Friday, June 26, 2009

DANGEROUS MJ - King of Pop... a Legend

In the morning, I got to know of the sad demise of the King of Pop... MJ - Michael Jackson was no more. He died of Cardiac Arrest...

Like a gush of wind all the memories of my childhood snapped in front of my eyes...

I remember when Abhijeet had first shown me a pic of MJ when we were at Carter Road... the first song that I had known of him was Black or White, that was when MTV had just started to take roots in India and Cable television was in its infancy.

Black or White, Remember the Time and the best of all THRILLER... the videos of these songs transformed the choice of a generation from Bollywood Hindi movie song buffs to Pop music followers. These songs with the videos of MJ's moonwalk and turnarounds brought break dance to the living rooms and bedrooms of many. I remember how Abhijeet, Rekir, Saurabh and myself used to pour talcum powder on the marble flooring at Abhijeet's house and attempt moonwalk. I remember how much I have tried to practice the turnarounds, which later brought the "chakkri"(bending down and circling on one foot) step, then the wind-mill that Abhijeet taught me.

Those were from a different era altogether. I remember how I used to discuss with Shomu about the dance steps for a dance competition. Then the dance on Black or White, I remember how I used to dance with Vinit and Vin'da on MJ's songs. I remember how I had written lyrics of the Earth song writing line by line listening from my old tape recorder. I remember how proud I had felt when Vinit was called the Michael Jackson of Dombivli, although the audience was anything but a pop culture audience.

I remember how although, we had a XII semester exam the next day, I had declared to my friends that I am getting down at Andheri to try and have a look at MJ while he is entering Andheri Sports Complex for his concert. I remember how Kalpesh and Anil joined me and how Rajkumar had also agreed. We waited for hours together trying to search each car and van for Michael. We got to see a host of Bollywood celebrities, but it was a huge dissappointment to leave after poor Rajkumar got his pocket-picked.

There are a few select mood-changers that I had and MJ's songs were one of them. Anytime to uplift my gloomy mood, MJ's songs were the best prescription. BAD, Beat It, Billy Jean, Earth Song, History, Stranger in Moscow, Blood on the Dance Floor, Ghost .... man oh man... what a contribution to Pop music that MJ has had.

To his detractors, he was all his life ….
a Male with a female voice
a Performer than a singer...
a Black man with a white skin…
a Father of a purported child with child molestation allegations…
a Pope for the masses although without a church…
a Rich man with a neverland ranch, but was bankrupt which drove him to Bahrain…
a Christian who converted or had to convert to islam...

He had his share of misfortune as well. But, which celebrities agonies are not amplified over and over through and are not caused due to the media? He had his bad names and times too, but to remember him for anything less than music would be a disservice to music itself.

Here is a joke about MJ that I recollected. It was a stand-up comedy performance by Johny Lever at a Film Fare awards function.

Jab Michael Jackson Bombay mein aayein…
Airport se jaate hue zopadd patti mein utare aur bachhon ke saath khelne lage….
Zopadi ke log unhe maarne ke liye daud rahe thhe…

pora palavnaari party aalii rechillate hue (kidnapping party has arrived)
Phir unka show thaa andheri sports complex mein….
Main baahar khada thaa tabhi ek dadiji ne mujhe poochaa…
“kya siddhivinayak ki line yahaan tak aayi hai?”
Maine bola nahi yahaan ki line siddhivinayak tak gayi hai…
“Kyun koi baba aayein hai kyaa?”
Main bola haan Michael baba aayein hain…
Woh boli "unhone koi chamatkaar kiya hai kya jo itne log aayein hain?"
Haan maaji chamatkaar kiya hai.. pehle kaale thhe ab gore ho gayein hain….
Phir main andar gaya toh dekha jo ladkiyaan patli see andar gayii thee pet fulaa ke peeche khadee thee…
Maine poocha kya hua itni jaldi?… woh boli “TOIL E T….. :(”
Itne logon ke liye toilet kahaan hai… TOILET nahi hai.. :( :(
Phir dekha Michael jaise hi stage pe aaya toh ladkiyaan…
"M-I C H A E L - I LOVE YOU" chilla ke behosh ho gayii…
Maine kaha arre itni badi fan? Dekh te hi behosh?
Uski friend ne kaha "kahaan ki fan? Doopahar se kadhee thii, khaana nahi paani nahi kuchh nahi… chakkar aa gaya…"

Tab maine bhi socha apna bhi koi Pandurang Dhumal Lezhim leke America jayegaa,
Lezhim bajate hue…. Woh gayegaaa…
Jee Ji re Jee ji Re Jee Jee ji (Johny lever sang a song with a lezhim music)
toh wahaan ki ladkiyan bhi bolengi…

I L O V E Y O U, P A N D U
To end the post what better than the Gem
"Heal the World"
Theres a place in Your Heart
And I Know That It Is Love
And This Place Could
Be Much
Brighter Than Tomorrow
And If You Really Try
You'll Find
There's No Need To Cry
In This Place
You'll Feel
There's No Hurt Or Sorrow
There Are Ways to Get There
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Little Space
Make A Better Place...
Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Friday, June 19, 2009

Inside the cockpit of a plane meeting Captain Saudamini

The year was 1995 and I had just appeared for my SSC exams. The results were awaited, vacation had been enjoyed thoroughly and plans were being made upon how to approach the colleges for collection of forms.

My Dad's company Mahindra and Mahindra, had arranged a career counselling session by an educationist from Mumbai University. During the whole discussion, the counsellor had been extrovert, motivating and persuasive. She had made a passing remark while talking to girls saying "Do you want to be like Saudamini Deshmukh, who is one of the few women pilot's in India and keeps travelling?" That's it. That's all I remember. But, somehow the name, SAUDAMINI DESHMUKH had registered in my mind. I would recall the name everytime I would see column's on career counselling in newspapers. I would wonder what would be the purpose of me remembering that name.

It was 15th June 2009, earlier this week. I was scheduled for a flight from Mumbai to Bangalore at 8:30pm. With the usual melee that happens when I am leaving Mumbai, I got late again and got stuck in traffic again and the missed the flight... yeah this was a first - missing the flight.

Scheduled in a flight the next day, I was all belted-up to take-off and the PAS announced the name of the pilot Captain SAUDAMINI DESHMUKH. I decided to take a shot at trying to meet her. Thinking all the while that probably this is the purpose the name had registered my mind and all. I waited until I had to disembark from the flight and approached the Flight Stewardess asking if the Captain is the same SAUDAMINI DESHMUKH who writes articles and was one of the first few women pilot's in India. They replied in the affirmative and asked me to wait for a while until everyone alights from the flight, so that they could arrange a meeting with her.

The flight got empty of passengers and the air hostess conveyed to the Captain saying a passenger wants to meet you. I had thought she might just decline or might be preoccupied to talk much to me. I was waiting for her to come out of the cockpit.

But Voila! I was escorted inside the cockpit, I went in, spoke to Captain Saudamini for a few minutes introducing myself and thanking her for being an inspiration to many. She was very warm in addressing me and her enthusiasm was particularly contagious. Although I was jaded with the long wait at the airport and the flight, I felt freshened up and excited. After the niceties were exchanged and she enquired about me and how I had come to know of her, I thanked her for the meet and left the cockpit. The actual gravity of event hit me after I was out. I had just ENTERED THE COCKPIT OF AN AIR INDIA - AIRBUS A320 FLIGHT!!!

Wow, I felt, although the experience was not an unique one nor the Captain would be known to many people, but I guess these small things about life is all that we need to celebrate. Someone whose name had amusingly registered in my mind for years together and whom I would remember for as unrelated thing as career counselling, gave me a chance to enter the cockpit and talk about the details there.

As they say it was a double whammy for me, meeting Captain Saudamini and entering the cockpit of a plane although being just a passenger. For once I could not stop thanking the traffic for my missed flight earlier.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Without 'Belief' human kind might have been an uncontrollable beast..

Belief is what makes a human a person. The definition of a person would be in the 'belief's' he has.

Belief characterises a person's character, determines his identity and shapes his destiny.

Everything that has been constructed or has been destructed has one common thing, the belief of the doer. The doer believed in what he did.

Different humans will naturally have different beliefs. All seems well, until the different beliefs infringe upon other's belief's and clash with each other. However noble or divine or perfectionist the belief's might be, the clashes make them seem ugly and rotten and useless and absolutely imperfect.

It would be idealistic and Utopian to have a 'Belief' that there would be a world order, wherein humankind will have a common belief and better sense would prevail in humans which might help them to live in 'harmony with each other'.

Belief, until that time will have different forms and we need to wait for 'that' Utopian scenario, when all will be held together under an umbrella of a common belief.

It would not be wrong, to say human kind started with having one common belief and when there were aspertions cast upon it, then migration away from that belief would have happened, which led to more diverse belief's and ultimately concluded in having altogether different and contrasting belief’s.

But that sort of a conclusion is not an end in itself.

Humankind is again moving towards a common belief, since that would be the product, of transforming the world into a global village. As communications increase and indifferences cease, a common belief will take shape and that would be the UTOPIAN society we are looking forward to. But such a thing, will again be a temporary situation, since humankind will again evolve into finding newer pastures, probably out of this earth and forming newer beliefs.

UTOPIA it can be said,
more than being an Utopia,
is a temporary situation,
to give birth,
to another hope,
of another Utopia,
by humankind,
as he continues to evolve,
in his insatiable quest,
towards UTOPIA!