Jun 26, 2009

Jai Ho?

Why "?" and not "!" you ask? Well, its because this song is really, really annoying me right now.

I don't mind the original version from the movie (the one in Hindi). Its nice, I'm not sure who sings it but they are good and like I have said before A R Rahman (the music director) did a good job but this is definitely not his best. Not after Roja, Bombay or even Saathiya. Anyway, so I don't have a problem with the Hindi song or with Slumdog Millionaire. The problem is with the slutty Pussycat Dolls version.

First of all, its stupid that they say "Jai Ho" and say "You are my destiny" because that is not what “Jai Ho” translates to but it's pretty much how they sing it.

Secondly, Pussycat Dolls? Sorry, no offence if you like them, but yuck!! Double yuck!

Thirdly, every store and every radio channel seems to have this song on loop. Lucky for me (not!) that I work so close to a mall, so I end up going to the mall at least once every two days and its hard to walk past a Supre, Cotton On, Ice, City Beach store (all clothes shops, for the non-Australians) without being assaulted by the song. Notice, I said "walk past" because the song puts me off so much now I don't even want to go into the stores! Plus I was listening to the radio and the commercial channels down here play it a little too much, so I switched to online radio and I couldn't get away from ‘Jai Ho’ online either.


I know many Indians in India have a problem with Slumdog Millionaire, I'm not one of them. But I wonder, is ‘Jai Ho’ even half as popular in India? I think a sudden increase in the popularity of ‘Jai Ho’ could also be because the Pussycat Dolls were touring down under. But seriously, I think the world can do without their plans for “Doll Domination”.

The song isn't really that bad but when any song is played a million times, it loses its charm don't you think? I don't know what it was like in other parts of the world, but this reminds me of Celine Dion's ‘My Heart Will Go On’ from Titanic. It isn't a bad song but when the whole world and its cousin wants to request it on the radio and on TV, play it at home, in the car, at parties, at nightclubs.... it gets a bit much. That’s how it was in India circa '97. Some people tell me that they can finally like the song again, now that the hype is dead. But the charm of the song died for me the day I heard the taxi drivers and auto wallahs obsessing over it.*

*Disclaimer: No offence to taxi drivers or auto wallahs a.k.a. drivers. Its just that, in India, these are not the sort of people who wouldn normally listen to an English song (because they don't understand/speak the language) but when they did too, it just meant the song had been really, really overdone.

The Old King Is Dead, Long Live The King

I am not easily given to celebrity worship and the like. I like lots of singers but don’t care if I never see them in concert, but if there’s one concert I would give an arm and a leg to be at, it was a Michael Jackson concert.

I know people love to hate MJ but I love him and I am not ashamed to say it. Child molestation, plastic surgery, bankruptcy aside – he still made groundbreaking music and come on, when was the last time someone created their own dance style. There may be a million Macarenas and Souljah Boys but never another Thriller. How many other songs/ dances inspire something like this?

I can listen to Heal the World and Will You Be There all the time, and I do.
And even though I was blessed with two left feet, Thriller, In the Closet, Give In To Me, Remember the Time, Smooth Criminal and so many more ALWAYS make me want to dance
I really wanted to go for a concert in London and when I heard he’d postponed to 2010, I seriously thought about it. Sadly my life right now doesn’t let me plan much in advance because I have other things to take care of but if I didn’t, I know I’d be flying to London July 2010 ….that’s if he hadn’t died of course :( When he performed in India in the 90s, I remember begging my parents to take me but they didn’t quite get why a kid who couldn’t even dance wanted to travel halfway across the country to see Michael Jackson! :(

I know hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital and he deserves nothing less.

I hope Neverland becomes to MJ fans what Graceland is to Elvis lovers.

I hope MJ fans refuse to accept the reality of his death and even 20 years after his death, I hope there are rumours that MJ will resurface because the guy who actually died was his twin brother (or any other equally far-fetched story)

There will always be only one Michael Jackson…and I can’t believe he’s gone.

so I'm here...

Only problem though, Blogger and WordPress obviously do not like each other so I can't import blogs from one site to the other. I know it does not have too many posts and nothing that spectacular anyway, so I'll just leave them be for now and start afresh.

I love the template so much.

One day when I am really bored, I will manually copy-paste from some of the old blog and also from my first blog which I started way back in 2006 (which I ditched because it was become too personal and I couldn't stop!). I can't delete that blog, and may be some day I will go back to it... just not now. I'll stick to this one for now.

I also collect quotations like crazy. I have a pile of books on them and I want to put them up online now. So I started a new blog - My Fave Quotations, a few days ago. Some of the quotes that are currently up are ridiculous, but they made me laugh. Those are quotes I must have really enjoyed when I was 10 years old (that is when I first started collecting quotes) so I thought I would put up a few. It's still a work in progress because I can't find a template I like.

Those of you who are kind enough to drop by, sorry for all the confusion and sudden change in address. I hope you will stick around. No more flitting around, just serious thinking and writing.

Jun 24, 2009

should i come back?

My current blog is here - legallyalien.wordpress.com.

But I'm considering coming back to blogger, especially for the templates.

What say?

Jun 3, 2009

To the Indian media

What happened in Melbourne and Sydney is sad but branding a whole country racist on that basis is stupid and ignorant. The average Indian has never been to Australia and does not understand how multicultural it is so I blame the media for sensationalising the issue and blowing things out of proportion. Every Indian now suddenly has a Rang De Basanti type patriotic flame burning within them without even having a proper perspective on the issue.

Racism technically doesn’t exist in India simply because the majority of our population belongs to the same race. Saying that racism doesn’t exist because Indians are better is adopting a holier-than-thou attitude Indians have no right to. Indians discriminate on the basis of caste, creed, religion, color and wealth; so to say we are not capable of racism is a blind refusal to look at reality. Simply take a look at Bollywood movies that always have something to say about the “goras”. Yes, that is racist too so it’s time we stop pointing the finger and take a look at ourselves too and yes I think history will prove, Indians are just as capable of violence over such issues.

Race and ethnicity are common topics in a country like Australia which is made of an immigrant culture. Yes some people are racist but on the whole the 20 million people of Australia live fairly peacefully and the last time I checked, there were more riots and attacks in India as a result of some sort of discrimination.

The majority of Indian students abroad are clannish and move in packs. Yes it is natural to be more comfortable with people from your own country but making friends from a different culture is the best way to start acclimatising to a new culture. Australians don’t marginalise Indians. Indians choose to stay marginalised because of their refusal to adapt to the Australian culture. “When in Rome do as the Romans do” is obviously not something most Indians have heard of. Had they heard of it, they would quickly learn that the Australian culture is often about cracking a joke on each other. If Indians put their excessive sensitivity aside and take a healthy dose of a sense of humour once in a while, they would understand that the thousands of races in Australia are often a topic for jokes too and a joke about an Australian is appreciated just as much. This is not intended to be racist and usually isn’t.

No I am not saying we must always say the White Man is right and give in to racism. I am simply saying Indians need to adapt to the culture and understand how things work in Australia before crying foul and blame an entire nation for being racist.  If the average Australian has a wrong perception about Indians, the average Indian does not know much about an Australian either. So I think we’ve achieved a balance there. Expatriate Indians cannot expect Australians to adapt to them, they must adapt to Australia. Expecting to create a mini India wherever they go is ridiculous. If you dislike Australia so much, I don’t mean to be rude, but stay at home. Really.

As a journalist, I have always been taught that every story must represent the whole picture but the Indian media has obviously forgotten its journalistic integrity somewhere along the way. Amazingly, all the reports talk about Indians who have “suffered” in Australia. How about interviewing Indians who have done really well in this country thanks to opportunities they probably would have never received in India in the first place? How about explaining Australia’s multicultural identity? How about interviewing Indian students who actually enjoy studying here? There are plenty of each, I assure you.

Indians are not being targetted the way the Indian media would have the country believe, but may be after the burning of the Australian flag and posters of Kevin Rudd, we will be and again, I will blame the Indian media for it.

I know I will be accused of losing my Indianness because I now live in Australia. I don’t care because I don’t need to justify myself. But I do need to make a point on behalf of the thousands of Indians who are very happy in Australia. While the Indian media refuses to look at an issue objectively as journalists should, I thankfully still have my objectivity in place.

P.S. This article in the SMH makes a similar point. Thanks for sharing, Psych Babbler.