Whether it’s jumping on the bed with shoes on, meeting family on a rare weekend, puking hugging the toilet bowl, there’s a lot in Hollywood that is hard for us Indians to digest! Here’s a list.
JUMPING ON THE BED AND SOFA WITH SHOES ON
Whether it’s a cry of anguish or a whoop of joy, there’s usually a scene where the lead actors jump on the bed or sofa, shoes on. For us Indians who have been banned from doing so by our parents, to extremes of keeping shoes outside before stepping indoors, it’s totally a moment of “Oh my God, what are they doing?” Well, maybe their countries aren’t as filled with dust as ours and the shoes are squeaky clean!
TASTING DISHES WITH THE SAME SPOON
With our concept of “jootha”, my senses go into overdrive when I see folks tasting something on the cooking on the stovetop, from the same spoon. As they go “mmm… yum!”, all I’m thinking is, use another spoon, dammit! I know, I know, it’s just a movie, but makes one wonder about the bigger questions involving “us” and “them”.
GETTING COFFEE FROM STARBUCKS EVERY MORNING
Whether it’s the boss from hell in The Devil Wears Prada or the frothy TV show Supergirl, the intern’s day usually starts with a coffee run at Starbucks. That’s all great, but for us ‘desi’ folks who survive on free office coffee and demand it as our right, however bad it might taste, it seems a huge waste of money! Do the math!
SAYING I LOVE YOU TO FAMILY ALL THE TIME
I see my five-year-old nephew dishing out “I Love Yous” to everyone in the family, but in our time, one just never did that. Even now, it’s just weird to hear the three little words being mouthed to parents at regular intervals, topped with an earnest look. Try asking Indian parents if they love you, and they’ll look at you like you’re insane…followed by questions like why you think they brought you up, educated you, washed your bottom as a kid, etc. Duh!
BABIES SLEEPING IN SEPARATE ROOMS
It’s a baby…how can you give them a separate room? A crib, okay, but lonesome in a whole bedroom? Indian parents, with the kids sandwiched between them way past kindergarten, will probably never get it, however wishful the thought.
SANITISED KITCHEN COUNTERS
What’s with those gleaming kitchen counters and tables, particularly in bachelor apartments? The only cooking that happens is when cocktails are shaken and stirred in a suave setup, with the kitchen table serving one purpose only—for sex between the lead pair!
SHOWING THE ENTIRE SEX ACT…IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?
However modern our outlook, it still takes a braveheart to watch a Hollywood film with kids around, unless you know for sure it doesn’t come with explicit scenes of intimacy. Though Indians have become less prudish with their viewing choices, Hollywood has practically ripped the envelope, when it comes to showing sex on screen, whether it’s film or TV. Why can’t more people think like Julia Roberts, who has been quoted as saying: “I wouldn’t do nudity in films. To act with my clothes on is a performance. To act with my clothes off is a documentary.”
YOU MEET YOUR FAMILY AT MAJOR FUNCTIONS ONLY
Boy meets girl, boy dumps girl or vice versa and she now has a family wedding coming up and needs a partner who’ll pass as her boyfriend. It’s just for a weekend, usually for a sister’s wedding, and then they can go their separate ways. A weekend? It sounds bizarre for us Indians, since our parents and extended family rarely leave us alone, forget for a weekend!
ALIEN INVASION: TARGET LA
Hollywood, how many times are you going to blow up Los Angeles? Every time there’s an alien invasion or a threat from the skies, whether it’s Skyline, Independence Day or Alien, it’s usually Los Angeles, followed by Washington DC or New York, which are evacuated. It’s a wonder you still need Trump to stop people from coming in!
PUKING HOLDING THE TOILET BOWL
Okay, we understand anyone can have little too much to drink, but can you stop hugging the toilet bowl when you throw up or settle down around it for a long conversation with your potential significant other? It’s hard to wrap our heads around this one, but a lot of bonding seems to happen around this contraption in Hollywood!
(The writer is an editorial consultant and co-founder of The Goodwill Project. She tweets @anuvee. Views expressed are personal.)