For the love of men and music

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Indian Winter

After 2 weeks in Mumbai for the first time in ten years, I'm back in blighty with mixed emotions. This has been the longest I've been off work for ages, and Mumbai presented a whole world I had forgotten existed. The Mumbai of today is still as chaotic and an attack on the senses as it ever was, but this was the first time I realised how quickly India is shaping it's game. The city oozes wealth at every corner - there is money to be made in the city, I'm just not sure how.

On a personal level, sitting on the gay india internet chat rooms, I've been forced to re-examine how I feel about being a foreigner in Britain. Inspite of the fact that I have been here for coming on 18 years, I realised that whether I like it or not, the colour of my skin will always make me the 'other'. It is not uncommon to see comments such as 'no asians' on gay profiles in the UK, whereas in India, for the first time in ages, I felt like I actually belonged rather than being an outsider.

Musically, I reignited a love of indian music that had been gently simmering on the back burner for a few years - India & Pakistan have a thriving music scene - and I made a few fanstastic discoveries, I'll be sharing over the next few weeks as I work my way through them.

First off, although a couple of years old, my favourite discovery is Rabbi Shergill; mixing elements of sufi, folks, pop, rock and bhangra, his self-titled debut offering hasn't left my playlist for the past couple of weeks.

Rabbi's father was a Sikh preacher and his mother, a college principal, loved Gurbani kirtan. Rabbi was "very, very influenced by Sikh literature. In an interview a few years ago, he said; "I grew up reading Gyani Gyan Singh, Kabir's dohas, Shiv Bata... We would have long discussions on poetry. I was listening to rock music and Punjabi spiritual music. It all combusts man. It's the great reality of urban India."

If you want to know what the word actually mean, check out this site dedicated to the man.

MP3: Rabbi Shergill - Bulla Ki Jana (expired)
MP3: Rabbi Shergill - Tere Bin (expired)

MP3: Rabbi Shergill - Ajj Nachna (expired)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes you wonder if anyone put 'no caucasians' on their Gaydar profile if the administrators would take issue.

I realise it's probably personal preference, but it would be a lot easier just to say to any interested parties that aren't their type a quick 'no thanks', which would be the same means to an end.

Life is strange.

January 08, 2007 7:21 pm

Blogger xolondon said...

I wish everyone could experience both sides - being a minority AND a majority. It would do everyone better. I'd love to send an pickup truck of racist rednecks to Asia and dump em off! ;)

Having said that, what do you think when people do the inverse and say, "Oooh Indians are hawt!" Does it bother you or do you find it...amusing?

January 09, 2007 12:34 am

Blogger xolondon said...

Forgot to add that the music you posted is pretty - very shimmery.

January 09, 2007 12:35 am

Blogger SonnyBoy said...

i see where u comin from man and lets face it we will be always those brown pakis wherever we go and whatever we achieve.... i love the man and his music too... may he long live and for fuckssake come out with some new stuff... its been 2 yrs now since bulla...

January 29, 2007 11:28 pm

Blogger kusala said...

I finally got around to listening to these. Tere Bin is an amazing song. I just bought the CD online.

Interesting comments about reactions that range from the two extremes of "No Asians" to "I love Indians". I agree that the exclusive fetishization of one ethnic group can be kind of disgusting and just as insulting as excluding them (here in California it's Latinos who often get this fetishization treatment). I'm a gora who happens to find a lot of South Asian men attractive, but not exclusively. I find lots of other white guys attractive too... And to add to what Xolondon said: I definitely feel that my life changed living in Africa for 8 months -- the concept of being a very visible minority changes one's worldview.

Anyway, great stuff... I'm really looking forward to listening to more of your discoveries from Mumbai.... when you have time to post them!

February 09, 2007 5:34 pm


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