Scary

Each Friday NPR’s Morning Edition features a StoryCorp Project interview. You may recall that I had previously blogged about an interview between a Sri Lankan American husband and wife. This morning’s interview featured a really cute story (only ~1 minute long) from a Sri Lankan woman who came to the United States in 1969. I recommend that you guys stop reading this post right now and listen to this clip first. For those of you too lazy to follow my recommendation I will give you the lead in below:

Two friends interview each other in Pittsburgh

When Juliet Jegasothy came to the United States from Sri Lanka, she had already heard many stories about what life was like in America.

“We came to America in 1969, we were just newly married, and we came to Brooklyn, New York.” Jegasothy recently told her friend Sheena Jacob.

“I was so terrified to even open the door, because I had heard all these horror stories about crooks, and gangsters, and guns, in New York.

Jegasothy soon encountered an American tradition that she was not prepared for… [Link]

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p>I realize that I am jumping the gun and that Halloween isn’t until next Tuesday. However, most of you have probably been invited to some Halloween party this weekend (unlike some grad student I know who will be writing alone in his apartment dressed up like a blogger) and if you are a procrastinating slacker like me you could really use some costume advice STAT! After the jump I will provide you with some last minute ideas.

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p>WARNING There is some scary sh*t past this point.

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p> Have you considered a desi-themed costume? What about Ganesh?:

I never remember Ganesh being this scary. It is probably much closer to what he really looked like though.

This guy was rejected from the Blue Man Group, cut off his head in despair, and was saved by the Shiva sitting next to him.

Of course, Kali costumes are far and away the crowd favorite:

I’d beg for a quick death if I saw this coming at me.

I’m most disturbed by how that bra fits him.

I think this is some weird mash-up between Kali and the Incredible Hulk.

This no-frills costume seems like the easiest one to put together…and the most fun.

What about something more mutinous?

This one was titled “Mangal Pandya.”

I personally like that last idea.

Most of these images were found courtesy of Flickr. So now it is your turn. Do any of you have any desi-related Halloween stories or costume pictures you’d like to share?

44 thoughts on “Scary

  1. how about a blogging persona (like, i don’t know, ganesha, for example – just pulling it out of the air, of course)? i think that should count as a costume for people too lazy to actually dress up…

    or for the really lazy desis, perhaps they can just go as “indian”…

  2. how about a blogging persona (like, i don’t know, ganesha, for example – just pulling it out of the air, of course)? i think that should count as a costume for people too lazy to actually dress up…

    I suppose I could go as Abhi …

    or for the really lazy desis, perhaps they can just go as “indian”…

    I have the tomahawk but not the feathered headress.

  3. Talking of pleasant surprises…last night on KCET here in l.a., the Fine Cut program (student shorts) featured a film,Annataru (sp?), by Manasi Ashish from Otis College. It dealt very directly with immigration. The candor was refreshing. Did anyone else catch it?

  4. I was planning to go as Ennis — but haven’t yet figured out how to make my face blurry and completely unrecognizable.

  5. Actually, I was talking with a lurker yesterday and how she hates halloween and refused to go to a halloween party with us. When asked why, she said it was because as a child, her mom always made her put on a langa and called herself a gypsy, for every halloween. I luaghed, cuz it’s so true- I have a picture of me at 8 in a langa outfit- I was a “gypsy” too. She obviously had a more violent reaction to Indian-dressing-Indian as a Halloween. Parents really shouldn’t do that to a child. Leads to deeper Desi Identity issues in the long run.

    than again, this 13 year old desi boy I know, threw on a kurta, sunglasses, and a gold chain, and called himself Amitabh Bachan for halloween- which was so cute.

  6. Did anyone else catch it? If you threadjack my post you will see how scary I can be.

    Where’s the party?

  7. I LOVE StoryCorp, and for that matter all things NPR.

    I luaghed, cuz it’s so true- I have a picture of me at 8 in a langa outfit- I was a “gypsy” too.

    My mom pulled the same trick with my sister, however she was dubbed an “indian princess.” Constume consisted of a pattu pavadai and bling from the homeland.

  8. The best Halloween costume I’ve ever seen was worn last year by a friend of mine. He was a wine-in-a-box. The genius of it was he actually put a box of wine in his costume so that when you pushed the dispenser on the costume, it actually poured out wine. Awesome.

  9. hehe.. when my parents first moved here…and i was a kid.. they were both itching to go trick or treating with me…so they put a huge bowl of candy outside the apartment door with a note saying ‘please take one candy’…obviously the first kid who showed up hit the jackpot.. ;) ..

    and yes, i was also an ‘indian princess’… heck… i would bet 99% of those gals who were raised here and celebrated halloween here did that at least one time in their life… my brother and an indian policeman outfit.. oh yeah.. the princess and the policeman.. my mom would take us to the halloween costume contest for kids..and we’d rake in the ribbons and prizes.. kudos for being the only brown kids in that town ;)

  10. I was planning to go as Ennis — but haven’t yet figured out how to make my face blurry and completely unrecognizable.

    That’s easy, just keep handing everyone in the room tequila shots….

  11. Not Halloween related, but another Storycorps featuring a brown person:

    Comparing Two Routes to Marriage

    “Recently, Melissa Konur interviewed her mother-in-law, Solochana Konur, at a StoryCorps booth in New York. They discussed their different paths to marriage — Solochana Konur’s took place two months after she was betrothed at 15 — and the customs of America and India.”

  12. StoryCorps is wonderful, and for the curious NYCers, its office is right around the corner from BAM. There was a very cool desi woman who used to work there coordinating interviews, but I think she has since left.

    My usual costumes have always been corny puns that everyone eventually gives up on and when you finally reveal to them what you are, you hear a hearty and utterly fake guffaw. Yes, at costume parties, I think I sit in the corner and just watch.

  13. I dressed up as a Hare Krishna two years ago. I picked up the gear at Party City. It was funny, because the ‘bald’wig with a small tail on it (chotli) was white.

    I am very, very, brownz.

    The contrast was hilarious – white dude’s scalp, brown dude’s face. And the robes.

    On another note, those robes were AWESOME to hide a handle of Captain Morgans.

  14. i was a bottle of redstripe beer last year– the most popular costume i’ve ever had!! lots of enthusiastic “HOORAAAAY BEER!!” was yelled in my direction. lots of free redstripe, too!!

    i LOVE the Ganesha pumpkin–reminds me of visiting cousins in new jersey when i was 6 and they had constructed a snowGanesha and snowVishnu instead of Frosty. awesome.

  15. not a desi costume, but a guy friend of mine was a shower last halloween. he made a hat out of plastic piping that had a shower curtain that surrounded him and put it on top of a shower cap, then wore a towel and shower shoes, taped a rubber duckie to his shoulder and carried a loofah. he won the “best costume” contest at the bar that night hands down…

  16. Funnily enough, every year while I was in the US, I was almost always a desi queen. Literally and figuratively. When I wasn’t being Frank-n-Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, that is.

  17. Although people wouldn’t get it here, going as Laloo Prasad Yadav would be fun. The usual politian garb, white-black pepper hair, and the spikes aka ear hair.

    Anyone in India would figure that one out. The ear hair – protruding, poking peoples eyes out.

    In line with south park pushing the limits, one can go as Steve Irwin with a Sting Ray stuck to his chest, or Mark Foley with little inapproriate aim messages pasted all over his jacket.

  18. Growing up I actually did dress up as an Indian princess, my mom never went the “gypsy” route. But it was a last resort when I couldn’t get a costumer together and of course it was never an exciting costume because I wore those outfits on other occasions. Maybe this year I can wear a blonde wig and my Indian clothes as go as Paris Hilton modeling Anand Jon – HA!

    The past two years I was an Brown Girl Scout. Amazingly anyone can walk into a Girl Scout uniform store and buy the skirt, sash and patches. My roommates and I were a troop one year and then we used it for Bay to Breakers (Ladies, if you can get a group of friend together I highly recommend going as a troop for Halloween. Every party we walked into the guys would scream “Hey the girls scouts are here!”) I will be using the costume again this year because I’m a cheap Guju and I need to get my ‘paisa vasool’.

  19. If i can make it to a party, I’ll be Kelly Kapoor from “The Office” and my boyfriend will be Ryan. I may stay in character (nasal-y voice, hideous 80s grandma blouses) the rest of the week,just to see if anyone at work will notice.

    Once as a little girl, I just wore a lengha and blue eyeshadow. If only it were that easy today.

  20. I’m a cheap Guju and I need to get my ‘paisa vasool’.

    Thrift stores are always a “sustoo” bet.

  21. i was a gypsy 2nd grade-6th grade. lengha and mardi gras necklaces and fuscia revlon lipstick never looked so good.

    it was either that or having to go to the local drugstore and buy the last “plastic costume” box from the shelves because my parents didn’t think about halloween until it became a little-kid-emergency at 9:30 pm october 30th night. and so gypsy it was.

  22. I was talking to a sister yesterday who was considering dressing as a taxicab.

    That is hilarious, and a GREAT idea. I might have to steal it. Somehow.

    Amazingly anyone can walk into a Girl Scout uniform store and buy the skirt, sash and patches.

    Where are such stores?!? I need to know this!

    I always had awesome Halloween costumes and luckily never had to go the Indian princess route.

  23. than again, this 13 year old desi boy I know, threw on a kurta, sunglasses, and a gold chain, and called himself Amitabh Bachan for halloween- which was so cute.

    OMG, that’s adorable!!! Did he give dishoom? :-)

    the only time I did the lehnga thing, it was b/c someone had given me a bright orange and black skirt set and I didn’t know what the hell else to do with it, so I was the “spirit of halloween.” Mostly as a little kid I was either a sheet ghost (which made Midnight’s Children so much funnier) or a “Fairy Princess” in a regular dress. The other time I’ve pillaged desi stuff–I took my big rhinestone Bharat Natyam belt and used it for a Henry IV costume in my Shakespeare class, a dagger slung through it. (Man, I can’t believe I used to take a real dagger to school for Shakespearean costumes. The times, they have a’changed.) And two years ago when I was a pirate I had an extremely flamboyant, desi parrot on my shoulder.

    Last year I was a not quite tigery enough and slightly too feminine Hobbes to my friend’s Calvin. Only a few people got it, but it was loads of fun.

    Abhi, not that authenticity or accuracy is at play here, but I think the blue Ganesh must be sitting next to Mother Parvati there.

    Damn that Ganesh mask is freakin’ me out. . .

  24. Ok, one last thing and I know this isn’t a desi costume, but I think going as Ugly Betty would be great! You could get the letters to spell Guadalajara at a craft store and paste them onto a poncho, red glasses at the drug store and since we already have dark hair, no wig needed. I just don’t know about the braces, maybe you can buy braces teeth at a halloween store.

  25. Tangentially macaca related, I made myself a ‘Curious George W’ costume a few years back. It was, if I may say so myself, quite popular (though I’ll admit, I tend to gravitate towards blue parts of the country).

    I’ve reprised it a couple of times since and It’s always more fun if I can convince a friend to dress as ‘The Man With The Yellow Heart’ (Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld et al. – take your pick depending on the news of the day). Of course, the outfit is not complete unless The Man With The Yellow Heart puts Curious George W on a very short leash…

  26. 31: Ugly Betty is based on Jassi Jaise Koi Nahin, which is based on the Columbian telenovella, Yo Soy Betty La Fea.

    It should say Delhi, not Guadalajara on your poncho, beti

  27. troy polamalu #43 of the steelers is who i’ll be ;) .. fro in full force… gotta love it.. (acutally it went well at the fete’s i attended last night…)

    one of my fave costumes was being ‘where’s waldo’ with those huge coke bottle classes… classic…and you’re always lost.. so no reason to ‘fret’ :)

  28. this year for halloween i will be a indian princess/gypsy/fairy/exotica. for the fourth time in a row. all because im too lazy to walk over to my nearest corner store and pick up a witches hat. or pirates hat.

    yes; this is sad.

  29. Bill Maher already got that idea. He came to the party dressed in khakis and with a sting ray barb sticking outta his chest…

  30. I was too busy/lazy to get a costume. I had just returned from a soccer game and that gave an idea. I borrowed by friends Zizou shirt and went as him. I thought it was lame, but the ladies loved it when I said it an atrocious french accent, “Cava? I am ze Zinadine Zidane. Callz me Zizou. You give me ze kizz or I will ze head butt you”

    I couldn’t lose either way ;)

  31. As a kind of follow-up to #34, is there anyone in DC who has a “who you calling macaca?” or similar shirt (men’s size L preferably) that they’d let me borrow for halloween? I just came up with a costume idea but it is obviously too late to order one of the t-shirts. (Damn, why didn’t I order one a while back when I was thinking about it?!)

  32. er, actually the last pic of mangal pandaya happens to be taken in a place where I used to work and it damn sure had pretty much nothing to do with halloween, even though there were some friggin scary ba***rds out there… nice blog, tho.

  33. Hi Neale…I am Manasi Ashish from Otis College here in LA. I was browsing through google under my name and I found your comment. I just wanted to Thank you for finding my film interesting. Thanks once again for your support.

    Neale on October 27, 2006 03:51 PM · Direct link Talking of pleasant surprises…last night on KCET here in l.a., the Fine Cut program (student shorts) featured a film,Annataru (sp?), by Manasi Ashish from Otis College. It dealt very directly with immigration. The candor was refreshing. Did anyone else catch it?