Friday, October 20, 2006

'Ketupat in Kashmir' - An MGR Extravaganza

I love Indian movies, where the scenes can take startling and amazing shifts of landscapes - one moment the hero is crooning to his paramour in the Taj Mahal gardens, next instant they're skiing down the snow slopes of Kashmir (of course no terrorist); then flash, and you see them on a boat in a Simla lake, before dancing with gaiety in the verdant tea plantations of Darjeeling. Oh, those songs - it's hard to ever imagine Indian movies without songs.

Then in-between the songs, there would be promises of eternal love, of intrepid resolute to fight the evil landlord and devoted filial piety to Mum and traditional apom and etalli.

But what if we transpose those scenes to politics with an Alice in Boleh Land surrealist image - where the evil landlord transforms to assume a benign benevolent paternalistic hero-MGR-ish image, making equally startling and amazing sheaves of (or shaft the) promises, which of course we known would never be fulfilled one iota - hasn't been during the last 50 years.

Oh, how the man promised to undertaken various programmes and projects to uplift the standard of living of the community. Even single mothers, who were once without power and hope, have now been empowered to be self-reliant and independent, with hope for their children and themselves and an opportunity to come out of the poverty cycle and marginalisation.

I hear the drums going ke-tum ke-tum ke-tum ke-tum ke-tum tak tak tak, while sitars and hand organs wailed ominously, and the pseudo-MGR leaps on stage with dazzling teeth and wrapped in rich silk shawl to sing the following Deeparaya jingle, to the flashing shifting background scenes of Kashmir, Taj Mahal, Simla ........

organise, motivate and mobilise
yeah man yeah Must I Come too
bullshit, chong lah, tuapen, lie
who cares if peasants turn blue

we've deepa ketupat in Kashmir
& raya cakes in snow clad Simla
but suckers we've no bloody fear
of you tambis ever getting this far

now flash to beautiful Taj Mahal
see beauties and beast real ugly
& if you peasants see him gatal,
you can sigh in pseudo-ecstasy

but get a share? dream on tangachi
cause you are those marginalised
Must I Come help you? It's crazy
you suckers haven't yet realised

Aneh just want your votes dear
every 5 years dangles before you
sweet fragrant ketupat in Kashmir
promises of dreams to come true

but like the highways that disappear
so will his promises and whatever
thus will those ketupats in Kashmir
be just out of your reach forever

... ke-tum ke-tum ke-tum ke-tum ke-tum tak tak tak ... Jolly great opiate for the masses - hah, another five more years. But Happy Deeparaya!

The Toddy Syndrome
Humpty Dumpty Bit Hands That Fed Him
Malaysia's Economic Pariahs?

1 comment:

  1. "In 1477, Mansur Shah died and his son Raja Hassan ( and a nephew of Tun Perak) became Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah. He mysteriously died in the prime of his life 11 years later, supposedly poisoned just as he was about to leave for pilgrimage to Mekah. We are now seeing a revival of the Tamil Muslim revolution - with the Temenggung Tun Mutahir, the son of the old former Bendahara Tun Ali, being the chief architect. Sultan Alauddin's elder son and the rightful heir Munawar Shah was passed over for his younger half brother, Mahmud, the son of the Temenggong's own sister. The grand old man of Melaka, Tun Perak, died in 1498, to be succeeded by his brother Tun Puteh. When he died shortly after, Tun Mutahir achieved the victory he desired and became Bendahara - the real power in Melaka. Melaka's State continued to flourish but the court was now thronged and dominated by Tamil merchants, ready to buy their way to royal favour. Thier monopoly in trade made them despised by other traders and the Malay chiefs and common people hated the arrogant and greedy "Jawi Pekan" strutting like rulers."