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During college and grad school I somehow managed to bypass the bhangra scene completely. While Sikhs and South Asians at my school packed for trips to national bhangra events and had webs of relationship triangles I couldn’t even begin to tease out, my life during that time resembled shows like Gilmore Girls and Smallville; Rory’s bookish life in the suburbs included a Korean best friend named Lane (and not Luvleen), and Clark ran at the speed of light to the sounds of Remo Zero (and not to the vocals of Surinder Shinda). Even though I maintained some distance from what to me was a semi-underground culture, I always wondered what it was really like and what I may have been missing.
Times are a bit different now. Gossip Girls and One Tree Hill now have the following of the exclusive 18- to 34-year-old viewing segment. And although TV shows still don’t give a glimpse of what Sikh and South Asian young adult life is like, the blog Sikh Subculture attempts to do so. I felt like a total fly on the wall while reading the narrator describe how the bhangra scene was more like a sports event and how he maintained a love life through instant messaging in the 3-part short story aptly titled “How Bhangra Ruined My Life.” I was also surprised when I felt a pang of regret and a sense that I may have been a bit judgmental towards the experiences of my brothers and sisters in the past.
I wouldn’t be surprised if a CW network writer picks up on the blog and adapts it into a fresh new TV series. What would the Gurus’ think now?