THE INDIOT TOUR
Indiot: ind·i·ot, noun
1. A person who does idiotic things that are uniquely Indian
2. My Dad's (loving?) nickname for me
"The Indiot" is a hilarious look at what it means to grow up Indian. From Moms who are very comfortably threatening bodily harm to Dads who would prefer that your first date coincides with your wedding date, growing up Indian has it's own unique and quirky challenges. This show celebrates all that it means to be a Desi...and an invariable disappointment to your parents. And who better to explain that than a guy who spent his Dad's money on a Yale education...and then became a Comedian?
What is the most "Indiotic" experience you've ever had?
When I was 12 years old, I had 3 prized possessions: an autographed New Kids on the Block picture that I hid under the bed when my friends came over, my full wall poster of the 1985 Chicago Bears, and one VHS soft-core porn entitled, "Lady Chatterley's Lover" that I had stolen from Family Video.
One day, after a viewing of my beloved video, I made the typical mistake of, turning off the TV, leaving the video playing in the VCR and falling asleep. When my mom later turned on the TV, she decided the best way to wake me was a combination of very loud yelling peppered with a flurry of mom slaps to the head.
My choices at this point were minimal: Come clean or Lie my face off. Here is the lie I went with. "Mom, pornography is disgusting. I would never watch this stuff. I just know all these other guys at school that like this stuff and I'm the only guy that has a video so I make copies and sell them for $20."
I don't think for a minute that she believed me, but she still asked, "How much money did you make?" Quickly calculating how much birthday money I had left, I responded "$180." And thus ends the story of how my mom made me donate my birthday money to charity and got to pretend her little boy was still her little boy...and quite the entrepreneur.
Later than night I overheard her on the phone with a friend: "Anish? Oh he's great. He started a video business."
What do your parents think about you going from being a McKinsey Consultant to a Comedian?
They are actually very supportive of it. To them, it's basically going from "not doctor" to "not doctor."
Can a girl be an Indiot?
Definitely! For example here is the process every girl I know uses to put on a sari:
1. Put on your shoes first so you can get the length right.
2. Take one end and tuck it into the waist band of your petty coat.
3. Pleat the other end and wrap it around your body.
4. Realize the length is off and do 1-3 again.
5. Still off. Try again. Think about how bad you are at being Indian.
6. Tell your boyfriend to stop f'ing asking when you'll be ready.
7. Call your mom. Immediately regret calling your mom.
8. Wonder why you have the most misshapen, worthless safety pins in the world.
9. Is the back shorter than the front? Damn it; it is isn't it?
10. Put on a dress.
How can people see The Indiot Tour?
Click the link to the right!
Got one more story about your Indiocy?
When I was a teenager, I had a girlfriend who I was crazy about. The relationship was as up and down as high school relationships are supposed to be. We'd have secret, all night, whispering so you don't wake the parents, phone conversations on a Tuesday night when we were supposed to be asleep. And the following weekend we'd be having a full blown crazy argument about whatever random nonsense you fight about when you're 16, in love, and everything seems wildly important. That roller coaster of a relationship went on for two and half years.
After one particularly silly, but wildly explosive argument, I suggested we talk about it by having her come over that Friday. My parents would be out of town I explained. She could say she was sleeping at a friend's and spend the night at my house. For those of you that did not grow up under the oppressive rule of an Indian parental dictatorship, what I was suggesting was next to impossible. It would require the meticulous planning of a bank heist and almost invariably result in a Pink Panther style chase scene. This experience measured up on both counts.
Friday rolled around, and my girlfriend came over at 10 pm. We talked about our fight for a half hour and lovingly made up. At that point, I made a confession to her. My parents had not really gone out of town and would, in fact, be home in half an hour. She panicked. There was yelling. There was anger. There were prayers to Hindu Gods that I had never heard of. I told her I had it under control. And with that I went into action. I took our big gray brick cell phone, called the house, and left a message on the answering machine: "Hey Mom and Dad, I'm gonna spend the night at Amit's. Give me a call at his house if you need anything." Then I took her into our basement, which was fully underground, and pitch black when the lights were out. The basement had 17 light bulbs. I went to each one and slightly unscrewed it. Finally, I took a cheap phone I had bought for the occasion, plugged it into a random phone jack, and put it off the hook. Then we waited. Sitting there in the dark, I couldn't see my girlfriend next to me, but as my parents made sounds of entering upstairs, I heard her breathing slow and felt her finger nails dig deep into my arm as she called me an asshole.
We could hear my parents walking around upstairs. My mom went to the bedroom. My dad went to the kitchen and hit play on the answering machine. He heard my message and as expected picked up the phone to call Amit's place to check on me. He got no dial tone. He walked from phone to phone upstairs. Nothing. "SUSHMA! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THE PHONES?!?!?" More walking around. Searching for a phone off the hook. He was back in the kitchen. Then the hallway. Then the basement door. The door opened and he started his descent into the basement. We sat still. Not breathing. Terrified. He got to the bottom of the stairs and hit the light switch. Nothing. Black. He was maybe 3 feet away from us but didn't see us. Flicked it a few more times. "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THIS HOUSE?!?!?!" And then, miraculously, mercifully, he went to bed.
We spent the next 7 hours having an incredible night in the basement. We talked. We giggled. We marveled at the danger of the moment. We had never spent an entire night together and it was quite possible I was going to get to second base. (I did not. Indian girls. Sigh.) Then morning came and we got to the final stage...how to escape. We tiptoed upstairs. I ventured into the kitchen, peeked into the living room, and saw my dad had fallen asleep watching TV on the couch. I went to the garage, opened the door, gave her the all clear, and she tip toe sprinted through the house and into the garage. She was out. I just had to get the car keys to drop her off at home. I searched the house. Couldn't find them. FUCK! Out of options, I did the unthinkable. I woke up my Dad. "Hey Dad, Amit's parents dropped me off, but I left my wallet there. Where are the keys?" He pulled them from his pocket, handed them to me, and wandered into the bathroom. I ran into the garage, rushed out into the driveway, and we stood by the car for a second, laughing at the ridiculousness. But we had made it. WE MADE IT! And then I realized, I had forgotten something. "HIDE!" I shouted. "HIDE!" She looked confused. But she dove into the grass out of view from the garage door. And just then, as I expected, that garage door opened and my dad looked out at me. Had he seen her? He stared at me for what felt like forever. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my girlfriend hit the ground with a painful sounding thud. I didn't react. I just stared back at my dad. Then he said the same thing he said to me every morning. He motioned to the newspaper sitting at the end of the driveway. "Get me the paper." I did and then I jumped in the car and found my girlfriend angrily limping down the street. It was her first walk of shame and she looked so cute. I begged her to get in the car and finally she did. I took her home. When I came back, my dad was doing the dishes. I grabbed a bowl and started pouring cereal in it. Our backs were to each other and I was smiling. I had done it. Then, without looking up, he said, "So are you going to tell me why your girlfriend was here at 6 am or do I have to call her parents and ask them?"
Busted. Grounded for a month. Not bad. Totally worth it. Later that day, the door bell rang. It was a technician from the phone company. My dad had complained about our phone being dead. He charged $150 to show my dad the phone that was off the hook in the basement. My dad made the grounding 2 months. Still worth it.
Frequently Asked Question's
(and by frequently, I mean asked by me to myself once)
The Indiot Tour is currently being planned for 2016-2017.
Indiot: ind·i·ot, noun
1. A person who does idiotic things that are uniquely Indian
2. (According to my dad) me
"Your unique perspective made a major impact."
-Ted Snyder, Dean at Yale University
"Anish was hilarious."
-Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to U.S.