Remember the Time.....

on Thursday, June 25, 2009

As a teenager when somebody would ask me what music I listened to, I would proudly declare that I listened to” English Music” only.

In those days, English music was synonymous with Michael Jackson.

As a kid when my Dad bought a new 50 Watt Music system for us, I remember that the first cassette I bought was “Dangerous” by Michael Jackson.

It was also the age of cable TV and MTV. We could now see who the man was, his dance moves and his mannerisms.

We loved it. We danced with him when he taught Michael Jordan to dance in “Jam, we drooled when he grooved with Naomi Campbell in “Keep it in the Closet”, we were transported to Egypt in “Remember the time”, we sang for the world along with him in”Heal the world”, and we rocked with Slash in “Give in to me”.

My uncle used to keep telling us that “Dangerous” was nothing compared to “Thriller” his masterpiece. And we refused to believe him. Till we listened to it.

We were Michael Jackson fans for life.

Few artists can claim to have changed the musical landscape of the entire world and influenced fans across all classes, countries and races. Michael was one of them.

You should see the MJ live performance videos to see what I mean. People are going crazy, pulling out their hair and fainting like there was no tomorrow.

He brought music into the lives of more people than he ever knew. A Banker in New York listened to his songs with equal fervor as a convict in Kenya. He united the world in their love for music.

He was a complete entertainer. He made his musical performance into an art form. His music videos were revolutionary for pioneering the use of advanced storylines and impeccable choreography. His moonwalk spawned countless imitators the world over.

In his latter years, his music declined as did his personal life. Let me not go into what happened later. I don’t know what happened. But this article is not about his morality but his musical genius.

I am yet to recover from the shock of his death. The world will be a poorer place without you Michael. I hope you are teaching the guys up there a couple of jazzy steps.


Babies day out...NOT

on Monday, June 15, 2009

I have a confession to make. A confession that will make me a outcast in the eyes of the thousands of young women out there who are looking for suitably virile, compassionate guys to settle down and start a family with.
I am not really fond of babies.
I shall now wait for the shocked raised eyebrows, the disapproving tongue clucking and the hisses and Boos to die down before I offer an explanation.
To begin with, did any of you notice that these babies are not really scintillating conversationalists? After the obligatory “Kootchie Kootchie Koo” I am pretty much at a loss for words to move the conversation forward. Amusing jokes draw a blank. Witty comments on the state of politics in the country produce a disinterested spit bubble.
“Make faces”. A friend advised me. “Babies laugh at distorted faces.”
I swear I tried my best to distort my face into the wildest contortions possible. Not a snicker from the kid.
The moment the father of the kid took the baby from me ,the baby burst out into peals of silvery laughter. So what does the distorted face theory prove here?
I consoled myself with the thought that the baby will probably grow up to look like the father one day.
This brings me to an important point. I agree that babies of a certain age are cute. From a safe distance. However new born kids, are NOT cute.
Such conversations are very common at parties.
Me: (Busy eating noodles and gravy)
New Father: (Shoving a photograph into my face). Look, this is my 14 day old son. Isn’t he the cutest?
Me: (Screaming) Oh my God…what the... err…he looks great…your eyes?
New Father: Nope, his Mom’s. Look at his nose. Just look…Perfect!
Me: Where is his nose? Oh...this round blob…wait…Then…This can’t be… Oh now I get it. I seem to be looking at the photo upside down.
New Father: Doesn’t he remind you of Hugh Jackman. Screw your eyes, tilt your head to the right and look. You can’t miss the resemblance.
Me: (Jaw drops a mile) Hugh Jackman…hmm...yep…Both of them drool from their left side don’t they?
(The only thing the baby reminded me of was a cross between Sanath Jayasuriya and the lead character from ET)
It’s also a load of tosh about how Babies are chick magnets. Determined to test the theory out, I grabbed a neighbor’s baby in the pretence of giving it some fresh air. I merrily wheeled it to the nearest supermarket and waited in anticipation .Visions of the Axe effect ads sent pleasurable shivers down my spine.
Zilch. Nothing. A couple of good looking girls did wander in. They did not even glance over at the child. Not one bleddy look. I pretended to cuddle up to the Baby. The baby kicked over a row of Lux soaps in disgust.
The girls carefully skirted us, leaving a wide berth between themselves and the kid. I distinctly heard one of them mutter about parents who din't bring up kids properly.
Now the question is what age qualifies a kid to be something I would consider important enough to pay attention to. I thought five years was the cutoff. But it was before I was tricked into babysitting a six year old nephew.
The parents warned me not to show him any television and merrily went on their way to catch a movie.
The kid circled me warily, like he was sizing me up. ”Let’s play” he announced.
In my childhood days, playing meant a quiet game of Ludo or chess. In moments of extreme violence we would cut the opponents Bishop with a particularly fierce look.
I knew that Ludo was the farthest thing in his mind when he pulled out a bed sheet to tie around his neck and knotted his dad’s tie around his head.
“Let’s play WWE” he announced.
For the uninitiated this is a wrestling sport where big guys with funny names pretend to bash the hell out of each other in front of suitably bloodthirsty fans. The key word here is PRETEND.
After critically inspecting me for five minutes, he announced. “You are fat. You can be “Yokozuna”. (For any pretty single girls reading this blog , its not true. This is Yokozuna. And this is me.)
“I will be the Undertaker. This bed will be your casket. I 'll first hit you. Then I'll kill you. After that I will bury you in the casket. Then you will cry” He proclaimed.
I din't ask him how I would cry if I were dead. This kid watches a lot of unnecessary TV.
I wondered if his parents knew about this OMEN kid they were harboring under their roof. If I were his Dad I would lock my door before I went to sleep.
“Let’s start” he announced.
Then he paused. ”Wait a minute. Take off your clothes.”
As I stared at him flabbergasted, he proceeded to explain. “Yokozuna always fights only with his underwear”.
I refused to take off my clothes for any reason whatsoever.
Then it happened. With one sudden swift movement he came towards me swung back his arm and hit me with all his power.
With his height, his arm was about three and a half feet from the ground.
I leave it to your imagination to figure out where three and half feet from the ground is to my body.
In the last moments before I blacked out, the irony hit me. Not only has this kid ensured that I run a mile from every kid I meet, he now wants to finish the job and ensure that I don’t have any kids at all.
Omen kid is an understatement.