The One Where They Come To India

Yeah you guessed it. And if you’re as ardent a F.R.I.E.N.D.S aficionado as the rest of the world, you’d know where this piece is headed. In which case, feel free to scream out “I KNOW!!!” And to the rest, as a certain Miss.Chanandler Bong would put it – could you BE more un-worldly?

Admit it. As members of the Fanatically Retarded Into Enchanting New Daily Sitcoms community, F.R.I.E.N.D.S came as the perfect soup for teenage souls over the globe. It didn’t matter if you were 15 or 50, American or Asian. No mortal who ever saw even 1 episode of this enthralling show came out un-addicted to it. It was the drug that made you want more of it even as you were sipping and snorting at one already. And even though it’s been 12 long, painful years since the super-show ended, the fanaticism has only ever gone north. Re-runs after re-runs have been aired, and fans have lapped up every one of them with equal fervor. And if you’re an Indian, admit it – you’ve, at least once in your life, wished for the producers to take the show to India for maybe a couple of episodes. Now, even though we’re no David Crane or Marta Kauffman, it wouldn’t hurt to imagine what it would be like if the splendid six came to India, would it? And so…

 

(Central Perk. Rachel finishes one magazine after another, as Joey gorges on his meatball sub. Mondler slurp through their coffee and Phoebe pets a cat that scurries in as Ross opens the door.)

Ross: *moans* (in a low voice) Hi.

Everybody: Heyyy!

Joey: Hey man what’s up? Why so low?

Rachel: Yeah, did a girl just refuse to divorce you?

Ross: (Gives her a long, hard stare.) Uhmm, unfortunately no. Anyway, the thing is, I just got a call from the paleontology department, and well, I’ve some bad news…

Chandler: Ohh, oh my god! Where did the T-rex fossils disappear?

Ross: Hmm very funny.

So the bad news is, that, we have to start packing…

Monica: *interrupts* Hello, you call that “bad” news?

Ross: …packing to go to what’s called an open oven this time of the year!

Joey: Heyyy I know that place… I just went there for a date last night with this hot chick and the temperature was sure heating up, if you know what I mean… *winks*

Ross: Oh yes Joey, I’m sure you went to India last night and hooked up with one of those pot-bellied, mustached men at one of those fat-and-cholesterol centres they call “dhabas”…

Phoebe: Ohh I can’t believe it! I’m finally going to India! You know I’ve heard that’s the only place you can say you’re a vegetarian and no one looks at you like their mother just (Makes a gun out of her hands and imitates shooting herself in the head)

Chandler: So India, bones… is that place, by any chance, the birthplace of Indiana Jones? *chuckles*

Monica: So Ross, what work do you have there?

Ross: Well there’s this seminar in Mumbai about the findings from the Devonian era and their significance in shaping the course of evolution through the Cretaceous period as also the relevance of Shen Kuo’s theory in relation to modern paleontological findings…

Phoebe: cállate perra, o te disparo!

Everyone: What???

Phoebe: Well I thought this was a game of “who can say the most stuff that others don’t understand or give a tiny rat’s ass about”

*pauses*

By the way, that was Spanish for “Shut up bitch or I’ll shoot you!” *grins*

Joey: Jeez Pheebs how’d you know that?

Phoebe: Back then during my days on the street there used to be Spanish tourists out on a walk around 5 blocks from here so I learnt this sentence to help me in mugging them *winks*

Rachel: Gosh Pheebs! You’re a bad girl huhh…

Ross: Definitely not as bad as the fact that for the first time in my life I… I don’t feel like going for a seminar… man it’s just so hot and humid this time of the year in Mumbai… I’m gonna get all black-ish and have all the water and salts sucked out of me by the sun…

Chandler: Boy this sucks! How will you enter America’s Next Top Model now? *grins*

Ross: Hmm, enough jokes now, Chan. We better start packing guys, the flight’s for tomorrow morning and boy, it’s a 20 hour long journey so you better catch up on some rest… I gotta go now; I’ll see you guys tomorrow at JFK…

 

(Theme song – “I’ll be there for you”)

 

 

(The plane lands at Mumbai. The 6 go towards the baggage counter to collect their luggage.)

 

Man at counter: May I have your receipt, ma’am?

Phoebe: Well, if that’s all you want, handsome hulk… I can give you much more though… *winks*

*extends hand* Enchante! *smiles*

 

(The 6 collect their bags and check out of the airport)

 

Monica: *laughing* Boy you should have seen the look on that poor man’s face at the counter… bet he didn’t see that coming!

Rachel: Yeah, I’ve heard women hitting on men isn’t really a common sight in this part of the world… wonder how the bad boys survive here…

Joey: Maybe you should ask The Chan-Man about it! *grins*

Chandler: Oh yeah. I think that’s why I’ve been getting a homely vibe ever since we landed. You know, maybe they should rename this country to “Bing-land”, or “Chan-istan”…

Ross: Hey guys, here’s a cab… I don’t think 6 people would fit in here, so I think I’ll take the next cab with Joey and Pheebs. You 3 (pointing towards Chandler, Rachel and Monica) tell him to take you to Hotel Golden Residency. Wait for us in the lobby, we’ll meet you there.

 

(The three take the cab. The remaining wait for another)

 

Joey: Ohh boy, it’s so hot here. I feel like mozzarella in a pizza…

Ross: What?

Joey: Ahh, I just meant I’m going to melt… you know… *shrugs his shoulders*

 

meanwhile, at The Golden Residency…

 

 

Chandler: These guys are taking a lot of time…

Monica: Ohh just look at this place, gosh! The chairs around that corner are not even symmetrically placed. HOW AM I GONNA SLEEP TONIGHT!!

Chandler: Well, *moves closer to her and caresses her hair* say, you don’t? How about we keep things, MESSY? *winks*

Monica: Seriously Chandler? A year of dating, marriage, and this is how you try to turn me on?

Rachel: Uhhh guys, get a room you two…

Monica: Well we could, you know, IF ONLY THE STUPID FATHER OF YOUR UNBORN BABY TURNS UP!

Rachel: Yeah I wonder what’s taking them so long…

Chandler: Maybe they’re stuck in traffic. For all you know, he could come here any moment screaming “We were on a ‘brake’!!!” *chuckles*

 

The remaining 3 arrive…

 

Ross: (screaming at Joey and Phoebe) I SWEAR TO SATAN, HENCEFORTH, I’M NOT TAKING YOU GUYS ANYWHERE!!!

Chandler: *looks skeptically at Ross* Did you get possessed by the soul of the last remaining Howl-asaurus?

Ross: (still screaming) OR, someone’s soul, along with 206 bones, got ripped off at one of those, like what, six thousand two hundred and eighty seven potholes made a hundred times worse by the rickety-racket-rickety-racket rickshaws, the, the, the personal vehicles of The Devil himself!!!

Rachel: You guys got here in those (starts laughing), those ugly, black 3 wheelers?

Joey: It was Phoebe’s idea you know… we never have those back in New York, so she suggested we hitch a ride in that, that dick-shy thing…

Ross: (still screaming) It. Is. Called. A. RICKSHAW!

Phoebe: Stop complaining guys. It was so fun! And besides, I’ve never had my b**** bounce as much since that night with that gym trainer… *smiles cheekily*

Joey: *drools* Ohh yeah boy…

Ross: And yeah, not to forget someone who kept stopping at every corner asking those local sandwich and frankie vendors if they had a chicken grill with mayo and salami…

Joey: I’m hungry dude! And it’s not like I got one…

Monica: Ok ok, can we just get to our rooms now? If I continue to see that chip packet out of the bin for even a minute longer, I’m gonna have to go to the hospital. Or, maybe someone else will…

 

(The attendant takes their baggage and takes them towards their rooms)

 

Ross: So I’ve got reservation for 4 rooms. Joey, Pheebs, you guys take 12 and 13. Chan, Mon, here’s your key for 14. Someone’s gotta take care of Rach, so I’ll stay with her in 15.

Phoebe: Hey you guys! It’s just 5 PM. The seminar’s tomorrow morning so maybe we could check out the city, you know. Oh ok, no. We SHOULD check out the city!

Rachel: Pheebs, I’m so tired! First the 20 hour flight, then all the waiting in the lobby… I just, I just, *starts crying* wanna sleeeeeeep!

Monica: Maybe we should all rest, for like, an hour. Then we can go for a little exploration…

Joey: Yeah that’s a great idea! Meanwhile I can go find some REAL food to eat. Damn this veggie-nation! It’s only an hour since we landed and I guess I must have lost like what, 200 pounds already!

 

(After an hour, in the lobby)

 

Chandler: Ok so where are we headed?

Joey: Hey! Let’s check out some strip clubs… let’s see what the Indian women got, huhh *grins*

Chandler: Joe, there are NO strip clubs here. The only way you can ever, ever get to see an Indian woman naked here, is by having a family business with your dad, let people know that a rich, spoilt young boy with a filthily fancy villa exists, and hope that your parents find a girl who can give a dowry bigger than her b**** and finally spring a surprise on you when you wake up by screaming “Happy Marriage, son!” or “Grandchildren time, kid!”

Joey: (after a long, hard stare) Maybe they’ve all been waiting for the great Joey love… *winks*

Ross: As a great thinker once famously said – “In the great Indian kitchen, thou shall find neither chicks, nor chicken.”

*everyone stares at him*

Ok, that did sound funny in my head…

Chandler: *wincing* And that’s where you should have left it!

Phoebe: Heyy, I know a place! I was reading a travel guide I stole from that kid in the plane, and there’s this place called “Marine Drive” somewhere in the south part of the city. It looked like an amazing place from the pictures and you know, the best time to go there is late evening…

Joey: How do you know that?

Phoebe: It was mentioned in the guide! Gosh Joey are you listening to me or are you still staring at that woman’s a**? Joey? Joey? JOEY!!!

Joey: *sheepishly* Ohh I’m sorry. So how big… uhhh I mean, how far is it?

Phoebe: It said the fastest way to go there, is by train.

Monica: Ok then, guess that’s where we should be headed.

 

(At the station)

 

Joey: Jeez look at those people! *starts counting on fingers* I can’t even count them on my fingers!!!

Ross: It’s like, the whole of Manhattan decided to drop by and watch the, the live horror show that’s Mumbai Western Railway!

Monica: I know! And someone was talking about Indian women being shy, and unaccepting of love and dating… where the hell did all these come from?

Chandler: How are we even supposed to get inside one of these! I mean, there are more people hanging by the footboard than the number of women I’ve dated in my life!

Rachel: I don’t think I should go Ross…

Phoebe: Hey, we 3 can go in the ladies’ section… the guys can take care of themselves. *looks at Chandler* I don’t know about you though… (Chandler stares at her)

Ross: I think we’re gonna have to travel in the first class…

Chandler: *sarcastically* You don’t have to do this man! I mean, you did put us up in a 5 star, non-rat hotel. The least we could do is lay down our lives for our very rich friend who can’t spend 100 rupees to avoid falling off the train, or getting choked in it!

 

(The ladies walk towards the ladies’ compartment. The 3 guys struggle and finally get onto the train.)

 

Chandler: (to a man standing close to him) Hey buddy, I was thinking, why don’t you teach this position to my wife? I mean, for everything that’s touching me… we could very well be Kizomba dance partners!

Man: kaay bolat aahes, haa re gorya?

Chandler: What? *shrugs* Not a country for jokes? Ahh never mind… *talking to himself* could you be any closer! *winces*

 

(After some time)

 

Ross: (to a man standing beside him) Hey, can you tell me, on which side is Churchgate station going to come?

(Everyone around laughs)

What? Uhh… Ok, I don’t think you got my question. Look, Churchgate… which side… side… platform…

(Everyone continues laughing)

Random young man: You guys, new tourists?

Chandler: Not exactly… I mean, we are over 3 hours old in Mumbai… *grins*

Man: *staring at him* Churchgate comes on both sides. And if you ever go there, so does CST. Never ask this question… people would think of you as idiots.

Joey: And that’s the way I think about you too, Ross! For bringing us to this stupid place, in this stupid train, after a stupid bus… and a stupid vegetarian lunch! Yeah, *pointing at him* stupid, that’s what you are!

 

(The 6 get off at Churchgate and start walking towards Marine Drive)

 

Monica: So, first a rickshaw, then a bus, a choke-ya-till-ya-die train, not to forget the rat infested hotel room… Hasn’t really been a perfect first day in India, has it?

Joey: *angrily* And a vegetarian lunch! If you can call it a lunch in the first place…

Phoebe: Guys guys guys! Relax! Ever since we’ve landed you’ve done nothing but criticize the city. But did you ever realize how beautiful it is, really? The people especially. That woman who gave Rachel her seat after seeing she’s pregnant. That guy who helped us buy the tickets. That little kid who told us which bus to take, where to get off… you guys should learn to appreciate the small things in life! Yeah, it’s not New York. But neither is it meant to be. Because then we wouldn’t have any different experience, any exciting memories!

Rachel: *crying* Aww Pheebs! That was such a wonderful, beautiful, little speech! You’re so sweet, I wish I could marry you!!!

Phoebe: *smiling to herself* Ok, yeah, I get that a lot…

Ross: I think you’re right, Pheebs. It’s so beautiful, families hanging out together. Besides, the sea breeze is not too bad either…

Joey: And the chicks! *winks and gives a thumbs up*

Monica: Guys look! That sunset… it’s as if the sea’s gobbling up the sun…wowww!

Chandler: And that cityscape… boy if I’d seen just a photo I might have mistaken it for New York!

Rachel: (side-hugging Ross) I’m so glad I came here! It’s so amazing! I could just sit here the whole night staring across at the sea, the wind blowing through my hair…

 

(The six silently stare across the sea, absorbing the beauty of the place. Monica smiles at Chandler and gives him a kiss…)

 

(Next morning)

 

Ross: *banging each door* Get up, Get up, Get up, lazy people! The seminar’s TODAY!

(Chandler opens the door of his room, half-asleep)

Chandler: Ok I’m confused. Last night I went to sleep in Mumbai. How did I reach Hell-pur this morning? *stares sleepily at Ross*

Ross: Come on, get ready quickly! The seminar starts at 10 and it’s 8:30 already!

Chandler: There’s 1½ hours to go! Where is that seminar? Back in New York?

Ross: We need half an hour to reach! And what if we get traffic? We need to be prepared for everything!

(Monica wakes up and walks to the door)

Monica: Yeah he’s right. We should get ready…

Chandler: Ohh damn you Gellers!

Ross: Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some other Sleepy Sleepersons to wake up… (starts banging and shouting again at Joey and Phoebe’s doors)

 

(The six get dressed and reach the seminar hall. They proceed towards the entrance)

Guard at the door: Hello sir. May I see your invitations?

Ross: Hello, I am the invitee, Dr. Ross Geller. These, are my guests, which I understand we’re allowed to bring along…

Guard: Of course, Dr. Raj Gehlot. But they need to wear identity cards along, so kindly register them at that desk.

Ross: Sure. And it’s Ross. R-O-S-S.

Chandler: Yeah, if you find it easier to remember, it rhymes with GROSS. *chuckles*

 

(At the desk)

 

Ross: Hi, I’m Dr. Ross Geller, an invitee, and I’d like to register my guests…

Lady at desk: Oh sure, Mr. Gehlot. May I know their names, sir?

Phoebe: Hi. This friend of mine is Rachna. That one is Manu. The very handsome man here, he’s John. The not-so-handsome one beside him is Chandu. And lastly, Hi! I’m… Freebie. F-R-E-E-B-I-E.*smiles*

Lady: That… is a weird name!

Phoebe: I know. My mother hated it so much, she shot herself in the head!

(walking back towards the entrance)

Monica: Manu!

Chandler: Chandu!

Joey: Woohoo! John! John Rambo…

Phoebe: What? Clearly these people were having trouble with western names, so I Indianized them. Right, Dr. Raj Gehlot?

Rachel: Ahh what does he care! He’s ok with someone calling him Buffoon Bitchson as long as there’s a “Dr” before it!

Ross: *stares* Ok, yeah. *smiles to himself*

Anyway, we should get in, it’s almost 10. If we don’t hurry we might miss the front seats.

 

(An hour later)

 

Monica: What’s going on! Wasn’t it supposed to start at 10? It’s 11 already!

Ross: I know. I wonder what’s the matter. That emcee keeps saying it’s about to begin, but, boy, what a liar!

Joey: Maybe it’s because of the time difference? New York, Mumbai…

Chandler: And that’s the part where the dinos couldn’t tolerate human stupidity and ended up committing suicide…

Joey: Hey, you know what? I’m outta here! What if it starts in the eve? Or in the night? Or it never does? I don’t wanna die in here! You know what happens when a hungry man dies?

Rachel: He gets to be re-born in Africa, perhaps?

Joey: Yeah you keep joking woman. Pheebs, you coming with me?

Phoebe: Ahhh thank god! Bye you people! And Ross, give the dinos a kiss from my side, will ya? Tell ‘em Phoebe missed you all these years…

(Joey and Phoebe leave)

Monica: That’s great. They get to leave, and we get stuck here waiting for these people following Indian Suit-as-you-want Time!

Ross: It feels like, getting stood up by a date… God why are you doing this to me!

(Event commences)

Chandler: And let the ride through hell, begin!

 

Meanwhile…

 

Joey (to the lady at the registration desk): Heyyy! How you doin’?

Lady: Good, sir. How may I help you?

Joey: Oh no, I don’t need any help, thank you. I was wondering, what do you do after work?

Lady: I go home, sir. Why?

Joey: How about we catch up on some coffee later tonight, huh? Just you, me, the evening breeze…

Lady: How dare you, sir? If my father finds out about this…

Joey: Hey I don’t think this relationship is that far, you know, to have me meet your father and…

Lady: Please leave sir! Or I will have to call the police!

(Joey stares at her, then runs away)

 

Joey: What was that all about?

Phoebe: You know, I’m surprised she didn’t call up her father and brother and have a dozen men beat you up…

Joey: This is crazy man! I don’t get the girls here… and last night, I ordered the hotel boy to get me some juicy porn, and all he got me was Frootie with sweet corn!

Phoebe: Hey chill there, old man. Let’s explore some new areas, shall we?

Joey: Like that guy who discovered India, Vas… Vas Deferens?

Phoebe: Yeah, exactly like him! Someone’s been reading their history…

Joey: Yeah, I’m a dork!

 

(Elsewhere, the remaining 4 head back to the hotel)

 

Chandler: Now that was informative. I got to learn how to sleep for 7 hours with weird accented men screaming Greek and Latin at me. The last time I tried that, I found out my dad was gay…

Monica: It’s over, at last. I’m tired of all the sitting, my butt needs a rest. After all, it’s time for a 20 hour long flight again tomorrow. Jeez!

Rachel: Where are Pheebs and Joey, by the way?

Ross: Ohh there they are, sucking lollipops by the window.

Phoebe: Oh great, you guys are here. I was thinking, we have like 2 hours in the morning before we return. Let’s hit the beach tomorrow and enjoy the sunrise!

Rachel: The only thing I wanna hit right now, besides Ross of course, is the bed. Good Night guys. See you in the morning.

(Everyone says good night and walks to their rooms)

 

End of main episode. Post-credits scene

 

(At the beach)

 

Ross: *screams* Ohh shit!!!

Rachel: What happened?

Ross: Shit!

(Everyone looks down and winces in disgust)

Joey: Hey! Look at those two teenagers going at it! Finally some action, ehh! *grins*

 

The End.

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5 thoughts on “The One Where They Come To India

  1. This was really great. But, you should’ve known that most we can find Non-Veg food in almost every Indian restaurant. And understanding the American accent is not thar difficult for educated people. Hotel with rats? What kind of a third-grade hotel was it?
    The jokes were amazing but your portrayal of India was not!

    Like

  2. Everything you wrote I’d great.. nice creativity!! However you shoud have been more careful while describing the scenes in India.. This is a world platform and we should keep best of our culture to display rather than criticising it. Every country has pros and cons of each of its tradition n culture. If Indians only begin criticising our beliefs then what will the world think about Indians?? You should be proud of your vibrant culture and population and practices of Mumbai city. It’s one of the most livest city in the world.

    Like

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