing your trademark. Obviously. I said that. Sick in the head as I sometimes think I am, this I felt good about. The boy needed to learn.

As for the the bride. Her. It's less easy to be righteous. But I refuse to call myself a prude for thinking the touch feely ness in front of a bunch of relatives is NOT okay. They sat all curled up, into each other, arms on thighs, other arm across shoulders. And I felt embarrassed for the four-five older relatives sitting there, somewhat sidelined. Be lovey-dovey with your pals, in front of a closer family weave, whatver, but to be so blatantly cooing for an unwilling, uncomfortable distant audience? Fine, call me a prude. I stand by my revulsion. It's hardly proper.

Finally, the nail-coffin thing though you should hear. On her way out, bridey tells me I must come over and look at the wedding photographs. I smile back tightly. I assure her I will. And then, out of nowehere, some book-talk happens. One of those uncomfortable relativescongratulates my father on his book, on finishing writing the thing, and my father gives him a copy and princess bridey says, oh you know, even my father's written a book and I told him to not put my name there even though I edited it because I will write my own book. Um, sure, I say, that's nice; what's the book about? And she says: "Euthanasia... if you know what that is" -- and without waiting to interpret my arched brow shaped to the letters F.U Bitch, she adds -- "it's mercy killing".

Mercy killing, mercy killing. I don't know. I'm having a really tough time deciding who deserves it more; "if you know what that is" bride woman or "yea obviously" pimple boy.

Leave it to family to spoil you for choice.

14 comments:

The Soul of Alec Smart said...

Yeah, I'll hand it to the bridey for sure. Partly because I'm the prude who wants to go around dismantling couples who have obviously managed to fuse their hips together and also lost the ability to notice the elders' discomfort. But mostly because I've BEEN the pimple kid - the "yea obviously" kind, yes. If it's any comfort, I now not just lean in, but I've managed to have some domestic help believe I have a crush on them by the sudden attention I give them. Or maybe, it's because I think "if you know what that is" is always, always a bitch's phrase.

The Soul of Alec Smart said...

Also I went a little crazy posting multiple comments on the previous post, because I kept seeing this challenging mofo "Please prove you're not a robot" again and again, but failed to notice the tiny "your comment has been saved" in humble Arial 10. Sowwie.

Rakhi said...

Ah the vitriol girl! :D I'm all for the vitriol. It's been a long time. Hope you're doing good.

Anonymous said...

i want me some fuck you eyebrows

- k

Nimpipi said...

Alec ji: thank you, i say! validation, always good :) She was truly insuffferable! But you don't be nasty on yourself. Can't have beem the yea obviously kid. i refuse to believe.

psst: no beef with multiple comments, maybe i need to tweak settings somewhat. that form must be a bloody pain. what to do, i get spam otherwise. and one anon commentor who keeps on telling me he or she KNOWS who i am. whatever that means.

Rakhi: Hey there, parisian missy, lover of vitriol! How're we? How's the Kings of Leon state of affairs? Happy, happy, tell me.

K: Ooh. Impressed. Been a while someone spoke to me like that :D

Anonymous said...

pairi pauna

- k

Sushant said...

Reading this post was so much fun! I think the bride trumps the pimple prince in the douchebags contest, unless of course he said 'obviously' with that louder stress on OB and stretched the LY like leeee. Although a marginally bigger douchebag, the bride is not quite as arrogant as the boy, from what I read here. It's just her IQ is so low that she doesn't know it's low.

Nimpipi said...

Sushant: I was thinking too, if low IQ begets forgiveness and decided not especially as I told myself in this most new agey manner, that what she lacks is not iq but... EQ! :D yea... i know. truly pathetic, where do i get off judging peoples eq blah, but short answer = i just do.

but listen, coming to you, WHY is your blog so guarded? You leave like a cookie crumb trail of franzen and wallace and all you who sleep tonight under interests and then LOCK your blog? VERY strange. I thought i'd say so only because i was reading one of those names, saw your comment, clicked on your profile, and like some creature out of Alice in W, got a curiousity attack:)

Sushant said...

I'm no judge of people's EQ and forever unsure of my own, although in the curious case of the bride in question it may have been the result of getting too many compliments lately from your cousin brother. Just speculating. I have a cousin brother who got married last year. His wife and he, they constantly address each other with words like Shona and Bachcha in the presence of all elders. It is so awkward I have to pretend not having heard the thing.(Although, imo, addressing each other like this is a little too dismaying even in splendid seclusion)

Regarding the blog, someone told me two years ago that some blogger was copying whole posts from my blog. I locked my blog instantly, disappointed by the plagiarists low standards (there are much better blogs to copy) but more than that, disgusted at his blog's popularity, thirty five times my own. Incidentally, I found him somehow on my linkedin list of all places, unfriend-ed him and made him take his blog down. But then inertia prevailed and the blog's still locked. Maybe I should unlock it now. Coincidentally, today linkedin tells me he visited my profile again yesterday.

Although I'd like to tell you that I've been reading your blog for six years now, and also remember you having commented on one of my posts with a home-spun acne remedy four odd years ago.

And, I am always glad to find that someone likes Wallace and Seth. :)
Sorry, it got too long, the comment.

Nimpipi said...

S: Hehh. Didn't think you a total stranger. I can tell a familiar vibe, however long absent. Got to say, I salute you for your most worthy attitude of self deprecation! :D But I'm interested in HOW exactly you made plagiarist of low standard take down the blog.
Shona and baccha made me laugh. Agreed, and thank you. Your two sound like a handful as well. What is it with these idiots?! But come on, unfair to claim dismayal at couples resorting to this sort of thing in splendid seclusion. God knows I've been guilty of this sort of baby talky nonsense! (never the shona/bacha/jaan variety, esp. never jaan, but .. :D I'm sure lots of crap has flown, all in the name of tenderness.)

Dispensing free fund acne remedy sounds like me. :) I battled that battle long and hard so I MUST have known what I was talking about. I hope you tried it and I can plagiarise credit for the effectiveness:p. Shabashi again for impressive detail recall. 4 years huh? waah! glad you stuck around, pleased that something made you pop in and say hello.

Sushant said...

I was lucky, the plagiarist wasted no time before beginning to apologize profusely. A little more, and I'd have been moved enough to let him keep that stuff with him, as his. [To be honest, I did download an IP tracker and collected due evidence (timestamps and all that) of his visits to my blog and subsequent thefts. But I suspect I was just feeding the Sherlock inside, than doing anything particularly useful. And I didn't eventually need all that evidence that I so painstakingly collected.]

I read your posts because they are funny and because I miss Delhi.

Sugar said...

Sooper Sooper!!! Your writing is outstanding and I totally get what you mean :) and I thought I was the only one in the whole world having these hang ups with cousins!

loved loved the post, and the way you write :)

pls eliminate word verification on your blog! makes it a bitch to comment :)

Nimpipi said...

Sugar, sugar : Eeks! :D Excessive flattery, but thank you. You're sweet :p

And I have, ok, now, for you, turned off that damn word verification. But warning you, it's back on if I again start getting comments from manufacturers of strange gels.

Sanchari said...

Ouch.

The bride gets my vote.