Last year gave us that very enjoyable movie Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, from which the song Pappu Can’t Dance became an anthem in colleges. It was in very popular use to tease nerds and rag newbies. Any bookworm was named Pappu. I love the song. It is just so energetic and dance-able (ha! The irony! Dancing to Pappu Can’t Dance!) and does not require much thought.
However, if you make the effort of thinking the song over (Oh I’m such a killjoy! Always trying to stop people from having fun!), you will wonder what was so wrong with Pappu? Why was his dancing subject to so much criticism? After all, Pappu is muscular and popular, is a craze among the girls, has blue eyes (I’d do anything to get blue eyes! But contacts seem so artificial and ghastly!), Pappu dikhta angrez hai, and angrezi blue-eyed boys give heart-aches, don’t they? Pappu wears Rado and Gucci, so he’s brand conscious, probably metro-sexual, has an understanding of women. Among other things, Pappu is a great friend, fun to be with, holds an MBA degree (and that is an achievement, if you don’t know!), and enjoys holidays in France (It is expensive and also my dream holiday destination!). But still we complain that Pappu cannot dance.
I love the song and whenever and wherever it plays I’m off with the Pappu dance. All I’m trying to say is that the song showcases our obsession with ever-elusive perfection, particularly in others. “Nobody is perfect” is an oft-repeated phrase, yet we always try to find fault in others (Now don’t tell me that you are perfect. Let me find the faults in you. A mirror will show you your freckles!). Before accusing Pappu of funny dancing, we should probably look at ourselves and think whether we can accomplish half the things that Pappu has!
Only recently Susan Boyle took the world media by storm (Oh now you know why I was sermonising all this time!). When this 47 year old spinster walked onto the stage of Britain’s Got Talent, everyone among the audience including the judges were sceptical that she would make it through the first round even, only because she was not pretty enough and -as the media puts it- “frumpy”, “simple” and ugly. Standing on the stage in a dress that wouldn’t feature in a fashion magazine, Susan declared that her dream was to be a professional theatre singer, which led to uproarious laughter from the audience. She went on to say that she wanted to be as famous as Elaine Page, followed by more mocking from the audience and faces from the judges.
But she was able to shut everyone up and leave them dumbstruck with the power of her voice as she started singing I Dreamed A Dream from the musical Les Misérables. To watch her soulful first performance, click here. As judge Amanda Holden puts it, the performance was the biggest wake up call for everybody. The same crowd, which was initially against her because of her appearance, gave her a noisy and overwhelming standing ovation. Susan went on to the final round and ended up second. Watch her final performance here. Susan has become a role model for the not-so-young ones who are usually dismissed by the young ones as ancient or passe. She is a symbol of strength to “everyone who has a dream”, as Amanda puts it. The crowd’s paradigm shift is a phenomenal achievement!
Now the burning question that is bothering the media is whether Susan Boyle should get a makeover? Susan is against it. But if she wants to make it big, she will have to, because we want perfection. No One would buy a CD if there is an “ugly bush-pig” , as one youtube user puts it, on the cover. It is all about the packaging. To read more about Susan Boyle click here.
Well the songs like Pappu.. are good in their place, but maybe it is time for us to check ourselves. After all, we must never judge a book by its cover!