• Kuzhali Manickavel

Conversations- The Man with the Pipe

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

K- Me? Oh I have big V-Day plans. Very big.

S- I was hoping you’d say you don’t have any plans because you are alone and nobody loves you and then I could say oh yay, me too!

K- I’m having a Man With The Pipe Movie Marathon.

S- Is that porn? You’re doing a porn marathon for V-Day?

K- No, it’s all these old movies that have The Man With The Pipe in them. You know, that guy with the gray hair, suspenders, moustache, pipe. He sort of just stands on large winding staircases and says ‘Jolly good!’ or ‘I say you get out!’

S- Oh right! I saw a movie where he stole radioactive things that looked like tubelights and hid them in his briefcase.

K- I saw a movie where he kept whipping his wife with his belt.

S- His pants didn’t fall down?

K- No, he’s got suspenders, remember?

S- Dude’s wearing a belt AND suspenders? Very the sexy!

K- There was this scene where he’s whipping his wife and she’s hugging his legs and he’s trying to shake her off, like ‘Get off me bish so I can whip you better.’

S- I’ve never understood that, why would you grab the legs of someone who clearly wants to whip you to death?

K- I know, right? And you know what the Leg-Hugging Woman says? She says ‘You can beat me, kick me, even kill me. But please just tell me what I did to deserve this.’

S- Now that’s a Real Indian Woman. They don’t make them like that anymore.

K- Then things got very complicated. First the Hero slaps the Heroine because she’s arrogant and speaks English and wears pants. Then she falls in love with him and starts wearing saris.

S- That usually happens when you slap someone. One Tight Slap-Oh I Love You- Oh I Am Wearing Sari.

K- Then The Man With The Pipe slaps the Heroine because he’s like, how can you let the Hero slap you, you’re supposed to be arrogant and speaking English.

S- Right. And hello, where are your pants?

K- Exactly. And then the Hero slaps the Heroine again because he’s like how can you let The Man With The Pipe slap you, only I’m allowed to slap you because I love you. S- And in between all this the Leg-Hugging Woman got whipped with a belt. So much drama.

K- Then after being attacked by something that looked like a plastic pink flamingo, The Man With The Pipe and the Hero decided to be friends. So they were shaking hands and The Man With The Pipe was saying ‘Jolly good!’ and the Heroine and the Leg-Hugging Woman were smiling at each other and thinking ‘Suh-weet, nobody’s beating us!’

S- That sounds a lot like the radioactive-tubelights-in-the-briefcase movie.

K- Maybe it’s the same movie! Was there a party scene with all these malnourished people holding glasses of juice and looking really sad?

S- No, but the Heroine could play the piano without actually touching the keys. It was like magic.

K- Like Lord of the Rings magic!

S- Not like Lord of the Rings magic. K- Wouldn’t that be cool though? If these movies were like Lord of the Rings? The Man With The Pipe would be like Gandalf!

S- This conversation has suddenly become one of those conversations I don’t want to have anymore.

K- The Heroine would be like Frodo!

S- Ok, I need to…go do something else. Happy V-Day Movie Marathon Man Pipe Thing Whatever.

K- And the Leg-Hugging Woman would be like that elf-dude with the pretty hair! Such pretty hair he had, no? Hello? an edited version of this appeared in The New Indian Express Zeitgeist Supplement, Multiverse, Conversations, February 13, 2010