Pages

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Taare Zameen Par - My version (Stars on the ground)

It is known that parents play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the child. Shaping a future doesn’t really mean choosing between courses in engineering, medicine, law, etc and getting them married off to a good family with a large closet. A parent has to encourage and motivate the young one to be proficient in the field they show promise in and in some cases identify the avenue which would suit the potential of the kid.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go that well for me. Here unfolds the grievous story of my life.

In the not too recent past, I would watch some of the episodes of Indian Idol and other singing shows, thanks to the over 3 month long furlough. I would find that almost every contestant thanked their parents or at least some member of the family (usually the mom), and accredit their success to the encouragement they provided. This was usually accompanied by the mother or parents being called on stage for some public display of affection. What usually follows is 30 seconds of drama and tears, stretched over 10 minutes, thanks to the technique of slow motion (inspired from cricket). To top it all, the drama unfolds to a sad Hindi number. The combination works like a dream and everybody from judges to the contestants (except the producer) start crying and bundles of tissues are passed around. I watch the drama unfold with my mouth wide open and no sense of emotion. My mother equally touched and rather taken aback by my indifference says, “You have a heart of stone”.

At this moment comes flashing back to me, the memory of the humiliation I had felt many many years ago. Unfortunately, my life isn’t as rosy as one of these contestants on the show. Every time I watch my mother appreciate the participants on any singing show, a silent rage burgeons within me. To add a concoction of chilli powder, salt and lime juice to my wounds my mother adds, “Our Sri Ram sings so well. He really deserves to win”. Just because he belongs to the same city he is “our” Sri Ram? What about me Ma?

As I lay motionless in my seat, my mind drifts off to a flash back. Then I immediately come out of it. I pick up my tetra pack of juice, put the straw in my mouth, suck in the nectar and then drift off again to my painful past.

Most of my childhood friends and me are members of a club which is located in the same area we stay in. It’s the usual club like any other, with some sports facilities, library, the occasional boring cultural nights, annual dinner, movies and bureaucracy. The most exciting time for us as kids, was the early part of November and it would go on till November 14th, children’s day. There would be loads of competitions which included cultural, sports, literary, etc for children from kindergarten to class 10 and we made it a point to take part in every possible event.

Most of you must have guessed by now that this post has some relevance to singing. You are absolutely right. Singing was one of the events I took part in every year, since I was 4. My mother had always been very encouraging and would go out of her way to help me, no matter what the endeavour. For the singing competition, she would painfully pen down the lyrics by playing and rewinding the tape recursively a million times before she could complete it for me, as we didn’t have the luxury of internet back then (The irony is she works for Google now). There couldn’t be a more understanding and encouraging mother. Or so I thought.

This ritual went on till I was in class 5 or 6 but I never won, which was quite a surprise to me. I was growing older and was becoming quite the connoisseur of music. My whole definition of music changed when I listened to the genius, Devang Patel, for the first time. The guy who made spoofs of some of the top Hindi and English songs, remember? (Mambo No. 5 became bambo No. 5 and Barbie girl became chaloo (cunning) girl). Anyway, I chose his track “Ladoo kha” (eat ladoo) which was to the tune of Coco Jumbo by Mr. President. I am sorry to say this, but I found Mr. Patel’s track way better than Mr. President’s. Yes, I chose a Devang Patel track for the singing competition and was cheered on by a lot of smiling faces and a few rolling on the floor laughing. I got off the stage pleased with myself and went to my mother sitting in the audience, who was covering her face with a magazine, which I thought was because of the glaring halogen lights, but thinking about it today, I have my doubts.

The results were to be announced the next day and I went home happy and excited. Maybe this was the year I was waiting for. However, my mother had other plans. She called me and I rambled towards her half expecting her to extol my performance. There she stood serious. Was something wrong, I wondered? She tells to me, “Gogo, I know you have been singing every year for the children’s day and that you really enjoy it. But now you are getting older. I think you should stop”. The earth below my feet shook and I couldn’t believe what I heard. I asked her in despair, “Why Ma”? To which she replied, “I’m sorry son, but you just can’t sing”. I was rendered speechless and couldn’t even reason it out with her. However, the jolt I got that day left such an impact that I never got onto a stage again to sing.

So do I really sing well?

As my friend Rahul Gayam, aka psycho puts it rather philosophically in his style, “The smell of our own fart never bothers us and it’s always the others who have a problem with it”. Disgusting but true. I think I am as good as any of the blokes on television though it’s a different story that my singing has never been appreciated and I attribute this to jealousy. To support my singing abilities, I know for a fact that videos of me singing out loud, while listening to my ipod, have been made and circulated. What I fail to understand is why these videos have “funny stuff” and other similar titles. I promise to get down to the bottom of that and solve the mystery.
Nobody around me has ever been encouraging or supportive when it comes to my singing. But if you study the lives of the many masters of music, they too had to go through a similar ordeal. Like them, I will not let people or circumstances bog me down. I still believe in my talent and I shall show to the world one day, what I am all about.

Adios.

Author’s note:
In defence of my mother, she goes out of her way to support me in every other endeavour of mine, more than any normal mother would and for which I will forever be grateful to her. 

43 comments:

ABI said...

thank god your mom stopped u dat day,, so many years back.. !!! i cant imagine u singing " am on the outside.. ahhhhhhh" in d middle of a crowd.. :P.. but the blog is awesome ns funny gogo.., nd ts so u!!! :D

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Abi: Ohh yeahh you have been witness to it too...thank you so much :D

Omar said...

Really liked it. Writing can be such a powerful tool to express yourself and you used it very efficiently. My eyes were glued till the last sentence.

On second thoughts with you and Singing??? Macha---Why??? Heard you a lot through the restroom door. You are Great!!!! lol

jayashree swaminathan said...

ashish....i cud just relate myself so much to this post...
"Every time I watch my mother appreciate the participants on any singing show, a silent rage burgeons within me. To add a concoction of chilli powder, salt and lime juice to my wounds my mother adds, “Our Sri Ram sings so well. He really deserves to win”. Just because he belongs to the same city he is “our” Sri Ram? What about me Ma? "

and even today i face this while watching airtel super singer... thank fully i hav proved at times that given a chance, i can also perform well :P:P nice post...

loved reading it :)

and heyy...never knew u sang every year on children's day...lol! must hear u sing once :P:P

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Omar: I am in absolute accord with your views on writing. I am glad you finally got the time to go through my blog and even more so because you liked it. Thank you :)

I know I am a great singer....I finally get a compliment...YaY!! :P

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Jaya: I'm really surprised that you are saying this....you are probably one of the best singers I know personally.

Thank you so much btw :)

And yeah not many ppl know abt it...that's why its a part of my dark past :D

priyata said...

good one.. :) :) one sad thing is that..when we are young they'll (parents)encourage us to do this and that.. and once we are grown up they'll be the first ones to stop us... :( :( sometimes i feel they are the ones who make us and break us..
but one good thing is that my mom has always been with me in whatever i do.. :) :)

Anonymous said...

U shud totally sing at my weddin Gogo!!!

Nicely written.

varshaa said...

The above comment belongs to me.

Shalini Gowrisankar said...

Ash, You sang that rock on song really well. May be you should post your singing videos in your blog :)

mink said...

Salaaaaams to you baap! nice post :) and thank god you added that note in the end, else you'd have had to starve at home for the next week :P

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Priyata --- yeah but eventually we must understand that they have the child's best interest in mind...and in my case my reputation :P

And thank you :)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Varshaa --- yeah yeah sure :P I will if your not happy with the groom and want him to run away ;)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Mayank --- thanks and salaam to you to :)

Ha ha ha yeah I was very wary of that fact.

Kaustav said...

Gogi paaji...extremely sorry fr not commenting on ur blogs.... sexxy stuff ths ws..No one would have related to it better than me :) been there buddy.. My condition was , in fact is, that my parents would listen to every tom dick harry on the idiot box but not me ...fr some seriously strange reasons...
Waise.. gogi don forget u have quite a fan following in the ' old monk' community as far as singing is concerned...remember "outside"..neways... awesome stuff...im inspired to the core...for writing..!! thnks fr that

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Shalini : Okay this is a side effect I just didn't foresee :P You are one of few who has ever liked my singing. Maybe that particular song suited my voice. And abt making a video, I have just started getting some traffic on my blog, I don't want to drive em all away :D

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Kaustubh: no problem at all man...and thank you, I'm glad you liked it
But I must concede that I'm pretty surprised that good singers like you and Jaya seem to be facing a similar problem. I'm actually glad mom stopped me :D
Yeah yeah trip on me...I'm never singing "outside" again :P

spandana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
spandana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
spandana said...

oh my god.......i have also been a part of those childrens day competition and u never told me this ya.............arey mere liye toh tu sab mein best hai re.....well if u couldnt sing and didnt have good voice...then how cud u ever win all the english recitation competitions....i remember we both had taken part in this hindi recitation and u came 1st and i second but u wont bliv this i wasnt jealous i was like super proud of u coz u were always a one step ahead of me:):) love u gogo u rock bey

Sameer said...

Well well gogo ,even i didn't know this part of your life jus like spanya ....'TAARE...'nahi its like 'BECHAARE ZAMEEN PAR' !! i never thought you took singing so seriously man. Don't worry you are an IDOL here for us,in your blog and that proves your worth .....Oh i still remember those DEVANG PATEL songs damn gud !!...childhood memories that brushed past my head .

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Spanya : wow that's really really sweet of you Span...I'm flying in the sky...You don't have to console Span, I am really glad that my mom asked me to stop :D I really suck at it :P

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Sam : Not at all man...I really suck at it :P I'm really glad my mom asked me stop :D

And thank you so much....I'm flattered :D

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Sam : Not at all man...I really suck at it :P I'm really glad my mom asked me stop :D

And thank you so much....I'm flattered :D

Meghana said...

I am now a religious follower of yur blogs..Too good ones..And this One was by Far the Best..:D
P.S:thank god yu dont sing now...but would like to hear yu sing once atleast..:P

gayatri said...

well i started reading...reading..reading...n then i fell asleep thinkin wens this guy gonna make a point...finally bingo...i then realised wat this whole blog is abt..ok so its all abt d authors hidden talents????yawn yawn...i moved on...:P

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Meghana: I'm really glad you liked it :D And if you really hate your life, I will sing for you :P

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Gayatri: Ha ha ha couldn't expect anything more from you. Yes, the entire blog is about my talent, but writing rather than singing. And had you stayed up throughout, you would have realized that I was being tongue in cheek and not really showing of my "talent" :P

Shanky said...

Been following your blogs lately. Some really awesome stuff! Way to go bro!! Keep 'em coming ;)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Shanky -- thanks a lot bro....coming from you, I know I'm on the right track :D

Mohit said...

gud one! liked it. we cud probably recreate the outside "magic" once back in chennai! i'll put in some bass effect! i remember u once praised me for singing, i ws so flattered that i cudnt stop smiling :)

uma said...

I just loved reading it. i can empathise with ur mom though.very well written with good sense of humour. looking forward to more of this...

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Mohit : ha ha yeah yeah sure. Btw I was referring to you when I talked abt ppl recording my video...remember "Jesus wasn't there" ??? :P

Ha ha I remember...I still think you sing well :)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Uma: Thank you so much :D Oh trust me, there is a lot more in store. Do come back :)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Uma: Thank you so much :D Oh trust me, there is a lot more in store. Do come back :)

Mohit said...

gud one! liked it. we cud probably recreate the outside "magic" once back in chennai! i'll put in some bass effect! i remember u once praised me for singing, i ws so flattered that i cudnt stop smiling :)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Gayatri: Ha ha ha couldn't expect anything more from you. Yes, the entire blog is about my talent, but writing rather than singing. And had you stayed up throughout, you would have realized that I was being tongue in cheek and not really showing of my "talent" :P

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Meghana: I'm really glad you liked it :D And if you really hate your life, I will sing for you :P

Shalini Gowrisankar said...

Ash, You sang that rock on song really well. May be you should post your singing videos in your blog :)

Anonymous said...

U shud totally sing at my weddin Gogo!!!

Nicely written.

priyata said...

good one.. :) :) one sad thing is that..when we are young they'll (parents)encourage us to do this and that.. and once we are grown up they'll be the first ones to stop us... :( :( sometimes i feel they are the ones who make us and break us..
but one good thing is that my mom has always been with me in whatever i do.. :) :)

jayashree swaminathan said...

ashish....i cud just relate myself so much to this post...
"Every time I watch my mother appreciate the participants on any singing show, a silent rage burgeons within me. To add a concoction of chilli powder, salt and lime juice to my wounds my mother adds, “Our Sri Ram sings so well. He really deserves to win”. Just because he belongs to the same city he is “our” Sri Ram? What about me Ma? "

and even today i face this while watching airtel super singer... thank fully i hav proved at times that given a chance, i can also perform well :P:P nice post...

loved reading it :)

and heyy...never knew u sang every year on children's day...lol! must hear u sing once :P:P

Omar said...

Really liked it. Writing can be such a powerful tool to express yourself and you used it very efficiently. My eyes were glued till the last sentence.

On second thoughts with you and Singing??? Macha---Why??? Heard you a lot through the restroom door. You are Great!!!! lol