Poetry / October 2018 (Issue 41: Writing Singapore)

The Year We All Watched TV And Saw Ourselves in Yamuna Sangarasivam

by Pooja Nansi

Remember Lata Music Centre? /Remember /the five minutes that turned into a half an hour stop on Sunday afternoons/ when you were post idli lunch sweaty cheeked child your father would thumb/ through rows of cassette tapes the same way he ran his fingers through your/ hair to tuck you into bed at night /Remember /glossy cassette sleeve paper cradled in L shaped plastic /the colours that your father would hum/from Jagjit Singh/ Pankaj Udhas/ Mehdi Hassan/ Anup Jalota/Remember red cursive font on yellow/ jingle that would end side A you’d recite again while flipping over for Side B/remember movie soundtracks from Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin/Hum/ Phool Aur Kaante/Saajan / The year was 1991, everybody else in your class was listening to Jacky Cheung/ there was real fear of somebody/ finding out what was really happening in your bright red plastic Sony walkman/fear of head shaking from side to side with palms clasped in mocking Namaste but then this/this is the year Michael Jackson will dance alongside an Odisi dancer /and being brown is/ almost/ ok again.

ImagePooja Nansi is Singapore's first Youth Poet Ambassador. Her work has been described as "unflinching, lyrical and quietly honest". She is the author of two collections of poetry, Stiletto Scars and Love is An Empty Barstool. Her one woman show You Are Here which explores a family history of migration has toured to Australia for the Queensland Poetry Festival. She was a recipient of the Young Artist Award in 2016 and her latest work Thick Beats for Good Girls in conjunction with Checkpoint Theatre explores the intersections between feminism, hip hop and race. Visit her website for more information.
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