Wednesday, May 28, 2008

#60601: Colonizing Apartment Complexes

If karma and Justin Timberlake have taught us anything it's that what goes around, goes around, goes around, goes around always comes back around. So it is with actions, so it is with charity and so, too, is it with taking something over and calling it your own. The British may have had control over India until 1947, but 60 years later we're ready to run our tricolor up the ramparts of some overpriced housing complex and claim it as our own Fatehpur Sikri this side of Uttar Pradesh.

Gangefication


Once the saturation point of Indians in an apartment complex is reached the building as a whole will inevitably follow the process of gradual Gangefication, the way by which a formerly normal building will come to resemble the banks of the Ganges due to a sharp increase in Indian residents. For example, despite the existence of dryers within each unit, Indians will insist on hanging large pieces of fabric outside to dry, making New Brunswick look more like New Delhi during a Kumba Mela.

Also, during Gangefication the halls of the building will absorb into its stucco paint and popcorn finish the lingering smells of subji, dhaal, okra, cumin and oven heat, an odor familiar to anyone who has ever visited an all-you-can-eat Indian lunch buffet.

Gangefication, like its sociological analogue Gentrification, is an almost unstoppable domino process. As soon as one Indian family or phD candidate moves into an apartment building, other residents will notice frequent reservations of the common space in his or her name for specifically Indian punctions (sic). These punctions (sic) may be anything from children's birthday parties to rehearsals for dances depicting the childhood of Krishna.

Once the precedent is established that Yes, Indians are welcome here, more will arrive with a frequency to rival Sophie Kinsella spinoffs. Soon, other residents will notice piles of shoes strewn in the hall during large gatherings within particular units, blue chappals sitting on welcome mats when no one is around, rows of small satellite dishes to capture TV Asia, Zee TV, and other Indian specific programming only available via Dish, and a parking structure overrun with silver and light blue Toyota Camrys, with owners that file formal complaints if anyone even slightly incurs on their reserved space.

Other tell-tale signs of Gangefication are the crackling sounds of radios on Saturday mornings tuned to Atul Sheth's Geet Mala Program and large, unruly gatherings of Indian men crammed onto a single Jennifer Convertibles couch at Arvind's place at 2:00 am for the international broadcast of India vs. Sri Lanka during the Cricket World Cup.

Macacafication

Gangefication is not limited to places like Farmington Hills, MI and Malden, Mass. Even locales as cosmopolitan as downtown Chicago are susceptible to an overpowering influx of Indians. These colonizers waving the imperial flag of Brown Town, however, are not newly arrived immigrants fettering themselves from acculturation, but rather 1st generation Indians who do their parents the favor of living in the condominium their family purchased in exchange for a promise to go to graduate school, or at least marry either brown or Jewish. This gradual dominance of condo high rises by affluent Indian twentysomethings is called Macacafication.

High-rise condos along lake Michigan and around Trillenium Park, such as McClurg Center, Presidential Towers and Harbor Point attract Indian populations much more insidious than the more middle-class apartment complex populations of south Jersey and Dearborn, MI. Macacondo residents blend into their surroundings, almost seamlessly mixing with other residents, wearing J. Crew pea coats, shorts with Greek letters emblazoned on the rear and even convincing themselves they are "down" with the "Kallu" doorman simply because they listen to Jeezy while jogging short distances on the treadmill in the state of the art gym on the 54th floor.

These Indians betray their stealth, however, when they participate in the most egregious of Indian apartment events - the pre-party. Flip cup tournaments set against the reverberating synth sweeps of Ursher's "Love in the Club" and Ginuwine's "My Pony" through an iHome docking station immediately let you know this condo has been macacafied.

Another conspicuous indicator that an apartment complex or condominium high-rise verges on the threshold of turning brown is the presence of Niraj (KNEE-raj), or some other speculative desi working hard to pad his resume for business school, who "flips" properties but has to live in an empty, unfurnished unit and eat cans of albacore tuna with a spork due to the inopportune timing of the housing market collapse. This Donald Chump is merely the harbinger of more deluded desis who will soon arrive and shake your ceilings when they practice breakdance moves they can incorporate into their Lagaan dance for the Feinberg Medical School cultural show in the unit above yours.

So the next time you see a gaggle of Gujubabes crowd into a mirrored elevator and press the button for Pent House or a recently immigrated newlywed couple carrying burlap sacks of Basmati buzz up to 3G, smile and nod to yourself. What went around has come around and it's our time to claim this 2BR for the motherland with an exotic print throw over the seat back of the couch. Jai Hind, Timberlake. Jai Hind.

11 comments:

Bomb said...

Ha!

Strangely enough, they also do the same with apartment complexes on college campuses as well — What gives?

deb said...

brilliant

harry said...

i.e. fobster walker complex?

Ben said...

When are you gandu's going to mention Bobby Jindal?

Manmohan Bling said...

Who's Babi Jindal?

Anonymous said...

Governor of Louisiana, and one of McCain's prospective running mates.

Manmohan Bling said...

Wow. Kidding, brah-man-dude.

Subhash said...

no, but seriously, who's bob jindal?

Mahotma in Herre said...

Isn't Bob Jindal that Indian looking guy that's kind of good at golf? The one from Sri Lanka? Or Fiji? I'm pretty sure he is.

Anonymous said...

Btw, the Indian flag in the pix is upside down...

adriana said...

"...international broadcast of India vs. Sri Lanka during the Cricket World Cup"

And this wasn't edited about a month or so back? Nice.