Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Do you like fights? Instances when you watch in absolute amazement as two or more people are confronting each other with accusations and whatnot. One is yelling, the other is justifying – that’s a decent fight. Some fights have two people calling each other names for the simple reason that they just don’t like each other or something the other person did.

Yesterday, while I was on the bus back home after my haircut, two women who got in started fighting. One woman had four kids and I couldn’t get a good look at the other one. They were calling each other some very serious names. They were pulling each other’s hair. The kid who was setting in the seat next to me was laughing his head off. His baby brother who was sitting on his lap didn’t get the fuss.

A few seconds later the bus conductor comes forward and tries to break it up. The driver is pissed. Some people got off the bus because they were getting too impatient. I wanted to know why they were fighting, but no one around me seemed to know. Finally, at one signal/traffic light the lady with too many children got off, all the while she was hurling abuses at the bus, the driver and conductor and spitting in the direction of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation behemoth!

I would have loved to know what they were fighting about. This kind of incident is a great alcohol accompaniment.

There’s something about fights that I enjoy. They’re honest. Raw. Human. Devoid of pretense. Who in this world can be fake in a fight? No one. I prefer watching fights. The people I see in a fight are interesting people.

In the movies too, fights are fun. A Kollywood (Tamil) film hero jumps through the air with this bizarre cycling action, and the entire gang of 20-odd villains writhe on the floor in pain. If you were watching Vel, like I was, a couple of years ago, you would have been subject to my little cousin screaming in the theatre to his mother – “amma! Tell Suriya to turn around amma, the villain is right behind him!”; “Oh no! Amma! Suriya is going to die! No, Amma, NO!” and other assorted warnings for Suriya to please watch his back.

Of course, we weren’t sitting in the last row. There was a family behind us who couldn’t watch the movie because my darling cousin was on his seat and yelling his head off!

Bollywood fights, well, after that locked in the garage beating up scene in Coolie, nothing really compares!

My favourite fights are when the comedians get involved. There’s something very interesting about trying to make a funny man fight. You’re so used to laughing at what they are saying that you don’t think they are capable of doing anything else in the script. Maybe it’s for effect, maybe fighting is not reserved for the alpha male, but comedians fighting is funny, in its own way.
Then there are verbal fights. Those are my personal favourites. When people let their vocabulary do the talking, oh man! What fun!

Ok, I’m going to clarify here, mudslinging is not cool ok. Equally matched verbal abusers fighting it out? Now that my friends is a great show. Butter up your popcorn and watch/listen!

Since I made movie references earlier, I would like to tell you about my favourite kind of movie verbal fights. The one’s where this one guy loses his temper and yells. Someone’s always yelling right? If you’ve watched the Lethal Weapon series, there is a scene in the third movie, I think, where Joe Pesci is brought in for the umpteenth time and he’s really upset. I was laughing the whole time. The whole time. People around me thought I was a complete nut job, but these things don’t seem funny to you? Really? Why?

Then of course there are the scenes in the Malayalam movies when the hero, who also sometimes doubles up as a comedian, is in this really weird situation, and you can see his agony. In that one instance, he makes a face and says something, not completely, but you know exactly what he means. For me, the king of that situation is Innocent. The look on his face sometimes, you have to watch it to know what I mean.

My grandmother, when she was in her right mind, would sometimes give either the vegetable lady or the fish man a piece of her mind. Good times. It was just the way she said it that made the whole scene hilarious. When I was that young, I trailed my grandmother all the time. Everything she said was so interesting. When she got annoyed and wanted to make a point, she launched into this thick Trivandrum accented harmless Malayalam abuse, which was so hilarious when delivered! I wish she was still like that. After a point, when I was a teenager, I would keep asking her to say a certain few words – “amamma, please?” and she’d oblige.

Sometimes, I want to say “amamma please?” in the hope that she’d get the cue…


In other news, this is the new love of my life, Sheep. So angry! I fell in love with this the instant I saw it. Some bank gave this to my mother as a new year present!


One more wedding. January 17. One more long-winded gossip session accompanied with Whiskey, Brandy and my boys from school.


  1. Okay, this will sound really weird, but noramlly I can't handle being around fighting. It sets my teeth and my nerves. But there's something magical and almost musical about being a room with a Panjabi family divided in half yelling for all heck at one another. It's very expressive. Almost intimate. When Americans fight, it just seems to create distance.

  2. Fighting is a way for my parents to work things out, though sometimes that work better than others. Agree with C.N., you made it sound interesting, no easy task to someone who isn't a fighter nor enjoys hearing about it.

  3. @Nevets - no fighting is not fun. The passionate punjabi talking you've described happens in my house too, only in Malayalam
    @shopgirl - hurtful fights are never good things... I guess, I was looking at a different kind of confrontation...

  4. I definitely don't enjoy fighting, but the way your described it made it sound real -- gritty-- human... This post made me laugh, such a funny spin on fighting.

  5. I just LOVE Innocent. His facial expressions! I don't think anyone mimicry him well enough.

  6. "Sometimes, I want to say “amamma please?” in the hope that she’d get the cue…"
    Sweet. Very sweet.

    P.S. What happens to Gandhi and all?

  7. Considering the aruval culture that is flourishing in the state and that the body blows nearly ends up in spilling blood, I would rather enjoy the witty,cunning and at-times-thought-provoking verbal duels :)

    The one that irks me even more these days is the fighting for one's own good at the cost of others.

  8. @Priya- thanks
    @runawaybride - Innocent is the best
    @Notgogol - Gandhi was also fighting - silent treatment he gave...
    @Raj - I also don't like aruval culture... scream and get it over with.., it's easier...

  9. The verbal tussles are my favorite too! I wonder how much work goes into some of the scripts where the comedian is supposed to show both anger and humor and a whole range of other emotions sometimes.

    And yes, love watching fights on the road :D

  10. @Madfatgirl - the job is to also make all that seem funny! I don't know how they do it...