Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Notes on RS Swayamvar

In the words of Rakhi S thankoo Geejush, Ganpati Bappa for youtube..I managed to catch the first episode ONLINE, kiya show hai..the Bachelor/ette cant even be a patch on it. OK what I remember of the guys and their chances

Kripal....no no no no...the kind of voice which begs you to pour down some Harpic down his throat and achee tara brush marna so the blocked pipes open

Woh Canada Wala Gujju maybe...Kiyunki Dil Tau Hai NRI

The fitness trainer...maybe...for invoking the two gods, SRK and Ganpati

Manmohan Ganga Kinarey Waley...yes that is what the Hindi heartland needs, Rakhi Sawant to spice up the vegetarian thali

Athar...too weepy...but khair pashmina tau mil gaya.

Nix the jyotshi guy..and what a slutty portrait he came up with.

I think dost dost abhishek ka na raha athirak is pretty camp..queer eye for rakhi's guy. Ditto the Natraj

Manas, Ali and Luv...potential hai

The Jaipur wala...Taj Mahal? really? how original...NOT

Ashwin Chaudhry from Nagpur...I want this guy to be around till the end!! He is perfect for the Govinda withdrawal symptoms some of us have been experiencing

Aman from Haryana...yara it took so long for Rakhi to 'gentrify' her English...Saveet sa Present , Maansion Naat, it is back to Prof Higgins for her

Rishi...damn itni shudh Hindi na bolo

Aur woh "dressmaker"?

Nuggets: Shadi karney aaya hai ya waiter baney
Desh ki seva

Bacardi scene and Rakhi's power eyes....CLASSIC!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hum Paanch!!

As the mater is busy youtubing for Rakhi S Swayamvar ( agar aap mey hai woh baat tau le jaye mera haath) it comes upon me to give you some of the highlights of Month Four of my life...yup baby will soon be turning Five Months!!

1) This was the month I got my "four months shots"...not that pleasant, I dont know how my Ayesha mausi tattoos herself for pleasure every now and then, perhaps she takes something much potent than Baby Panadol to dull the pain eh?
2) My big cousin Sakeena has come down to visit us...life is FUNNNNNN...she knows the lyrics to all of the songs, and doesnt hum two lines and then go scurrying to google the rest like the parents, she also has a IPod and has been very generous in allowing me to give inputs regarding the play list. I now know how to shake some baby booty (courtesy Cousin Sakeena again), I love to grab to anyone who volunteers their fingers and bring myself up. I also love the Fly Fly Aeroplane game (again courtesy the big sis)...cant tell you the freedom as my mother idea of fun was to plonk me on my back and put on the baby mobile or give me a bath.
3) My fav bed time story is Kit the Cat...I can listen to it any number of times and I love following the pictures of the naughty cat, the silly fish and the brave dog. I love it best when my mother reads it to me, she goes through the extended ten minutes version unlike the pater and cuz who skim through it. The pater actually was quite traumatised when the storyline sunk in for him, I could hear him asking my mum in dismay "Yeh Kit the Cat tau villain niklee"
4) I also got a chance to watch Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham on DVD...it was kind of difficult to follow the story over my mother's tears and her hugging me tight every ten minutes...there was one bit when my dad announced that I would go to Oxford "parampara hai parampara " and my mom squeezed me and said "and his mom will stay with him". The two argued a bit. I think Im being home schooled now.
5) My mom says that her fav memory of the month is Cousin Sakeena singing "Summer of 69" to me and my head banging to the lines "Those Were the best days of my life".
Yup my life is good.

I will soon share some of my mom's fav pics of me from this month...she has been crying so much over the Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham episode, my learning to pull myself up (my baby! my baby is growing up) and some MJ guy (whom I could never go on a play date with actually) that I let her stick bows over me and grin and put up with the dresses.

Rapping with my Cuz

Cuz gave me a Lolly but My Mom was Quick to Take It Away DRATTT

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Way You (MJ) Made Me Feel

In death MJ (the King of pop) reminds me of BB (who aspired to be the Queen of Our Hearts)...well in what he meant for my generation ..their "reign" if you may call it overlapped with my generation getting into our tweens...not yet teenagers but on the threshold of what we hoped were Good Things Waiting to Happen To Us. MJ's music formed the soundtrack to our youthful enthusiasm. Both BB and MJ were the Great Black And White (and Red Black Green) Hope after a dour Zia era (and am I the only one to wonder if they used the same stylist...think the oversized shoulder pads, penchant for satin jackets, raccoon kohl eyes and red lipsticks and the days they gave us Anorexic Androgynous Attitude). Over the years there were high points and low in our love affair with them , all culminating with a What The?And as I wrote earlier, our disillusionment of them towards the end perhaps coincided with our generation reaching an age when the world asked of us to be more pragmatic and to forget the romanticism of our youth.

But this is a requiem for MJ and let me not take away the spotlight from the King. So here is listing how MJ influenced my world.

1) My first foray into the world of MJ..I forget whether it was a Times or a Newsweek profile on him...I was somewhere between the stage when you can read the words but not actually "do the math"...so when I read that he was a virgin and did not take alcohol and red meat, I thought that being vegetarian was part of being celibate..so now everyone knows what kept me good (and green) and the cows safe in the Land Of The Pure!!
2) Of the hope he gave to all the "chichora tapori" types...finally someone out of the US of the A whom they could emulate...they had the hair, white socks and the Bata black shoes, Zainab Market in Karachi and Landa Markets elsewhere provided the shiny jackets aur Dangerous attitude tau tha hee. After years of blue eyed blonde haired hero types finally A Man Of Our Time (And Means!)
3) Moondancing...Breakdancing..That Step Where You Moved Against An Invisible Glass Wall...long after they were deemed fashionable PTV subjected us to it every time they wanted to show someone Maa-rden!!
4) The stand up routine around MJ taking out Brooke Shields (if there was any other black man dating the white virginal princess). We might have laughed then but it was a powerful statement on race and color in golden Hollywood.
5)The image of him dangling his baby off the balcony...during a week when I blamed myself for being a Bad Parent bless you MJ for making me feel that I was not That Bad!!

So farewell Sweet Prince...would I have let my son spend a day with my childhood hero, probably not...but I will share the music, the joy , the dreams and the Way He Made Me Feel every single day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Golkamra key karamfarmao ko T20 ki khushiyan mubarak

And I add to this my prayers of Thanksgiving...there is hope yet...perhaps the young are not jaded of the @### our generation made of things..to see a determined 13 year old (Ms Niece is visiting) avidly watching the proceedings and giving updates to her dozing aunt and uncle (in my defence I thought the fact I was nodding off was GOOD for the team...refer to earlier posts of black tongues and cricket matches), to see her all perky and bright eyed post-the witching hour (bear in mind the match started at midnight for us), of a group hug and baby Arhaan getting squashed in the exuberance, of a little girl feeling so proud of the green and white after a fortnight of "comparisions" with the green and gold...thankyou thankyou thankyou.
And shayed picturo kee tarah The End tak hum sab ka bhee sab kuch theek hojayega, Ameen
p.s: Now the ex-jiyalee in me would have said something about it being a birthday gift to BB, the spirit of BB steering the ball and all...hee heee..

Thursday, June 04, 2009

It is Not Easy Being Green

It is not easy being brown either...particularly if you are brown, young, male and in Melbourne at the moment (or so we are told).

Over the past week I have had to field a fair number of queries (concerned or just curious) about the recent spate of attacks against young Indians in the city...my standard answer has been "It is Complicated"...it is the same response I have for the Pakistani cousins when they ask me if they would face any prejudice studying in Australia. To tell you the truth, these cousins (or anyone young, Pashtun and male) would face some kind of pressure and prejudice even if they were in Pakistan ...like Goldilocks they are either Taleban sympathizers/co-opted by the evil West/part of the pro-Punjabi establishment/hidden beards...NEVER Just Right! Ditto the young Indian student. And I have to admit that I have been kind of "sitting on the fence" on racism and prejudice in Australia because I live a very "insular" life...I came here as a post-grad student and have lived a life amongst academics since then...I am more worried having my work critiqued by some waspish critic and less about having my skin color or religious identity mocked....and well in recent times I have chosen the "cloister" of mommyhood so I have to admit I should not be volunteering to complete any survey on the life of an international student in Melbourne. It is also difficult for me to trash the Anglo Saxon Aussie when a Caucasian bus driver has jumped down every time from his seat on seeing me with Arhaan, he will get off the bus and carry the heavy pram and park it inside and will repeat the process when I have to get down, all this while inquiring about my day and wishing me well. However, I have to admit that if it has not happened to me I cannot shrug my shoulder and say that I dont see Australia becoming intolerant of certain communities in recent times.

See Australia has had a conflicted relationship with its multicultural aspirations...all of us are aware of its torrid history of White Australia and selective intake of immigrants till the 1970s, the problematic Howard years and hysteria about 'boat people' and 'queue jumping'. Like certain other nations while it is OK with the food and music that immigrants introduce to their world, it has not been that tolerant of some of those people and their lifestyles.

So henna tattoos, belly dancing, doner kebabs, Middle Eastern music? Yes
The Muslims...ehhhh

The IT revolution, Jai Ho*, curry, garam masala, Bolly-exercise, Bollywood dancing in the Park, Shahrukh Khan? Yes, Yes, Yes
Indian students down Flinders Street...nooooooo!!

Ok, I will be the first to admit that I had a major problem with the desi male student population in the days of Casa Flinders Street, and that was one plus point of moving to the suburbs...none of the Puppyjhuuppy Punjabi Perve encounters, not listening to one more Roadside Romeo thinking he was very original when he warbled Tere Mukhdey Pay Kaala Kaala Til Hai (or that inane humming from the back seat at a decibel frequented by mosquitoes ...that you are just dying to turn around and say Shut Up! or sing that song properly), the stale smell of parathas in the train and greasy smudges on the window and door of the train compartment, the scary scary discussions About Last Night that I just could not avoid overhearing(considering the guy in question is either screaming down the phone or pretty loud as he speaks to a friend next to him) should I take them seriously or just ignore it as major fantasizing on his part (About Last Night ALWAYS deals with a group of them having a sex worker over and well all of them having a session bordering on sexual violence)...a number of times these young men want to unnerve South Asian women travelling on their own (again its very complicated ...and so you have to tolerate their snide comments), attending the fireworks display last New Year's Eve which quickly became the New Year's Eve from hell as a group of obnoxious young desi men descended upon Federation Square....However would I advocate going " curry bashing" some night, no I dont think so.

The obnoxious behaviour of some of their compatriots might play a role in the animosity against young Indian men but there are other reasons too. There is a recession (whether one wants to admit it or not), jobs are moving overseas, anxiety as India starts flexing its economic muscles, Indian full fee paying students compared to limited student loans and scholarships for local students, the dog whistle politics of the Howard years, teenage angst (well, teenage angst compounded with other pressures), rise in urban crime, the dangers of working late shift jobs....but all this is very difficult to understand (and condone your attacker for) when there is a screw driver pressed against your chest.

The reaction of some of the South Asian population has been pretty problematic as well (OK, I have to confess that when one of my colleagues expressed her concern one morning I quipped "Im Pakistani, maaro @** ko" but seriously we are all brown for a certain population and I dont think we should rest easy plus I should be less blasé considering the bub and his genetic makeup)...a number of Indians have written emails, letters to the editor as how they dont see Australia as racist and how India and Indians at home and abroad are more problematic (I find this kind of justification very problematic)...I also witness a kind of "embarrassment" on our part, we are all comfortable with the Yash Raichands around and not the Ricky Thukrals amongst us ( a significant reason why the Manhattan Melodramas sell and films like Jhooom Barabar flop) I admit some of us have not been kind to the plight of the hapless Indian student as it ruins our perception of the Good Life.

Khair, this is just me...as I mentioned earlier I am an Outsider looking in both to Australia and India..I think Silvara who has the privilege of growing up brown in Aussie land (and who frankly writes far better than me as a South Asian female) can tell you more on this issue. Please visit her at
for what she and her peers have to say.

One good thing coming out from last week is that even if the events were just Bad things Happening to Good People Being In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time and not exactly Indian student-specific as such, it has started an earnest debate on the issue of class, race and prejudice in Australia. Good for the Indian government for taking up the issue and forcing Canberra and Melbourne to take the issue of international students and their plight seriously. It is all very well when their fee and daily expenses contribute to Australian economy, and turn away when it comes to their housing, well being, and security in Australia.

Until then Gman has been instructed by my family to stop going to work in his Formally Informal ensemble and koee suit shoot pehen ke jaaya karey so people take him seriously ...siggghhhhh!!

** Is it just me or does anyone else find the Pussy Cat Dolls' Jai Ho video SERIOUSLY disturbing? the combination of voyeurism in confined public spaces, a bobbing head A R Rahman, ..I am not Happy.