Monday, September 23, 2013

Bollywood At 9.

I was nine years old. This was my earliest recollection of how it all started. 1996. I was lying on my late grandmother's bed, tucked underneath her left arm, head resting on her chest. She smelled of massage oil and fabric softener. I will always remember that smell. She was plump and worked as a masseuse.

Men, women, child, twisted ligaments, pregnant ladies, back sores, anything. She knew her way around this island, partly because her job required her to go to customers houses all over Singapore. Which buses go where, shortest routes, everything.

She was a walking directory.

It amazed me how good her memory was even in her seventies. She was larger than life. Much, much larger than life. When she passed away, I knew it was because life itself couldn't contain her. Her positivity, her infectious laughter. Every evening, after a full day of massaging, she would relax and unwind by being in her room, lying down on her queen sized bed and watching Indonesian channels playing on her little television perched on top of a standing cabinet, with a gigantic transmitter hanging by the bedroom window.

She was from Medan, Indonesia and I guess that by watching Indonesian channels, that was how she clinged on to memories of home. The images were always grainy, but that didn't stop her from spending hours and hours watching Telenovelas dubbed in Bahasa Indonesia, variety shows, Indonesian Soap Operas otherwise known as Sinetron and re-runs of both old and the latest Bollywood movies.

So there I was, tucked underneath her left arm, head resting on her chest, smelling the addictive concoction of massage oil and fabric softener, watching a re-run of an old Bollywood movie. The movie itself was the stuff of fantasy.

It was about this snake goddess who has the ability to transform herself into a beautiful woman, who eventually falls in love and married a human being. This movie, later on in my life, after years and years of searching for it's title, is Nagina, starring the absolutely stunning Sridevi. But I was nine. And I knew nothing about Sridevi, not yet at least. All I could remember was the scene that will be etched forever in my mind.

The scene starts off with an evil priest who is trying to lure this snakewoman out of her room, in an attempt to steal her divine powers and possess it, for his own personal gain. so he was playing that snake flute or whatever you call it and she was writhing in her room, snake eyes formed and all. Shortly after, she opened the doors of her room, draped in a astunning white outfit, hell bent on battling it out with the evil old priest who miraculously is still not out of breath after blowing into the damn instrument for what seemed like ages.

I suppose he was an evil priest and he had an evil pair of lungs. And just like everything evil, it will stand through time, whether you like it or not.

And so the battle began. But no, there wasn't any special effects or CGI. In true Bollywood style, the duel was done in sing and dance. And boy did Sridevi danced. I believed the song was Main Teri Dushman which translates to I'm Your Enemy. But all I remembered was how bewitched I was with her dancing and inside my little head I asked, ""

I was completely bedazzled, beyond comprehension. The scene replayed in my head for weeks after that. I wanted to know who she was and what was the name of the movie. In the next decade after that, I will be asking everyone that i know, "Do you know of this Bollywood movie about this snakewoman and she danced in this white outfit?"

Some would reply, "Since when did Bollywood make a movie about snakes?", most would just stare at me in disgust and say, "What the fuck? Bollywood? Snakewoman? You're fucking nuts."

Once there was a boy in class who replied, "Is it Jennifer Lopez in Anaconda?" He obviously didn't hear the word Bollywood. And if Jennifer Lopez was a snake in a movie, her gigantic ass would make the snake looked like it just swallowed a cow. And the rest of the movie will be her trying to digest the damn animal and it won't be that much fun after that if you ask me.

But that didn't stop me neither did it made me want to give up; in fact it made me more obsessed. Who was this lady? I was eighteen when I stumbled upon old videos of Sridevi on YouTube.

And there it was.

Of course by eighteen I knew who Sridevi was and I knew all about the movie but somehow or rather I just can't seem to find the movie in stores. There I was, choked up, finally reunited with my snakewoman. And the memories came spilling in, the massage oil smell with that hint of fabric softener, the grainy images, those evil pair of lungs that never went out of breath.

I was nine years olf all over again. And almost instantly, my obsession was born. Fathered by Rishi Kapoor and conceived by the dance moves of Sridevi. In that instant, a friend, now I can't remember who, while watching the video with me started laughing uncontrollably and in between breaths said, "That is fucking old school dude. She looks like she is convulsing to death. Craptastic."

But he wasn't making any sense. I am just a nine year old boy, and this is my first step into the world of Bollywood.

The Co-incidence

I was browsing through my notes and found this note that I had typed out a couple of years ago. Who would have thought that today I would have the opportunity to act it all out at the expense of my dignity and for the pleasure of the whole of Singapore? These pearls of wisdom are the ones that didn't make the cut for the Bonda Bedah Berates video. Have a good read!

School For Mothers

May 4, 2011 at 12:16am
There is. I am not kidding you. I stumbled upon this textbook: How To Be An Effective Working Class Malay Mother. Apparently all our mothers come from this school. Here are the Ten Golden Rules.

1. Threat your kids with death

"Aku terjun baru korang tahu! Bila aku dah mampos baru korang tahu nasib korang!"

(Later when I jump down to my death then you all know your luck!)

2. Compare your kids with other over achieving kids

"Kau tengok anak Cik Timah, semua baik jadinya! Mana yang tak tinggal sembahyang, mana yang pergi universiti. Sejuk perut si Timah tu. Ntahlah, anak-anak aku susah lah, tak boleh jadi macam diorang."

(Look at Aunt Timah's children, all successful! Can go university, doesn't forget to pray daily. What good luck. My kids? Hopeless. Can never be like them.)

3. Ask for an extravagant amount of money from your kids.

"Jangan bohong dengan aku! Hah, kerja overtime aku tengok hari-hari, buang duit dengan orang tua susah!"

(Don't lie to me! You work overtime everyday, want to give parents money also hard.)

4. Scold your kid's friends who sneak into your house when you're not in.

"Ah bagos!! Masuk satu-satu macam pencuri! Berambus pun macam pencuri!!"

(Good! Sneak in the house like a burglar, leave the house also like one!)

5. Use "Kau nak jadi setan?!" at least once a day.

"Kau maghgrib-maghgrib tak tahu nak balik eh!? Kau nak jadi setan?! Ah bagus, bawak anak dara mana ntah balik rumah. Kau nak jadi setan?! Yer, subur-subur semua masih membuta. Kau nak jadi setan?!"

(It's dusk already you don't know how to return home? You want to be a devil? Good! Bring a girl home! You want to be a devil? Good! Before dawn all sleeping like a log. You want to be a devil?")

6. Sad, sacrificial stories. Use your tears.

"Aku selama ni korban, tangan jadi kaki, kaki jadi tangan besarkan korang tapi satu anak pun tak kesiankan aku. Sob. Dari kecik aku bela sampai dah besar panjang. Sob. Ni balasan korang kat aku? Sob, sob, sob.

(All these while i sacrificed, i used my four limbs to go out and work not even a single child pities me. I raised you all from small until you guys become adults. This is how you repay me? Sob Sob Sob.)

7. When your kid turns 21, every day, you must ask them about marriage.

"Bila aku nak timang cucu? Bila kau nak kahwin? Kau takda kawan ker? Bila nak bawak kawan kau balik rumah?"

(When can I hold a grandchild? When are you getting married? Don't you have a girlfriend? When are you going to bring your girlfriend home?)

8. And when they bring their gf/bf home, criticise.

"Betina/jantan apa kau bawak balik? Pakai tak senonoh, dengan orang tua tak tahu salaman, bagus lah, jantan/betina gini kau nak jadikan bini/laki?!"

(What kind of gf/bf are you bringing home? Wear so sleazy, don't know how to respect elders, this kind of man/woman you want to make a husband/wife?)

9. If you have a son, always threat that his future wife will never be like you. If you have a daughter, threat that she will never be like you.

"Nanti kau kahwin bini pengotor, baru ah kau tahu langit dengan bumi. Situ tempat tido, situ tempat main, situ jugaklah dia menyerakkan."

(One day you will marry a dirty woman then you will know. Sleeping area, eating area all at one place.)


"Kau memang tak boleh pembersih macam aku. Buat kerja rumah punya pemalas, masak, haram! Nanti kau dah kahwin, kasi laki kau cekik Maggi hari-hari!"

(You are not as clean and pedantic as me. So lazy to do housework. Cooking? Far from it! Later when you get married, you eat Maggi everyday lah!)

10. Nag. Nag about everything. Minimum is two hours. Great mothers nag throughout the night and continue till next morning.

I don't have enough space to type the nagging. Go figure.

Did I tell you that there will be a PART TWO OF BONDA BEDAH BERATES? Wait for it bitches. I mean, peaches.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Fame Game

Before I get a scathing e-mail or comment that this post is doing nothing but stroking my self-important and self-anointed "Oh I'm famous" ass, let me start off by saying that I do not think, for a nanosecond of my simple middle-class life that I am remotely famous in any denomination whatsoever.

Yes, the visibility of Lepak One Korner and A Son Of A Peach is increasing, but no, I do not think I qualify to call myself (and nor do I think my body of work warrants such a title) the slightest bit of a celebrity.

And this disassociation with the whole "fame game" on my part is the reason why I get tongue tied whenever someone comes and say hello or to tell me how much they love my work.

I'll be honest, there have been an increasing number of times when someone would approach me and I'll just stand there for a good 5 seconds just not knowing what to do or say. Many times it would just be a lot of smiling and a little "thank you". Sometimes, it would just be an endless splatter of "thank you so much, thanks, thank you, thank you".

Whenever I re-think about the whole incident and replay the entire scene in my head moments after it had happened, I can't help but feel slightly stupid.

"You could have asked for their name and asked them to follow you on Twitter, to look out for you next video, to subscribe to SGAG on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to help spread the word and continue with their support instead of just saying thank you, god!" Star said, rolling her eyes when I told her over dinner last night during the group's usual outing.

"Someone is obviously a bigger fame whore than all of us combined," Melanie said, eyes still scanning the menu.

"Oh shut up! All I'm doing is to increase awareness and make our friend here more famous!" Star raised her voice.

People were starting to look at our table.

"Not because you will be the best friend of a celebrity in the near future?" Melanie shot back.

"Well I was his friend when he was a nobody so screw you!" Star huffed, slouching back to her head.

"Guys, stop, I'm not a celebrity, I find this whole celebrity thing slightly far fetched to be honest," I explained to them.

"But not an impossible feat considering the amount of attention that you've been gradually receiving in public," Steve smiled.

"Oh Steve, I don't know, this is all happening too early and too fast," I laughed.

Just then a waiter came to our table and started taking our orders. Right before he left, he begrudgingly smiled at me and softly asked, "You're that guy in Lepak One Korner right?"

Almost machine-like, I instantly smiled and nodded my head.

"You're funny, I like your work and your friend is hilarious too," he smiled.

"Thank you so much," I kept nodding.

"And don't forget to follow him on Twitter and help spread the word okay? And look out for his next video!" Star suddenly chipped in.

"Sure will!" the waiter said and left to key in our orders.

"What? I was just helping..." Star shrugged.

P/S: Thank you all for your support and do continue to like the pages, videos on YouTube and Twitter and continue spreading the love. I'm still new to this whole thing so pardon my awkwardness if you all ever had the opportunity to meet me in public. I'm as starstruck at your love for me.

Mr. H

She's Just Bein' Miley

Let's keep this post short and simple shall we? Much have already been said about Miley Cyrus's performance during the MTV Video Awards and her two music videos We Can't Stop and Wrecking Ball.

Ironic. Since she can't stop being a wreck.

And oh, don't put "Art" into your desire to purposely be overtly sexual and controversial. If you love pain, don't lick the fucking sledgehammer. Lick a life-sized poster of Liam.

And honey, all Britney did to shed her Disney image was to show her midriff, a bit of boobs and she danced with an albino snake.

Learn, and stop sticking out your damn tongue all the time.

98361572 people got an STD infection from just watching that performance.

P/S: Artists grow, change and evolve. I get that. But you're doing it wrong. Such a pity. You've got a great voice. If only your twerking skills is as good. And since it's not, stop that rubbish too.