Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Michael Jackson, Me and common sense

This stroke of luck hit me somewhere in Nov 2005. In my entire life, I had never been so close to the iconic pop star Michael Jackson as I had been during that time. We were in the same city of Dubai. Ahem. Ahem. Perhaps he too couldn’t believe his luck; so much so that he went berserk.

After his much publicized acquittal in the child molestation case, Michael hid himself from the media glare by choosing to stay put in the Middle East under the royal promises of an expensive hideout from the paparazzi. The government of Dubai almost succeeded in keeping him under wraps by quarantining him in one of the world’s most expensive hotel - Burj Al Arab. Nothing wrong with making business out of someone’s desperation they would’ve thought. But funny are the ways of God and Michael (God of Pop). The ‘pop-py’ God just couldn’t prevent himself from popping out a controversy from his eccentric hat of shenanigans. And this time he chose to hit below the belt of the 'apparently conservative' Dubai culture by entering the ladies room in a shopping mall.

The pop star's publicist said Jackson, who arrived in Dubai as the guest of a champion rally driver Mohammed bin Sulayem, did not understand the Arabic sign on the door and left the bathroom as soon as he realized his mistake.

In the statement released later, Jackson's publicist said: "Upon his exit (from the ladies bathroom), he was recognized and a crowd ensued. He had to wait in a nearby bookstore until police arrived to escort him through the crowd." But Mr. Michael had done his job and successfully made his Arabic-ally challenged linguistic abilities the scapegoat.

Much as we would love to lampoon the beleaguered pop star for his confused sexuality, I would like to partly blame the ostentatiously chic washroom signs at some places in Dubai. I was once staring at a similar prospect in 2005 GITEX in Dubai where the artistic toilet door signs wearing Arabic headgears put me in a quandary just when my quest to answer nature’s call had reached its bursting limits. For a few seconds I really thought of letting my bladder blast than be on the wrong side of the law in Dubai. But as they say, common sense is not so common; more so when it concerns uncommon celebrities like Michael Jackson. Since I’m more common than the uncommonly unique Mr. Jackson, I’ve more common sense to overcome such uncommon circumstances even when constrained by an uncommonly swelling bladder. And so I patiently waited at a safe distance from each of the washroom doors for a few people of each gender to get in or come out. Even after they got in, I waited for a few more seconds to confirm that the same folks didn’t come out hiding their embarrassing faces – a la Mr. Jackson.

I didn’t have a publicist or a champion rally driver behind my back to protect me. I was sure people would’ve followed me after they would’ve discovered my faux pass but only to lynch me rather than gape at me in awe. However, I had the uncommon common sense to be patient when it was the last thing I could expect. That, I guess, saved me from reducing the fame barrier between Mr. Jackson and myself.

Isn’t it more than a coincidence that my girlfriend once told me that the thing she likes most about me is my patience? Who wouldn’t want a beau who could behave so sanely in the midst of such an exigency ‘bursting’ at the seam?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

As I can't attend your wedding reception

As I can't attend your wedding reception,
a thought brings itself to my attention.
'As you wind yourself in anticipation
of the pleasure of this loving relation,
I get overwhelmed with emotion;
not sure how to wish you the best of life's collection.'

Life is a treasure, seldom understood.
Nothing matters - is all I know.
In diving into relations, are we building
our sources of enjoyment,
or sources of need,
is all that I want to know.

May the full-stops of life match the full-stops.
May the commas match the commas.
Pray they never juxtapose.

Lest they be caught in the rigmarole of expectations,
if spiritual growth is not the raison d'ĂȘtre for relations.