Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Open Letter to Sukhbir

Dear Sukhbir paaji,

It’s been a while since I saw your goggles covered eyes pan across my television screen. It’s not something that I terribly miss, really. But, it’s been a while since the Khalsa College staff let a Sardar walk around their campus with a ponytail. It’s been a while since I saw a Sikh puttar not look like he had Butter Chicken leg pieces stuffed up his biceps; and it’s really been a while since I saw people dancing to a Punjabi song that does not feature Yo Yo Honey Singh. That’s reason to come back.

Don’t you think it’s about time that you came out with another video, showing these elitist Delhi University dumbfrigs that not every dude who wears shades in the dark is an Orkutiya? Going by your history, we know that you’ve grown up in Kenya and have spent a significant part of your life talking about how you’re one of the first Punjabi singers from the UK. That gives you a lot of credibility when it comes to fashion. If the cut Surds in India needed the official licensing from UK based desi pop stars like Taz and Jazzy B to spike up their hair and feel cool about it, you’re someone who defined a distinctive style for our Sikh friends who chose to stick to their religious beliefs and not sacrifice their hair at the risk of looking like a “murga” as the elders in my family put it. What made you score additional points is that you really didn’t feel like giving a shit to coming up with a name that would help you sell your albums based on how many times you place the letter “Z” in your name. *appreciative nod* That’s reason to come back.

I’m not bored of dance steps that are suggestive of counting stars in the memory of a lover. Neither do I mind singing along to lyrics that talk of boys driving cars while girls walk down the road. Ah, that is another fantasy, considering I’m driven around to places by my lady friends due to my lack of driving practice. I still dance just as much to your songs as I did at my uncle’s wedding way back when I was eight. The way I move my body hasn’t improved much since then, but I love how you make me not look like a bad dancer by making everyone else at the party just point up to the sky and jump to “ishq tera tadpaave”. That’s reason to come back.

As I read through your wiki page, I realize that you’re not too far away from my dad’s age. You probably have kids by now. I said probably ‘cuz you know, it must’ve been a hard task trying to figure out where you’re aiming at in the dark with those shades on. My sympathies. But it’s hard for me to imagine you looking way past forty. Look at Mayur and Rocky from Highway on my plate, for example. How different can a pony and a pair of glasses (tinted in your case) make you look if you’ve been sporting them since your first appearance on TV about two decades back? I will totally refuse to believe someone who tells me that you’ve sprouted some hair around your cheek bones or have got bi-focal lenses for the gogs. You’re like a male equivalent of Rekha in my head, with equally beautiful hair, and no, you’re not allowed to age. Give me a chance to show a latest video of you to my dad and make him realize that he needs to do something to stay fit. That’s reason to come back.

Every Punjabi song that I listen to these days talks of girls wearing Prada or Gucci and drinking neat shots of vodka without even a drop of Limca. What follows are orgasmic sounds calling out to the Almighty. My dadi, even though being a Punjabi, gets lost in the sound of the beats and asks me to slowly recite the lyrics for her. It’s been a while since I’ve spoken out the words of a song in front of her. It’s really been a while. Come, be a good boy, and let the old lady enjoy some music that reminds her of days when her husband would count stars and cry for not having met her for a day. You’ll get aashirwad, you know. That’s reason to come back.

I don’t miss your music too much. I don’t ‘cuz I’m still not over it. It still makes me lip sync along in the Delhi Metro and look like a retard while on my way to the office every morning. You’re still there on my playlist, while others stick around for just a month or two. But I wouldn’t mind you flooding my playlist with beats that make me break my silence through plugged in ear phones and shout “Bruaah!” at the fellow passengers every once in a while. That’ll probably be a little embarrassing. But, that’s reason enough to come back.

Image Source: buzzintown.com

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mogamboville, Ahoy!

Cars enter the gates of Gurgaon city guarded by mechanical toll booths that silently mimic a “Hail Mogambo” and raise their arms with a beep to welcome all those who have chosen, or rather been chosen to serve the half-foreign ruler of the town. The skyline, marked by western design inspired buildings, brings the uncanny blond color to the king’s mane. The king taps his fingers on an upturned bowl of light and talks in a tone that is Indian enough to recognize itself with Amrish Puri. His appearance shows that he is evidently not of an Indian origin. The golden in his hair and the gold on his coat conceal his real identity from the city that marks his kingdom. But, his voice is a strong mixture of Indian dialects, and why shouldn’t it be? An ethnic mix of Indians is what breathes life into this city that wears a fa├žade of greenhouses branded by multi-national corporations.

We all serve the king, and express joy on having made it to his army that moves on a conveyor from Sikanderpur to HUDA City Center. The cogs slide along metal tracks and push members of the infantry at their allocated work areas, to either screw pieces together or hold things in place by being pieces themselves. The flash of a Metro card beeps in tune with a hundred other beeps that mark entry time at an adjoining building. Business cards get exchanged in thousands, giving clear tool usage instructions that we also wear as thin pieces of plastic hanging by our necks.

It’s not just the mechanical sounds that drive us to this kingdom. The colorful attire of our lead actress, who stands tall, wearing shreds of white, red, pink and blue, is another feature that draws us to the sub-urb, where she lives up to her “hawa-hawaii” image by anglicizing her name to Air-tel. With dreams to woo her and move from one step on the ladder to another, we march to the kingdom; the kingdom of dreams.

A part of the machinery, we all, are little heroes marching to save the world; a world that comprises three inhabitants on the 4th floor of an apartment building post 9 p.m. We are saviors of our little lives that are cloned by the king in his massive factories made of glass. We are heroes; the Mr. India’s who are bound by the ticking of the three needles on our wrist bands, which will one day make us invisible. The needles tick through the day, working their magic spells to grant us the power of invisibility, and in a matter of weeks, we stand in the middle of a crowd, crying over our invisibility.

Invisibility, we thought, was synonymous with invincibility, but it didn’t turn out the way expected. Sifting through pieces of glass, we then work towards finding the one that would turn us into visible beings; finding ways to stand out in the crowd, even if through a glass stained with red. It’s funny; life in the city of Gurgaon. The power of the wrist band ticks over the pulse of our heroes, but Mogambo still expresses his happiness unperturbed, "Mogambo khush hua!"

Image Source: shekharkapur.com