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Showing posts from 2007

welcome home Urmi

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married and changed into a sari now

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another angle

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sublime

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Here comes the gorgeous bride

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Jai Mala

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riding to go get his bride

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maulis being tied on the horse by sisters

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the groom gets on a white horse

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White Sardars

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Chura Time

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Mehndi Time

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Shawn and Leela Kutty

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shopping for bangles

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amba and mira at the mehndi

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Mira selecting bangles

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Shot Central

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The Happy Parents Geeta and Nayan

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Happy Birthday Kabir

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Bari Mama Dancing

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Aish striking a pose

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Geeta and the Groom at the sangeet

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The newly weds Amit and Urmila

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All photos by Pradip Dalal
To all the gentle readers
the earlier outburst was not for this wedding. This wedding was a beautiful family affair, just how weddings can still be.

Such Ostentation

Such ostentation

I went to another wedding sangeet yesterday, and now I feel I have had it with Punjabi big fat weddings, and this one was really that. Indians pride themselves on their simplicity, thriftiness and lack of consumption, but this is no longer in evidence at a Punjabi wedding.

This sangeet was in a hotel, it did not start until about 10 pm. When it did start, there was a ring ceremony, with video cameras and their attendant bright lights shinning on faces.

The women were all very dressed up; the focus was on the jewellery. Women were wearing 20 carat diamonds encasing their necks. Rubies, sapphires, emeralds dripping off fat women’s, noses and ears. The women were trying to out do each other, when they said hello, they looked first at the neck, judging whether the woman was worthy to talk to before moving on the next neck. The men pretended to talk while looking to the left and right to see if any one more important was nearby.

After the ring ceremony, there were dance numbe…

Tejeshwar Singh

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Terrible

shocking news of the untimely death of Bunny. My heart goes out to Brinda, Aamana and Shonali, the brave wife and daughters and the larger family who are all feeling deep loss of Bunny's larger than life presence.

NEW DELHI: Tejeshwar Singh, publisher, theatre actor and television news reader, whose deep baritone demanded compelling attention from the viewer, died in Mussoorie on Friday night of a sudden heart attack.

He was in his early sixties. Singh founded the Sage Publications (India) in 1981 and nurtured it into a prominent publishing house within a decade.

Son of distinguished diplomat Gurbachan Singh, he was also a famous television newsreader on Doordarshan in the 1980s and early 90s. His voice left a lasting imprint on television viewers of an earlier generation. He was also associated with theatre and cinema.

Sage Publications sources told IANS that Singh had a heart attack while watching television.

Sage gave other established names in the publishing world a run fo…

David Barsamian

I went for an interesting lecture by David Barsamian, the founder of alternative radio at the Attic.
A description of the talk is below. He had just come back from Pakistan and Iran and he spoke about his experiences their. Pakistan he said was filled with protests, using the revolutionary poetry of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, not wanting military dictatorship but wanting democracy. Jamuriyat Zindabad, Amiryat Murdabad. He felt the citizens of Pakistan were aware of the lack of real choice between the lack of conscience Benazir Bhutto and the utterly corrupt Nawaz Sharif. He felt America treated Pakistan like an object, a place where it can set up military bases.

An Islamic Fascism awareness conference had recently been held in the States, where right wing commentators like Ann Coulter, had proclaimed the Muslim world should be occupied and the people converted to Christianity. The council on foreign relations a NY based think tank divides the world in to different spheres, similar to the Monroe d…

Lama Surya's weekly words of wisdom

Life is the gift of nature,
But beautiful living is the gift of wisdom.

~ Ancient Greek adage

An arrow to the heart review

Here is a review of Ken Mcleod's new book in the Huffington Post.

By Ken McLeod
(Trafford Publishing)

Let's say right off: you don't have to be a Buddhist to read this book. In fact, you don't need to be attached to a religion of any kind. But if you're the least bit interested in some of the more profound mysteries of the life of the mind, you'll find a great deal of guidance and inspiration in its pages.



That said, let it be added that as a student of Buddhist teachings myself, I have struggled mightily with The Heart Sutra. It is one of the key texts in the entire canon--the one that serves up this eternally enigmatic gem:



Form is emptiness
Emptiness is form
Emptiness is not other than form
Form is not other than emptiness

You'll be forgiven if your response to these words is a befuddled "Huh?" As McLeod is quick to point out, that's a perfectly normal first reaction. Many students much further along the path than I have occasion to mutter much th…

Rab Rakha Febrile Convultion

Febrile Convulsion

The most scary experience in the world is watching your child having a convulsion, you can just watch in fear as her limbs move out of control, her head jerks and her eyes have a far away look, as though she is a doll performing, a move with a remote.

No soothing helps, the sound that she makes emanates from deep within, a non human sound as though the battery is stuck in the same place, ai, ai, ai, her eyes glaze and her mouth is wet with spit.

The doctors advise holding her on her side and not interfering while this is happening. A part of you is dying watching this happen, the synapses overworking, the brain working rapidly attempting to break the strong hold of the fever. She was fine all day, suddenly without warning she is so faraway, I can’t soothe her with my touch or smother her with my kisses. She is distant; she is a doll with a remote inside of her. She does not smile, she looks faraway.

I catch hold of her and take her in my arms, and run out of the room. …

the problem with Christmas

Alternet has an insightful article on the problem with Christmas. I support this notion that buying green does not make it a better Christmas, we are still consuming stuff we really do not need or can afford.
The problem with Christmas is not the batteries. The problem isn't even really the stuff. The problem with Christmas is that no one much likes it anymore.

If you poll Americans this time of year, far more of them regard the approaching holidays with dread than anticipation. It has long since become too busy, too expensive, too centered around acquiring that which we do not need. In fact, it's the perfect crystallization of the American economy -- the American consumer experience squeezed into a manic week, a week that people find themselves hoping will soon end so that on Jan. 2 they can return to the mere routine hecticity of their lives.

From that central truth, a few propositions follow:



Replacing regular stuff with green stuff isn't getting very close to the root of t…

What women want

A fun article in the Tehelka about what women want, even though Bollywood has tried to update the stereotype, women still seem attracted to dysfunctional men alas!
Wax In Vain

After OSO and Saawariya, the updated male sex symbol is the talk of the town. But NISHA SUSAN’S random chats with women point in a completely different direction



TWO WEEKS ago we saw Ranbir Kapoor draped atop a piano, caressed by a sheer curtain, romping about in a precariously tied towel of equivalent sheerness. The same weekend we saw Shah Rukh Khan cavorting tirelessly in what appeared to be stripper gear. Were the chiselled male bodies of Om Shanti Om and Saawariya, Bollywood’s attempt to actively offer women what they think they want — the overwrought male bodies that are suddenly everywhere? More importantly, did it work? Our random survey indicates that the Diwali weekend’s cinematic offerings of muscular male beauty seemed to have been remarkably uninteresting to women. As one woman put it, “Ranbir is cute …

Martha Nussbaum

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Tehelka has an interview with Martha Nussbaum. I think she is currently one of the most seminal philosophers, articulating Indian identity and reality.
‘The IIT mindset feeds into the fascist nature of the Right’

Noted American political philosopher Martha Nussbaum speaks to SHOMA CHAUDHURY about her new book and the roots of Hindutva.



What’s the central premise of your book?
The book’s main thesis is that we should understand the real clash of civilisations as a clash that is internal to all modern democracies. A clash between people who are willing to respect and live with those who are different, and people who anxiously seek domination. Then, agreeing with Gandhi, I say that at a deeper level the real conflict of civilisations is the clash within the individual self as the desire to dominate other people contends against compassion and concern.

What about India makes it susceptible to the hate ideology of the Hindu Right?
When I started the book in 2002, I thought it would be a grim sto…

Khan Market

HindustanTimes has a wonderful piece on Khan Market, what it was when we were young. Now it's a nightmare, with ugly, over priced designer wear. I do miss the chat wala, where we ate chaat, chola bhaturas, fountain pepsi and Orange bars. I miss shopping at Chunmun, for dresses, with the lady who recognized my mom and me. The badly lit, The Book Shop, which always had great selections. I remember the hunch back of Faqir Chand and K.K. Lee. And waiting in line at Bittoo's for a lined exercise book, pencils, fountain pens and ink. Enjoy Renuka Narayanan's piece below.

Home was Lutyens’ Delhi for 13 years when I was growing up. I didn’t know then that Khan Market, the centre of my universe, would be ranked India’s most upscale mall and the world’s 24th most expensive. Lots of old shops are gone now along with the old neighbourhood feeling. Yeh sansaar ka niyam hai. I’m glad for the good times that were. As for what happens now or tomorrow if there’s one, I say, “Jede din lang …

mama and her sunshine

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thanks maya for the image

manhole covers in nyc

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I always felt a strange pride, when I saw manhole covers with the made in India logo. It seems now that these covers are made in dangerous conditions.

Eight thousand miles from Manhattan, barefoot, shirtless, whip-thin men rippled with muscle were forging prosaic pieces of the urban jigsaw puzzle: manhole covers.


Seemingly impervious to the heat from the metal, the workers at one of West Bengal’s many foundries relied on strength and bare hands rather than machinery. Safety precautions were barely in evidence; just a few pairs of eye goggles were seen in use on a recent visit. The foundry, Shakti Industries in Haora, produces manhole covers for Con Edison and New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, as well as for departments in New Orleans and Syracuse.

The scene was as spectacular as it was anachronistic: flames, sweat and liquid iron mixing in the smoke like something from the Middle Ages. That’s what attracted the interest of a photographer who often works for The New…

out of sight, out of mind

It is hard to decide which is more unappetising — the spectacle of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee declaring that the CPI(M) had paid those against the West Bengal’s industrialisation programme in Nandigram “back in their own coin”, or the BJP and the Congress condemning the violence there while ignoring their own culpability for similar behaviour in Gujarat and Chhattisgarh respectively. The use of vigilante groups or armed cadres, supported and sanctioned by a pliant bureaucracy, to physically defeat an opposing group, rather than relying on legal means and political discussions, is evidently the latest fashion in governance. It is time, we are told, to forget the old expectation that it is the police that is meant to maintain law and order and not gangs of party members.

What happened in Nandigram at the behest of the West Bengal Chief Minister is not very different from the Salwa Judum — ‘peace mission’ — being run jointly by the Congress MLA of Dantewada, Mahendra Karma, and the BJP gover…

Nandigram

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Tehelka has a strong indictment of the Indian state and it's unemployed goons that repress, harass and kill. Taslima Nasreen is being shuttled from Calcutta to Jaipur and now stationed in Rajasthan House in Delhi. The CPM, the party in power in West Bengal seems to have suddenly tried to distract public criticism and attention from the pogrom going on in Nandigram, to making Taslima Nasreen a shuttle cock for political purposes.

The Cowardice of Mediocrity

Nandigram shows that the CPM is just another face of the forces that threaten the polity, says ASEEM SHRIVASTAVA.

“Not being able to fortify justice, they justified force.” - Blaise Pascal

Delhi 1984. Mumbai 1993. Gujarat 2002. Nandigram 2007. Signposts of pathology on the putrefying landscape of Indian politics. What sort of a future does this sequence of events portend for this beleaguered country? A red thread of publicly endorsed savagery runs through the heart of these chilling episodes of recent Indian history.

The matter is …