Monday, August 29, 2005

That Thing About Americans

When you say America, land of the free sounds like a synonym. Talking about Americans, (restricting to the sub-group of people in big cities) it would be an understatement to say they are insane. Unfortunately some people would call that last statement partially false. I belong to that group. The problem is its impossible to tell who is insane. In the yesteryears it used to be simple. People talking to aliens or the blue skies were insane. Those who indulged in other activities, excluding murder were not.



I like the big cities (for clarity, I shall call it New York or NYC from now on) thought processing. "EVERYONE IS INSANE". Let me explain:

Nowadays, the people in the Versace suits have cell phones, and these cell phones have micro-mini ear-mounted mic/earphone combinations, hence being greeted with the sight of a career savvy woman in a $2000 Versace who is having a lively conversation with a rather bored parking meter is not an uncommon sight in big cities (for clarity, I shall call it New York or NYC from now on). This is a common enough experience that most New Yorkers try to get used to it by consuming humungous amounts of alcohol which is about 9 parts lemoneade to 1 part Bacardi Limon served with a breath mint for $12 plus tax, which comes to $72. The semblance of insanity therefore is the norm.

One thing I have noticed since landing in big cities (for clarity, I shall call it New York or NYC from now on) is no one bothers how ever the hell you dress (or dont dress). The other day I drove to pick up a friend from the airport. As things would have it, I was late at work, so I got late home which made me conclude I would be late in picking up the dude. In the rush of things, I changed into the first shirt which I found lying on my room floor and dashed out without realising I had worn it inside out. I broke journey to get some gas and a coffe from the not amused at all cute girl at Starbucks.

Here is the funny thing. Not a single person said a word to me about my shirt. And despite the fact I looked like a really dumb jar of oatmeal, the cute girl at Starbucks was very kind to me. My neighbour who greeted me as I ran to my car treated me like any normal human. The lady who pulled up next to me at the gas pump exchanged the regular hello - how are you and smiles. But not a single word about my shirt being inside out.

This made me wonder, how the hell would anyone react to this in India! Lets restrict this to my apartment complex in Bombay. The first person to notice this would be the lady who sits on the second floor and oversees everything which goes about the colony. Soon word would spread - "Joshi's son wears his shirt inside out" (Marathi: Joshi'n cha mulgaa shirt ulta ghalto). This would be the talk at kitty partys and early morning walks. Finally one of the women would tell this to her husband. Then the rebellious Uncles of my society would call a general body meeting to discuss the consequences of these acts. "Our grandsons can get influenced by such behavior and stop wearing clothes" There would be discusions on how to bring an end to this but no action taken.

Very soon the rumours would spread that Joshi's son also wears his underwear inside out and all the 16 year old girls would smile sheepishly at me whenever I walked by them.

Finally one of the ground floor uncles would walk up to me and object to my clothing style.

Now depending on how my day has been, I could come up with either of the two answers.

  • Oh, I never noticed this. I am sorry. Thanks for letting me know. (This would be the end of it and it would be forgotten after a while.)

  • This is my way of saying I go against the core of society. My dressing symbolizes the inversion of social morales and the base of my own ethics. (The uncle would spread the word that Joshi's son leans towards the same types)


Meantime, Bird would be interested in knowing if any penal codes exist on wearing shirts inside out.

But in America, this would be cool.

I think I am becoming a believer of the everybody-is-insane mentality of America!

49 Comments:

Anonymous deepakjeswal said...

ROFL - how the hell do you manage to find topics for such animated posts! Brilliant stuff...but i hope the Starbucks team is right now not having a team meeting on 'how to handle customers with more politeness who wear their shirts wrong side' and circulating minutes of meetings around lotus notes and generally warding off ideas that no one will follow but will make the notes inbox richer by a few hundred mails :P

Oh BTW, thats me first here on ur blog for the first time ... a medal for me, eh?

August 29, 2005 2:16 AM  
Anonymous deepakjeswal said...

ROFL - how the hell do you manage to find topics for such animated posts! Brilliant stuff...but i hope the Starbucks team is right now not having a team meeting on 'how to handle customers with more politeness who wear their shirts wrong side' and circulating minutes of meetings around lotus notes and generally warding off ideas that no one will follow but will make the notes inbox richer by a few hundred mails :P

Oh BTW, thats me first here on ur blog for the first time ... a medal for me, eh?

August 29, 2005 2:17 AM  
Anonymous deepakjeswal said...

ROFL - how the hell do you manage to find topics for such animated posts! Brilliant stuff...but i hope the Starbucks team is right now not having a team meeting on 'how to handle customers with more politeness who wear their shirts wrong side' and circulating minutes of meetings around lotus notes and generally warding off ideas that no one will follow but will make the notes inbox richer by a few hundred mails :P

Oh BTW, thats me first here on ur blog for the first time ... a medal for me, eh?

August 29, 2005 2:18 AM  
Anonymous deepakjeswal said...

Oh Hell, damn this blogger- its got the comment published thrice...request to remove this and the extra ones!

August 29, 2005 2:22 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

Yes yes yes Deepak... as a matter of fact, 3 medals for first, second and third position for ya! :)

You have some good timing, I hit publish, forgot to add the photo, edited my post, hit a republish and saw 3 comments!!

Maybe I should send you an inverted shirt!

August 29, 2005 2:23 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

No problem about it Deepak. Lets leave proof about blogger's insanity! ;)

August 29, 2005 2:25 AM  
Blogger iyer education said...

hmmm... i guess this is why superman and phantom were creations of america... the legends who wore their undies outside and their pants inside... try that once... and see if you get coffee at starbucks...

i once wore a baniyan and phantom shorts (out of majboori... the house was under renovation and abs wanted me to be there) to alfredos in mumbai and they served me beer and food... so things aint that bad here...

all the very best :)

August 29, 2005 3:28 AM  
Blogger KJ said...

ROTFL ( and yes the floor is clean:-)))

OMG!!where di u get these ideas from?

I know , I know.....

have a nice day....

August 29, 2005 5:28 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

:-) superb post Apoo ..

August 29, 2005 12:39 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

LOL! LOL! LOL!

Thats very funny and very Yankee type!

August 29, 2005 1:58 PM  
Blogger abhi said...

who's the 16 year old ur referring to ... (in plural that too)

oki don't say it here ... tell me when im in Baltimore

August 29, 2005 6:01 PM  
Blogger APOO said...

Iyer. I think its more than one time that u wore banyan and phantom shorts to outings. In fact, the only time I have met you, you were in the described attire, heading to CT.

KJ & Dan: Thank you... u have a good one too :)

Nic: Yeah... u can identify the New Yorker with this, cant ya?

Yes Abhi, Balti it is!!

August 29, 2005 10:26 PM  
Blogger iyer education said...

apoo: it was the only time i was in that attire... that too bcoz my house was undergoing some huge renovation and all the kapda was stuffed somwhere i dont know... and it was you, lucky you to have got that DIVYA DARSHAN... and we headed to Alfredos and not CT... but if you like, i can come up in similar attires (read lungi and baniyan) and come to nandanvan and then we can go to CT and have some tullee sessions.... what say bird n abhi ?

August 30, 2005 12:09 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

If you come in Lungi and Banyan, we shall go have Coconut water with rum at the Nariyal waala outside HDFC.

And yeah... Bird has given up drinking... so only Coconut water for him!

And this coming weekend, get ready to see some "drunken Abhi, tipsy Apoo" snaps on my blog!

August 30, 2005 12:14 AM  
Blogger iyer education said...

gimme a break... bird and given up drinking... you must be either drunk or you have been completely duped by the cunning birdwizer...

he just had booze on saturday with alap... right after the day when he proudly put it up on his blog stating that he quit drinking...

bird just misses abhi... and he doesnt have people who talk intelligent things after getting drunk...

August 30, 2005 1:20 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

Come to think of it, Bird said he's given up drinking. Mayeb he's given up drinking water.

Bird, would appreciate your feedback and also would like to know about the penal codes for wearing shirts inside out.

August 30, 2005 1:23 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

Dear Iyer & to whomsoever it may concern, I do hereby solemnly pledge that on saturday, the 27th Day of August, 2005, I did not drink any beverage which can be classified as alcoholic beverage under the Excise Act. I only had chicken soup & water (with ice) to drink that day.

sd/-
Bird.

Hope this suffices.

August 30, 2005 2:18 AM  
Blogger iyer education said...

bird: i want you to take an oath like the ones they take in court... and this time you will swear upon your cosmic something... and proclaim that you have not drunk... i also want you to confess the fact that you had invited me to join you for drinking on the day i was about to go to delhi...

birdie: dont make too much out of this drinking issue... lets drink this saturday as a part of alap's budday treat... and the best part is... its free... so total dhammal

August 30, 2005 2:39 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

I'd heard somewhere that the majority of people who turn to drugs & alcohol is due to the peer pressure. Never had experienced it till now.
Iyer you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to corrupt your innocent friend.

August 30, 2005 3:05 AM  
Blogger IdeaSmith said...

And all the while I thought that was a Dilliwala habit. Just wondering who in amchi Mumbai has time to gossip about the neighbor's son's dress sense....are you really that cute, Apoorva? :-)

August 30, 2005 3:27 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima said...

ahh these crazy americans..

btw..u mentioned an opening in your company? do they have a branch here?
my strengths - making perfectly round chapathis, loads of charm, wit to boot and drop dead gorgeous good looks.

camaan.
(and no..i'm not gonna put up the bad stuff..im too smart for that :P)

hey maybe people didn't tell u about your shirt, coz they just liked laughing behind your back?
didja think of that?
huh?
maybe?

August 30, 2005 5:40 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

Bird: get out of the office mode and stop signing everything you say.

Iyer: Make sure he drinks this weekend. Force it down his butt. Bird minus alcohol is like me minus computers.

Idea: Yes. I am cuter than U can imagine. All girls pull my cheeks and say "Choo cute, you are like my brother (when he was 3 years old)".
And it is a Delhiwalla habit, but you have not yet entered Nandanvan

Mahima: I can see your profile pic. Stop lying!! (ok, time to take cover).
But seriously, no branches in Singapore. tho, with those round chapati skills, I could get your H1B done for USA!

August 30, 2005 3:28 PM  
Blogger IdeaSmith said...

Ah...time for a visit perhaps? I'd like to see someone who still suffers from a baby fatso hangover!

August 31, 2005 12:42 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

EUREKA!! EUREKA!!

A woman asks me to visit! The purpose of starting this blog has finally been fulfilled.

(Ideasmith takes an oath not to comment on blogs after getting drunk!)

August 31, 2005 1:41 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima said...

damn you!!! *throws a book at him*
question: whats a H1B?'
:O *scandalised* ideasmithy...apoo....whats going on :O
*cue zee tv dramatic music*

August 31, 2005 5:46 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

Now that i re-read the post, i'd like to know the answer to Abs' question. which 16 year old girl(s) are you talking about? Would it be someone staying on the groundfloor?

August 31, 2005 5:47 AM  
Anonymous Brad said...

In sync with the tardiness mentioned in your post, I am kinda late in posting my comments over here. :-)

Don't you think, you went a tad over the board with the 'shirt worn' inside out issue. He he heh. You got to be kiddin.

Yankees don't have the time to notice your dress. It's not that they don't care, but they just don't have the time to notice others. Too self-involved. And even if they do, they 'in all probability' won't speak out to you, if their business involves anything less than an hour with you.

You noticed that the Starbucks girl smiled, but what you didn't realize was that she hoped that you thought she was looking good and that you would ask her out sometime. Why!? Coz' you were too self-involved with your inside-out shirt!

Peace. ;-)

August 31, 2005 12:09 PM  
Blogger APOO said...

Mahima: No no no... no Zee TV music please!
H1B: Work permit to work (legally) in USA.
Of course, you can marry someone on a H1B and come along as dependent to make the chapatis.

Bird: Now that I read your comment, I would like to know who is the 16 year old on ground floor I am not aware of. Database needs to be updated. And to know who I am talking about... u need to come to Baltimore when Abbs does (which is tomorrow).

Brad: Valid point about the Yankees. But I would say they are a combination of "All is ok" to "I am too self-involved"
And I think I was too involved with the Starbucks girls smile to notice my shirt being inside out. :)

August 31, 2005 7:33 PM  
Blogger iyer education said...

apoo: bird is a treacherous liar... he just had booze with me last night... i guess he's schizophrenic... or split personality or whatever... and trust me man... i believe every word that you said about bird... bird aint fun unless drunk :)

bird: now that there's hardly anyone at nandan, lets check the cute 16 yr old out there, ofcourse after a session at CT

August 31, 2005 11:59 PM  
Blogger IdeaSmith said...

Oops...Mahima starts to sound dangerous...*withdrawing invitation*...sorry Apoorva, no more fighting over men for me!

September 01, 2005 12:54 AM  
Blogger TheBridge...On The Other Side said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 01, 2005 7:58 AM  
Blogger TheBridge...On The Other Side said...

Simply Superb...
You have taken such common occurance and worded it so 'un'commonly.

p.s. the clone of your lady on the second floor lives on the first floor of my building.

September 01, 2005 7:59 AM  
Blogger Summer said...

what an excellent post! I really enjoyed that!

September 01, 2005 10:11 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima said...

"Of course, you can marry someone on a H1B and come along as dependent to make the chapatis."

apoo. i might be wrong (but i'm often not) but that sounded like an invitation
=P
hyuk hyuk..no no smithy...no fighting over men. u can have apoo...
he wears his shirt inside out. thats so NOT sexy.

September 01, 2005 10:47 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

Rumpel: Your words have inspired me to think up a post about Bird and his kaarnaamas. Coming up, sometime soon! Just wait.... Bird do I have your permission?

Idea: U break my heart!

Bridge: Thank you. Actually the lady in my building is also on first floor. I am getting into the American system where there is no ground floor.... so second floor is Indian first floor. Uh... do you and I stay in same building?

Summer: Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.

Mahi: Of course it was an invitation. Smart, you figured it out! And what do you expect? You scare away Smithy.... so now I have to look at other options right? And what better options than someone who can make round chapatis.
And now you reject me for my sense of fashion!
LIFE SUX! Someone have a revolver?

September 01, 2005 2:35 PM  
Blogger garfy said...

hmmm.... the comments make for more interesting reading =)

PS: work has snuffed all life outta me... will comment on this later! :P

September 01, 2005 5:08 PM  
Blogger APOO said...

Garfoooo, you have been MIA!
I think I agree. The comments make for more interesting reading. Maybe my next post will be a blank one. Just have people comment.

September 01, 2005 5:25 PM  
Blogger Anita Pillai said...

Ok..I have finally given up trying to go through all the comments!! Gosh..Apoorva why don't you post the comments you recv as a follow up post for each entry you write. At least it will be more readable...sigh gone are the days when I could easily read the measly 4-5 comments you used to get for ur posts!!

September 01, 2005 10:03 PM  
Blogger APOO said...

Anita: LOL!! Now that you mention it, its a whole lot of comments.
I tell ya, ignore the comments. They are mainly used to mock me :( or certain people use it to scare away girls who ask me to visit (yeah Mahima, thats you!!!)

September 01, 2005 10:15 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Ok, just noticed the change in your blog heading.
JOSHIENIZER: STRAIGHTENING EVERY LESBIAN.

WTF??????? Please explain!

September 01, 2005 10:17 PM  
Blogger APOO said...

Nicole: LOL! Was just wondering who would be the first to notice. Now why does that need to be explained? Aint it self-explanatory ;)

September 01, 2005 11:02 PM  
Blogger iyer education said...

apoo: its a great heading... shud make a movie out of it and call it "Dont Bend (it like beckham)... Be Straight(contact apoo)"

we have a great forum running in here at heartcurry... its actually a small ecosystem by iself... some of the main ingredients here are...

Round Chapatis Vs Round Idlis & Dosas
Pakaoo Iyer Vs Drunk Bird
Apoo Vs Apoo's Mockers

and i like the idea about blank post and only comments... lets see what direction people take on that blank posts...

slap abhi when you meet him... he often does that to me :)

September 02, 2005 12:27 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

Hmmm... Iyer. Slapping Abhi is difficult. Specially if he makes those same sad faces he made on Mannu's birthday. I shall try! But we have party pooper Polyester Pals dropping in too. So Abhi and me will slap him around for sure.

September 02, 2005 1:34 AM  
Blogger Madame Mahima said...

STRAIGHTENING EVERY LESBIAN?!!?!?
I am extremely curious to know WHO are these alleged lesbians that you have been allegedly straightening.
this is very very fascinating.
am i the only one who thinks this is COMPLETE hogwash? ideasmithy? rumpy? waddaya think?

"You scare away Smithy.... so now I have to look at other options right?"
I WAS OPTION B?!!?!? DAMN YOU!
*slaps apoo with a perfectly round chapathi*
(ohh..now i get the whole 'man-beater' thing...its fun! =D )

September 02, 2005 6:28 AM  
Blogger iyer education said...

madame: if you promise to make round chappatis for me, i will completely agree with whatever you say

apoo: who are these lesbian(s)... that too in plural... send some of them to india for "recuperation"... me n bird will straighten them out... and the best thing is we dont need your blog for that (madame, i guess u remember the chappati contract?)

September 02, 2005 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Naveen said...

good one.

September 02, 2005 8:39 AM  
Blogger APOO said...

Sorry, cant give out names. Everything on heartCurry remains confidential. Also, I dont do anything to straighten them. But after they see me, they no longer lean towards the same types. I do nothing!

Actually Mahima... u were never an option, untill you eliminated all options and ended up being the only option (do I get more chapatis across my face?)

Iyer: You make me laugh with Bird making them straight.
REMEMBIRD: Making Men Straight, Women Lesbians.
And stop hitting on my only option. I need those chapatis. In America these things are rare!!!

Naveen: Thanks!

September 02, 2005 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Brad said...

In lighter vein, the lesbians continue to be lesbians, but the only difference being, I guess they begin to see the woman in every man after they see you, could that be it?

September 02, 2005 12:35 PM  
Blogger APOO said...

Brad: Now thats a killer comment. U have me in a fix! :)

September 02, 2005 1:51 PM  

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