As you might be aware, your influence grows in India, October by October. And by India, of course I mean only a handful of the big cities with decent bandwidth for Netflix and several global villagers (citizens? nomads? denizens?). Halloween is a family-friendly festivity that has thankfully escaped the ire of the morality squad reserved for other international imports such as Valentine’s Day and Boyfriend’s Day (one of those I made up).
I am merely a local villager who has only now been initiated into the Halloween mythos, so I want to make sure I am getting this right. I did not find a manual online and there is no toll-free customer service number to dial and be holding the line for three hours. Which is a good thing, btw. I will just speak, in the interest of plain-speaking:
In “Trick or Treat”, what is Trick?
Is it the scary feature of the act? It could just be me, but I am going to need more to instill fear in me. No one is trying even. Little girls dressed as Disney fairies and little boys dressed as Batman when he was interning are not striking terror in my heart. Are n’t these costumes supposed to get me to at least pretend to be partially disturbed? Or maybe not. In that case, take away all these Hajmola candies that I could rustle up at such short notice. (note to self: Hajmola candies be best freebies ever)
All that pumpkin?
Pumpkins are central to the festivity. I get that. Several indigenous festivals in India have a pivotal fruit/ vegetable walking away with the Oscars that year. Can’t imagine the Great Summer Festival without messy mango eating or Holi without lassi, containing only a dash of cannabis. One could say it is even entirely optional.
But these pumpkins, I hear they don’t get eaten. They get carved, crafted, colored, lit up and made into intricate, artisanal furniture and freeways. Who eats? As it is, Pumpkin’s PR machinery is not the best in the world, and to let children know pumpkins appear dispensable is distressing. Pumpkins have at least six surprising health benefits that you did not know about, in a separate Buzzfeed article.
One time an elderly couple were most miffed by the 13 times their doorbell rang with Trick or Treat summons. They called the security apparatus of the apartment, saying some invasion of epic sort has occurred. As is wont, the chief guard (all five of them in unnamed highly productive city) responded with much alacrity. Showing up at their door, they took on the task of explaining Halloween, Trick or Treat, Costumes, Children, Pumpkin, Jack-o-Lanterns, why this was not all a badly managed flash mob – all in an evening’s work. This had more thrills and crescendo than any actual haunted act could provide. Most Trick or Treating was suspended for the time that everyone just watched this stand-up comedy act open-jawed. Finally, the couple said they were going to hurl inconveniently-sized bottle gourds at whoever spoke with them again. They were out of pumpkin.
I get the fuss. It’s totally fun.