Tuesday, April 4, 2006


My family has always had a knack for the quirk, which is why it wasn’t entirely surprising to me when my brother developed an intense fascination with the musical stylings of Daler Mehndi.

In retrospect, though (especially as I’ve spent a significant proportion of my life in India), it’s a little hilarious that J became absorbed in the church of the turban, mesmerized by bhangra beats and a portly Punjabi dancing with abandon. Who would think the straight-A student, math genius, hidden in the back of the classroom, a genuine smile on his face that crinkled his eyes into slits, would fall so hard for a ridiculous cultural institution of India?

During physics, we would abscond from the classroom and settle in a computer lab, key in the address of one of his music videos, and dissolve into laughter. J forwarded the link to everyone he knew; soon, suburban Milwaukie had desi fever. I assume most everyone has forgotten about the fad now, but I still remember people coming up to me in the hall, giggling and asking, "Did you see that video your brother's been circulating?"

(Of course, this was all bordering on out-and-out mockery, which is why it’s so fitting that I now have Daler’s Rang de Basanti running through my head at a near-constant clip, inspiring me to unconsciously shrug my shoulders to the beat, waggle my head back and forth, grinning like a devil.)

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