Welcome home, Will Bhai – The Hindu


Where there is Will (Smith), there’s a way (to establish an Indian connection, of course); how about shuddh desi attire and a Learn Hindi in 30 Days guidebook for that perfect Indian sojourn? 

Where there is Will (Smith), there’s a way (to establish an Indian connection, of course); how about shuddh desi attire and a Learn Hindi in 30 Days guidebook for that perfect Indian sojourn? 

Arre, what took you so long, Will Bhai? Here I was thinking you’d just take the back door of the Dolby Theatre as soon as you’d collected your award, and spoken so movingly about the crazy things love can make you do, driven straight to the airport, got into your Learjet and told your pilot ‘India, and step on it, *%$*$*!!’

But, never mind, you’re finally home. That’s all that matters. We’re glad you realised that, while Philadelphia, USA, may be your janmabhoomi, India has always been your karmabhoomi, priya mitr. In your fellow billionaire-entertainer Akki Kumar’s case, it’s the reverse. India is his janmabhoomi while Canada is his karmabhoomi. It all evens out, you see.

We are proud of you, brother, for giving a tight slap to that Chris Rock fellow. How dare he say something about your wife, and injure your tender, entitled, multi-billionaire sentiments? That, too, at the Oscars? And, that, too, something that made you laugh spontaneously at first? (We suspect that was the work of Nehru’s ghost, flitting about at the ceremony, and trying to possess good folk and make them do bad things.)

Glad you took the righteous route, though. How else can you repair the deep anguish your sentiments have been put through except by planting a swift one in the unsuspecting kisser of the assailant in full public view, ranting at him from your front-row seat, and weeping afterwards for the evil perpetrated on you.

How else does one prove one’s loyalty to one’s wife, or for that matter, faith, belief or choice of food? Had this happened in India, you wouldn’t have been alone in your fight. Sympathetic fellow hurt-sentimentalists would have joined you on stage, and given that Rock chap what we refer to as dharmadi. And they would have had sticks. Preparation, you see, is everything.

Well, all that is behind you now. You are here, and we should be focusing on how best you utilise your time. I’d think the first step is obvious. You need to cleanse yourself in our holy waters. Wipe the ill-effects of that Rock fellow off your wife-worshipping palm. Second, you need an immediate change in gear. Drop your western duds and get yourself some shuddh desi attire. I’m not going to waste precious column telling you what that is. Like you didn’t know, lol. Third, you get yourself a ‘Learn Hindi in 30 Days’.

That done, you need a bike. Unless I’m mistaken you’ve had some pretty enlightening conversations with a philosophical bike enthusiast or bike-riding philosopher, depending on how you look at it. He’d be glad to lend you his scrambler, trust me. Who knows, he may even want to ride along.

Then you do a tour of our ancient land. You could go from town to town and correct misdirected, misinformed people with your rap-gesturing, Chris-slapping, Oscar-caressing, wrong-righting hand. And there are many that need correction. Making the wrong kind of jokes, eating the wrong food, reading the wrong books, speaking the wrong language, wearing the wrong clothes … and hurting our sentiments.

And this tour could be serialised and sold to Netflix or Amazon. I’ve got a good name for it: The Will Files. Guaranteed superhit. If you’ve left by the time this piece is out, I hope it persuades you to come back, Will Bhai. This time for good. We need international role models like you here. Would you come back if we gave you a cute Gujju name? How about Thappadesh Bhai Smithendradas?

Krishna Shastri Devulapalli is a satirist. He has written four books and edited an anthology.



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