• Kuzhali Manickavel

Conversations- The Gee Oh

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

K- Guess who just got back from Government Office excursion?

S- So that’s where you’ve been all day! The Gee Oh!

K- I be hangin’ at the Gee Oh.

S- Very gangsta of you. You’re the Gee Oh Gangsta.

K- I’m the Gee Oh Gee, yeah you know me!

S- Who’s the Gee Oh Gee?

K- Yeah you know me!

S- Who’s the Gee Oh Gee?

K- Yeah you –

S- Ok enough. I take it nothing happened there as usual.

K- If something ever did happen at the Gee Oh, it would initiate a backward time-loop hiccupsneeze that would cause the universe to swallow itself.

S- Ew.

K- This is why nothing ever happens there. It is holding the universe together. S- What games did you play today? Did you play Run Up And Down And Up And Down The Building Signature Hunt?

K- No, that was last time. And a very invigorating game it was too because one person absolutely refused to sign anything unless I bought them samosa and tea, sang their personal top ten hits of MGR while standing on one leg and promised to bring them four bottles of authentic Andhra mango pickle.

S- So what did you play today?

K- First we played Repeat After Me Because You Are Stupid.

S- I’ve never played that!

K- It’s definitely one of the Old Skool games. The esteemed Gee Oh Official yawns at your kazillion papers. Then he says ‘You need to get attestation from two freshwater ducks that are on their way to Latvia.’ S- Then?

K- Then he looks at you and says very slowly, ‘You need to get? Come on, tell me?’

S- Oh! It’s like filling in the blanks! K- It really does wonders for your self-esteem to be an adult and sit there while another adult talks to you like you are a three-year old that eats glue. S- It is a very long game? K- It really is. We were playing for about an hour before we finally got to ‘Two freshwater ducks that are on their way to? Come on come on say me? Lat-vi-a. Very good.’

S- You played that the whole day?

K- No, after that we had a very dramatic session of You Don’t Have A Pen?!

S- That game scares me. So much drama.

K- I think some of our most powerful dramatic actors work in the Gee Oh and they only display their full artistic prowess when they find out you don’t have a pen. This one was just like Sivaji, very powerful emoting.

S- These are the people who can win us Oscars!

K- He kept saying, ‘You are an educated person? You don’t have a pen?’ Then the burden of this became too much for him so he started telling this to everyone who passed by. Then it turned into an interactive theater piece.

S- Wow, what was that like? K- Half the people said I didn’t have a pen because I was arrogant and the other half said it was because my family was arrogant. I didn’t realize there was such a strong connection between arrogance and not having a pen.

S- There is only one way for you to beat this whole Gee Oh business for good.

K- And that is? S- Join those freshwater ducks that are going to Latvia.

K- I don’t want to go to Latvia. I’m proud to be an Indian.

S- Then you’ll probably be going to the Gee Oh for the rest of your life.

K- I’m so ready! Who’s the Gee Oh Gee? Yeah you know me! Who’s the-

S- No need. Once is enough.


an edited version of this appeared in The New Indian Express Zeitgeist Supplement, Multiverse, Conversations, April 10, 2010