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Monthly Archives: July 2008

Bag Hag

Katie Holmes says Good Morning America

Katie Holmes says Good Morning America

Are they all moving house? What the fuck kind of formal event requires you to carry half your luggage on your arm?

Look, I admit it: I have occasionally looked at a bag and fallen instantly, desperately in lust. Of course, I usually can’t be bothered to carry any of them unless I run out of pockets to stuff things in or am headed for a formal event. But I do have the bag loving genes. I know this. Here are some other things I know:

She who has big bag will soon carry everything her husband / boyfriend owns. [This I learned by 18. I impart my wisdom freely to those of you who’re still wondering why your bag feels like you stuck a concrete block in there when all you did was put in your lipstick of the day and your iPhone. Take a good look at your significant other – is he carrying anything? Exactly.]

She who carries big bag to glitzy event implies that she would also appreciate a construction crane to apply her make-up. [Seriously. Even if I carried a change of clothes in there, I’d still find a way to make it fit into a clutch. Prioritize. Learn to pack.]

She who needs a big bag either travels a lot or needs to de-clutter her life. [Is that your ticket stub from a New Kids on the Block concert? Tsk, tsk.]

She who carries big, big purse paid big, big money for it. [The thing has to pay for itself, right? Why waste your $3000 bag on the cashier at your local supermarket when you can show it off in the tabloids?]

She who can make every single thing look awful is named Rani Mukherjee. [eg: this fugly ass grandma tote is apparently a bonafide Dior.]

She who should never be allowed to buy another bag – ever – is Dimple Kapadia. [eg: just look at those pictures below! Would you carry a carcass on your arm and call it a purse?]

click to enlarge… at your own risk

[Jessica Simpson pic courtesy CDAN, Katie Holmes via The Purse Blog, all others: High Heel Confidential]

 
17 Comments

Posted by on July 31, 2008 in Celebrity, Life

 

Fat Cat, Fat Cat Whatchu Gonna Do?

… when Rads’ tag comes lookin’ for you? Me, I just gave in.

I am: or so I think.
I think: all the time.
I know: I want to know more
I want: what I can’t have.
I have: just two addictions.
I wish: I could just be.
I hate: to floss.
I miss: very little.
I fear: this list will never end.
I feel: short, fat, dumpy, hot, and irritable. Hello, PMS!
I hear: a fat cat needs a home.
I smell: lemony fresh.
I crave: a scoop of strawberry sorbet.
I search: I Google. You say tomato, I say tomahto.
I wonder: when I’ll come to the end of this list.
I regret: those denim short shorts. I shake my fist at thee, fashion challenged teen years!
I love: the smell of grass.
I ache: in every creaky joint when it rains.
I care: fiercely.
I am not: perfect.
I believe: I can eat just one.
I dance: very well.
I sing: a song of sixpence.
I cry: when you’re mean to me! 😦
I don’t always: bite.
I fight: because murder is wrong.
I write: because I can’t stop.
I win: easily when I cheat.
I lose: all pleasure by cheating. Conundrum!
I never: spit at people.
I always: say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ even when the service is terrible because I know I can always stiff them on the tip. Ha!
I confuse: mathematical equations. a+b+what = who?
I listen: to my mother. Primarily because if I don’t, she’ll pinch.
I can usually be found: in my pajamas.
I am scared: when aunties come bearing smiles.
I need: to grow another six inches – vertically.
I am happy about: this long ass list coming to an end.

Hmm, that was kind of fun actually. All yours, ladies and gents.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on July 30, 2008 in Personal

 

Bollywood Really Isn’t for Everyone

“I sometimes feel completely out of the loop of contemporary India,” writes Nirpal Dhaliwal, the Guardian‘s “man in Mumbai”. Well, maybe that’s because he’s not actually a part of it?

He reminds me of a point I made about Sanjaya Malakar what seems like a million years ago: that you can’t automatically co-opt people into a vast Indian identity just because their parents were Indian. When people are identified as Indo-American or Brit-Asian or what have you, those hyphens exist for a reason.

Back then, I was promptly told off by a legion of righteous (children of) migrants who said it was obvious that I prescribed to (as one person put it) “19th century ideas” of race and nationality. Well, not quite. I don’t think whites are superior or Christianity is the sole salvation of mankind, I don’t see the inevitability of empire and, in spite of the reigning insanity we call Indian politics, I think Indians are quite well able to take care of their country, thank you very much and don’t slam the door on your way out.

And so we wind up with reviews like the one above. i have no idea why Dhaliwal’s covering Bollywood at all when it’s perfectly clear the man hates it and would much rather be talking about another side of India. Just because his parents were Indian doesn’t mean he should automatically be writing about Bollywood, unless you think Christiane Amanpour should only be covering “women’s issues” and Anderson Cooper the lifestyles of the rich and famous.

Or maybe, just maybe, he’s funding research for his next novel with execrable movie reviews for people who don’t know any better but would like to pretend they do. Either that or the man’s a masochist.

[Sparked off by Dew Drop Dream on a review that pushed her buttons.]

 
20 Comments

Posted by on July 29, 2008 in Life, Politics, Video

 

Kiss My Chaddis

Dear Obscure islamic Group,

I hear life’s been treating you swell, enabling you to successfully blow up pedestrians and stuff. 49 dead and 200 injured, as I write. Wow. But that’s just another day in Paradise for you guys, no doubt.

In the coming days several TV channels and newspapers will dissect and psychoanalyze your actions. Congratulations on getting their attention. Even Time is weighing in. You know how hard some people have had to work to get into that magazine? They had to, like, fly airplanes into buildings and stuff. For real. You are so made, dude! Maybe now those donations will pour in and you too will find yourself checked into one of those luxurious caves on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, with internationally famous neighbors like Osama bin Laden. Hey, a man can hope. It’s like some people dream of living on Millionaire’s Row, huh? I agree, those things are so last year. Plus, I bet Lakshmi Mittal always misses trash collection day. Probably thinks himself too fancy, the bum.

So, hey, I got a chance to read your letter and it’s absolutely super. I mean, it’s a little flowery for my taste but anytime you use the phrase “terror of Death” (‘d’ capital), it’s bound to be a winner. However, a few notes:

One, if you’re looking for support within India, then the right way to go about it, isn’t by telling Muslim actors to stop working. See, you can screw with the railways, the roads, the hospitals, the airports, the odd prime minister – and chances are, once the immediacy fades away, people will shrug their shoulders and go back to their lives. Fuck with their movie stars, however, and you’re never going to hear the end of it. That is some major stuff and you don’t want to mess with it.

Two, I hate to tell you this, but you shouldn’t really count on people feeling the terror of Death or death or DeAtH or any combination thereof. Not only have they been blowing people up all over the world for a really long time now, but they’ve been doing this in India for nearly as long and while it’s certainly unpleasant, we’ve all kind of gotten used to it as much as you can get used to being blown up. Hey, I’m just the messenger – you wanna get mad at somebody, try the Indian government and those who came before you.

Three, Gujarat riots? Really? Lame! Not only is it years too late to be made into a plausible excuse (really, didn’t you learn anything from the Bombay serial blasts? Now that was timely), Tehelka went at it armed with just a couple of hidden cameras and they kicked that cabal’s ass about a billion times better. Of course, that came to nothing, just as this will come to nothing. In fact, if you ever run into Narendra Modi, be sure you introduce yourselves coz I bet he’ll want to shake you by the hand and plant a big wet one on you for doing him this favor.

Four, if you’ve any cricket-loving friends in Pakistan these days, then you better hide out for a few days because you apparently just played into the Australians’ skittish hands. Yeah, something about South Asia being so unstable and full of bombs and things and how all those bad people will bombs will want to blow them up if they come here. I wasn’t really paying attention. But I can’t entirely fault them for feeling that way given some of the comments they were drawing last year all over the Indian blogosphere. Maybe they think all of those angry people are terrorists.

Which brings me to Five, the blogs. You have it? Please don’t post. I’m asking nicely. A couple of years ago, some idiot in the government decided blogs were how you happy Death-dealers were communicating with each other and they started blocking access. Maybe I’m making this up and it was the ramblings of some paranoid blogger who couldn’t log into his account some day and played it up into a full on assault on civil liberties. Well, whatever. Point is, please try not to blog. You probably won’t like it anyway. For all you know, some 14 year old will find it when he’s supposed to be studying for his exams instead and then he’ll spend all his time trying to get under your skin. The commenters these days are very mean, you know.

Well, that’s it for me. As one of those immoral Hindus, I’ve got my reputation to think about. Time’s a-wastin’ and I’ve yet to put on my slinky sexy instrument-of-Satan saree, grab a bottle of vodka, slap on some bright red lipstick, and head out the door to meet my greasy haired, sambar snorting boytoy of the moment so we can find some random Muslims to persecute while we sing a medley of Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan songs and dance the Bharatnatyam. Busy, busy bee, that’s me!

Sincerely,

A.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on July 27, 2008 in Life, Politics

 

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

What’s a studio to do when it wants to rake in some tweenie moolah but is afraid their parents won’t shell out for the flick because… well, it sounds so risque! And thus Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging hit the theaters this Friday as Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.

Way to go, Paramount.

At one shot you ruined one of the most perfect titles ever coined and took away half the fun any girl might have experienced in going to see this movie. I mean, not only does the original read much better but it’s also the only reason my wandering eye paused at the teen section of my bookstore – and I’m not even in my teens! The first is exciting and daring, the second sounds like a manual. An odd manual about red meat, underwear and sex, but a manual nonetheless.

And I’m not a parent but if I were one and I was the kind who’d object to “full frontal snogging” (which, hee! The memories, although we obviously never called it snogging or even mentioned the words “full frontal” – mainly because we didn’t know them. Such sheltered little daisies we were in the olden days), then I’m pretty sure that I’d veto thongs as well. In fact, I think as a non parent I’m more incensed about thongs for tweenies than full frontal snogging.

Much as I enjoyed the books, I’m in two minds as to whether I want to see this movie. For one thing, I might be able to read and enjoy teen novels but I really don’t like teen movies. I’ve tried. I’ve done my best. But I didn’t like them when i was a teen and i don’t like them now. I always walk out at the end, feeling as though I ought to apologize for not being dumb enough to enjoy the experience of being talked down to. It’s also a bit like I’m back in high school and everybody is talking about how meaningful Boyzone is to their life and I’m nodding my head emphatically, assuring them that Words might have been written specifically for me OMG, and all the time I’m thinking, “Wow, this is crap.” I’m older, I’m wiser, I’m bitchier, I don’t do that shit any more, thank God.

The second thing that gives me pause is that this was directed by Gurinder Chaddha who not only had the bad taste to make Bride and Prejudice and try and pass it off as some kind of homage to Bollywood, but then tried to kill both Aishwarya Rai’s and Dylan McDermott’s careers by writing and producing The Mistress of Spices which was directed by her husband, Paul Mayeda Berges. Although she recouped some ground with Paris Je T’aime, it’s not like five minutes can make up for five hundred hours of cringing or however long Bride and Prejudice lasted.

And then she threw her hat in the ring for the Dallas remake. WTF?! Ultimately it fell through (Gurinder should nickname her twins “Thank” and “God” for saving her from that mess and teach them to sing hymns to JLo) but the fact she was interested at all gives me pause, because really – who is this person? I understand the lure of a big studio movie, especially for a woman director, not to mention a woman director of color, but hello? Did you just skip over that part where it’s John Travolta and Jenny from the Block in a Dallas movie?

She sounds great in this interview and she makes me want to see her movie but then she probably did this routine for her last couple of feature length movies too. The only thing that gives me hope is that this movie arrives with way less hype. Which is pretty much always a good sign in my book.

PSThis write up gives a better explanation for the title change (everyone thought it was a porno film! Coz “full frontal” was in it and their brains automatically froze!) and also explains why I never liked Bride and Prejudice – it’s (unwitting) target audience are tween girls.

This chubby little 10 year old American girl with a pony tail came in and was really boggle eyed at me. I asked her if she liked Bend It Like Beckham. She said, ‘yes but I really like Bride & Prejudice and I know all the songs.’ She then proceeded to re-enact all of them at this dinner party, including the Indian ones. She sang phonetically and did all the moves. It turns out that it’s the No 1 sleepover movie in the States.

I feel better about hating that movie now.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on July 26, 2008 in Entertainment, Movies, Video

 

Why So Serious?

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.

But really, what the hell is the matter with people? To read some of the reactions in the Indian press today, you’d think the world had ended. They’re all “OMG!! Bribery!! Horsetrading!! Lying!! Scandal!!”

Damn, I didn’t see any of that coming, did you? Especially when an embattled Congress minority government was seeking a trust vote that was forced upon them by their erstwhile allies over an issue of national interest. I mean, no such thing has ever happened in the world’s largest, most vibrant, most functioning, most inclusive, most amazing, most fantabulousest, most fantasticingest democracy ever! Gadzooks, I’m shocked!

Please.

Remember the time when the Madras Assembly erupted in chaos and somebody ripped Jayalalitha’s saree while Karunanidhi got his spectacles broken? How about the time when the Uttar Pradesh Assembly had a free for all? Take a good look at the lovely footage above if you want a little reminder. In fact, I’m pretty sure I remember something from the late 80s/early 90s, probably during one of those short lived VP Singh – Chandrashekhar governments, about chairs being thrown in the Parliament itself. Definitely, there are instances even in recent days when members across the political spectrum have just about restrained themselves from committing physical violence (example one, two and three for your edification).

As for horsetrading and bribery – wow, who’d have thunk it? I guess all those occasions when party leaders whisk their members off to a secluded spot only to “parade” them in front of a governor or the President, was just the figment of some reporter’s fancy. Why, everybody knows Indian politicians can’t be bought! They have Gandhi in one ear and God in the other – they’ll never stray! Nuh-uh. Or if they do, then only The Other Party does it, where TOP = Party You Don’t Belong To.

And don’t even get me started on criminal politicians! No such thing has ever existed. Every politician who has ever been arrested, charged or convicted was obviously a victim of bas and political chicanery… sorry, was that too much for you? A little less denial would be welcome?

Well, imagine what the people who these shining examples of leadership represent feel about the situation if you’re this exercised. So why isn’t anybody putting any pressure on Parliament to pass a law that says you can’t stand for elections if you’ve been convicted of a crime? How about some of that celebrated (by itself) Press action here? I guess it’s one thing to hound ordinary citizens and then congratulate yourself about a much needed job well done, but entirely another to actually drum up support for things that are deeply relevant to all of us but runs the risk of pissing off those in power.

I’m all for better standards in public life and aspiring to something better than what we’ve got in the past, but let’s leave disingenuous posturing of this kind behind. This is the kind of “black day” and “immorality” and “murder of democratic process” that dawns every few months in Indian democracy and there isn’t a single party that is above it when it plays to their own advantage. It wasn’t invented this July 22nd.

If you genuinely have a problem with the way things are going, then take a break from holding impromptu press conferences and do things differently, no matter how much it hurts your interests. You can’t play in the same mud pool as everybody else of your own free will and then say you’re only doing it because your friends and enemies refuse to come out. That kind of excuse didn’t work when you were a child and it sure as hell won’t fly now when you’re playing around with the lives and fates of millions of people.

Like every other Indian, I’ve seen this song and dance before and it really doesn’t impress me. But I am glad to see two positive things emerge from this fracas:

One, my dad found a substitute for IPL on TV. He’s very picky about his trash TV and until this came along, he was slowly slipping back into his workaholic ways. But now he can finally relax. Thank you, neta-log!

Two, I’m glad we’re slowly evolving to a point where people have finally realized that they can’t govern a country by throwing chairs at each other. Or at least evolving to a point where we don’t throw chairs at the least provocation. Thank you, God.

Because really, Bharat bhagya vidhaata is as true today as it’s ever been.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on July 23, 2008 in News, Politics, Video

 

The Pink Elephant Cometh

She makes it all so easy doesn’t she? The Boys Don’t Cry haircut, the Hello Kitty love of pink, the attraction for shiny things like that throne, her instant trump card of caste with which she conveniently bats aside every single criticism… how can you not giggle a bit when you see the above?

Of course, the other side of the coin is that you want to tear your hair out because she’s pretty much a standard bearer for everything that’s wrong with Indian politics today.

But I’ve come to realize something – my biggest problem with her is that she doesn’t live up to my ideas of what she should be like.

Female Dalit leader, a savvy political operator, chief minister of India’s largest state, with a good chance to be Prime Minister. Thirty, twenty, even ten years ago, this would have been a pipe dream. If you had told someone in the 1970s about someone like Mayawati, they would have thought you insane.

Given this, I really want her to be awesome. I want to look at the pink suits and the statues and the rest of it – and not give a damn because her actions make them all immaterial eccentricities.

Unfortunately, reality will not cooperate. In the real world, the pink elephant is stomping all over my cherished fantasies. Which is really my problem, not hers because she didn’t ask for me to project my desires on to her. And frankly it makes me feel a little uncomfortable to think this way because it feels patronizing.

Although, at this point, I’d be deliriously happy to see anybody at all who actually puts country first and does the job they were elected to perform. A girl can have her dreams, right?

 
13 Comments

Posted by on July 22, 2008 in Newsmakers, Personal, Politics