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🤪 Immigration, Vaccine and DDLJ

🤪 Immigration, Vaccine and DDLJ
By Sumeru Raut • Issue #32 • View online
Stop digging your nose and hand me that shovel. It’s time to read Sunday Slant.

Dear reader,
Firstly and foremostly, hi. If you missed my last issue that I sent out three days ago, please read it here; I’ve gone on and on and on… nothing new there.
Secondly, I changed my WhatsApp number back to what it originally was—my oldest phone number, since 2006. Yes, that one. If you were busy living your life and did not take note of this important world event, you’re all set. Nothing to worry. You didn’t miss much.
Last Sunday, when I reached the immigration counter upon arriving at an airport in America—my third time ever—the officer looked at me intently and asked, “How many ‘no.1’ films has Govinda starred in?” OK, he didn’t ask that, but he might as well have. Because that’s how it felt when he asked, “Why did you stay in Mexico for 30 days when only 14 were enough to enter the US?” I felt like I knew the answer but couldn’t bring myself to say it.
Here I was, expecting him to say, “Arre sir, you stayed for longer than required! This way please… chai-samosa at the next counter.” I expected a red carpet, no less. Instead, all I got was an officer looking at me quizzically as to why I wouldn’t enter USA as soon as I could.
‘Bro, I was in Zipolite. You think one month was enough there? Especially after discovering a Thai restaurant on the last day of my stay there. Ugh. I should’ve stayed on for another month at least.’ I said none of this to him, of course.
I told him honestly that my girlfriend and I holidayed for a month after being separated for one trillion years. He nodded, stamped my passport and whisked me off his face, hoping that the next person would be the liar trying to lie their way into Murica.
Given how boring an immigration officer’s job is, they are allowed at least that—complete apathy towards a visitor (or citizen).
It is worth observing, however, that it feels intimidating: to stand in line with a hundred others, inching your way towards a counter in front of you, watching a countable few disappear behind a barrage of glass doors for secondary inspection; to see men and women in expensive looking suits become unsettled as they try to recollect the exact name of the street they will be staying at; and to finally come face to face with an officer yourself, who holds the power to refuse you entry into the country. Even if the feeling has diminished over time, it is intimidating nevertheless.
The state needs to often remind people that it is all powerful and mighty, lest we forget—whether it is in the second largest democracy or in the largest.
I am reminded of the time I wore a panché (dhoti) to my US visa interview many moons ago. I will write a post about it.
Looking creepy since 2019
Looking creepy since 2019
Hey didn’t mean to get that serious. We are stuck with this system till there’s a better one in place. I don’t mean to complain. It is what it is and that’s that. Besides, I’ve only had a great time coming to US.
This is the perfect segue to mention how easy it was to get a vaccine shot this week. I got a dose of Pfizer vaccine after getting my Astrazeneca three months ago. It has been two days and I feel great. I hope this vaccine cocktail works in my favour.
Rewatching DDLJ
I wanted to show Sara some films I grew up watching. So I rewatched Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge this week, two hundred years after its release; I mean, that’s how it felt. Good freakin’ lord! How did we celebrate this film as a people, a mere twenty-five years ago? Barring a few funny scenes, the film is too long, too misogynistic and too Lata Mangeshkar. And this is coming from a person who was once a die-hard Shahrukh fan himself. Sure, it is silly to judge a film from 1995 in 2021, but this isn’t your run-of-the-mill hit film, it is DDLJ—a film that “defined a generation”. We tried to have a good laugh wherever we could.
I’m going to go ahead and say that it was always a story about the homoerotic relationship between Raj Malhotra (played by Shahrukh Khan) and Simran’s dad Bladev Singh (played by Amrish Puri) in a repressed society; the former is solely interested in wooing the latter from the word go. I bet you can never unsee that now. You’re welcome.
"Why Simran's dad gotta be so hot?"
"Why Simran's dad gotta be so hot?"
And Dil Chahta hai
On the other hand watching Dil Chahta Hai from 2001 was great. It is such a fantastic debut for the then 27-year-old Farhan Akthar, although it is sad that he has since turned to acting full time. It is funny, sensitive and mature with well-developed characters. Except that it was jarring to watch Amir khan ‘act’. I didn’t remember him relying so much on his exaggerated facial contortion. Rest of the cast was great.
It was the last film I watched in Janaki theatre, as a 14 year old, with my classmates from 9th standard, after which I changed schools. I had never seen anything like that before. It had had a huge impact on me then. I loved watching it again.
Yup, that's Kiran Rao in Dil Chahta hai
Yup, that's Kiran Rao in Dil Chahta hai
❤️ Things I liked this week
Extremely relate 😂😖
Extremely relate 😂😖
Lastly,
I want to know your thoughts on this five minute comedy clip by Andrew Schulz on Indian parents, which I thought was funny. I do not find it offensive. Do you? Press reply and write.
Until next week,
Sumeru
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Sumeru Raut

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