Coming of Age

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That sure makes sense!

I haven’t befriended a lot of firangs (A fond referral to all men and women, fair (noun) the darker ones are referred to kale’s not to be confused with the Maharashtrian Surname) but of the few I have, they seem to have a deep interest in Indian cinema. So naturally when they challenged me to a celluloid duel, we crossed swords over whose cinema was more entertaining. For every terminator there was one Rajnikanth, for every Bruce Willis there was a Sunny Deol and for every F.R.I.E.N.D.S we had a Hum Paanch. The deal was that not only would we argue but we should back it up by proof->YouTube.

Of course he thought that our actors were parodying Hollywood when I showed him our stunt scenes. What took a team of pyro technicians to achieve, Rajnikanth would do it with a flicker of a match stick. But when it came to ahem depiction of titillation our Indian media was found wanting. When I showed him how haute hot our videos were he went LOL. He said, mate “Are they making out or having a cold curing vapor session”. I felt insulted, but looking back it sure feels funny.

I grew up in a very orthodox community and as my mom was a teacher, I was never in a group that used to “discover” new things. I had to do it all on my own. In the name of adult supervision, my parents and elders prohibition of me watching certain portions of movies/music videos and late night TV channel only made my interest in them more shall we say piquant.

We would be at lunch, enjoying a good movie. Soon there would be a scene where the lead actor and actress would find each other in a compromising position. Soon enough, my mom would summon me “Dhanu go get water”. I would silently curse and fetch water and by the time I came the scene would have triggered a song. I would ask her and my dad “Well what happened, why are they dancing now”? They would ignore me. So later I decided that I had to find it out for myself, so the next time I was summoned to “fetch water” I sneaked and saw what adults do when they are excited.

Apparently whenever adults get excited at least in the cinema, two white lilly flowers would pollinate ( I later found that they were forcefully pollinated or flower rape. How is it rape if both the parties are forced?). I thought to myself well that is fairly innocuous, why they wouldn’t let me see it? So later as I graduated into my teens, a new type of restriction was forced upon us. Yes MTV was frowned upon and strictly prohibited.

But they were so famous for their pool parties which would be shown afterhours and as I heard from my friends they would blow my mind away. So as I couldn’t watch these raunchy videos in the day, on the pretext of night study I would burn the midnight lamp. Set the TV in such a way that the constant flicker would not bring attention to the hall room and of course mute the channel and check it over and again by reducing the volume to zero.

I swear my hearing sense at that time was so awesome that I could have easily given any German shepherd a run for its money. I soon passed the phase of Waiting for tonight-I am going to Ibiza- to our own kaanta laga in a breeze.

Then came the IT age, where we smuggled and traded our floppy discs-CD’s-Pen drives-Hard disks in illuminati style. We employed several encryption/decryption schemes to give a covert presence to our files. I remember employing an ingenious scheme by putting my files in a folder named “Let us see” by Balaguruswamy. Of course to the naked eye it might escape the fact that the name of the book was “Let us C” so this folder had something funny about it. However now I understand why I was never good at coding. Suppressed exposure to sexuality is the reason why so many Indian guys are gifted at computers at a young age. We learnt compression beyond winrar, techniques to hide files, create invisible partitions and so many tricks. Our parents were the first suspects we learned to work against. No doubts about it.

The funny thing about this is that as guys we didn’t only protect this secret between us but also from “respectable” girls in the group. As nerds we thought if the girls came to know that we too were exposed to the ways of the west, we would be looked down upon. It took us ages to understand that “Arey girls are also like us only”.

Time has flown and clocks have turned, now as adults when we come across nudity in the cinema or the movies, we no longer giggle, point or see around to see others reaction (I still do that, for the child in me is still alive). We instead look down upon teens who whistle and hoot and whisper to our significant others

“What Vulgar cinema and cheap teens, we were also their age once. But we never did this!”

Deep inside we secretly miss our days of yore, for surely we have come of age.

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