Diwalis have always been good days. From the days when we threw sparklers in the air and screamed ‘Rocket, rocket’, to the days when bombs burst in my hands. It was also the night I got caught drinking at home. In my pocket, there were the 20 ChlorMints we had bought to get rid of the smell, but we forgot to eat them.
But this Diwali was probably the happiest Diwali in recent years. Why, you ask?
Because Ra.One finally released.
I remember the first time I watched the trailer. It was the World Cup semi final and India was kicking Australia’s ass and anything is pardonable under such circumstances.
Since then, every billboard, TV channel, mall, cinema complex, website, interval, beginning, cricket tournament, and TV serial played the ads/trailers/songs of the film ad nauseum.
And this Diwali, the damn film finally released. And I watched it.
I do not wish to review the film, as that would be an insult to the intelligence levels of my readers, It will suffice to say that the film is KL3D – KLPD in all the three dimensions. Shah Rukh Khan overacts, but that is something I have gotten accustomed to. There are crass jokes that would be ridiculed if David Dhawan and Govinda made them, but it’s ok because SRK is doing it. (He’s got dimples, ya, he’s cute). So Shah Rukh Khan finds it convenient to cry about racial profiling before the release of ‘My Name is Khan’. He talks of treating people with respect, and then goes right ahead and portrays South Indians in the shittiest way. But what the hell? He has dimples, so it’s ok. Cute fellow!
What irked me the most about the film Ra.One was Shah Rukh Khan’s portrayal of the South Indian father. It’s an old trick that almost every Hindi film uses – caricaturing South Indians. They are all loudly dressed, and talk in screwed up English, mouthing lines likes ‘Ayyoji’, ‘Mind it’ and ‘I say’. But it’s all in good humour, of course!
If I crack a joke on Muslims, I’m unsecular. If I crack a joke on poor people, I am being elitist. But South Indians? Crack jokes, man. They are too lost in their own worlds. They don’t mind.
Well, fuck you, Mr. Shah Rukh Khan. They do.
Since I am half Telugu and half Oriya, I am subjected to both the stereotypes – either I am from a state full of tribals, or I live on idli, dosa, sambhar. So irked was I by this stereotyping, that I have compiled a list of stereotypes that most South Indians are subjected to.
1. South Indians have names like Veerabhadra Swami Bhadrachalaramam Iyengar.
Well, they don’t. South Indians have names that are normal. They may be long, and tongue-twisting, but they are all there for a purpose. They are either the names of the person’s native place, or a name of an ancestor, but they are all there for a purpose. If you can’t pronounce them, use a shorter form. Or call them by their initials. At least it’s better than having an innuendo filled name like ‘Ramandeep’ or ‘Hardik’, so save that smart joke for that beautiful ape you meet in the zoo. For us humans, it’s not funny.
2. South Indians say ‘Enna Rascala’ and ‘Mind it’.
Nobody talks like that. Only Shah Rukh Khan does that when is portraying South Indians. Though this is a generalisation, South Indians generally have better English than people from other places. They don’t introduce themselves as ‘Myself, Suresh’. Even autodrivers in most South Indian cities can pull off a conversation in English. And when was the last time you heard a South Indian say ‘Enna Rascala’?
3. South Indians eat idli, dosa everyday.
In Ra.One, to pull off the role of a South Indian convincingly, Shah Rukh Khan eats noodles with curd. Cute no? So cute that I feel like slamming his head into an idli maker. The fact is South Indians don’t eat idli, dosa, sambhar everyday. That’s like assuming Italians eat pizza everyday and Shahid Afridi bites balls everyday. They don’t, primarily because they’ve been doing it all their lives. Also, idlis, dosas and sambhar are found everywhere these days. So think twice before you make the idli jokes. And SRK, think at least once!
4. All South Indian guys know each other’s’ languages
They don’t. South Indian languages are complex. It’s not like other states where languages have similarity with each other. Down south, neighbouring states have nothing common in their language. So Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh have their own languages. So calling someone a ‘madrasi’ just makes you a dickhead, nothing else.
5. South Indians are all intelligent people who are good at Maths and Science
Now, this is one myth I wish was true. The stereotype of the quiet, intelligent South Indian has been done to death. I am half South Indian and I only know upto 7 table (of course I know 9, 10, 11 and 20 – but that’s not the point). Not all South Indians are intelligent quiet. Some of them are dumb and loud.
6. South Indians wear loud and bright clothing
They don’t actually wear…..well, they do. Fuck you, so what?