A regular Hawaiian Coconut Pineapple Surprise please, I asked, standing at the smoothie counter in the mall. Now I don’t know about you, but I lovvve smoothies. I also prefer them with some peace and quiet, but I digress. So there I was, lost in my dream of dancing on a beach in Hawaii, counting coconuts, eating pineapples and .. surprise! A sugary-sweet Indian female voice wafted in ..
She: Heh heh. What would you recommend I try?
Me: Hm? Oh! A smoothie? Um .. they’re all good, I guess.
She: Heh heh. Are you from India?
Me: *hmm, sudden topic change!* Yes, I am ..
She: Heh heh. Where from?
She: Heh heh. I used to live there too.
Me: *trying to get back to Hawaii* Ah, that’s nice.
She: Heh. Where in Hyderabad?
Me: *mental sigh* Begumpet ..
She: Heh heh. Where in Begumpet?
Me: *realizing that desperate times called for desperate measures*
Me: 42-432-64/56A/B-43, Opposite Azizia Cafe, Behind Regal Cinema, S P Road.
She: *confused* Huh?
Me: *flashing a big smile and thinking — Hah! I turned the Heh to a Huh!*
She: *realizing I was being a smartass* Oh! Heh heh!
Me: *wondering what’s taking my smoothie so long*
She: My husband .. *pointing in the generic direction of a strategically positioned desi* .. runs an Internet Commerce business.
Me: *my worst fears are confirmed*
Me: I see, that’s nice. *chanting smoothie! smoothie! in my mind*
She: Do you work?
Me: *all this just ‘cos I wouldn’t tell her my favorite smoothie flavor?*
Me: Yes ..
She: Heh heh! It is nice to meet Indians who are energetic and willing to take risks.
Me: *eeks! she got all that about me just because I work?*
As if the simpering ‘heh heh‘s hadn’t left me drained, (Harry Potter fans must be thinking of Dolores Umbridge by now) the conversation continued ad infinitum and the exciting questions poured ad nauseam — my favorite plumber, my car, where I live, real-estate costs, my doormat, the rising gas prices, the weather, the stock market, Ganguly’s batting, Aishwarya Rai’s acting (we were on a ‘things that don’t exist‘ sub-theme for a while), item numbers, Kaal, the new desi-dhaba on Massachusetts Avenue and other such enchanting stuff. All of this was of course, generously sprinkled with comments like ‘we desis need to network better to become a force to reckon with’ or ‘we Indians should have clearer goals in life, only then we will get somewhere‘ and other such mumbo-jumbo. Now, I am as friendly as your neighborhood Spiderman, and I don’t say that chatting up strangers at smoothie stands is a crime. But if this yakkity-yak has jogged painful memories for you, then you will surely empathize. Yesh, this was none other than the attack of the Amway parasite. Or Quixtar as it is now known.
Ironically, at first glance, the Amway keeda comes across as someone you’d actually want to be friends with. A cheerful smile, a sense of familiarity and bonhomie that your childhood friends can only dream of, and a level of concern for your health and well being, that is on par with your parents’. As a result, when one attempts to be genuinely friendly towards a fellow desi, it backfires. One can see them scurrying away from you at warp speed with hushed whispers of ‘Amway .. Amway ..‘ echoing in the background.
If on reading this you ask — ‘What is Amway?‘, then either that rock you live under has served its purpose well, else there is some divine intervention involved. Not to worry, step into a local grocery store, train station or mall, and you shall soon have your own sad Amway story to tell. Or if you already have one, share it now. We could band together and form an Amway Anonymous support group, perhaps?
Moving onto other distasteful things, here’s a mini-rant about one. This is for the world in general, but especially directed at certain individuals whose excruciating love and admiration towards me, compels them to leave anonymous comments about the person I am.
- This blog has, for the most part, been a cheerful and positive place and I keep it that way, by choice. I would appreciate it if you did not post nasty messages to try and change that. (I am so polite, I impress myself sometimes!)
- Nobody is compelling you to read my blog. If you don’t like what I write, go away.
- Save the free speech lecture for the next human rights convention you plan to attend. This is MY blog. If you post crappy comments, I will delete that crap whenever I feel like it, so don’t whine.
- You can keep posting comments. I can keep deleting them. We could continue this li’l song-and-dance routine to find out who tires of it first, but frankly, it is already boring. As Dilbert teaches you — Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience.
- On that Dilbert quote trip, here’s a couple more relevant ones for you to ruminate on —
- I don’t have an attitude problem, you have a perception problem.
- I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow is not looking too good either.
On a more cheerful and unrelated note — visions of Hawaii and the promise of pineapples, has inspired me to do a bit of travelling. As a result, starting this Friday, I’m taking a blogging break for about a month. Yes, I am still around for the rest of the week, so don’t start the celebrations just yet. Now, I could claim this to be a more serious ‘I need to take stock of my life, re-evaluate my priorities‘ type thing, but sadly, it is not. And don’t think I didn’t notice that collective sigh of relief from you all. *scowl* It will surely come back to haunt you. Anyways, so until mid-June, the mindless nonsense shall cease. Unless of course, something terribly earth-shattering happens before that. Like a new PJ. Heh heh.
Hope you all have a wonderful month of May!