Dr. Grace Augustine: [to Selfridge] Those trees were sacred to the Omaticaya in a way you can’t imagine.
Selfridge: You know what? You throw a stick in the air around here it falls on some sacred fern, for Christ’s sake!
When I heard this fiery interchange for the first time, moments before they blow up the Na’vi mother tree, I felt what Selfridge said defined the Sentimental Indian very aptly. Of course, we are as different from the inhabitants of Pandora as apples and oranges but for a second I though he was talking about us. The Na’vi was a much intelligent race, sentimentally attached to their soil. Being incredulously sentimental comes easily to us too but in a variety of ways the Na’vi can’t even begin to imagine. Consider the following scenarios:
When SRK replaced Nirupa Roy
Indians are such sentimental creeps at times that it can give you the heebie-jeebies. Look at our glorious cinema. Our Bollywood heroes cry more than our heroines now-a-days. The way SRK cried like a lost puppy in the climax of Kuch Kuch hota hai could even shame Nirupa Roy. I really wish Shah Rukh Khan was never discovered and we would have still been drooling over Sunny Deol’s hand-pump uprooting abilities. Even Akshay Kumar and John Abraham cry. Yeah! That’s how bad things are.
Hiding women as pubs+drinks+women = Rapes
Being sentimental about our Indian culture and values is another way we love to police everyone who do not agree with us. A girl goes to a pub, drinks and gets raped and suddenly everyone gets sentimental over the incident. The Chief Minister of the state in which the rape happened gets sentimental about the future of her political party and blames the opposition for the rape. The guardians of our culture (who are avid porn fans) get sentimental over the fact that a girl was in a pub and drunk. The rest of the population gets sentimental about the safety of their mothers-sisters-wives and start debating on how we have to ensure their safety by not allowing them to go out of the house and stop them from wearing jeans. The police get sentimental over the fact that there is another FIR in their kitty and they have to do some work and end up making a “clerical mistake” of revealing the victim’s identity.
Drink my dreams child. They are tasty!
We get sentimental over the future of our children and almost choke them to death in the process. We make them study till their eyeballs hurt, reminding of the harrowing times we went through to make them stand on their feet. We sentimentally shove our dreams down their throat and remind them how they have to take care of us in old age. The children, oblivious of the albatross around their neck, shed a few tears and hug us, realizing a few years down the line that they have been sentimentally tricked.
Rainbows and fragile cultures
Gay and lesbian rights are also something which ruffles the sentimental feathers of a majority of our population. It’s against our culture, they say, secretly praying that their sons and daughters don’t end up with the “sickness”. The fact that a man can love another man horrifies us. Our underdeveloped sentimental brain refuses to understand that it is not a matter of “choice”, something similar to the fact that you cannot choose to have 17 nipples on your chest.
Princes and Paupers
The politicians are sentimental about their votes. They promise quotas till there is no general category left. Promising something (like FDIs) and backtracking is the norm as such promises end up making the opposition froth sentimentally. It gives them a chance to overdramatize the situation and vouch to burn all the Walmarts. Votes make Princes of dynasties very sentimental and they end up eating food in huts with the poor people who are sentimental enough to vote for the prince for their 30 seconds of fame on national television. Politicians also are dangerously sentimental about their black money and they end up following their heart and do foolish things like
- throwing Anna Hazare in jail just before a protest is about to begin.
- ordering the police to beat and kick people sleeping peacefully at night at a protest venue.
- blaming Facebook and Twitter for any future riots.
- Trying to pass a Jokepal Bill which had more holes in it than Amitabh Bachchan in the climax of Coolie.
Suck my religion
Try throwing a stone up in the air and chances are that it might hit a sacred tree, a sacred animal or a sacred river and you might end up starting a riot where hundreds will be burnt alive. Yes, we are deeply sentimental about our religion. A wise man said once that religion is like a penis. It’s good to have one and be proud of it but please don’t open your zip and flaunt it in public and don’t shove it down our throat. Well, sentimental Indians believe that it is important to flaunt it in public (religion that is) and so we always have our zip down and we love gagging people with it. We throw writers and painters out of the country because they have hurt our fragile religious sentiments. We make foreigners apologize if they just mention any of our gods or religious buildings in a fit of good humour. We love shouting “Hail Mother India” with moist eyes even though we have no idea what it means.
A sentimental conclusion
Of course our sense of humour is as dry as the Thar Desert but we are as abundant as the oceans as far as shedding a sentimental tear is concerned. We turn dangerous when we are sentimental. We rape, butcher, burn and dance with swords in our hands. And then suddenly, there is war with another country and we stand united and shed copious tears for the dead soldiers. Ditto for a cricket cup.
Yes, that is how much sentimental we are.