Friday, June 26, 2009

Micheal Jackson: Thanks for the memories

Where have the years gone? It only seemed yesterday when ...

... I was mesmerized by Thriller the first time I watched it ... like the kids in Zaire...

... My classmate Nouriligne, wearing the red jacket, impressed our gym class with the moonwalk

... Monsieur Billat had our class translate the lyrics of Beat it into french

... We spent our summer nights watching old videos of Jackson 5 at my paternal grandparents' home ... with Uncle B (now gone) and my cousins

... Our nanny H, like Billie Jean, was certain she would marry Michael Jackson one day

... My siblings and I made a pact to call Michael Jackson "Michael Jackson" unlike all the other riff-raffs who insisted on calling him "Michael"

... My Ivorian friend and I debated over the lyrics of Black or White

The years are gone leaving their memories behind. Thanks for the soundtrack of our memories!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bride and Prejudice: "Marriage into Town"

A couple of months ago, my sister came to town to prepare for her upcoming wedding, an event that will last for three days and will include 500 guests, the norm in our tradition. Needless to say, we have been very busy planning. For the last nine months, all of our conversations revolved around the following: venue, guest list, wedding stationery, photography, videography, entertainment, reception, catering,... It has been quite an adventure.

At the end of this visit, the night before she left, I suggested we watch Bride and Prejudice, a movie I have seen many, many times. Growing up, I watched a few Bollywood films at our neighbors’. Even though our neighbors were not Indians, they loved Bollywood films; they would explain the Hindi or Punjabi dialogue to me and my sister even though they did not speak these languages, and we would listen to them even though we knew they did not know these languages. What mattered to us were the many captivating elements: music, dance, spectacle along with love, vanity and social pressures. Here is an example:

I always loved big weddings. But why didn’t someone tell me preparing for a wedding is not just fun and play? Did I mention my brother is also getting married about the same time?