Your mom probably has a nickname for you, right? Something endearing like Munchkin, Pumpkin or Boo Boo.
Yeah, my mom’s nicknames for me aren’t so much adorable as they are uncomfortably honest.
For the most part, she calls me Jemmy — a simple derivation of my given name — but every now and then, she’ll refer to me by one of the following:
– Whoori Gheli
Ah, the joys of having an ethnic mother that can enunciate the shit out of guttural languages.
I’ve been hearing the former for the majority of my life and had no idea what the hell it actually meant until about five years ago when my aunt informed me that it’s basically slang for ‘Escaped Mental Patient with Unkempt Hair.’
The latter refers to Indian nomads who were essentially considered outsiders by the rest of society. Wanderers who drifted from pasture to pasture, never really settling down roots or calling any one place home (also, I’m pretty sure Mom considers them to be filthy because they associate with animals. Woe betide you if you bring a mangy cur into that lady’s house).
Obviously, the former is straight-up slander, but Rabari? That’s pretty accurate.
No, not the ‘Jemmy is filth-encrusted’ part, but the wandering bit.
I wandered up the I-95 Corridor because I fell in love with a guy I met on the internet when I was fifteen and I’m hoping to wander clear across the country to Los Angeles — a city I’ve wanted to live in since I was a little kid because that’s the city where movies and television shows are made. The city where stories become real life and real life becomes a story worth telling.
Los Angelenos — I know, I know. Your traffic is atrocious as is your smog. You have no NFL team and your pizza apparently sucks, but I don’t care. Your city is essentially the epitome of manifest destiny and the American Dream.
You go west, young man. You hitch your wagon to the brightest damn star you can find and you go searching for your own personal American Dream. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to your ancestors — brave souls who forged ahead in search of a better life, Their blood flows through your veins and if they could do it, so can you.
And damn it, I’m going to. No retreat, baby. No surrender.
P.S. – Seriously, Mom? Seriously? Why do you think I’m like Pigpen from Peanuts? Because I’m not! I smell like roses, lemon and blackcurrant! I have an almost crippling dependence on my flat-iron! I can assure you with resolute certainty that I am not the filth-encrusted street urchin you envision me to be.