To Holly Wood, With Love

Recently I made a new penpal in America. I know some of you don't even know what penpals mean, but I guess you have google to explain. Here's a copy of the first letter I posted.

Dear Holly Wood,

I hope you are doing well. I know you have been awfully busy trying to come up with all sorts of movies, and I understood from your last letter that you are feeling extraordinarily stressed out with superhuman expectations. Hmm, I don't know how that feels. Why don't you shut down for sometime?

Anyway, I was flicking channels two days ago, and the movie "Signs" was playing. The scene had a TV showing news and a shot saying "Bangalore" cropped up. I can't congratulate you enough on the spot on realistic portrayal of my city you have given. Bravo!

Since you are so interested in my life. I thought I'll explain to you a few nuances of Indian life. So grab yourself a beer, lie down on your sofa and place this on your potbelly. Its a looong letter.

I wake up everyday, wear my Kachche saree, fight with my Dad who is an orthodox villian, and go to office on a Bullock cart in a filthy road, on which there are atleast ten cows, fifteen hawkers, twenty pigeons, rainbow colored hoardings, enough sunlight to make a thousand papads in two hours.

I come from a long line of snake charmer male ancestors and tightrope walking female ancestors, and a monkey eating, skeleton garland flaunting Great grandfather, you know the same guy Indiana Jones was ranting about, but sadly these days my family is increasingly orienting itself towards selling your friends toilet paper and helping your illiterate aunts and uncles how to restart computers. My cousins Guttu, Pintu, Chotu and Ritu work in a call centre, because their families are so big that cannot fit into their thatched roofed homes, and they are the only earning members.

Speaking of family, I also have an uncle who wears a turban, and an aunt who covers her head with a saree. I have relatives in the US who have grocery stores in Springfield, and are called "Apu" for convenience. And I have to stress on the fact that they have a dozen kids, because you know that's what we do, that's why our land is so over populated and these kids also have to spell very well, because you see the next spelling bee is just around the corner, and of course, that's the only sport we are encouraged to participate in.

My relatives indulge in garish weddings which are definitely not tastefully done, and most often, I wear a loose uncoordinated Salwar Kameez, and dress up my face like some idiot. We also break into impromptu jigs at any time of the day, owing to our overt inspiration by "Baallywood" movies.

We are all decently brown, not so fair that someone mistakes us for Americans and so dark that people think we are African. I know how you play your foolish tricks and try to replace us with Brazilians, but except Bipasha Basu and Mallika Sherawat, none of us are quite okay with that. Try Chinese next time.

I also most certainly have a 'Guru' as apparently you think every Indian has a Guru. This Guru wears orange clothes, and keeps saying "Aum" very often and is acrobatically creative, so as to call all his monkey stunts various "Asanas". This Guru has a huge Ashram on the outskirts of the city, but going by the looks of "Bangalore", he has enough unploughed land in the heart of the city itself. Anyway, the point is this Ashram, where we all gather with our fellow westerners and pray in a cornucopia of ways hoping for world peace, whilst we throw in our money into one of the volunteers's gunny bags, is my second home.

We also read a lot. Ah Yes, you guessed it right! Kamasutra. It is the only book that we all read, write, practice and use as makeshift pillows. What the hell are Mahabharata, and Ramayana, they are just ripped off from the Game of thrones! But Kamasutra, its definitely a book found on every Indian bookshelf.

I also have a weird accent, that sometimes compete with the Amazonian tribal accent for the funniest accent in the planet, that somewhat sounds like what comes out of Ajit's mouth when he suffers from loose motions. He won't be able to say Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabert then, he'd just say Raabert, you know more "fluidly".That's exactly how I speak

Now I'm a little thirsty. You know, I drink water from filthy wells of the neighbourhood, due to which I get cholera, and the best location to suffer from diseases is either Mumbai or Calcutta, because of Dharavi and Mother Teresa precisely in that order. If I go there I'd be treated by one of your amazing "Hulk"y doctors, but I should do it soon, before the Black widow takes him back.

Better make sure you write to me by next week, because you know, its time for my yearly vacation to Taj Mahal, and I try to spend most of the year there, so that it is convenient for you to know which country on Planet Earth you are talking about.

Now I'm going mad trying to grasp my own ridiculous personality. You see, its tiring living in a country where temperature is always hovering above 45 degrees.

I have to go now, Holly. You know I use open toilets, and I need to outrun all the other kids with the pumped up shits, so I'd better run, better run!

Heeheeheehee (No, I don't giggle like the lame girl that appeared on David Letterman, You do!)


PS:  Anyway, Holly Wood just give it up. You cannot capture the essence of an Indian in your atrocious typecasts. No not because we are so exotically different, its just because you are too lazy to care and a few among us, like Anil Kapoor and Mallika, are too pumped up to notice.

So just give up. We already have Bollywood, and TV soaps who clearly paint out our lives in the most insane ways possible, we don't need you.


  1. lol...excellent one...kudos to the creative thought of urs...beautifully described the life of an Indian family...
    I agree with you...Hollywood will never be able to replicate the life of India... :)
    nice read...

  2. Oh, this takes the frrreaking(What - I have to roll my R's to make the point) cake with the icing.

    I`m definitely printing this out in all its glory and showing it to my team at work - after all there's more to it than just Slumdog Millionaire in which everyone in India falls into a pile of human shit right?

    Just when I think why there hasn't been some noise from your end, you come up with a masterpiece like this one. Spent exactly 7.37 mins laughing after reading this one.

    Cheers :)

    1. 7.37 didn't measure that.?..:P..this post stayed a long time in the drafts..good u liked it

  3. Excellent jab at the so called know-alls and superior beings with king-sized egos-i loved it.BTW what is the significance of hulky doctors?

  4. He he he , you tell them ... But you forgot one cousin who is also called bitu... Very common.. I have 2-3 of them. :)

    Bollywood and India tv soap operas show enough of stupid thinga , you are right why so we need hollywood telling us all about it now.

    1. Yeah I know..was pissed off wit that scene..I'm thinking of takin a jab at NRIs..lemme c

  5. Two words : stunning truth!
    It's Time when Hollywood really learns to know us, better.
    Even as I watch epis of big bang theory .. I find that character of Raj exactly the same u have mentioned.
    Hats off for writing this post in a nation where no one gets hurt anymore by these scenes but they enjoy it under the pretext of good storyline, technology, blah blah.
    And that funny touch you put it to the whole thing : me likey! :)

  6. Brilliant, Stunning! One of the best posts I have ever read, Keerthana. You have superbly covered all the cliches and typecasts perfectly. When it comes to portraying India, Hollywood is like Ravi Shastri - King of cliches. This post is surely a slap on the faces of those Hollywood morons.

    1. Wow!..strong words..stunning n all..thanks man!

  7. Hahaha. brilliant keer! Got all the cliches bang on :) Also why they insist on dressing up Indians in Rani pink I will never know!

    1. ya rani pink..che shud've written bout that too :D

  8. brilliant and amusing read. you are able to bring in so many ideas in one go which is really remarkable! :)

  9. postingan yang bagus tentang"To Holly Wood, With Love"

  10. Lovely:) Looks like an ode to Hollywood


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