Thursday, May 15, 2008


Recently on my holiday to India, I chanced upon a book in my father's library, which i had contemplated on buying earlier but hadn't for some strange reason. It was a biography on the Life of MS. Though I am very curious to read about the lifes of famous people especially in the field of Music and dance, I am some what sceptical about Biographies, in the sense that they have always changed my opinion about a lot of people, simply because it has been written by someone else. Maybe this is my mind block. I actually prefer autobiographies.

Nevertheless, I did read the book. It gave me many insights on her life and threw light on a lot of the lesser known facts about her and her famously dictative husband, Sadasivam.

What struck me was that rebels of a certain generation, no matter how massively the have deviated from what was perceived to be conventional among their contemporaries, invariably become an icon of tradition for the next generation. Isn't that amazing.

MS had a very adventurous early life, because of everything that she chose for herself and associated herself with. Having been looked at as a total modernist of her times, she turned herself into the ultimate manifestation of a middle class brahmin housewife, no matter all her racy and stormy past. Her talent famously harnessed and orchestrated by her husband supplemented her submission to control and restrictions.

Yet she had an aura of a true Diva. A timeless beauty, voice and all, a life, determination, dedication, total submission and gut truely inspiring.

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Power of Disguise!!!!

Ever wondered the value of a costume?

Recently i got thinking about this during the magnificent Christmas day brunch that we were hosting at The Wharf. The Santa Claus is a legend, that has lived for a long time, always mesmerising and transporting the dreamy eyed 3-4 yr olds into a world of fantasy and fables.

In spite of the tremendous metamorphosis, the basic red and white fur ball character as been immortal. Never ageing anymore. I wonder if kids even think about the younger days of Santa Claus. What could he be possibly doing? I wonder if they even wonder, where Santa gets all the money to buy all the presents?

We all know the the Santa bubble bursts as the years pass by , when we start to realise that after all, babies are not brought by the storks, and the likes.

But still the power that a Santa's costume carries is so tremendous, that on that day i thought, ' it is indeed incredible how the red and white bundle actually commands so much of adulation and attention'.

I was watching as our own Santa glided on the shimmering waters of the Arabian gulf on a traditional Arabian boat. There were loud cheers and surprised gasps those that had been reserved specially, probably practised for this day, the whole year.
Little children are the ones who have the most amazing and timeless expressions, worth living a life for.
Later when the Santa was distributing gifts, a young boy all flustered and panting after a visibly hot chase of the Santa, walks up to good ole Santa and says with a doe eyed astonished expression,'SANTA, where were you? We were looking for you everywhere!! thank god we found you!!!'
These are the words of a three year old that lives in a totally non suspecting world, filled with endless possibilities and fabulous fantasies.

That's when I thought, an ordinary guy as M, behind the red and white costume, transforms into this immense and all conquering Santa. While the red and white costume lies in a changeover bag, i wondered again, does this have any value now? How it came alive just a little while ago. It is after all a costume!! No one once thought of the person behind the costume. They only saw the character. The Santa.

Do we gay men also go behind personality costumes, so no one would recognise us? Do we also command wider and better respect behind these 'costumes'? Are we so scared to be ourselves? Can we show the world who we are without hiding and yet attract all the attention?

The Power of Disguise is surely powerful beyond comprehension. But is this power really necessary?