The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

What You Think You Know, But Don’t …
August 25, 2022, 8:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Comedians, Context, Culture, Emotion, Racism

When you have written a blog as long as I have, people often think they know me. And they do – to a degree. But as much as I have talked about things that really open up my emotions – from death to birth to suicide to errrrm, the size of my best friends appendage – who I am on this blog is only a part of who I am.

Whether that is a good part is open to discussion, but what I’m trying to say it’s different to what old friends and colleagues have experienced with me.

Not massively different, but different all the same.

More nuance. More history. More context. More highs and lows.

I say this because I recently read a brilliant article that reminded me of this fact.

In some ways, I feel I’ve known Sanjeev Bhaskar forever.

He has seemingly been on my television screen since the dawn of time.

Except it’s not true.

He appeared on BBC 2 in 1998 with the show, Goodness Gracious Me.

Oh what a show that was …

Brilliant for both its comedy and its gentle destruction of the prejudice Asian families have had to – and continue to – endure in the UK with white people.

And yet I wonder if everyone actually realises that?

Since then, Sanjeev has been on our screens forever. Both because of his talent as a comedian, director, writer and actor and also because British television has found it hard to give Asian talent a platform to showcase their talent so he became one of the ‘go to’s’ for British Television when an Asian presence was required on a show.

In other words, his success is down to talent and racism.

That must be a hell of an issue to deal with.

Oh people may say, “what’s it matter … he’s famous and rich” … but putting aside the fact no one knows how wealthy he is, money doesn’t mean you are immune from feelings.

And yet despite that burden, he comes across as such a kind, compassionate man.

To be honest, I kind of thought he was before I read the article … but it is in understanding where he has come from, what he has dealt with, what he believes that I realise that I knew such a sliver of how wonderful a human he really is.

And I appreciate this revelation still comes from reading an article rather than meeting the person … but if he comes across as open, generous and grounded as he does in an article, the real person cam only be even better.

The interview covers a huge amount of subjects …

His grandfather in India.
The bullying he went through at school.
That BBC executives only saw him because they tossed a coin whether to see his show or go to the pub.
His parents immense pride that their son has met the Queen and likes his show.
The utter stupidity of racism.
His belief in the younger generation to make everything better.

It’s truly a joy to read, but there’s one quote I really connected to.

Maybe because in some small way – despite our vastly different reasons and circumstances – I felt it and feel it too.

“If 14-year-old me could see where I am now, he’d tell me to piss off. [As in it was unbelievable rather than undesirable] But I want to tell him that we will make it out of that launderette and even become friends with some of those people on our bedroom wall. For all the shit we went through, with luck and without, it leads us here.”

It’s so well worth a read.

It also has made me hope I get to meet Sanjeev one day.

So I can learn more about the real person.

Who I have now started to see as a quiet revolutionary of hope and love rather than just a talented writer, comedian, director and actor.

Thank you Sanjeev.

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