Nimbu Mirchi

Edited by- Kiara Lakdawala

13th December 2017 witnessed two major events- the universally famous Geminid meteor shower and the infamous Nimbu Mirchi awards in our college.

Nimbu Mirchi is the annual roast of First Years and Second Years, conducted by two witty hosts (always specimens of the male species, for some reason). The problem is that it did not seem like a roast at all. To clarify this, here is the definition of roast from Wikipedia:

“A roast is a form of American humor in which a specific individual, a guest of honor, is subjected to jokes at their expense, intended to amuse the event's wider audience. Such events are intended to honor a specific individual in a unique way. In addition to jokes and insult comedy, such events may also involve genuine praise and tributes. The implication is that the roastee is able to take the jokes in good humor and not as serious criticism or insult, and it is seen by some as a great honor to be roasted. The individual is surrounded by friends, fans, and well-wishers, who can receive some of the same treatment as well during the course of the evening.”

The differences are quite obvious; I do not feel the need to point them out. Nimbu Mirchi seemed less like a roast of FYs and SYs and more like an unsolicited public shaming of a few targeted individuals. Khaled Hosseini wrote this beautiful quote in The Kite Runner:

“There is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. When you kill a man, you steal a life... you steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness... there is no act more wretched than stealing.”

We were bystanders to a lot of theft that day- someone’s confidence was being stolen, someone’s self-respect was being stolen, and someone’s right to privacy was being stolen. There was blatant and unashamed body-shaming, sexism and racism. What would they do further? Will they make fun of a differently abled person now?

Wait, one of the hosts has done that before somewhere. Ironically, he is the head of the Social Welfare club of the college.

'Show what you are supposed to show.' Yes, this was a sentence that was said to a girl. It suddenly feels like we have regressed back to the Victorian era. I am reminded of a certain Plastics group and a Burn book from Mean Girls.

Karan Johar seems to be the face of nepotism, but his son's namesake practiced something similar. No one dreams to be part of a team which takes pride in making everything about themselves.

I have always thanked my stars for having a low-key life, without any drama. Does that give me any right to laugh and chide those who choose not to? Is this all we have reduced to? Spiteful people who get their entertainment by questioning someone else’s integrity publicly and without their consent? People felt humiliated. Their embarrassed faces were matched with choruses of shocks and surprise. What upsets me the most is having to look at people put their heads down to shame the next day. All of whom were unwilling participants of the event were turned into a laughing stock. A specimen to look at, for what happens when personal life becomes public.

The organizers should not be the only ones to be shamed. We should be ashamed of going along with life, pretending that all of this was in good humor and secretly enjoying the infectious malice that was being shared that day.