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Showing posts from January, 2006

rang de basanti

Rang de basanti
Saw a wonderful Hindi movie, at imaginasian, after a long time in NY. We tried seeing it on Saturday night, but it was houseful at 7 pm, and people were queuing up to buy tickets for the 9 pm show. We bought tickets in the am for a 7 pm show on Sunday, when we got in at 7 it was houseful and we had to sit on the third row.
A few minutes after we sat down in the center of the third row, we had a nice Indian gentleman ask us if we could move. My friend looked at him straight in the face and said we sat here for a reason, we can’t move!!
I had no idea, what the movie was about so I came in with no expectations. It was a beautifully made film, set in Delhi and Punjab.
It had an interesting, unexpected story line, and a nice juxtaposition of the past and the present. The dialogue was catchy, with a lot of Punjabi slang like chuck de Pathe, thrown in.

Director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra merges two plots in Rang De Basanti. The first is about a group of friends, their bondin…

saying sorry

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shakira

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center of action

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times square

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countries visited

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khushwant singh's book re-release

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fare evasion

Fare Evasion

We had a delicious Yemeni meal of humus, fusillia, hobz bread and four cups of sugary strong brown Yemeni tea. Other than the four pebbles, found in the fusillia, the meal was appetizing.
As we tried to get into the subway from Brooklyn, last evening, my friend SZ’s metro card was not working at the turnstile, she kept trying over and over, and it said, too fast or too slow, or some other cryptic command. Their was no assistance near by and considering we had valid metro cards, I ran my card, and we both went through the turnstile.
We both laughed as we squeezed through the turnstile, and she remarked, “I have never done this before”There were other people at the Bergen street station, looking at us..and soon we saw the same mass come towards us. They pulled out their silver medallion ID’s and said,
"we are cops you broke the law and doubled up. Show us your ID’s
Their were six plain clothes policeman waiting for us.
The woman undercover, said she was going to scan ou…

Harvest

I saw Manjula Padmanabhan’s play Harvest at Lamama etc, today.
The play centers around the lives of a family of four in Bombay, Om, Jaya, Jeetu and Ma.
It deals with organ donations, and the relationship between the donors and the receivers. It reflects the relationship between people living in the rich first world, and their interactions with families living in the poor, third world.
Om supports his family of three- his intelligent wife Jaya, his wild brother Jeetu and his sarcastic mother, Ma. With no jobs available, he has volunteered to became an organ donor. This leads to a lot of changes in the household. The multi national company Interplanta will takeover their lives and monitor all aspects of it. They bring in new furniture, a TV, a water fountain, and different colored pills to serve as substitutes for food.
The donor Ginni, soon appears in their household, through a monitor, and attempts to communicate with the receiver family. This section portrays the stark differences be…

blonde on black

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losida urdu grafitti

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breaking bounds

The school was obsessed with controlling girls, by not allowing them out of bounds, a bit like the purdah, zenana system. Boys on the other hand, could do what they liked and go anywhere, except where the girls were.
The girls dormitory would be locked from outside at night, by the matron. This was a huge fire hazard, all of us could have got singed, unable to escape. The priority was protection of our virginity rather than our safety.
In my 2nd week at school, I was reported by the house prefect for breaking bounds, I had gone to see the school doctor who had invited me for a party. I was a few minutes late, and I was reported by the over enthusiastic prefect to the house mistress, a.k.a. Bucket..who yelled at me for 20 minutes for breaking bounds. I was clueless about what she was talking about.
Another time my friend Titli and I had gone to see if the swimming pool was open. An anorexic teacher Mrs.Wall, reported me to the Bucket again, saying we were secretly meeting boys at th…

himalayan boarding school

She was 15, scared and nervous, her whole life was going upside down and topsy turvy. She sat with her favorite t-shirt on and ate scrambled eggs in Kasauli. Her life was going to change and she was terrified. Aditi was starting boarding school this morning after breakfast.
She was with her mother, father and brother today, tomorrow, she was going to be alone around no one she knew. She had cried through the 5 hour car journey, her parents were sad they didn’t know what it was going to be like for their precious child.
She had packed her stuff in a holdall which contained her sleeping bag, her blanket, her sweaters and her coats. She was also allowed 1 metal case with her name painted on Aditi Singh, H.G.D. standing for Himalaya house girls dormitory. It contained some of her home clothes and toiletries.
Her father had been to the same school, many years ago and was also in Himalaya house. She had heard horror stories from him about how if they spoke Hindi they were punished with a ed…
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pg 2

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meeto's farewell

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cartoon

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Style & Status

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wonderful exhibit of turkish robes at Sackler Gallery in DC

farewell by agha shahid ali

Agha Shahid Ali's poem, Farewell: At a certain point I lost track of you.
You needed me. You needed to perfect me:
In your absence you polished me into the Enemy.
Your history gets in the way of my memory.
I am everything you lost. Your perfect enemy.
Your memory gets in the way of my memory…There is nothing to forgive. You won't forgive me.
I hid my pain even from myself'; I revealed my pain only to myself.
There is everything to forgive. You can't forgive me.
If only somehow you could have been mine,
what would not have been possible in the world?

3 books

Three books, I do not recommend are-

Between Two Worlds Escape from Tyranny: Growing up in the Shadow of Saddam by Zainab Salbi and Laurie Becklund

Two Lives a memoir by Vikram Seth

blink The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Zainab Salbi grew up in Iraq under Saddam Hussein and her family were part of the privileged elite in Baghdad. The book is intent on painting Saddam as a womanizer, murderer and evil. The writing is not very interesting, its more a personal memoir of the writer.

Vikram Seth’s book is about his uncle Shanti Behari Seth and his wife German Helga Gerda Caro. The book also incorporates his own story as a graduate student and world traveler. I personally did not find the two main characters very interesting. I think Vikram Seth has to go beyond his family to look for new, engrossing stories. The over 1000 page The Suitable Boy was more than adequate, to get an idea of his family.

The main premise of Blink, was the idea of thin slicing- filtering the ver…

a bizzare scanning error

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the monument

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dc

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golden temple

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ac

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another arpana caur artwork

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representations in the army

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martial history

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golden temple again

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sikhs going to iran

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the golden temple in amritsar

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