Posts Tagged ‘Indian’

    When your parents are cooler than you

    Friday, October 16th, 2009

    Once my mom and I were through discussing annual Diwali traditions over the phone today, conversation segued to family and my in-laws.

    “How is everyone?” she asked, “I know Suzy is very excited about Diwali.”

    “Are Joe and Claire doing good?”

    “How is little Ian? He’s going to be Elmo for Halloween!”

    She inquired about the usual suspects, and I followed up with four or five variations of “They’re fine.”

    Just when I thought we had gotten past formalities, she offered: “Well, Sonal is still sick, and Christina is getting sick too. …And Anne is now moving to Missouri, right?”

    I paused for a nanosecond, disoriented by my mother’s insight into the lives of folks I know more than she does. Then I laughed.

    “What’s so funny?” she asked.

    “Nothing,” I said, still amused. “You’re just a far better Facebooker than me.”

    Mr. Gere, keep your lips to yourself.

    Friday, April 27th, 2007

    Yesterday at work I found myself in the company of several ethnocentric buffoons. They were wondering why their charismatic Pretty Man was being lambasted by the Indian courts. 

    “He didn’t even kiss her on the lips!”¬†

    I was thoroughly annoyed. The audacity of some Americans. These are people whose idea of a cultural experience is probably a trip to Chicago.

    Here’s the truth, folks: Don’t go gallivanting about in a foreign country Anglo-style and act surprised when someone calls your behavior offensive. I don’t care if you’re Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama or — stop the presses — Richard Gere.

    Yes, the outrage in India is a bit excessive; there’s no need to throw¬†Gere and Bollywood actress Shilpa¬†Shetty¬†in jail. But please, don’t taunt¬†a modest culture. That makes YOU narrowminded, not the people who abide by it.¬†

    Hollywood is a whore compared to Bollywood’s¬†repuation of releasing squeaky clean movies,¬†in which¬†even kissing is taboo. I remember as a teenager watching a Hindi movie with my parents and¬†being appalled when¬†the onscreen¬†couple kissed for longer than seven seconds.¬†The sight was¬†too distressing, and I had already seen porn by then!

    Double standard? No. Just cultural difference. 

    Gere¬†shouldn’t have kissed Shetty the way he did. Period.¬†

    And an HIV/AIDS awareness fundraiser in India is the last place one should¬†display any actions that allude to getting it on. I’ve seen the clip and how his¬†“parody” of a scene from a film failed mercilessly. Shetty was surprised, embarrassed and trying to avoid his face, and he didn’t get it. She even¬†admits¬†in Hindi¬†afterward: “That was a little excessive.”¬†

    And she’s right. It was¬†excessive¬†for the time, the place and the people.


    Here’s¬†the clip.


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