• Kuzhali Manickavel

Conversations- The Green Volvo

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

S– Oh my God!

K- I know!

S- She totally hated your fracking guts!

K- I know!

S- She kept telling everyone in college you had AIDS. And everyone believed her because you had an accent so naturally that meant you probably had AIDS too!

K- I know!

S- Why she is calling you? What does it mean when people who hate you that much call you? Should you be scared? I think you should be scared.

K- Well as far as I can tell, she found out that I have no job and no husband and that made her so exceedingly happy she just HAD to get my number and call me up and tell me about how she heard I have no job and no husband.

S- Ah. Many people call me for the same reasons. It seems to make them very happy. K- Anyway, I figured this was a good time to ask her why she hated me so much. Considering she didn’t even know me. S- What did she say? K- She said, and I quote, “Well basically it was because you were so arrogant” So I asked her what I had done that was so arrogant. And she said well basically you walked with a very arrogant manner. S- Wow.

K- Then we had a very strange conversation because she started talking about her Volvo.

S- So? K- Well she pronounced Volvo in a very…interesting way. S- Did it sound like she was saying ‘chiropractor’?

K- No.

S- Arachnophobia? K- It sounded like she was saying ‘vulva’.

S- Wow. And also, yes I can see that happening.

K- You can imagine my confusion when she informed me that it was a nice dark green and she was really excited about the upholstery and sound system.

S- Yes. That would definitely be confusing.

K- So I tried to clarify this, because I am stupid. And then we had this very tedious back and forth that went ‘I thought you said vulva!’ ‘Volvo only I said’. ‘Vulva. Not Volvo’. ‘Volvo only’. ‘Vulva! Vulva!’. ‘Yeah, Volvo. That’s what I said.’ So I decided to make things worse by spelling it out for her.

S- And?

K- And she said there was no need to say such obscene and arrogant words to her and I was obviously jealous of her Volvo.

S- Did she mean her car or-

K- I thought it better not to clarify that.

S- And also, vulva is an obscene and arrogant word? Really?

K- She says it is. So it must be true. S- What about ‘elbow’, is that obscene and arrogant too?

K- Not sure. It might be if it’s a woman’s elbow.

S- Uterus?

K- Oh definitely. That’s definitely obscene and arrogant.

S- Worse than fallopian tube?

K- Way worse.

S- This is very confusing. How are we supposed to know what words are obscene and arrogant? Is there a guidebook or something?

K- There should be, no? Anyway, so she got really pissed off at me for being obscene and arrogant to her, although she was very pleased at my Volvo- envy. And before she hung up on me she said I was a gay also.

S- What’s a gay also?

K- I don’t know. I think it’s those hammocks that hip and wealthy Indians use in the summertime.

S- Oh how nice! I’ve seen gay alsos in ads for insurance and whitening creams!

K- Yeah. Not sure why she called me that though.

S- Maybe she called you something that just sounded like ‘gay also’. Like chiropractor.

K- Right.

S- Or arachnophobia.

K- Yes.

S- I’m never buying a Volvo. Ever. There’s just too much drama attached to the word now.

K- I’m never saying that word ever. I will just say foreign carcar like everyone else.

And now, an edited version of something that was originally about Gandhi Jayanthi but it works just as well for forthcoming Independence Day. Advance Vazhga Bharathams and Jai Hinds homibabaterroristpeepals.

Things We Can Do To Make the Occasion of Independence Day Moar Better

Refrain from making statements like ‘India was better off when the British were here’

I understand but am flabbergasted nonetheless that this is a popular school of thought with many people, particularly those who lament the loss of ‘clean roads, people who spoke proper English and Yardley’. And while you are of course free to believe this, why not keep it inside your head, just for one day. Also, if you are so nostalgic for those milk and honey days of English rule, you might look into moving to the UK. The BNP in particular will be oh so glad you came.

Refrain from pretending that you don’t know what Independence Day is because you totally don’t live here, like really.

This is particularly mystifying behavior to see among people who have spent all their lives in India. Just fyi, blinking and saying ‘Oh! And what do you Indians do on Independence Day?’ will not make people turn to you and say, oh! You must be from America or London. This behavior is not only very weird, it is sad and it embarrasses everyone more than elevetyhundred PutOn accents. Stop hating yourself. You are fabulous. Indian Independence is fabulous. You and Indian Independence are fabulously fabulous.

Refrain from Using This Day to Launch Assorted Acts of Violence

Let’s avoid using August 15th as a day for sending rallying calls to bomb Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, America, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, homosexuals, heterosexuals, asexuals, rich people, poor people, educated people, illiterate people, upper caste people, low caste people, mixed caste people, no caste people, yes caste people, Westernized people, Easternized people, tourists, sex workers, people who visit sex workers, people who don’t visit sex workers, poets, people who hate poets, people who love poets, people who pretend to be poets, people who don’t pretend to be poets, artists, con artists, street artists, nonartists, Bollywood, Tollywood, Kollywood, communists, doctors, dentists, actors, lawyers, women, children, men. Seriously, I don’t think Indian Independence was ever supposed to be about bombing any of these peeps or any other kinds of peeps. Ever.

Also, you know how sometimes we do that thing where other people come to our country and tell us what a fuckup this country is and how we should listen to them because they are here on vaycay and obviously know exactly how to make everything in India moar better? And sometimes our own one number countrypeople will say we should listen to these othercountry people because they know everything and we just live here and don’t know anything? You know how we sometimes do that?

Let’s not do that. Just for one day. Let’s consider the fact that maybe, just maybe, Indians living in India might have a good idea of what’s going on here and how to make things moar better for us. So when someone says ‘your country is a fuckup and you should listen to me so you guys can make everything moar better’, let them do talkingtalking, then ask them for foreign fundage for funding these awesome India-improving steps. Then take the foreign fundage and go enjai like anything. I think that would be a fun way to spend Independence Day.