Monday, September 18, 2006

Huffin' Puffin

For those of who keep wondering, no, i did not really mean all that I said in that previous piece of demagoguery. One of these days, I'll try to come up with an equally half-arsed piece on why everything comes from India.That's what happens when you eat too much fish. Picture taken in the frigid waters off the coast of the Kenai peninsula, Alaska.
This little thing here is called a marmot. Harding Icefield trail, Alaska.Sea Otter. Darned thing is leading the life i want.

And here's some seals and sunny snow-capped mountains and all that jazz.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

It's camembert

The late eighties and the early nineties were tumultous times - the soviet union collapsed, the berlin wall fell, and the Scorpions, in all their honest to goodness campiness, sang 'Winds of Change'. Bad hair ruled, Saddam invaded Kuwait, and over in India, Mithun Chakraborty released 'Nambri Aadmi'.

I have fond memories of this period - cable had yet to make its arrival in most indian homes, and chitrahaar was our biggest source of Hindi music - the billboards and MTV's most wanted put together, except that the songs on chitrahaar were never particularly wanted, and neither were they particularly new. Still, (strictly when viewed through the lens of nostalgia) it was a great show, and particularly awaited every week.

If you were, like me, avid chitrahaar followers, you would remember the image of a grinning idiot dressed up as a band-master, doing a peppy hip-thrusting, disco-pointing dance that would have put Travolta to shame. An angry looking father and a demure but confused bride completed the image. One of the paragraphs went:

Tere se marriage karne ko main
Bambai se Goa aaya,
Pun tere father ne mujhko
Red Signal dikhlaaya

The singer was His Nasal Highness Kumar Sanu. The music had little touches of big band jazz, folk and bluegrass (c'mon, you don't actually believe that, right?), but for the most part it sounded like something a below-average Indian marriage party band had belted out. (You know the kind? The ones that can be found in many north indian towns, accompanying the baaraat and mangling songs like 'Ley Jaayenge, Ley Jaayenge Dilwaale Dulhaniya Ley Jayenge', while the groom rides his ghodi and assorted friends and cousins get hammered and dance about upfront?)

The song I am talking about was so honest in its cheesiness that it has made a permanent stamp on our minds. Released in 1992, starring the gorgeous Farheen, and the handsome Ronit Roy, from the super-duper (ahem) hit movie of the same title, ladies and gentlemen, I give you, "Jaan tere naam".

First time dekha tumhe, hum kho gaya,
Second time mein love ho gaya.

Ye akhha India jaantaa hai,
Hum tumpe martaa hai!
Dil kya cheese hai jaanam
Apni jaan tere naam kartaa hai!!