I write so I can breathe. I am constantly evolving, mindless at times, frustrating even perhaps but heck, I wouldn't change the smell of freedom that comes with writing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whatever Happened to Kelly Brown?

Circa mid eighties. One of those really popular singers, widely listened to in the North Eastern state of Nagaland was someone called Kelly Brown. I was gifted a tape by a friend in Dimapur and the songs became something that played in my head all the time. While “Higher” was a peppy hit, the lyrics of “Tied to a Heartache” tugged at my mental faculties more than any other. Perhaps it was because it had moonlight somewhere in the lyrics. I was thirteen, fourteen or fifteen sixteen. It has been so long that all of it is hazy but I remember…

“I’m laughing at the moon

Staring into darkness

Hoping that the night will last forever

I can hear only yesterday

Falling in love again (here I am not too sure of the lyrics)

Not to be a ship in stormy weather

You can run

You can hide

Playing tricks on me…(I forget the lines here…It’s been twenty-five years)


Girl I’m tied to a heartache

Always feel the same

Nothing ever seems to stop the rain,

Yes I’m tied to a heartache

Seeing smiles turn

It’s only when you listen

That you learn…”

A few of his numbers are here:
Sexy Lady
Only You Can

Okay, that’s round about what I can remember. It was a cassette (a cassette is a tape...just in case this generation has not used one...I used one years ago) showcasing the hit  Higher  and had these really awesome numbers sung in a sexy African accent. A white cover with his picture on it...Where is Kelly Brown?

I began hunting for his music online after I could find none of his numbers in any music store. Clearly, the age where CD’s took over music tapes had forgotten to carry his music through. Rainy days and moonlit nights and when I get hit by those heart breaking achy moments, the song wafts through.

This afternoon, when it did, I had to search again and here is what I found about him.

“Born Abdulkadir Mohammed Ali Bux in Mombasa, Brown made a name for himself as a soul-singing showman through a residency at the Bonanza night club in Nairobi. In the 1970s he moved to Germany and built up a considerable reputation there, subsequently dividing his time between Europe and Kenya. He was found dead in his apartment in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1989.”

Sigh! And thus…faded a star into oblivion. I dug deeper…

He was born in Mombasa, named Mohammed Abdulkadir Ali Bux and he became popular in the seventies, touring the East Coast of Kenya. Lesser known as a singer initially, he was popular with the tourists with his dance breaks. Whatever visuals are available of his dances are on U Tube via tourists who captured him on video. The stage for Kelly Brown got bigger and he first moved to Nairobi, performing at the nightclub “Bonanza” (now called Florida) which belongs to his brother now.

He moved to Germany where he adopted the name Kelly Brown after his Idol James Brown. In 1973, he returned to Kenya and released a few singles that became popular during that time. “Higher” was an instant international hit. He gave his bit back to Kenya then, popularizing local patriotic song “Asante ya Punda” (The Google translation from Swahili to English gives me the meaning” Thanks to Donkey” and I am not sure if this is what the song was about. It doesn’t sound like a patriotic song in theme at least. Another song popularized was “Kenya Yetu Nchi” which means “Our Country Kenya”. I am not sure anyone internationally remembers Kelly Brown but yes, I would presume some Kenyans do. Kelly gave a number of charity performances in Kenya as a part of giving back to his country.

You never quite know how your end will be. Kelly Brown was missing for about six weeks before someone found him dismembered and dead in his apartment in Stuttgart on 03 February 1989. The mystery regarding his death never was solved.

Now I know, why I never heard of him all these years. Now, I suppose, I never quite will.

- Sandy

(Picture Courtesy http://www.discogs.com/)
Thanks Raj for the U Tube Links :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Come With Me

Silken fingers beckon
a whisper in the air
come my path O friend
sprinkle petals velvety.
Meander through these dreams
resonating the laughter
our face to the sky
a journey untold.
Share my soul
come view my crystal
feel the love
and scatter its essence so.

Copyright Sandy@2011


Winters never were this cold
for your warmth held me snug
softly falling snow lit my world
never did I lack a hug.

There is nothing that lives eternal
it’s time for goodbyes I am told,
I cower, slunk in total isolation
seen, touched, possessed and sold.

Copyright Sandy@2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Give Up or Let Go?

(Acknowledgment - This post would not have been possible without the contribution of my friends Kanan KR, Priya Khanna, Priyank Gupta, Rohini Suri, Vicky Pope, Kandy Sir, Arundhati Das, Reshmi Chatterjee -Thank you all! You are cherished. You allow me to think, to express and everything in between!!!)

It all started off with a quote I read posted by Kanan. Yes, Kanan, your post about how people don’t leave because they stop caring but they do because they hurt too much. So, this post came to my Facebook status message as “People let go not because they stop caring. They let go because they are tired of being hurt.” I found this entire discussion worth a post because it allows us to look at the same picture with different perspectives, borne out of diverse experiences and perception.

While it started off with a lot of likes, the crux of what comes out depends on how it allows us to share our thoughts. Each comment was valuable and worth a thought. There are no right answers and there are no wrong answers to anything in life really. All a matter of relative perception and an attempt at understanding – yes, it also allows me to see friends who I have not seen for decades or who I have seen only virtually. Why else would it matter?

Priyank, when you said ‘I disagree’, I jumped at it because it makes the way for the light to filter through to areas that I have overlooked or not thought about. Thank you!!! It is okay to not agree. With friends or with anyone you share a relationship with; it is always healthy to agree to disagree. I find that a great way of opening up a vista of thoughts to be expressed without pushing opinions. I have no right answers and I love to allow thoughts to flow. I am pushy and opinionated but who isn’t…either ways…eventually we will take it the way we want to take it. But, this is not about me.

So, when I said you let go because you hurt too much, eventually you also stop caring, Rohini quite agreed, eventually yes. Vicky believed, That’s true for me. The trick is finding the strength to let go even while you still care..when the need to preserve your sanity exceeds the need to keep the object of your affection, the decision and action become possible.

Priyank’s respond to that was no you don’t stop caring. Parents don’t stop caring even when they let their children go. If you love someone it’s not for the fear or the tiredness of getting hurt that u will let go, you’ll let go because you want to let go, because your loved ones want to go. If you stop caring, you didn’t care enough from the beginning itself.

So, I thought…parents really do not fall into this category, do they? I wasn’t quite talking about parents. I was talking about one to one relationships. However, eventually, some relationships do have partners, who are parents as well; for example, a couple who have divorced but have a child together. Dwelling on divorce and the effect on the child is another topic altogether and we suppose, somewhere in the future, we will get to that. I am digressing here if I further look only into that. Yes, Priyank, you are right about that.

So, I looked at it from a wider angle to say it is not simply a question of parental love or care here. It is also about partners and relationships. We care definitely or you wouldn't be with the person. After a point the hurt far exceeds the care. How a person hurts you and emotionally destabilizes you can either destroy you or allow you to rise out of it and gather up your self esteem. I could care yes, as a human being thereafter, after letting go, but I would not go out of my way to make it an exceptional gesture. Time and life shows you different views out of the same window. Then, when your self-esteem hits rock bottom, you either gather yourself up and let go or you remain where you are feeling sorry for yourself and feeling claustrophobic and yet unwilling to live life fully...A lot of emotional guilt is thrown around. One eventually decides whether the baggage is worth the pain or not. These are really hazy lines. Bottom line, where our perception comes from is where our life's experiences have been.

Priya added, that it made sense to let go in negative circumstances.

Kandy Sir, you are such an affectionate soul!!! Thank you for caring! A question arose if I was sensitive about the topic at the moment. I paused to think about it. Was I? I felt happy to realize, it may be an emotional thing but I had made peace with it. Thank you! Sometimes a question can allow you to realize you have crossed over that realm of pain. It made me realize, I will always be alive because I am emotional about things. Not in a sentimental state of mind. I am just being straight about stuff people are too hesitant to talk about for fear of being labeled sensitive. Being alive is better, any day!

Kandy Sir pitched in that he is sensitive and emotional! “And I think that makes me what I am! Compassionate and kind!! Yes, it is true. We will be just who we are.

Arundhati, my adorable friend who I have not met for more than twenty-three years put in her two bit to this profound discussion and added it's all about surviving...so before the hurt drains away and exhausts all your will to live and love for life and trust in human goodness, 'tis always wise to let go and move on, give yourself a shot at life and ditto for the other person.

So, back and forth we went. Priyank added, If you are talking about letting go the past, letting go the hurt, letting go the disappointments, letting go the frustrations, letting go of all the times you don't want to remember; yes you may say that you don’t care about those times anymore. But if you are talking about letting go the people in a relationship, you might stop fettering them with your expectations but you will still always care the same way you did before. You can stop yourself from holding on to someone but u can’t stop yourself from loving them and caring about them. This truth shines bright even amongst those really hazy lines.
Yes it does…those cases are exceptional I would say, but yes, I know it does. Not for a long duration of time though I felt.

Reshmi approved of what Priyank said and said she too totally disagreed. She said, “If I love intensely no matter what, no matter what amount of hurt it might have caused or may cause, no matter how tired I am of getting hurt, how can I ever let go that special someone? All hurts are negligible compared to the amount of love we share. LOVE; this magic word is more than enough to live a lifetime.”

Finally, Kanan, the source of this entire topic appears to say the two points of view are balanced and right in their own way. Well, that is the magic of having a discussion as opposed to an argument. A thin line divides it. A similar thin line divides letting go and being indifferent. ‘Stop caring’ does not mean indifference. Not the way it is misunderstood. It simply means letting go without allowing what the other person does affect you. Darn! Am I making sense???

Relationships have the unique knack of squeezing every bit of you especially when you give it hundred percent. How well it turns out is entirely dependent on how much attention and importance two people together pay to it. Eventually, we need to look at a picture bigger than us. No person who cares about you should hurt you so much. If that is happening, well, it isn't right by any standard. If one wants to live a better today you have to let go eventually. One foot may be planted in the past (because that is what has made you what you are today) but you cannot cement it to the past. Better by far to let go and be happy than remember and cry. Life is far too immense a gift to cry over things and continue to hurt. It is too magical an adventure to pass by. The degree of care and hurt is at a precarious balance...when one outweighs the other the relationship defines itself. Some manage to gather the broken pieces and build it up but it’s futile to gather ashes. You can never gather ashes and put it together. You have to let it all blow away into the wind and count your blessing you have still survived and there is more to life until when the end arrives.

Priyank, you made this post really an insightful one. Yes, as you said, it’s all really hazy. But if you are getting hurt it’s your fault, not others; communication is a better option than letting go or moving on. If you have loved someone, you can't ever let go and be happy. A relationship never turns to ashes unless you burn it down. If people start taking responsibility for their own relationships, there won’t be any need to let them blow away into the wind.

Sigh! If only two people understood this together and not just one person. Point taken. I'd rather not dwell on who is to be blamed. The one who is bruised knows where the pain is. Never say never...it is such a restrictive word. Limits everything. Life.

Reshmi saw what I was getting at and agreed with me. Only the person who is bruised can feel it! And as Priyank said, if people take the responsibility but in that case both should take the responsibility and not just one. A relationship can only flourish when both care, when both love, when both feel, when both understand n when both share the responsibility!!! My point exactly.

To conclude I quote Priyank. Obviously! Relationships are a two-way street but I strongly believe that when two people are in love or in a relationship then the need to understand other person's expectations and limitations is greater than the need to be understood & loved yourself. If you begin to feel suffocated or suffer or be a sacrificial lamb, then I guess it’s high time to rethink about your relationship; it might be easier to let go than to stay together but even then I would maintain that you won’t care lesser. It’s much easily said than practiced but, tell u what! It makes Life a lot more to cherish.