Tuesday, August 19, 2008

#112 The Remix: Singing R&B

We all know Indians like R&B, Arundhati Royt? We all know how they feel about 112 on the Bose speakers and Usher remixes for the pre-party. But yo, guess what? Indians like SANGING that shit, too.

Whether it be that dude from Penn Masala running vocal riffs during breaks from his Haaaaaaaaaaaaaarvard B-School admissions application or that Oriya kid you grew up with who kept stacking mix CDs he made for Sarika, Shabbana, and Shweta with the latest deep cut from Musiq's "Aijuswanaseing," Indians juswanacrooooooon.

Chalk it up to the North American desi's upbringing steeped in a cultural homage to Michael Jackson. Maybe it's because black culture was more amenable to Indian adoption. Or maybe it's like Kal Penn said in American Desi, the Dark Continent and the Sub-Continent once shared a single land mass and deep down inside we're all Kallu at heart.

Nowhere else has the Indian penchant for chromatic scales and cut time manifested itself more prominently than in the United Kingdom. For years, Desi dubs in the North End* have been channeling that Thoia Thoia Thoia Thoia Thoing into ragga infused Rhythm & Bhangra tracks from Jay Sean, Rishi Rich and he with the most recent fusion foray, Raghav.

Oh, y'all didn't heard? Raghav's back (did he ever even leave?) with a new single, a new haircut, a new video, and a new Redman seal of approval. Yeah, we know, the Indian / Redman / Native American / Indian reference game is running our brains in meta circles too. The song's called "My Kind of Girl," and the video's some sort of Entrapment / Mission: Impossible / True Lies / Money Talks mashup. One commenter on Nah Right described it as:

  1. catch22 Says:

    did anyone actually watch this homo video?
    it’s redman and kumar escape from casino royale with a knockoff *nsync playing in the background (-)

Yeah, maybe so, but with Singh is Kinng working its way up the charts and Redman putting his B-List thing on Raghav's D-List thing, the year of the Turbanator could be nigh. Our UK DiasBROas have ditched their faux hawks, their sublet on Craig David's nutz and branched into the new Jagged Edge remix game. Take an R&B song, insert a rapper on the opening bars, do your verse, do your chorus, do your bridge, bring the MC back for his part as the hip-hop equivalent of a guitar solo, and wrap-wrap-wrap-wrap it up. End result? Garbage, most likely, but, yo, Raghav, you're prettier than me so I'm not going to hate if youjuswanaseing.

* We know nothing about UK geography and aren't even sure if there are Indians in the North End of London.

Friday, August 15, 2008

#10,366 Views: Mallu Aunties

TGIF. Thank Ganesh it's Funday. It's the freakin' weekend so jus' lean wit' it, rock wit' it and party like Iraq star. But first, let's get Sirius Black.

Put the kids to bed; turn down The Daily Show and stop updating your Netflix queue for a second. It's time to be just a little bit grown on the SILDC front. There's a hathee in the room and it needs to be acknowledged. Indians like porn.

Yeah, we said it. The monkey's out of the bottle. Pandora doesn't go back in that box. Indians like their prono. They like calling it prono. They like waiting for it; they like watching it. They like Google-ing it, and they most definitely like You Tube-ing it. Boob tube? Indeed.

There's a phenomenon that's come to our attention here in the SILDC offices over the past few weeks and it has nothing to do with our new pet turtle. Herregoes: What in the name of sweet, salubrious Shiva is a Mallu Aunty and why, why, WHY are Indians watching so many of her vids on You Tube?

"Maybe she's like the Indian equivalent of Obama Girl," you're telling yourself. Nope. Obama Girl wouldn't have videos entitled "Mallu Servant Aunty Wearing a Hot Blouse," or "Mallu Servant Aunty Wearing a Hot Blouse," or "Mallu Servant Aunty Wearing a Hot Blouse."

My fellow Bromo Sapiens on the Sub(way sammich) Continent, what are you doing? On any given day almost half of the most viewed videos on You Tube India feature Ms. Mallu Aunty. The other half are miscellaneous "Tollywood Sex Heroine Masala Movie B-Scenes."

You know, we could take MHG (Moral High Ground) and lecture our perverted brothers across the pond, but average height here at SILDC is 5'6'' so we don't even know what moral high ground looks like. All we can see is the bottom of its belly, and you know what? It's kind of seedy.

Repressed Indian dudes who want to get their socks off to a low-grade FLV of their Aunt Mallu massaging oil on her scalp courtesy of Surya Movies, you're not going to get a lecture from us. In fact we'll continue holding your hand. Um, your other hand. You keep doing you too, and we'll keep doing me three. It's Friday, baby, and Mallu Monday's right around the corner.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#221: Going to Medical School in the Carribbean

We know, getting into medical school is hard. There are interviews; there are essays; there are 4 spots for 12,000 applicants; there's housing; there's books; there's that annoying shuttle you have to take to and from your apartment. It's four years of endless torture, gut-wrenching stress and incessant complaining about the bleak prospect of never having another summer off again, despite the fact that no one really has a summer break after college but no matter. Med school is hard and so is the life of someone trying to get in it.

Why then is medical school so popular? Why then are 7 of the 8 Punjabi kids and their siblings who grew up in your same neighborhood going so far out of their way to get into those harrowing halls of health care education? Why do they, despite having absolutely no discernible degree of compassion for anything other than themselves, try so so so so so hard to make sure they are the ones signing your discharge papers when they are 25? It's an irony as confounding as putting one hand in your pocket while the other one is giving a peace sign.

Even more confusing is why after following the system from kindergarten to middle school to high school to college prospective medical students buck the checks and balances of institutional learning and declare that no matter what North American medical college admissions boards say, they WILL become a doctor. After all, what do admissions officers know? If they're such experts on being doctors why aren't they out there attending lavish parties sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and refusing to see patients on Medicare? "I'm totally going to be a doctor!" you tell them, "Because, why, because, because otherwise I don't know what else I'd do!"

23 on the MCAT? So? 3.0 GPA? Who cares? Total lack of character and personality as conveyed by a contrived personal statement about a vague desire to "help people?" Whatever. Indians like going to med school so much that they won't even let medical schools denying their admission stop them. They'll just hop the border like a general of a convicted drug cartel and study epidemiology in the Dominican Republic. After all, it's called the DR for a reason.

Friday, August 8, 2008

#45 vs 180: Failing Pre-Med Then Choosing Pre-Law

Indians like, like, double like, triple like, mike and like, like, like being Pre-Med. Universities in the States know this and make Pre-Med the most difficult track to pursue in college, scheduling required classes like Gen. Chem. and Physics at 9:00 AM with lab sections till 8:30 PM on a Thursday night. As a result, a lot of Indians who begin college as Pre-Meds, without regard as to whether they have any inherent skills that would make them an asset to the medical community, end up dropping that Biology major for an Econ degree some time around the end of freshman year. That means no matter how much they liked medicine as a career path in the fall, come the spring Indians are all over Pre-Law like rice on cloves.

Simulated conversation from the spring of 2002:

Me: Hey, Jessminder. Wow you got dark(er). Didn't think that was possible.
Jessminder: Thanks.
Me: No, I'm not sure that was a compliment.
Jessminder: Cabo, baby!
Me: Right. How'd you end up doing in Chemistry?
Jessminder: C minus. Can you believe that? Oh well, I guess it's Pre-Law now!
Me: Are you sure you don't want to -
Jessminder: Raina! Is that top from French Connection!?
Me: Okay.

Apparently vocations and career paths are as interchangeable for Indian Americans as Swatch watch swatches and Asian roommates. How else can you explain the popularity of Law School as a Medical School alternative? Do the two as pursuits share anything beyond the requirement of a graduate program? Oh right, they're both better than consulting. Sorry, Deloitte. Ya burnt!