Inspired by this
Dear A Very Potter Musical,
I was not the best of Harry Potter fans when I first found you. Granted, I can still quote the opening of Philosopher’s Stone but I never queued up at midnight and I, as of yet, am still to dress up as any of those characters. But I do love the books, so when I stumbled across a cover inspired by you, I was intrigued enough to follow the breadcrumbs back to that fuzzy YouTube video of old, which opens with a young man sitting alone in the dark.
I do not need to look at viewer statistics to tell you that if your makers had had a target demographic when setting out, it would have looked a lot like me. You were (are) a Harry Potter parody musical that found a cult following online, mainly made up of slightly geeky, musical theatre loving, teenage girls. I am currently a third of the way through law school, a Wicked poster hangs beside my bed and at the time, I was fifteen. Draw your own conclusions.
Read more …
Kerala is an anomaly when compared to the rest of India prosperity wise – it’s fairly suburban due to the Gulf money coming in, which has led to what the locals call ‘an immigration problem’. A lot of the construction companies and restraints are starting to hire the Bengalis that have begun to seep into the state in droves, claiming that they will do the menial jobs the locals won’t – of course the latter in their turn complain about the north Indians, coming in and taking all their jobs. The rhetoric is bizzarely similar to London ears and also weirdly comforting. So borders change and job demands ebb and flow and people next week will be annoyed about something else and the BJP’s nationalist streak will (hopefully) be crushed by international pressure. This too shall pass.
Around the corner from my grandparents’ house, a KFC has just opened. Economic imperialism? Probably. A relief for my Western food starved sister? Definitely. Arabic food’s all the rage here too and we’ve been fed plenty off it, especially by relatives who have all been crying out about how skeletal I look (I don’t) as proof of the evils of my degree (many, but nothing food related, believe me).
We went to the beach today and an old man started playing a popular song on the violin. My Dad tipped him and the fiddler told us (in damn good English) to look him up on YouTube. Aah rustic India, how I’ve missed you.
"On a cold windswept street , this was a lovely, warm„ cheerful place with a big stove in winter, tables and shelves of books, new books in the window and photographs on the wall of famous writers both dead and living."
Ernest Hemingway on ‘Shakespeare and Company’ in ‘A Moveable Feast’
I took a long plane journey last week, with a seven year old. Perhaps you’ve never sat in the crèche part upfront before. To my left there were two toddlers fighting over a sugar packet. In front was a small boy who peered in between the seats, looking at my little sister. She was quite taken with him. If our lives were at all Bolly or Hollywoodesque a description fitting her would show up in a missed connections classified in about a decade…’the girl in 17b’….
Dubai must be an annoying place to live for the visually not quite perfect. I’ve spent more summers than I can remember here and I am still surprised when my glasses steam up stepping outside. British weather has not programmed me for heat. I sort of wilt, but everything indoor here is air conditioned. This is Dubai after all where the central mall is the place to go skiing in the Middle East. It is filled with tourists but worth a visit for the dancing fountains outside. Still, the best parts of the city are frequently on the outskirts or outside – any and all shawarma stalls for example, are excellent places to stop at if peckish at one am. And if you fancy exploring the urban bit of the city, which is in fact the ignored emirate of Sharjah, I’d take a walk along the old canal and maybe take a ride on the big wheel. Also, visit a gold souk. In a city that is frantically aping the West in a bid to recover from the credit crunch, these bizarre labyrinths are a rare scrap of Arabic culture.
Another plane journey, another crèche upfront, this time to Kerala. In the airport stood a gaggle of teenage girls wearing World Challenge t-shirts. I quite clearly remember being in Heathrow and then in the international terminal at Kenya, rushing around and trying to consume as much food as possible before my group set off. I was sixteen and logically those girls must have been too but they looked far younger. And incredibly fresh faced. I stood grinning to myself at the gate, wondering what a state they’d be in upon return. I wouldn’t take that trip to Uganda back for the world and more but that didn’t stop my mother gasping with horror when I stumbled back through Arrivals.
What I love about take off is that no matter where you are travelling from or to or who you are surrounded by – this plane was far more family laden than the previous one – everyone does the same thing. We all tilt our heads to gaze out at the sky and more importantly, at the sight below. Perhaps the way to give our regular landbound lives due credit is to fly.
n. a hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head—a crisp analysis, a cathartic dialogue, a devastating comeback—which serves as a kind of psychological batting cage where you can connect more deeply with people than in the small ball of everyday life, which is a frustratingly cautious game of change-up pitches, sacrifice bunts, and intentional walks.
1) I recommend packing multiple giant books if you’re a reader. Especially if you are the sort of reader who is being dragged across the world, with pit stops in Dubai and Singapore before hitting your desired final destination. Books are excellent to keep you from killing fellow family members and should self control desert you early on, also double for weaponry .
2) I’m not sure if there’s some sort of moisturiser to thicken skin but the make up companies should get on that idea. If you have a giant, sprawling family prepare to be too fat/thin depending on whether or not you’ve put on a tenth of a stone, too dark/light (haha tanning.Ha.Ha.) or simply too rebellious, modern, educated, masculine etc. They mean it with love. I think.
3) You might as well abandon your eating habits when boarding the plane. You will eat everything that is put on your plate regardless of calories, regardless of the fact you don’t like lamb or even if you’re not sure what that nondescript bit of meat is. It will be eaten. Aunty made it. Besides it tastes pretty good and if you’re hailing from the UK, you’ve already consumed horsemeat already, right? Pick your battles. You cannot win when taking on a small frowning figure who has just cooked up a storm for you. Eat up.
4) Oh you guys are from abroad? If you have a passport with any kind of Western insignia on it, be prepared to be treated as though you’re channelling Kate Middleton herself. On that note, don’t correct anyone’s English, don’t name drop cities you have visited and never, ever think you are better because you pronounce lieutenant the British way.
5) Pack heels, there’ll be a wedding. Try and relax and enjoy being with your family. Build understanding over a shared love for a particular dish or song. This is a land which those grandparents or parents or someone along the way decided to trade in for a more lucrative, isolated, harsher life across the water. Do your best to deserve that dreamt half chance.