Russell Peters is one of the funniest comedians in the world today. I loved his work from the first time I saw him on “Just For Laughs” which I watch rarely. Similar to him, I am an “AI” – Anglo-Indian, even though the story might be different. Much of the story is the same as my father. My father came over as a bachelor in 1967 from India with a degree and landed in Montreal, Canada with a one-way ticket and $200 in his pocket. Russell’s parents had $100 between them and came directly to Toronto.
Growing up in Toronto as a half Indian, half British girl was never very very cool… Until Russel Peters came along. All of a sudden being Indian was awesome! As soon as I saw Russell’s first appearance, I killed myself laughing, not only because it was funny, but because it was true. My Indian father agrees whole-heartedly. I then started to wonder how alike he and I really were. So when I got a chance to read his biography, how could I resist?
I wasn’t born to Anglo-Indian parents, but to Indian and English parents (one of each). Pretty close, but unlike Russell, I got the Indian names. No one questions my heritage once I tell them, but they rarely get it right if they just guess, unless they are Indian. My parents met over here and I was born here too. Russell was the second child and was supposed to be a girl. I was the first born and was supposed to be a boy. But we both have just one brother that we cannot live without.
Like Russell, I’ve experienced the “P-Word”. He’s dedicated a whole chapter to it, while I’ve dedicated two blog posts to it, one this year and one last year. They are both pretty similar, though the catalyst for writing them was different. Funny thing though, they were written one day and one year apart. Weird.
Russell took a trip to Mumbai and visited the Oberoi and Taj Palace Hotels, as did I for my cousin’s wedding in 2006 not far apart, but both not long before they were bombed.
The stories he tells about Burhanpur remind me of mine in Matheran while visiting our friends. He had tigers, I had monkeys. If I find the picture, I promise to share it.
He and I are more alike than I realized. I know that Russell lost his father a few years back. I’m fortunate enough to still have mine, so if he ever wants to make fun of him you can borrow him anytime, but I want him back. Thanks Russell, and nobody got hurt.