Mystery remains, but contemplation does not. Yesterday, I drove my brother’s car to a class I am taking that I hope will be useful in the future to fulfill his dream of becoming a producer and director. My brother is fascinated by the world of movies, Bollywood and Hollywood alike. He also has a great love for music from all over the world, except I think what are called “Bhajans or Chants.” He listens to all kinds of music and has left a vast collection for me to delve in to understand his taste better. If I compare myself, I like “Bhajans or Chants” more than anything and I like documentaries with a passion. This is where we differ. On that note, he was listening to Will Smith’s Big Willie Style, its seems in his last hours as I saw in his car. The cover of the CD has this quote from Will Smith, and seems to be probably one of the messages, may be my brother wanted to convey or may be not.
“It’s always hard when the time comes to do the “thank yous.” I always manage to forget somebody and then I see them on the street somewhere and they scream, “I gave you the best years of my life, and no thanks is the thanks I get!” So in the interest of time, space on the back of this album, and the avoidance of public ridicule, first and foremost, I would like to thank God. I would like to thank Mom Mom, Daddy O, GiGi and my entire family. Like the African proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I’ve been raised by a couple of villages full of people too innumerable to name. But to all of my friends, and all the “villagers” that have helped me, not only with this album, but with my career and life in general — you know who you are. And I want you to know that I’m very clear that no one becomes “The Big Williest” by themselves. And to Trey and Jada, I live, love and work, every second of every day, hoping to make you proud of who I am. I love you.”
My father came from a small town, with a village like setting where news about each other spreads like wildfire, or we can say goes viral. This is where cousins become life long friends and even neighbors are treated like uncles and aunts. May be it would have been a safe environment for him to thrive, may be not. My mother comes from a very close knit family, where every one follows their passion in living their lives fullest. I often feel that me and my brother found ourselves at the crossroads of these two mindsets within a sub culture while often feeling burdened with as well as rejoicing in the immigration experience here in the USA.
For me the love of both countries is profound, the roots of “Bharat” (known as India) and the branches of the “USA.” I think my brother felt the same way. I am hoping to make a bridge for myself, for my peace, for my equilibrium across the Atlantic Ocean, flying over the Indian Ocean and landing in “Bombay Dreams,” somehow to reach over to my brother sitting next to me as I write this, but on the “Other Side.”
In my brother’s name.