My routine was to study until 5 pm and stretch my body while watching “Friends” rerun. If I left the TV on, I caught a short program that updated the highlighted events in the house.
The first thing I noticed was the three young British girls, the large-mouthed girl (J), the model, and the pop singer, had formed a group as soon as their new life started. Being around the same age as the trio, the Bollywood actress made efforts to befriend them. Once, she sat across from the trio and asked the model if she could borrow her nail polish sometime, which was the means to start a conversation. But the model, without glancing at her, said “sure” and returned to converse with the other two. The camera caught a hurt on the Indian actress’s smile.
There was an intense energy force around J, and many of the inmates seemed afraid of provoking her. J’s largemouth was not just physical but metaphorical, too. I learned she earned her fame by speaking before thinking, swearing, starting arguments, and showing explosive emotions, which somehow wooed the audience for being “genuine.” And she chose the Indian actress as the vehicle for displaying her signature personality. The actress was beautiful, well-spoken, and sophisticated, and J started to criticize her for being haughty. She even said to the actress’s face that she was not being “genuine” like herself. Other inmates watched the tension with discomfort while the model and the singer remained faithful to J.
The first incident that incited the audience’s complaint was when J called her with a racial slur related to Indian food. The loyal plain boyfriend also used another racial slur when he expressed to J his dislike toward the actress. When the production team intervened after receiving a torrent of complaints, they denied racial intension. The camera and microphone kept picking up the trio and the plain boyfriend often speaking ill of the actress, and this was done with plenty of foul words and expressions. The tension kept rising until it popped.