A little bit of Shah Rukh Khan in suburbia

The babe and I go to music class. Its usually a fun affair with kids dancing and singing around to a ‘collection’ of songs, available to the parents on a CD. The kids get to use music instruments and other tools like plastic eggs, sticks etc. Well, at the end of each class there is usually a ‘dance along’ song. The teacher brings a dance along song, but she also encourages the kids and parents to bring songs they like and the whole class can enjoy and dance too. Well, she is also very interested in music from all parts of the world and had asked me to bring some Indian music. She asked me about the instruments, Ravi Shankar etc.

And for a while I had been debating what to take. I felt some pressure to show off Indian musical traditions – take my old, hardly used Ravi Shankar CD or maybe some classical music. Or maybe some Indian kids music (which I did not really have). But then there was the babe. As I had written, he loves ‘Zara sa jhoom lo main’ from DDLJ. And when I asked him, he chose that song without a moments hesitation. I debated if Bollywood was appropriate, and specially that song, but it was the babe’s class!

So off we went next week, with my DDLJ CD and its photo of Shah Rukh and Kajol and its repertoire of songs we both loved. The teacher was delighted and asked me about the CD.

Err, I said, its a Bollywood movie where songs punctuate and enliven the story.

She said ‘So this is not a kids thing, is it like High School Musical? A teenage thing?’

‘Yes’, I said grasping at that, ‘its not very recent but from when I was in college’

Pointing to Shah Rukh and Kajol ‘Who are they?’

And I told her they were big movie stars and volunteered that I had had a crush on Shah Rukh.

So when the time came at the end of the class, the teacher says ‘We have some Indian music today and Khushi had a crush on the movie star who sang it’

Half embarrassed as it started, I waited for reactions. Now the song takes two long minutes to warm up with lalalalas and stuff, but when it did, the effect it had on the kids was amazing. They all loved it. They waved their scarves and stretchy toys and started shaking their butts as if they were Bollywood naturals! The moms seemed to like it too – but with the kids, I know it was spontaneous. My babe had a blast of course.

Pregnancy makes you emotional, so needless to say that I was but overcome with emotion at this validation of our mixed identity right in the middle of a toddler music class in suburbia.

At the end the teacher said ‘You know, this is what I talk about. The kids here have never heard music like this – it opens up their minds!’

And I came home with a very satisfied babe and feeling strangely happy that I had had the guts to take a little bit of Bollywood into our class.

Last 5 posts by Khushi



10 Comments

  1. Asha A

    I would love a picture of all those kids doing jhatkas

  2. Khushi

    Yes, wouldnt that be funny! Also funny – Google ads has switched to showing me an ad about single arabs just because I wrote about a Khan I suppose!

  3. Pry

    Great Job..Khushi.Congrats on having the guts to take the CD to school…I dont know if I would have done it.. and my son would have picked Dhoom2 song.

  4. joysree

    your writing reminds me that language of music is universal. enjoed reading

  5. Khushi

    Thank you both! Yes, music is universal. And Pry, I felt shy about it too, but in the end, I think it turned out good and I felt great.

  6. sands

    That tells the kind of struggles we immigrant parents go through and doesn’t it also mean that we, at many times, are hesitant and restrict our expression for no reason? Kids on other hand do not have any such fears and are ready to express themselves!
    Kudos to you for breaking that block and going with the choice that was really a “choice”. It might not look like a big deal to many but it sure is!

  7. Indrani

    Hi Khushi That was a lovely post, enjoyed reading it. And what you did surely deserves a round of applause.

  8. Khushi

    Hey Sands and Indrani, thank you so much for the comments. Sands you are right about kids being without any inhibitions to express themselves. Indrani, thanks for thinking its worth applause, but you know the best reward was I felt pretty good after it.

  9. Anonymous

    I took the song “Bum bum bole” from Taare Zameen Par for our Music Class during the Summer Semester. And yes, the kids liked it and everyone danced to it. What warmed my heart was one of the mom’s telling her two and half year old daughter that this song was from India, the country their preschool class was studying that month!

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