A Clockwork Blue: What’s It Going To Be Then, Eh?
Singing in the rain — songs about Asia, America, and everything in between…

Sanjaya, Only If You Would’ve Worn a Turban…

My dear Sanjaya, when I first heard about you, I was mildly annoyed because “Sanjaya” happens to be the narrator of one of my all-time favorite books, the Bhagavad Gita,  an esteemed literary work and a sacred Hindu text. For some reason, I had some difficulties reconciling the fact that the narrator of a text that has been crucial to my spiritual guidance shared the same name as an American Idol flunky. Then I learned that your father is an ethnic Indian, that your mother is an Italian-American, and that both happen to follow the Hindu religion. Then, I got ideas.

You should have fashioned a turban on that head of yours, which apparently can be used as a versatile prop. By doing so, not only could you have been a true trailblazer in Asian-American history, but a postmodern performance artist and a politico-cultural provocateur.  What I would not have given to watch the reactions on the faces of your pre-pubescent female fans as you would have broken into an over-the-top 7-11 Apu Indian-accented version of “I Want It That Way” by The Backstreet Boys. Not to mention the horrified expressions on the faces of the suburban soccer moms to whom American Idol is a religion. No, the average American Idol fan would not have been able to distinguish a Hindu from a Sikh from a Persian from A Shiite or a Sunni if their life depended on it… And that would have been the beauty. You would have blurred the oh-so-thin line between a terrorist and a teen idol. Rosie O’Donnell recently stated that terrorists are fathers and mothers too…. Well, let’s not forget that terrorists can be teen idols too. You would have given a softer, kinder image to the Islamic terrorist, prompting middle Americans to ponder the sophisticated questions as to whether American foreign policy of global hegemony just might fuel global–and especially Middle Eastern–resentment of America. 

And then to top it all off, your performance would have had the ultimately satisfying effect of shutting up even that Simon Cowell, who will soon be declaring that he is not only five times more important than Bruce Springsteen, but that he is also 2.33 times more important than the Beatles based on album sales. Unbridled capitalism is a beautiful thing, indeed. And to think that all of this could have been possible  because you sneaked your way into the popular American psyche with your sexy boyish looks that made those of us old enough reminisce about the artistic tour-de-force that was Menudo. By the way, I hear that they are going to revive Menudo. I suggest you learn some Spanish.

Sanjaya, as you ad-libbed through your inspired, final performance of “Let’s Give ’em Something to Talk About,” I could not help thinking to myself that you could have given so much more for America to think about. But, I realize that I am asking too much. All things considered, I do thank you, Sanjaya. After all, you did make tone-deaf Americans of all colors, creeds, races, and religions feel better about those ill-advised, late-night, alcohol-soaked karaoke stylings. Perhaps, you are worthy of being named after the narrator of one of the greatest literary and spiritual epics after all.

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One Response to “Sanjaya, Only If You Would’ve Worn a Turban…”

  1. eyes wide open.


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