I’ve been into accidents and fights; I have bungee jumped and cliff dived; I’ve almost drowned in the sea; I’ve been bitten by a snake and almost bitten by a scorpion; I’ve walked chest deep in snow; I’ve walked barefoot among a group of crabs; I’ve done stunts and fractured my hand; I’ve eaten weird stuff, some alive.
I’ve slept at the station and in the aisle of a train; I’ve lived like a beggar. I’ve hitchhiked across Europe, been lost in Paris, mugged in London, racially abused in Rotterdam and stoned in Amsterdam!
I have been abused by a director, thrown a tantrum at, Adam teased by a group of mean men, caught by the police and been into other weird circumstances and talked my way out of it. I’ve summoned spirits, done a lot of weird things. But none of the above came close to what I experienced recently. Whenever in a group of relatives, one of my friends would call me Mr Bollywood, loudly so that everyone could heard it and get intrigued. Then he’d ask a set of questions so that the others could hear it, marvel at one of their relative’s work and boast about it to someone else.
“So Mr Bollywood, what actor did you shoot with recently?”, “So, when is the ad coming out, tell your other relatives about it, see everyone is standing over there”. “So Mr Bollywood, you’re a big star now, how do you feel between us common people?”, “Did you know he recently shot a lot of commercials?”
The others asked in front of everyone, “You are not a same magnet are you?” It took me a few seconds to figure out what he said. When I did, I started laughing loudly and retorted “No, no, not at all!” “So why don’t you have a girlfriend yet? Your cousin is six months younger to you and he’s getting married” If it was not Mr Bollywood, it was my marriage. “Now its your turn, we want to come for another marriage, so you better get married quickly.” “Did you like any of the girls over here, I can talk to their parents. Or I suppose you’d prefer a girl from Bollywood, wouldn’t you?”
I’ve become a quite guy over the years. I like my privacy, I like to be mute sometimes and just observe, and all I wanted was to be a normal person. But I wasn’t allowed to be. After a while I pleaded with everyone to not talk about my marriage or career around a group of people.
I have now adapted to imagining such situations five minutes before the conversation dies, and just slip out quietly.
PS: The Lokhandwala Lad is on Facebook. Add him!