Aborminably yours

Nothing has brought out the patrilineal pecking order of South Asians more vividly in recent years than control over the remote control during the World Cup. It is the modern icon bestowed upon the clan leader as a symbol of his power and glory – something like what the ceremonial flint-tipped femur axe was to our ancestors. For the outsider, one glance at the remote-holder and it is immediately clear who is boss.

The South Asian dominant male holds on to his electronic sceptre as if he would be naked without it. Bestowing custody of the remote to the crown prince during the commercial break is a time-honoured tradition of laying down the rules of clan succession so that there is no bickering once the patriarch makes final departure for the great soccer stadium in the sky. "And my beloved channel changer I hereby bequeath to my eldest male progeny, Phanindra. May he use it justly and with responsibility."

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Himal Southasian
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