Monday, November 23, 2009

Those Were The Days…

Genre: Entertainment

Long before television was flooded with soap operas and reality shows, when Internet had not penetrated into the average household, GTalk, Facebook and Orkut were not the most popular means of timepass, most Indian kids used to look forward to classic Disney cartoons for enjoyment and when I think about it now, how I wish I could go back to those days of clean and simple entertainment, away from the clutter that we call “entertainment” today. If you were in primary school in India of the early 1990s, chances are that you were as big a fan of these classic cartoons as I am.

Thanks to YouTube I managed to find videos of title tracks of some of these all-time favorites. As you see each of the videos below, try humming the theme song along and I am pretty sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at yourself that you still recognize all the characters and know almost all the title songs by-heart!

Here we go-

Duck Tales: The adventures of Uncle Scrooge probably remain the most popular among Indian kids of the 90s (which includes me too). I have even seen instances of this title song being sung in Antakshari on college trips as late as 2008!

Aladdin: This one used to be my personal favorite. In those innocent days, Jadooi Kaalin was the funkiest thing to possess, Iago the motor-mouth parrot was too funny and Jasmine was probably my first “crush” long before I even knew what it means!

TaleSpin: This is yet another series I never missed. Baloo the pilot and his little wiz-kid was the coolest jodi around and I used to eagerly await to see what new “adventures” they are upto every evening. 

Gummi Bears: This was probably not as popular as the other ones, but it used to be my personal favorite (alongwith Aladdin) and I distinctly remember Zee TV screening the two of these back-to-back every alternate evening on Disney Hour.

(I couldn’t find the Hindi version of this anywhere! If someone has it, please let me know!)

This discussion would not be complete without a tribute to our very own desi cartoon hero. Yes, you guessed it right – Mowgli! Hats off to The Jungle Book for surviving even among the barrage of Disney cartoons. By the way, if you can’t sing along THIS song, doob maro!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

They Don’t Believe – The Larger Picture

Genre: India

Continuing from my previous post on how people from other cities in India refuse to believe some common realities about Mumbai, moving one step ahead, here is a sample of misconceptions harbored by Americans about India as a whole.

They refuse to believe that multi-national food chains like McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Subway exist in all Indian cities and that most of us 21st century Indians have grown up on staple diet of same (unhealthy!) fast food as them!

They refuse to believe that we have access to English music and Hollywood movies in our homes and that most of us are as ardent fans of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and VH1 as them.

They refuse to believe that all of us who have come here for our Masters and are in our twenties are un-married and not even thinking of getting married anytime soon. Their impression is that in India, everyone gets married by eighteen.

They refuse to believe that Indian cities have 50-floor high skyscrapers and underground metro networks. In fact, most amusing part was an American grown up in rural Blacksburg asking me if landscape in “under-developed places” like Mumbai comprises of fields and forests! I so much wanted to tell him - “Idiot, on the contrary, it’s YOU who lives in a village!”

For most Americans, India still remains an under-developed third-world nation in some obscure corner of the world. And I don’t blame them completely. Agreed that people in this part of the world are intellectually challenged but we are the one who have played a major role in creating this image of India in the Western world.

We are the ones who lap up a British movie showcasing extreme-negative image of India and proudly claim it to be “Indian” movie simply because it won the Best Picture Oscar. More than that, we have “leaders” throwing shoes and slapping fellow legislators in the House, setting public property on fire without caring a damn to the fact that these “action scenes” are telecast live on TV and makes world news, eventually strengthening India’s image of a “poor law-less country stuck in anarchy and ruled by barbaric hooligans”.

It’s high time we realize we have inflicted enough damage to India’s reputation in the world and it is going to take substantial effort to correct this (if at all someone decides to). In the meantime, the next time an American exclaims “Oh My God! You have McDonalds and Pizza Hut in India???” (heard this almost 10 times so far!), I am simply going to tell - “No man! Are you crazy? We live on a staple diet of grass and mud.”

PS: This is my first post published using Windows Live Writer that came with my Windows 7.

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My World...My Views by The Blue Indian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.