As I have made it known on this blog I was in a cultural show last Friday. It went well, and I heard good reviews of it from many people. However, while rehearsing for the show and during the show itself, I met a new type of desi that I had not before.
You see, most people are familiar with the two extremes of desis. There is the FOB (Fresh Off Boat). This is the guy who has a thick accent, puts oil on his head and sets off the fire alarm when cooking. Then there is the coconut – brown on the outside, white on the inside. He has hardly seen an Indian movie or eaten a samosa, yet can be spotted sitting awkwardly at a desi party trying in vain to keep himself updated of how badly the Leafs are sucking. The rest of the desis fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
Yet, last weekend, I met - the FOBonut.
FOBonuts, as the name suggests, are FOBs pretending to be coconuts.
You see, FOBonuts are in reality FOBs, with one major difference. Whereas genuine FOBs know they are FOBs, they are comfortable with that fact. They are really nice people. Yes, their accent may be thick, but so are their bank accounts. They will gladly and proudly go to a Hindi movie because they love it, and they enjoy themselves watching Shah Rukh Khan ham.
FOBonuts, on the other hand, are ashamed of being FOBs. Ashamed of being desi at all. Yet they live in a contradiction world because they really LOVE those desi stuff.
“No, I am not buying Hindi movie tickets, I hate Hindi movies. Yes, I realize I am right now in a Hindi cinema hall buying Hindi movie tickets … but they are for my friend! I am just picking them up… ya, that’s right!”
They try in vain to pretend to be coconuts.
You see, coconuts are genuine stuff. It’s not that they hate desi stuff, they just are not interested. They are cool with that. FOBonuts see this cool attitude and want to copy that.
“Who the hell wants to go to a Bengali CULTURAL show? What’s so cultural about it? You want real CULTURE? You should see an opera, like in that movie Dil Chahta Hai – oops! I mean that French movie I can’t recall now. Opera! Now that’s real culture. Of course I don’t understand what they are shouting saying but it’s real CULTURE!”
I have no problem with opera man but dude! Don’t pretend to like something just because it’s the “in” thing to like.
FOBonuts come in a variety of forms. One such interesting one is the “well done FOBonut”. I say well done when I meant burnt. When things become burnt they become black. And that is what has happened to our “well done FOBonut”. It seems he has taken a knock on the head and woken up convinced he is a black man.
There are some Bengali kids around Victoria Park near Toronto that act like this. Loose baggy pants, bandannas, chains, and huge dark glasses form their attire. Yet there are two fundamental differences between genuine black thug people and this wanna be black thugs.
Number one, size. Get your mind out of the gutter, I meant height! Bengalis are not six feet one, they are usually five feet eight. And fat. These thugs spoil for a fight yet run away as soon as they are challenged and alone.
When we had our shows some years back they used to come by the dozens to cause trouble. And then they would see the lone policeman hired as security and run away.
Number two, vocabulary. These kids could hardly swear even if their lives depended on it. All swear words are restricted to a biological sibling combined with a biological act to produce another sibling.
Moral of the rant: Don’t pretend to be something you are not. You are brown. Accept it.