Sunday, August 22, 2010

Atom Heart Mother

I come from a pseudo family – pseudo-Punjabi, pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-classy, pseudo-Madrasi. We’re pseudo and for some unimaginable reason we’re unabashedly proud of it.

So say, for example, why do I think we’re pseudo-Punjabi?

Of the eighteen and a half in-house residents, a majority cannot speak a coherent sentence in Punjabi without emitting guttural noises that bear a strong resemblance to gagging. English and very suggestive signals are the chosen media of communication at home.

Punjabi is spoken only when abuses are being hurtled at one another. Well that’s only because - let’s admit it - the degree of sophistication and punch packed into a heart-warming ‘m@&@#c#od’ is conspicuously absent in a ‘mother-fucker’, right? As you can see, we’re a very religious, god-fearing, simple, wheatish complexion cultured family (why then, won’t you bitches read our dramatically correct classifieds ads and marry into us?)

For the six years that I’ve lived away from home I’ve missed this, the pseudo-ness – evolving, growing, and changing size and shape, like an amoeba. Every time I’m back visiting, I observe a new dimension that has been added to my family’s pseudo-persnalty. And I have never been scared by any new-found idiosyncrasy than this time upon realizing that my folks are now pseudo-conservative.

My typical weekend lunch was brought to a jaw-dropping halt when my father smirked at something he read off his phone, passed it to his wife and said, “This is hilarious. You think I should re-tweet this?”

Tweet? No no, re-tweet! Re-FUCKING-tweet!

For those who don’t know me personally - apart from my heartfelt congratulations - a fun-fact, I’m not what you twits and tweeters would call socially-networked, online or otherwise. I have an email account that I religiously check once in four days. I now know that the deposed King of Nigeria is a conniving bastard who despite all his convincing e-mails will not give me his gold in return for an online transfer of a meager $250. I am completely aware that facebook is not an online database of human mugshots. (FYI – my colleague’s dog has a facebook account and is apparently very active. I don’t blame the mutt; he has his own bloody personalized wall and all. What more could a dog want?)

The point I’m trying to make is that, I now know my folks are more active online than their own son. It’s a precarious situation. It’s the Indian Kid version of the biggest Indian Parent fear – realizing that your kid is sexually active. I now know that my parents are social-networkingly active.

They’ve lost their virginity and that too online! Two fifty year olds. Going at it. On their keyboards and keypads. In full online-view.

Have they no morals? Could they have not learnt from their own son – the significance of social-networking abstinence? And the justification they give me is – “Not our fault son. It was all the peer-to-peer pressure? We gave in.”

Who do they think I am – some na├»ve fucking n00b!

I’m ashamed. The unethical bastards have let my proud family name down. They’ve hacked my trust.

Come to think of it, it’s my fault only. I knew that introducing them to broadband and wi-fi would do them no good. I should’ve monitored their activities; at the very least curbed their freedom… err… bandwidth.

Twits!

Pseudo-conservative twits.

The women in my household have always been, to put it mildly, mental. The news of the presence of a ‘new woman’ in my life would always warrant an insane interrogation, the sort that would put the Spanish Inquisition to shame. Where did you meet? Is her father the only proven sodomite in the family? Does she re-use syringes for her heroin shots? On a scale of one to ten – if one is ‘a typical daughter of our household’ and ten is ‘roadside Tamilian nympho-by-day-whore-by-night slut’ – how horny is she? Is her mother a witch? Does she respect her elders? The sorts.

So I expected a modest burning at the stake when I expressed my intention of taking up an apartment with a woman. A woman - who was not a fellow man, did the dishes and did not have a penis. However, the only bloody question that came my way was – “Can she cook?”

Can she cook?

That’s it? No witch-hunt? No inquiry? No ‘we’re a god-fearing, religious family’ monologues?

Can she fucking cook? That’s it?

I was bloody offended.

Of course she can cook – that’s the only reason I’m prepared to share an apartment with her in the first place. But they didn’t know that. Why would they assume that I had no intentions to take advantage of her lack of male genitalia? Why would they assume that I would have no interest in her skills that are not culinary in nature? Why?

Pseudo-progressive bastards.

FYI – my mother, who for fifty years of her earthbound existence, was referred to as Pammi, a fairly common Punjabi name, now chooses to go by the name - Pam.

P-A-M!?!

Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaave you met Pam?

She’s Punjabi, progressive, pseudo and my mom. If she is Pam then I am bloody scared.