Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Singer's Dream Gone Sour - From Singer to Security Guard

He is the quintessential security guard you meet at every office these days. You know, the hunkering tall types with bloodshot eyes and hefty build. He wears a uniform with an epaulet and a large badge on the sleeve of his shirt embroidered with "Target Security" or some such name. He wears a broad belt inserted through button down belt holders. The cloth is of cotton of a very tough quality. He is an impressive sight, young, with a glow in his eyes. Though at first sight you would stereo-cast him as the typical north Indian security guy with the basic education and skills of a person from the mofussil, if you come to know him better you will find that his is a dream that has gone sour. What's his dream? To be a singer. He is a budding singer and he is from Orissa.

When I ask him what he sings he says Oriya songs.

"Where did you sing it?"

"I sang it in Orissa for a music video, an Odiya music video."

"Oh, then you must have been paid a lot of money, eh? Music video players are paid well."

"No. sir."

"Why? Singers like Sonu, Adnan, what's that short guy's name? I forget. They are well paid no?"

"No sir. I was not paid at all."

"What? You mean you were not paid a single paise for singing and dancing in the music video?"

"No sir."

"Then why did you do it?"

"Because they said the music video will make me famous. They gave me a CD of video and said I can be a singer in Bombay."

"Really?"

"In fact, they took money to put me in their music video. Rs 5000."

"What? So that's why you came here."

"Yes. I came here, I had to make that money I had lost. But in Bombay nobody makes Odiya music videos."

"So that's why you became a security guard and work 12 hours a day?"

"Yes, sir. No other jobs were available."

That's another one of the con jobs being perpetrated in the name of entertainment in our country. I felt pity for him because he keeps pestering me for small loans all the time. I tell him I am in need of loans myself.

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