Friday, July 31, 2009

Colonial cousins

Ali is French Algerian. Drives a Black Cab in London and wants to go to Mumbai some day to see the Taj Mahal. After breaking his heart by moving the Taj to Agra I settle in to a random conversation with him.
He thinks we are colonial cousins. His great grandparents were ruled by the French and mine by the British. They conquered and plundered half the world, says Ali, and now they want to make up for it.
"They want to make good now eh for all the bad things they did," spews Ali, "they call othe countries barbaric. Guess who were the orginal human rights violators my brother".
He drops me off with a smile and a salaam. Go well, Ali.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Slaves and berries

In the old days the masters gave their slaves iron collars so they could yank the chain when it suited them. They would yank it to get the menials to work or just yank it for fun. Now, they give us a Blackberry. And they can still yank us for fun.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Elementary my dear fat Watson

Trying to get the touristy stuff out of the way before I become a proper local with my own cloud at the pub around the corner. So, I went to Madame Tussauds where I ran into a queue bigger than many countries I have been to.
Slinked away quietly to explore less popular shrines like the Sherlock Holmes museum on Baker Street. At £6 a peep, whole lot more friendlier than the Wax palace and a whole lot shittier. It's a great idea to have a Sherlock Holmes museum on B Street but for God's sake don't take stupid tourists for a ride. There is nothing in there really other than a fat old poor sod who dresses up as Dr.Watson and poses for pictures. And there is Sherlock's old potty if you are interested but you aren't allowed to use it. Not for six quid.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A life less ordinary

Robert de Niro as the psycho fan of baseball superstar Wesley Snipes in The Fan is an interesting slice of life theme. It's a crap movie but I like the heart of the theme ... a fan's relationship with the hero. It's an intangible, unfulfilling, illusionary relationship but a very strong and real one.
I feel sad that Michael Jackson is gone. He was an integral and invisible part of my growing up. He was by no means my favourite musician but he was a big part of my music upbringing. MJ was genius in the sense of the word -- brilliant and flawed and freakish.
As I sit through the circus that is the Michael Jackson memorial service, I feel a sense of loss, like I knew him. I was looking forward to seeing him perform in London. I can cross that off the list now. Hope he finds peace in death. It's been a life less ordinary.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Legal alien

Annonymity is liberating. It's been two days since I have moved home and hearth to the Big Smoke. Unfamiliar is scary, unfamiliar is good. It's been two days of pounding the pavements of London, trying to familiarise myself with the mundane that I never bothered to notice on numerous visits as an outsider. Now, this is going to be home for a while and I see things differently. Being a stranger in a strange land is more layered than I thought it would be.