Poison Pen

don't worry, she doesn't bite anymore.

Friday, September 30, 2005

name tags, price tags, book tags, and now this...

a good way to return to active blogging. i have been double-tagged by em. the second tag says i have to write a story in 55 words. so here is my attempt.


My daughter is coming, with her AMERICAN boyfriend. This is the first time we will be seeing him. We are all very excited.

There she is! But…

They walked together towards the dumbstruck lady. His gentle eyes belied his rugged physique. His flawless ebon skin glowed in the lamplight.

He bent and touched her feet.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

why i dont like sania mirza

ok, you can shoot me now. i know shes the darling of the press (both indian and western), but im sorry for being the spoilsport here who just refuses to buy into the whole "sania-mania" thing. so the question is why dont i like her?

am i jealous of her because shes done more in 18 years than ive managed in 20-something? no, because then id have to hate half the world. ive adjusted quite well to the fact that im mediocre.

then is it because shes not good? no, no, not that either. i saw her play against the best in the world and hold her own. she's pretty good, and if she works on the first serve a bit she could be a world-beater.

no, the reason i dislike her is that shes decided to play up the fact that shes a "muslim girl from a third world country". in all the coverage shes got from the western press, this fact about her has harped upon. somehow she doesnt fit the image of muslim girls that the western media has, so they all ooh and aah about her.

then she goes and makes ridiculous statements about how she asks allah fro forgivenbess every night, because shes forced to play in a miniskirt. she says she never wears minis in public in india. ummm, i have to ask, WHO DOES??? girls (of all religions, btw) in india dont wear miniskirts in public because its not safe, not for religious reasons! but thats not the case in the us, so everyone goes "wow, how conservative is THAT?"

and her father goes one step further. the wta should change the rules so that women can play in trousers. apparently the only reason more girls dont play tennis in india is cos their fathers freak out at teh thought of their little cherubs showing off their bare legs (this is straight out of "bend it like beckham" but less funny). i hate to point this out to the man, but the wta has very little to do about this. if sania wants shes perfectly free to wear a burqa on court. it might restrict her movement, but hey its for the cause of all girls held back by western licentuousness.

no please, look at her. forget teh miniskirts. see the bold message tees she wears in press conferences. see the multiple piercings in her ears. look, and youll see a spunky young girl, but who is a TYPICAL INDIAN URBAN TEENAGER. the key word is TYPICAL. but see, if shes just like any other girl of her age group. but then thats not unusual. that doesnt make her stand out in a crowd of great players from a hundred countries. mahesh and leander never played up their religions and remained marginal in the tennis world, in spite of a string of grand slams.

so sania harps on the fact that shes a conservative muslim and all of a sudden shes different. and the western media lap it up.

so the reason i dont like her is that shes using her religion as her USP. which is pretty much what politicians in india have been doing for years. but i expected better from her. she could have gone down as a great indian player, but instead shell be the best FEMALE MUSLIM player from india.

Friday, September 16, 2005

real beauty

i guess most people in the us have noticed doves new campaign for real beauty. its got a lot of reviews from the press and most of them have been good. also its a really catchy campaign, and i wonder why nobody thought of it before. i mean, the idea is just brilliant. make an ad featuring, not models, but ordinary women, and then prove that your product really works. like they said, these supermodels are born with fabulous skin, and so it doesnt say much for the product theyre using. so this is a great capmpaign idea.

but also i like the idea that someone has woken up to the fact that american ideals of beauty are now so warped that almost no one considers herself beautiful anymore, and thats sad. weve all heard about the barbie doll and how it encourages negative body image issues among young girls. we see clothes being modelled by women who would look good in anything and then are expected to fit into those clothes. everywhere its the same, you HAVE to have a body and face that match some ideal or youre ugly.

i have to say cheers to dove. this is a really great campaign, andf many of the facrts there are rela eye-opneners. please go and read it and sign on the book too. i did.

i hear that these days this problem has started in india too, with young girls going on crash diets and turning bulimic to try and stay model-thin. well, india has always forced ideals of beauty on its women, but that was more to do with light skin (i refuse to use the word fair), and less to do with wieght. anyway, indian men were supposed to prefer plump women so that all the ramp models who entered films had to put on weight to be acceptable. but now they have to be skinny
AND light-skinned, in other words indian women have to be european.

ill stop now and write the rest as another post later.

Monday, September 12, 2005

what is it with people ???!!!!!

got this in the mail, from two different people. i'm sure most indians have got this or some variation of it.

I couldn't' stop making this comparison... ...

inches of rain in new orleans due to hurricane katrina... 18
inches of rain in mumbai (July 27th).... 37.1

population of new orleans... 484,674
population of mumbai.... 12,622,500

deaths in new orleans within 48 hours ofkatrina...100
deaths in mumbai within 48hours of rain.. 37.

number of people to be evacuated in new orleans...entire city..wohh
number of people evacuated in mumbai...10,000

Cases of shooting and violence in neworleans...Countless
Cases of shooting and violence in mumbai.. NONE

Time taken for US army to reach new orleans...48hours
Time taken for Indian army and navy to reach mumbai...12hours

status 48hours later...new orleans is still waiting for relief, army and electricty
status 48hours later..mumbai is back on its feet and is business is as usual

USA...world's most developed nation

oopss...did i get the last fact wrong??? Or am I just being proud of being an INDIAN


ok, now deep breath.

read that last line again. proud to be indian????? PROUD???? WHAT EXACTLY SHOULD WE BE PROUD OF???? that more people died in the usa than in india? oh wow! yippee-hoo! lets just pile up the bodies on a scale. ha! your side is heavier, so you lose. suckers!!!! now will you please step down from your lofty position and let india take over? oh, and lets forget about the poverty and illiteracy and female infanticide.

ok, lets get one thing straight. the us response was pathetic. new orleans was a disaster that could have been prevented, and many people in the government need to be held responsible for this HUGE fiasco.

BUT, the response in bombay wasnt really stellar either. oh, and im pretty sure the number of dead is much more than 37. last i heard it was over 800. so we really shouldnt be compatring our failures with theirs and quibbling about which was a BIGGER failure. thats just the pettiest thing EVER.

and before all you indians reading this start getting all swollen up with pride, just remember the the monumental failures of the past when india has just rolled over during a natural calamity. we're still miles away from having any kind of reliable disaster warning system. and for a country which is so dependant on the weather gods, thats just suicidal.

and finally, for the person who wrote this. i hope youre feeling proud. now you can get back to surfing the net for porn videos or whatever else you do in your spare time, while hundreds of people die in bombay from car accidents, shootouts and other non-natural causes. because we dont really care about that, since we are so great.

what id like to know is who starts these damn forwards anyway???

Thursday, September 08, 2005

pahking my cah in the hahvahd yahd

so, i had my first long weekend off. so i FINALLY did something more than sleep in on sunday.

first i have to admit with great embarassment, that in spite of living in boston for nearly 3 years, i had never ventured north of the charles, and so have never seen all those famous universities housed there. and also i had never met up with D (notice how i have stopped using names for people just in case i become famous and turn this into a book) who is an old friend from school, now living in cambridge. so when D called last week and told me that i would nevernever get a better chance than this to do both, i jumped at it.

i drove in to d's place on saturday evening and after a quick dinner (pasta - she is still a student, after all), i went on a guided tour of cambridge's nightspots, most of which were sadly empty. apparently most of the students had gone home for the weekend, so any hopes i had of watching a preview of the 2040 elections being played out over a round of beer were cruelly dashed. that didn't stop us from taking a long walk down massachussets avenue (or mass ave as i soon learnt to call it), stopping occasionally for a refuelling stop. it was uneventful, except that we were both quite happy and insisted on singing silly hindi songs and kept collapsing in giggles. at harvard square we saw a couple of serious looking cops, so we turned all ladylike again and called a cab (definitely a good idea to not bring the car). once we got in, we went to pieces again, and the driver was very surprised. we found that he was indian too so we insisted that he sing along with us. finally he mouthed one line of 'mere sapnon ki rani' when we just died. i think he was quite terrified of us and was only too glad when he dropped us off. but i gave him a big tip to make up (arent i nice), so i guess he was happy.

on sunday, i was taken around the two big campuses. the contrast was quite stark. harvard is all elegance and positively reeks of history. mit is terribly drab looking compared to it, but if you look closely, its a nerds paradise. i did see anumber of students, all very geeky looking. i guess they are the ones who would stay back during holidays. oh, and soooo many chinese! God, these chinese women and their high grades and incredible hair! so anyway, after a historical morning and afternoon, i took a break for a cup of coffee with the terribly interesting buchu. i had mailed her that i was coming to her part of town and was she busy on the weekend. she said not at all, so it was a bloggers date. i shooed D away saying that this was a strictly-for-bloggers thing. she went off cursing all bloggers under her breath.

so buchu, a.k.a. antara, is even more interesting in real life than she is on her blog, if thats even possible. just talking to her for 5 minutes makes you feel what a complete idiot you are. she also knows everything about everything and has an opinion about all those everythings and more, especially if they're political. on top of that, shes a genuinely nice person and just loves to talk. so we two bongs had a long adda session over chai tea lattes and ginseng tea, about everything from george bush (we both hate him) to the hurricane (too shocking for words) to sania mirza (buchu likes her but i dont. this was actually quite a long argument). and, naturally we discussed blogging and bloggers too. much p.n.p.c. was made and i learnt interesting little titbits about many fellow bloggers including sci-fi authors from caclutta, long-haired poets from bangalore and former techies from san diego. also discussed earth-shattering events like the mysterious descent into porn of a chicago-based funny man, and the silence of the japanese quack and other animals.

finally antara had to run, with promises of more meetings, this time in my part of town. i called D and mollified her by taking her to dinner. there was a pretty famous indian place nearby but i have vowed to never eat indian food at a restaurant in the us, so that was out. instead we had american food, speciality being duck. yum! ducks definitely rule :))

monday was a late morning after two hectic days. we drove around the other places of interest in cambridge. had a whistle-stop tour of radcliffe. was maybe hoping to see an oliver barrett leading his lady love out into the woods, but i was disappointed. after some tea at harvard square, we grabbed a movie (the 40 year old virgin), and then i headed home to my mundane life. snaps will be posted later this week.

Friday, September 02, 2005

but you can call me...

ooh, this was fun.

Vishnupriya Roy Chowdhury's Aliases

Your movie star name: Peanuts Ashok

Your fashion designer name is Vishnupriya Vienna

Your socialite name is Binno New York

Your fly girl / guy name is V Cho

Your detective name is Dog Carmel

Your barfly name is Bagel Bloody Mary

Your soap opera name is Roy Lloyds

Your rock star name is Snickers Ferrari

Your star wars name is Visboz Chokau

Your punk rock band name is The Upbeat Log Tables