The clock has just struck twelve. It’s the 31st of October, “All Hallows’ Evening”, or, more popularly known as, “Halloween”. A day full of ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and Jack-o’-lanterns. A day when people go around in creepy costumes without the fear of being judged (or arrested), and a day of tricking and treating. Hold on, we live in India. None of that cool stuff happens here. Halloween, as a festival is not appreciated or even known, by most people. Being a Halloween fan in India is like being the proud owner of an Apple product… no-one else really gives a damn about it.
Trick-o’-treating, for all you Halloween noobs, is where we go around the neighborhood and threaten people with pranks to obtain candies (it sounds scarier than it is, trust me). It’s the one time of the year that parents condone threatening people and accepting candies from strangers, and hey, if nothing else, it’s a great way to get yourself some candy for free.
Sadly, however, around here, trick-o’-treating is nothing more than a fantasy for a Halloween lover like me. It’s easy to see why:
Me : *Goes trick-or-treating around the neighborhood *
Random Neighbor: Huh? Kya?
Me: Uncle, it means you either give us candies or we prank you.
Uncle : Kya bakwas kar raha hai? Mummy ko bulaoon? *slams the door in my face*
Well, forget trick-o’-treating. I’d settle for a few good parties at the least. But there again, I’d draw a blank, for there is a severe dearth of good Halloween parties around here…… Not that I’d get invited even if there were, but who wouldn’t want to go to a party where you can just drink beer with Hitler and Elvis or maybe dance with Tesla and Edison? How cool would that be? Unfortunately, the number of
good Halloween parties here tend to, errr, zero.
What’s worse is when I actually attempt to throw a good Halloween party, this happens:
Me : Hey guys, I am hosting a Halloween costume party this weekend, be there.
Friend 1 : Laaame.
Friend 2 : A Halloween party in India? How much more pretentious could you get?
Friend 3 : How old do you think we are?
Me : ….
Screw trick-o’-treating and parties. At least I don’t need anyone to do some old fashioned pranks, right? Wrong. Pranks play an important role in making Halloween fun, but it’s extremely frustrating when your brilliantly thought out Halloween pranks go unappreciated.
Mom : Why is all the cutlery missing?
Mom : Vighnesh, Did you have something to do with it?
Me : *eating noodles with hands* No.
Mom : …
Me : …
Ok, that one could probably do with some embellishment, but you get the idea.
The Halloween decorations are what can make or break the festival mood. There’s nothing like the smell of fake blood in the evening breeze, accompanied by the gentle swaying of a few hanging corpses, lit up by the trusty ol’ Jack-o’-lanterns. It’s also a great excuse for not cleaning your room, claiming it’s just another part of the home decor….because who knows what may lie under that pile of stuff. Out here, though, convincing people to decorate their houses can be a tough job.
Mom : Vighnesh, what the hell are you up to?
Me: I’m decorating the house for Halloween.
Mom : YOU STUFFED A RAG DOLL MADE OF SOCKS INTO THE FRIDGE!
Me: *silently removes fake-intestines-lasagna from washing machine*
The best thing about Halloween, or rather, the second best thing about Halloween (after candy), is arguably the cosplay. Cosplays are an opportunity for us to let go of our daily mundane lives and pretend to be someone else for a while, at the same time, giving us an opportunity to hide our ugly faces….. Or at least get to say it’s part of the costume.
By not cosplaying, all we do is miss out on a bunch of fun stuff, like this:
Boss : Damnit Vighnesh, you can’t just walk into the office wearing nothing.
Me : It’s Halloween, I am dressed as Adam.
Boss : …..
Me : Have you seen Eve?
Boss : ……………
Halloween, at the end of the day, is meant to be a festival for you to prank your friends and family, to show off your goofy side by dressing up, to binge on candies, and most importantly, to have fun. You don’t have to be of any particular faith to celebrate this go-wild fest, and certainly, you don’t have to be of any particular age. Bring Halloween to India, you won’t regret it, for you shall soon see that even in this seemingly rigid society, there are people rearing to have fun.
“When the witches are out,
And black cats are seen,
The moon laughs and whispers
‘Tis near Halloween”