An Hour at the Oscars

“Did you watch the TV?” asked my newly-exported friend from Ludhiana

“Yes, yes. Tanu weds Manu promos all over.”

“No, no, stop being so desi. We are world players.”

“I cannot watch the World Cup matches because Shane Warne is predicting everything before.”

“Don’t take that Aussie man’s name. He pataoed Liz and took away our woman.”

“Our woman?”

“She was married to tycoon Arun, no?”

“What tycoon? Anyway, what am I supposed to watch?”

“The Oscars!”

“It was telecast at 4 a.m India time and then 7.30 a.m…”

“If you can wake up early for that thing…you know what you like doing…your stupid writing…then this is international. You are so desi.”

“Right, but why are you so excited? I know who got the awards, so my general knowledge won’t suffer. Have you watched any of the films? What were your favourites?”

“Films? Who cares! There was one fellow who was like stuttering, then this woman who was doing some ballet-shallet, then some fighter, and even Facebook fellow was there. Hai, that was nice because all my relatives are on it, so we are all family.”

“If you have not watched any of the films, then what are you so enthusiastic about?”

“It is the whole atmosphere. The red carpet, the gowns, my, such lovely ones.”

“I saw this event on an entertainment channel and they went on and on about those stupid maxis, sorry gowns.”

“What is stupid, hain? Even Aishwariya Rai wore one and Mallika Sherawat wore one.”

“Oh, so they wore one each, that’s interesting. Did A. R. Rahman wear one too?”

“Don’t be mean. Bechara did not win this time, serves him right for leaving poor slumdogs, but he is so modest, he just kept smiling like a buddha.”

“You mean like the Buddha.”

“Oh, whatever. His wife they say was wearing Indo-Western fusion and carried a designer clutch.”

“I saw her wearing some thick dupatta. The western part may have been hidden.”

“What did you think of Ash and Mallika?”

“I did not notice what they wore. I was concentrating on their accents. Mallika spoke as though she was at a baseball match rooting for Rahman and Aishwariya said something about how nice it was to be ‘celebrating cinema like we do back home’. Very funny.”

“Chalo, this is global talk. You really must understand. I think Halle Berry’s nude was lovely.”

“I wish that was how she’d have been. She wore some ruffled stuff.”

“Ah, tell me more. I like to hear desi opinion on all this.”

“Sure. Even our media discusses it as though they were there and they are them, the same language, the same encomiums, the same kind of dissing. Heck, if the foreign press says it looked like table cloth, ours' modified it to table napkins. Original. Here, I have patience only for a couple of them. Penelope Cruz was in something shiny and looked a bit plump. And Cate Blanchett wore an atrocious dress with a yoke that looked like an upturned baby’s bib. Most were in red and most gowns looked either like some armour or like slips that needed something to be worn over them.”

“Wait baba, I must correct you. They have to show cleavage and their bodies. It is open society and even in India everyone is showing off.”

“True. I have no problem with revealing clothes, but they looked not quite complete.”

“This is high fashion, the best designers.”

“Is it about cinema or fashion? Why do these super actors have to announce which designer’s clothes they are wearing? If they have paid for them, then it is theirs.”

“Labels, darrrling, labels. You don’t understand.”

“I have seen some of the nighties on Linking Road and a few long kameezes at Crawford Market that don’t look much different.”

“This is desi mentality. It is the cut, the lines.”

“And the bulges. But why are we discussing this?”

“Okay, tell me about the speeches.”

“Speeches? Ooh-aah, I dunnowhattosaythisisjustsoaahsomepinchme…aah,sniff,owkhay, Imustthankgodthemazingteamthatmadeitpossible…ooh, Istillcan’tbelieveit…blah.”

“I am ashamed of you,” said my NRI friend. “As an Indian you should understand emotions.”

“Haan, butwhatemotionsarethereifyousoundlikeyouaresquirtingforthefirsttime?

“Whatttt arrr you saying?”

“Just being global.”

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