DISTURBING THINGS: an interview with Kuzhali Manickavel

Verity La Lighthouse Yarns

K- I can’t even talk right now. It was So. Disturbing. I can’t even tell you how disturbing it was. I am so disturbed by how disturbing it was.
S- Well I have to go anyway so-
K- Ask me what was so disturbing.
S- Actually I have to –
K- I watched ‘Imprint’! It’s a Japanese horror movie type thing that they wouldn’t show on American T.V. because it was so disturbing!
S- I don’t want to hear about it.
 
K- Yeah, it was pretty disturbing. I don’t think you could handle that much disturbingness.
S- Cool. Anyway, have to go now so-
K- Call me later and I’ll tell you what was so disturbing.
 
***
 
K- You never called so I thought I should call you myself to tell you what was so disturbing in the Japanese horror movie type thing. There was this scene where they tortured this geisha-
S- I don’t want to know.
K- Don’t tell lies. You DO want to know but you’re putting scene.
S- I’m not putting scene, I really don’t want to know. Let’s talk about non-Japanese horror movie type things.
K- Can we talk about geishas?
S- No.
K- Can we talk about Japanese culture?
S- What do you know about Japanese culture?
K- I know about geishas. Let’s talk about geishas.
S- If you even say the word ‘geishas’, I’m hanging up.
K- But geishas are a part of Japanese culture, it’s racist not to talk about them. Hello? Did you just hang up on me?
***
K- Hi. I don’t want to talk about geishas.
S- Glad to hear it.
K- Can we talk about sewing?
S- What in God’s name would you have to say about sewing?
K- I want to talk about needlepoint. I want to talk about how there are needles in needlepoint.
S- So?
K- There are also needles in the torture scene in the Japanese horror movie type thing and they stick them into this woman’s-
S- No.
K- But I didn’t even say ‘geishas’!
S- You can’t talk about needles anymore.
K- Can I talk about incense?
S- No.
K- Fine. Then I won’t tell you about how in the torture scene in the Japanese horror movie type thing they burned this woman with incense and – Hello? Did you hang up on me again?
***
K- You hung up on me again.
S- What part of ‘No’ do you not understand?
K- I thought maybe you meant ‘Yes’ when you said ‘No’.
S- You’re not allowed to talk to me about geishas, needles or incense.
K- Then you talk about something.
S- Ok, let’s talk about who I saw today. Remember that girl from college who used to eat six samosas everyday?
K- The one with the twin?
S- No no, remember she would never share because she said she would faint if she didn’t eat six samosas a day?
K- She had a twin, no?
S- No.
K- Funny you should mention twins.
S- I didn’t mention twins, what’s wrong with you?
K- There was a parasitic twin in the Japanese horror movie type thing which was actually this little face in the middle of a hand which lived on this geisha’s head don’t hang up on me. Hello?
S- Yes?
K- You didn’t hang up on me!
S- That’s because I wanted to tell you that you’re not allowed to talk to me about anything ever again.
K- Can I talk about this little girl with blue hair who had a parasitic twin living on her head if I don’t mention that the little girl grows up to be a geisha? Hello? Why do you keep hanging up on me, it’s really rude.
Disturbing Things comes courtesy of The New Indian Express.