I Want To Write A Story

I want to write a story
I want it to be moving and inspirational
I want it to change the way you look at the world
I want it to break you down and build you up again

I want to write a song
I want it to make you cry
I want it to make you happy
I want you to sing along and download it and send it to friends

I want to write a poem
I want it to have transcendental beauty
I want it to transport you
I want its words to seep into your soul and shake you to the core

I want to do all of these things

I want my muse

I want you

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My Top 10 Song Parodies

Everyone loves a good parody. Whether they’re just fooling around, having a laugh at the expense of the original artist or making an entire career out of it, the work of parodists is often appreciated, though many of them will never really claim the same fame as the songs they parody. Here’s a list of some of my favorite parody songs. I’ve tried to give links to official channels where I can (don’t want to infringe any making available rights here!). Where there’s no link I’m afraid you’ll have to search for yourself.

10. Bohemian Rhapsody (The Muppets) – Coming in at number 10 is the interesting spoof of Queen’s masterpiece by the ever-lovable Muppets. Its fun to watch and definitely makes some interesting creative choices.

9. White and Nerdy (Weird Al Yankovic) – The king of parodies. This man has made a massive career out of making fun of other people’s hits, to the point where it’s practically considered a badge of honor to have him parody one of your songs. It’s no wonder he’s makes the list with three different entries.

8. The Star Wars that I Used to Know (Teddie Films) – The Key of Awesome does some awesome work. Along with their brilliant parodies they also some cool original songs. This one is particularly hard to watch with a straight face. Han shot first!

7. Amish Paradise (Weird Al Yankovic) – Seriously this man has some serious talent. I don’t know how he pulls this stuff off.

6. Galactic Empire State of Mind (College Humor) – It seems Alicia Keys and Jay-Z’s release spurred quite a few parodies. This is one of two that have made my list. And its the second of three Star Wars parodies. Yes I may have some bias towards them.

5. Somebody that I Used to know (Key of Awesome) – One of Key of Awesome’s best ones for sure, I laugh out loud every time I watch it.

4. The Saga Begins (Weird Al Yankovic) – Though not the most hilarious of Al’s works, this definitely has one of the best videos. And yes, more Star Wars!

3. Look at This Instagram – (College Humor) – Though the most recently watched of any of the songs on this list, this is one of my favorites. It’s probably more popular than the Nickelback song it’s based on.

2. Newport State of Mind (M-J Delaney) – The second of the Empire State of Mind parodies. It is majorly hilarious. It went viral in 2010 but was taken off YouTube after EMI put forward a copyright claim. There are still some versions up on the site I think, but I wasn’t able to source a licensed version so no link I’m afraid: (

1. I Gotta Feeling (College Humor) – Coming in at number 1 is College Humor’s parody of the Black Eyed Peas smash hit “I Gotta Feeling”. Its well shot and pretty funny. Reminds me of some of the parties I’ve thrown/attended in the past ; p

10 Ways to Enjoy London – No Money Down!

No one can argue with the fact that London is an expensive city – between rent, provisions, getting around and a couple of pints a week, it hard to find room in the budget for some fun. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a bit easier if you’re a student. With an NUS Card, or even just your college ID, you have access to discounts at the Cinema, your local Grocery Store, Tourist attractions and many other places. But that will only get you so far won’t it? But have no fear, my dear, there are ways to circumvent a lack of cask flow. If you do your research and plan right, you can have a fun or culture filled day, without spending a penny. Here’s 10 ways to help you start:

1. Visit a Museum/Gallery: London has several wonderful museums. From the expansive Museum of Natural History (that’s one of my favorites – I spent the entire day there once – They even have an animatronic T-Rex!) to the National Gallery or the Tate Modern. You can get your fill of History, Technology or Art, just for the cost of bus/tube fare. Here’s Time Out magazine’s list of museums you can visit for free – Museums in London. But remember to check ahead, there may be admission for particular exhibits/attractions.

2. Check out a TV Show taping: I went for a taping once for a BBC Show. It was quite a great experience. It’s amazing to see just how they film an ensemble comedy (and how many times you have to laugh at the same joke ; p). But you might be more inclined to check out a News Show or maybe a Quiz? Who knows, if they have audience participation you may even get your 15 minutes of fame. Apply now and go watch TV being made at the BBC – BBC Tapings

3. Take A Walking Tour: There are several exciting walking tours you can take in London. You can get entails on any hostel site or on Time Out. Most of them cost a few quid though. However, Sandemans New Europe does FREE tours of London every day. That’s right, it’s absolutely free. You’re welcome to tip your guide at the end, but that’s on you. You can book the tour for any number of people, so whether you’re on your own, with a few friends, or taking the entire extended family (that’s a lot of people if you’re Indian like me ; p), it’s all good! Book Now

4. Check out the Street Markets: There are some fantastic street markets to check out in the city. While they all tend to have the standard tourist goods, like Bobby Hats, Sunglasses or Fedoras, they also have their own uniqueness. For example, the Portobello Road Market is rather known for having quant antique shops and even stalls where people sell some really cool old stuff. Camden Town is another well-known market, the down side of course is that it’s a perfect tourist trap. Still, it has some nice cafes and stalls that are worth checking out, even if you don;t buy any of that rubbish. If you’re a foodie you should definitely check out Borough Market. It has a reputation as one of the best food markets in the city and you can find choice local and international produce.

5. Catch a free Concert: There are many venues throughout the city where you can sit and enjoy an evening of music with your mates. If you’re into rock I would suggest one of the many pubs in Camden Town, where there are regularly local bands playing in the evenings and entry is usually free before 10-11 PM. If you’d like to enjoy something a bit more classical head over to The National Theatre where they regularly have free events open to the general public, first come first served of course. Another option is for you to check out the Royal College of Music. All of their events, unless stated otherwise, are free.

6. A Free Comedy Gig: There are dozens of comedy clubs in the capital (Alliteration. Love it!) that host free nights. They feature regular local comics as well as new comers and fresh faces. So check out Angel Comedy in Camden Walk, which features the best of the open mic circuit as well as a professional headliner. Or check out the various free shows offered by The Comedy Bin.

7. Visit A Park: If you find yourself experiencing a beautiful sunny day (they’re rare, but they do happen), you might want to get out and take in the green. So why not visit one of the exquisite, and for the most part, massive parks in and around London. They are beautifully maintained, with mini-attractions like play areas, statues and carved shrubs and some even have some wildlife. You may have to rent a car or take a bus to some of them, but a day out of the city might be just what the doctor ordered, because trust me, if there’s sun, Londoners will flock to the Parks to get some much-needed Vitamin D. Here’s Time Out’s helpful list of London’s Major Parks.

8. Star Gaze: Head on over to the Astronomy Centre, located in the Royal Observatory to see the history of the universe in 4 minutes or touch 4.5 billion year old meteorite (yes you can actually touch it!). The Astronomy Centre and galleries are open daily from 10 to 5 and admission is free.

9. Watch A Movie: There are quiet a few organizations that organize free film screenings on a regular basis/hand out free tickets to screenings in the city. You just have to do your homework and be quick, and a little bit lucky. The Radio Station LBC 97.3 FM hands out tickets for monthly screenings by its LBC Film Club. In the past they’ve done popular titles such as The Hangover, Frost/Nixon and RocknRolla. So check back regularly. Or sign up to Free Movies UK to get the chance to attend preview screenings of new movies at your local cinema.

10. Explore: Last but not least, just get off your butt and walk around. There are so many beautiful and breathtaking sights to see in London. Some might have an admission cost to see the inside, but they are beautiful to look at even if you don’t go in. Go see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace; see St. Paul’s Cathedral; walk along the river Thames; go visit Shakespeare’s Globe. There’s literally no end to the things you can see.

Well I hope this small, but nowhere close to exhaustive, list of things helps some of you branch out and load up on some fun, without putting any additional drain on your purse strings. I hope you’ll buy me a pint one day with the additional beer money ; )

I’m ‘Fast’ Losing My Patience

I have bitten my tongue again and again as one man pretty much turns the Indian political scene into a joke (and that’s saying a lot considering how messed up things are in that particular area already). Arvind Kejriwal, the “activist turned politician” (as the media loves to dub him – I beg to differ, in part) has announced that he is going to fast in order to drum up support for his latest “cause”. He is asking people not to pay their water and power bills, saying they are illegal and unnecessary hiked up.

Mr. Kejriwal has promised that his supporters should not fear any legal action in not paying their bills, because all such actions will be withdrawn once his party comes to power in the city. Wow. I really have to say, that I would actually be impressed by this man’s confidence, if I didn’t think he was rather full of hot air. What burns me up even more than the fact that he is basically telling people to break the law, is that he is using the words of Mahatma Gandhi to justify it. He states that Mahatma Gandhi said that people should not obey a Government/law that is against them and be prepared to face the consequences. Right, well, Mr. Kejriwal I would but point out two things. First, Gandhi spoke of rising up against a tyrannical alien government where people had no voice over the law that imposed upon them. I don’t think he had in mind protesting against any, and in your case, every, government action that upsets the public. Secondly, it’s hardly asking people to be steadfast and face the consequences if you’re offering them what amounts to a get out of jail free card, as long as they support you. While some people will hear a proposition like that and dismiss it as ludicrous, many will presume that this is a promise that will be fulfilled. Let us be realistic here, do you actually think that dozens (if not scores or hundreds) of actions will magically disappear the day Mr. Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi party takes power (IF they take power)?

Does anyone remember when all this started by the way? When the name Anna Hazaare was on the tip of every tongue in Delhi? Does anyone remember the promise “our movement will NEVER enter politics”? Does anyone know where Mr. Hazaare is today?

I have no doubt that Mr. Kejriwal has many ardent supporters who will defend his actions and take offense to my words here. They have that right. It’s a free country right? And to many extents I am absolutely pro the message Mr. Kejriwal says he stands for, as I was in support of the message of the movement that launched his new career. But I fear my support for them stops there. Using fasts and dharnas to try to hold the government hostage; taking advantage of disillusioned people who feel like no one is looking out for them and making promises like his latest one to dismiss all actions against people who don’t pay their bills; I’m sorry, but it’s just not kosher in my mind. I’m not saying that the Congress or BJP or any other party doesn’t do the same thing. Its politics right? People make promises. Some they live up to, some they don’t. But painting yourself as above all that, while at the same time making even grander promises, that’s just hypocritical. Mr. Kejriwal, you have already entered the political arena, something you said you would never do. If you insist on flinging mud, kindly get off your high horse.

I will also openly admit that I have some personal animosity towards Mr. Kejriwal. But I have done my best not to let that influence anything I have said here. If anyone feels bias has clouded my judgment, I am open to listening to your opinions, as long as they are expressed in a calm manner and make no personal attacks. Please keep in mind, everything I have said here is a judgement of Mr. Kejriwal’s politics, and not his humanity. I’ll leave that to someone more familiarly acquianted with Mr. Kejriwal, something I do not wish to be.

There’s No Candlelight Vigils For Dead 50 Year Old Fat Guys

WARNING: This post includes mature language and some obscene references. If you are not of suitable age or likely to be offended by graphic imagery please do not read on.

I’ve been watching Louis CK’s shows for years now. I even watched every single episode of his TV Series “Louie”. Frankly, I love the guy. So when I heard this amazing stand up comedian from New York was playing London I absolutely flipped! And I was so psyched when I managed to get some tickets to his show at the Hammersmith Apollo – I’ve written about this venue before – it really is one of my favorite venues in the city.

You know how when you build something up in your head it can disappoint you when it actually happens in real life? Well this was NOT one of those cases. I was literally in tears within minutes of him starting his set. I mean there’s something about his delivery and his material that you don’t really need to be eased into it. No warm up act – just him walking onto stage and starting with the hilarity. For the first 20 minutes or so I couldn’t really believe I was actually there watching him live. It felt surreal. I guess to some extent my brain still thinks like I’m in India. Just a year ago I couldn’t have even imagined I would be watching one of my favorite comics live!

I’d like to tell you that you should all go as a family and watch him, but that might leave me liable for seriously traumatizing your children. Louis CK comes off as a really nice guy, but his jokes are really rather crude and make you cringe (while at the same time laughing your ass off). There literally seems to be NOTHING that is off-limits – Parents murdering their children, celebrating in a Cancer ward, Slavery… At one point he actually mimed a handjob – to completion! My friend, who accompanied me to the show, compared him to Jimmy Carr. I would make the distinction that while Jimmy Carr comes off as horrible person, Louis CK is more like a nice guy who says some genuinely horrible things.

But to be fair, he rips on himself as much as he goes after anyone else. You have to love how confidently he walks onto stage and calls himself a fat useless fuck – thus the title of the post. I loved one bit where he said if you’re an unattractive young guy, don’t worry, it gets better. You just have to wait for her circumstances to match your ugliness. As long as you’re relatively well employed and bath once in a while, apparently you’ll be fine – (in his words) Pussy+Time/Income Squared

I have to admit, once in a while I have some pretty fucked up thoughts in my head too (Too bad I chose to be a lawyer instead of a stand up comic). But, in the words of the wise and masterfully funny Louis CK, “It’s okay to have bad thoughts. As long as the good thoughts win.”

Untitled Work (A Sequel)

There are words trapped inside me
They beat fiercely against the inside of my chest
Demanding to be freed
To be let out

But I daren’t let them go
Lest they be seen by eyes
That still hold the power to pierce through my heart
Though they have not looked upon my face in an eon

Lest they bring about the wrath
Of a heart rebuilt
After being torn asunder
Or worse yet, its pity

But their’s is not to listen to reason
Theirs’s is to riot and shake
To throw themselves against the walls of my psyche
To break me, bit by bit

Walls that have been built to keep them quiet
To hide them
Away from the light of day
Behind the facade of a smile

Walls of brick and mortar
Held together by waning will
Walls that serve to ebb the tides
But cannot halt them

One day the levies will break
One day the walls will come crashing down
One day the prisoners will be freed from their icy prison
One day they will tear through

Now there is but the question of when…

St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin – Part II: My Rules for St. Paddy’s

Alright now a lot of people go to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day. And why not! If you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford it, you should definitely pencil it into your bucket list. The city is beautiful, and because its nice and compact you don’t need too many days to experience it fully, which leaves you time to travel around to some of the smaller towns in Ireland – also an experience I recommend. But you want to make sure you use your time well, so here are some my tips, based on my weekend there, to help you hit the ground running. I’m going to stay away from generic advice like “book a place early” and stick to stuff that’s gonna help once you actually get into the city.

Some Quick Tips

  1. Get A Map: When you land in Dublin Airport go to the Tourist Office, right next to the front exit, and get yourself a map. Their maps are really helpful – with all of the main areas and sights marked out clearly. Having it on me made getting around a breeze!
  2. Get Your Green On: Buy yourself a souvenir hat or badge or beard. Get into the spirit of the festival and get some green on you. And don’t worry about feeling a fool because, trust me, everyone joins in on the fun : )
  3. Enjoy The Live Music: A lot of the bars in the Temple Bar area do live music. Go check it out. They feature local talent doing covers, traditional Irish music, as well as original stuff. It will really complete the experience.
  4. Don’t Bother With Taxis: Unless you didn’t manage to get a place to stay within the city, you don’t really need a taxi. Everything is pretty much walking distance and the walking also helps burn off some of the calories that comes with enjoying Bulmers or Guinness. Plus the extra Euros means some extra pints : D
  5. Forget The Clubs: Some people might want to check out the clubbing nightlife. Well most of the clubs seem to be located near the Grand Canal, South of City Center. In my personal opinion though, it’s not worth it. They all pretty much play the standard chart hits and have long lines outside – why wait in the cold like idiots when you can be warm with a pint inside you at a pub with everyone?
  6. Talk To The Locals: Sometimes one is wary of trying to befriend locals while on vacation. Don’t worry about that. The people in Dublin are so friendly. And who knows, they may even let you in some local hot-spots or secrets in exchange for some camaraderie and friendly conversation. Plus, how awesome are their accents!
  7. Try The Local Fare: There’s no point in going all the way to Ireland and not trying the local food and drink. Try some local whiskey, Paddy’s for example – which is rarely sold outside of Ireland (the only place that I know of personally is Milroy’s in Soho) or the Dublin Coddle – which is an amazing stew dish with onions, ham, sausages, carrots and potatoes.
  8. Be Safe:  Last but not least, while everyone is there to have a good time, just remember that not everyone can hold their liquor and people tend to try to take advantage of tourists. If someone comes up to you and acts friendly on the street, don’t be rude, but at the same time, watch your wallet. Also, I saw so many hapless tourists, at the end of what was obviously a long bender, out on the cold street – don’t be stupid, enjoy your pint responsibly and stick with your buddies. Nothing ruins a great weekend like getting into a fight or losing your phone or wallet.

What To See

  1. St. Patrick’s Cathedral: If you travel to Dublin for St. Paddy’s you should definitely drop by this beautiful Cathedral. Now I’ll admit, being slightly pre-occupied with getting some Bulmers, I didn’t actually go in. But the grounds themselves were worth the walk over. Beautiful green lawns, a swing set (let your inner child flourish) and majestic view of the Cathedral itself in the backdrop.
  2. St. Stephen’s Green: This lovely park near Trinity College seems quite massive compared to the small scale of the city itself. Once inside there are many little sections and nooks where you can sit and enjoy the weather (should you be lucky enough to get sunny skies and a warm day like I was) – multiple Gazebos, a stone area (I think it was an Open Air Theatre), a jungle gym for the kiddies and plenty of benches to pop a squat.
  3. Trinity College: Right in the center of Dublin, the massive compound is full of wonderful examples of old architecture and it’s absolutely free to roam around and have a look. Come back in the evening for a cool lighting display that uses the front facade as a backdrop
  4. Temple Bar (The Area): This is the area that is full of pubs and bars. Its full of people in the evening so if you want to stake out a place in one articular pub come early. Worth visiting both during the day and night.
  5. Temple Bar (The Bar): This is one of the most massive pubs/bars that I have ever been to. It was supremely packed on Friday, even though we entered at like 10. Saturday it was impossible to get in as early as 9. But if you can manage, it’s definitely worth it. There was live music and it was so full of lively people having a real blast.
  6. Grafton Street: Though the stores themselves are no treat, this street is full of buskers, providing lots of entertainment – from sand sculptors to live bands and even a booth where you can take a picture of yourself as a Leprechaun. There are also plenty of booths to buy knickknacks, souvenirs and flowers.
  7. The Guinness Storehouse: One of the staple attractions of the city. Again I didn’t visit myself, but that’s because I don’t like Guinness, but based on the number of people I saw with souvenir bags, you should probably drop in.
  8. The Jameson’s Brewery: If its anything like their other brewery in Cork, which I visited in 2011, you should definitely drop in. They have a special Distillery Reserve that is only sold in Dublin and Cork. You can even have your name printed into the label of the bottle. I still have mine, even though the whiskey was finished off long ago ; p
  9. The Hairy Lemon: Located on Stephen Street Lower, I found this bar/restaurant to quite cosy and the people working there friendly and humorous. It’s a nice little place to get some authentic Irish food. They have more staple fare as well if you’re not gastronomically adventurous.

There are of course so many more places to see. I recommend that you look around for yourself and explore as much as possible. Its easy and doesn’t take that long. And its cheap because you can walk pretty much everywhere.

St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin – Part I: A Craic Filled Weekend

This weekend about a dozen friends and I hopped down to beautiful Dublin to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. By all counts, it was just what the doctor ordered. I don’t know what it was – the excitement of traveling to a new city, celebrating St. Paddy’s for the first time ever, hanging out with so many of my friends all weekend or the prospect of drinking nearly continuously for 2 days straight – but it honestly was one of the greatest weekends in a long time.

We arrived in town around 10 in the morning on Friday, which was great, because it meant the whole day to look around and explore the city while the second batch of friends arrived later in the evening. As we disembarked from the bus at O’ Connell Street I was literally bubbling with excitement. Seriously, I was like a small child in a candy store! Once we finally managed to hunt down one of our friends, who had come over the day before, we began our adventure – us in all our fresh faced exuberance, him in his pajamas!

One of the first things I noticed about Dublin is that its such a small city. One could easily make ones way from one end to the another in under an hour, as long as you walked with purpose. This was absolutely great because it meant we saw so much of it that first day. We started by looking around the campus of Trinity College, located pretty much right in the middle of Dublin. It was a beautiful area with majestic buildings seemingly rich in history and architectural heritage. From there we made our way to the St. Stephen’s Green, a beautiful large park, situated in the somewhat southern half, which was full of beautiful flowers and amazing green spaces. We were exceptionally lucky too – apart from a few minutes of sparse drizzle, we were treated to heavenly weather. It was sunny and warm and after a few hours of walking around and basking in those rays I just wanted to lie down on the grass or under a tree and take a nap. It rather reminded me of being back home in Delhi, during those rare weeks in the year where the weather is transitioning between super cold and super hot and it is, to quote Goldilocks, “juuuust right!“.

Having worked up an appetite and a thirst from our strolling about town, it came time to find a proper Irish pub and get a nice hot meal. We ended up in a place called “The Hairy Lemon” (love the name, love their trade mark more!) where we settled in to our small table by the window and prepared ourselves for our first St. Paddy’s pint (drum roll please!). I found out something interesting through our server – apparently the phenomenon of “Green Beer” is not an Irish tradition, but rather an Irish-American tradition. To quote our server, “If you get a Green beer in Ireland, you’re in the wrong place!” I fear I lost even more points in his eyes when I ordered Cider instead of Guinness (I’m sorry, I just don’t like the flavor, in fact, I think it’s quite shite), but I redeemed myself when I ordered the “Dublin Coddle” (in his words “Well Done. You’re back“). I recommend you try this if ever you’re down in Ireland – it’s an amazing stew with carrots, onions, sausages, ham and potatoes – simply scrumptious. I’d like to share so more about the sights, sounds and tastes of Dublin, but I’ll save that for the second part of this post – “My Rules for St. Paddy’s”.

Once the sun went down and we found ourselves in the embrace of the evening breeze, there was but one thing to do – track down pint after pint of Guinness (or in my case, Bulmers). There are so many amazing places to go have a drink in Dublin, but the really popular area is Temple Bar. Now do note that while the area itself is called “Temple Bar”, there is also an actual Temple Bar, so be sure to know where exactly you’re telling your friends to meet you ; p We spent both our evenings basically just bouncing from pub to pub downing our drinks and having a riotously  good time. Most of the places in Temple Bar feature live music, which really gives the evening a special touch. Though I did notice a high volume of U2 covers ; ) And the music isn’t restricted to the establishments. There were buskers on the streets of Temple Bar playing music, performing or offering face-painting services for passing tourists. At one point my friend and I actually borrowed the set-up one of one of the buskers (who looked a lot like a young Joey Ramone) and performed one of the songs we wrote for the crowd. We even made him a couple of Euros from people who’s topped and listened. One of our friends had his iPhone out, so I will try to track down that video for you – after all, as I said to our congregated audience, “This is probably the only time you’re gonna hear this song live in the streets of Dublin“. More certainly so because in my rather fatigued and inebriated state I’m fairly certain I changed the words of the song ; p

Sigh I really could go on forever about this trip. By the end I was completely spent, but in a very good way. Today I get my exam date sheet, so the pressure will really be on to work and prepare. This weekend really helped clear some cobwebs and replenish some much-needed psycho-spiritual energy. I don’t know what you were up to this St. Paddy’s weekend dear readers, but I hope you had a wonderful weekend too. Happy St. Patrick’s.

P.S. Please don’t get the impression that I sent the entire weekend doped up – Craic, though pronounced “Crack” does not mean what it sounds like – it is the sort of all-encompassing Irish word to describe fun and mirth and enjoyment and laughter. So yes, indeed it was rather Craic filled : )

Well It’s Okay For Me To Say It!

I found myself in a tube compartment today with a group of men who seemed to be having quite a riotous laugh. What did they find so funny? Well one of them was putting on a particularly heavy “Indian accent” for their amusement. I purposely put the words Indian accent in quotations mind you because, even though I have lived in India all my life (with the exception of the time spent since I moved to London in September 2012) and have met people from pretty much all over the country – Assam, Bihar, U.P, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Goa, Delhi, Kashmir, Karnataka – I have never heard this accent. You know the one I mean – the “comical” one that your English friends put on while bopping their heads – the Peter Sellers “Bombay” accent from The Party – or for those of you unacquainted with classic comedy, Russell Peters’ rip on Indians. Anyway, when I heard it I instinctively angled my head to get a look at the speaker, to see if he was Indian – as if, in my brain, if he was, then it was ok.

This raised an interesting question in my mind. Do people inherit a right to make certain jokes or use certain words or phrases by sheer virtue of their family tree? Take Russell Peters for example, he’s not Indian. He’s Canadian. But he looks Indian, so he’s made a great career off making fun of Indians – calling us cheap, hairy and obsessed with dancing in fields. But it’s for a laugh. He’s not racist (to be fair he doles out plenty of punishment on the Chinese, Jamaicans and Americans). Many, if not most, Black rappers and comedians use a certain N word freely and loosely, but damned if a Caucasian person ever use that word! In fact it ended the entire career of Michael Richards (TV’s beloved Kramer). I’ve even had friends who are NRIs or descendants of Indians put on the accent and say they can because “they’re Indian” – and I’m like, “No you’re not! You’re English! You just look Indian!” So does that mean, I can do the accent if I feel like it? Does the fact that I actually grew up in India and identify myself as an Indian make it okay for me to make fun of Indians?

Now I’ll admit that I actually enjoy putting on/experimenting with accents. I might even take the piss with an English or American or Irish friend by attempting (and rarely, succeeding) to talk to them in their own accent. But of course I’ll do this for a laugh with good friends. And if they mimicked my accent (which they don’t – they of course do the stereotypical Peter Sellers) I’m okay with that. We’re all just having a bit of fun.

But that’s not how I felt about the encounter that sparked this little meandering thought. For two reasons. First, the person putting on the accent wasn’t actually Indian. He was quite obviously English, possibly of Arab descent. Now this isn’t particularly something that I would be so peeved about, but the second reason was. He was speaking in broken, grammatically incorrect English, saying things like “You want drink? What you want? Coke (pronouncing it Cock). Water (pronounced Vaa-ter)”. Now this I didn’t appreciate. He was obviously making fun of someone who worked at a food outlet and was taking shots at his unfamiliarity with the language. Maybe that person wasn’t born here. Maybe he’s trying his hardest to acclimate and learn. It’s one thing to have fun and just use the accent, but he was making fun of a real person, to the hilarity of his four White friends. Why does it matter that they’re White? I don’t know. But I’m agitated and it just sort of does. I apologize if this offends you.

I’ve already admitted that I indulge in stereotypes myself sometimes. Ask my friends and they will tell you that I’m rather blunt and open and not a particular fan or abider of Political Correctness. “Plainspoken” I believe is the polite way of putting it. But I’m always mindful that my humor is not at the expense of someone else. Well, unless that someone else is a friend who has made the mistake of becoming close to me, then its fair game ; p

So does this make me a hypocrite? Quite possibly. Will this experience make me change my ways? Quite unlikely. I say, have a sense of humor about yourself. I try my best to. But don’t let a joke hide something more sinister. Humor is supposed to be a vehicle of fun and love and good feeling and sunshine and rainbows. Don’t be a tool and be nasty.

I will leave you now with a joke, to try to take the sting out of this whole post and bid farewell with some mirth:

Did you hear about the lawyer whose client was arrested for prostitution?

He got her off and she repaid the favor!

Ba-dum-tiss!

 

Corrupted

It is a plague upon each heart and mind
A cancer upon each soul it finds
From noble home and hearth they came
Soon to rise by raising blame

It tore them up and built them anew
All the while their hearts it drew
Into seductive darkness so mystifying
Until they stood no longer knowing that they were dying

They came once upon a time
Full of vigor, in their prime
But each step in the sand proved too harsh
‘Til strength no longer was left to march

Their kingdom come did fall from high places
As the wolfish smile did don their faces
They crossed the desert so long and weary
But the price they paid was o so dreary

Their words of wine did turn to vinegar
Conferring upon themselves, the title of harbinger
Of truth! Of justice! Of freedom sought
For all the ideals for which they once fought

But they are mere words now that fall so hollow
Making each next lie a little easier to swallow
They are justified they say, they do what it takes
That deep below real diamonds hide, below exteriors faked

It’s how the world works, get used to it sonny!
The truth is it does take some lies and money
You can sit aside and judge, if you think you should
But the truth is it takes evil to bring out good

It may be true that I simplify
It may be true that I have an idealistic eye
I may be naive, I may be a child
Refusing to see just how real the world is, how wild

I need to know that the world can be better
That integrity is worth more than the postage on a letter
I once thought I had mentors of highest daunting
Whom I looked upon for guidance when I found the world wanting

But I have seen now how wild the world is, how real
I have seen that sometimes it takes more than just zeal
I have seen that sometimes you must trip your opponents in the mud to win the race
I have seen angels, fall from grace