Monday, March 14, 2011

Zoheb Hassan, where art thou?

I was struck by a bad bout of nostalgia yesterday. I went to this garage sale, where I spent an obscene amount of money on CDs, DVDs, books and some toys for the boy (yes, real toys, for the real boy).  One of the CDs was a Disco Deewane- Star combo. Does Biddu still ring a bell? 

The next few hours were thoroughly entertaining for the boy as his mother transformed into an 80s disco icon, bouncing around, crooning away till he buried his head in shame.
24 hours later, I am like a love-struck puppy, wondering what became of my adolescent crush, Zoheb Hassan, brother of the more famous Nazia Hassan of Aap jaisa koi and Disco Deewane fame, the boy who made me graduate to denim and checks, the boy who made curls look cool, the boy who looked cool grooving with his sister, the boy who knew exactly how to tuck his shirt in, yet make it look like an accident, the boy who should have never turned into a man.  Ideally speaking.

Nazia-Zoheb happened when my brother and I were on the verge of adolescence (at least I was). We were finally bonding, sharing our friends and had just got our first TV, a Keltron black and white.  Both of us, armed with badminton rackets (our pretend guitars), dressed in denims and checked shirts, our sleeves effortlessly rolled up, shirts tucked in or loosely knotted at the ends, would bellow Tere kadmon ko, choomoonga.. or Mujhe chahen na chahen, never realising that they were the most inappropriate lyrics a brother would ever sing to his sister.

Funnily, Nazia was who I wanted to be when I grew up (she made two plaits look cool, which made me feel better about mine) and Zoheb was who I wanted to marry. So what if he was her brother? I could still be her while having a crush on her brother, right? Wonder what Freud would have said to that?

Ironically, Nazia died of cancer around the same time that I was going through a tragedy queen phase of my life, confused about men, career and what to do with myself. It was a sign for me, no less, and I decided to pick myself up and get on with it, be grateful for what I had and find my new life. I was still too depressed to find out what happened to Zoheb, lest it was revealed that he was lolling about in Spain or some such with an exotic beauty, while I was still grappling with a bad-hair life. It was pre-internet times.

Yes, I know that today, the internet can vomit 20,000 or an equally monstrous number or pages on the said person, but I somehow don’t feel right to stalk someone I fancied in a non-internet time through the internet. It feels wrong. 

Do I sound suitably nuts? Well, it is one of my virtues. So I guess, I will keep wondering for a while and wish for my current phase to fade away and for my mind to get over-populated with other inanities that I don’t really care for.  Like Katrina Kaif’s wardrobe malfunction or why can’t the Kapoors get over their Nargis fixation or what happened   at the 19th fashion week of the year (yaaaaawwwn!) 

Because, to me, Zoheb Hassan, like most unadulterated crushes of adolescence is best left unvisited.

But as I was dancing in abandon for my son last night, I missed my brother, and our badminton racket-guitar phase, which continued right through most of Rishi Kapoor’s capers. So this summer, when he is down for his annual visit (the brother, not Rishi Kapoor) from sunny California, I am already plotting to re-enact our simulated guitar performance (perhaps with real guitars this time, not that I can play one, but I can definitely afford it). I am sure my boy will be delighted. Perhaps embarassed. But at least he will have a story to tell that can begin with, “A long, long time ago, when television was black and white....”


  1. Hey,I'm a big fan of Nazia-Zoheb too!Though I was a toddler when Disco Deewane hit the music scene,I vividly remember my parents playing its songs on our old gramophone player(which they still have:-).We really miss Nazia's voice and though many singers have tried copying her,her voice remains unique.Shaan and Sagarika tried to do an N-Z,but they never had their style and charisma.Zoheb,I read, is into politics and business;also has started a charitable foundation in his sister's name.I came across an interview of his in a magazine,and he looks dashing as ever!!
    P.S:I own the Disco Deewane-Star cassette too!Lovely songs in both albums,especially ooyi ooyi by Zoheb in Star is ssweet!

  2. thank you arshat!
    @dharini: o no, you have kindled old flames again! i thought he must have faded into oblivion, but dashing as ever? that's cruel!
    my favourite is tere kadmon ko! if only i could get a disco deewane dvd!

  3. ...a bad hair life? And I have seen similar mention in some other posts of yours.

    Girl, anybody told you that you are lovely? Hair and all? And this coming from a woman can't be wrong. So while it might be a tad trying, it wears well on you.
    Be proud of your roots : )

  4. Bad hair life!! Girl, you are lovely. Hair and all! May be a tad trying but it wears well on you. And coming from a woman, this cant be an untruth.

    Be proud of your roots! : )

  5. thank you sindhu! you just made my day. off i go, letting my hair down. yes, it has its moments, i agree.