Menaka redux: Rakhi falls for Ramdev

Sometimes it takes a mindless "Savant" to turn a Swami into a "hot dude". Rakhi Sa(v)want seems to be endorsing Swami Ramdev's Hot-ness quotient. The "One Gram a Breath Blast" promise of Anulom Vilom of the Swami has helped him keep a flat tummy which is noticeable by the mindless and clotheless damsel, even from under the Saffron robes. It is obvious that the lady focuses what excites her about Ramdev, when the Yogi is busy focusing on his breath. Thankfully, unlike Menaka, this lady's gaze … [Read more...]

Calcutta Chronicles

The long, meandering line of lights blinks, burns and finally stands still at a cross-road. The passengers inside the hatchbacks-Chevrolets, Hyundais, Fords-mostly in their thirties, fretter and fume with routine indignation. They are the stalwarts in IT giants, just coming out of the newly built Salt Lake Sector-5 who spends most of their waking hours clock-working with task-force round the globe. For them, halt is stagnation. Time is money. Moments later, the bizarre honks at great scales … [Read more...]

Arranged Marriages: Not the way Americans think they are

In my discussions with Americans, I have been asked many times about the practice of finding a partner amongst the Indians. Behind the question, most of the folks are curious and intrigued by the "Arranged Marriage" principle. The fact that someone could meet once with a prospective partner and then decide to live the entire life with him/her. Some don't even get that privilege and never get to really meet. To me it sounds like an ironic question coming from a people where divorce rates are … [Read more...]

Palika Bazaar: A Delhi landmark in Decay

If you have grown up in Delhi in the 70s and 80s, Palika Bazaar would have been one place that you would have surely not missed. It was the first market that fired the imagination of the Delhi-ites used to crowded over-ground markets. Here was something contemporary at that time and something had so many things in one place. Over the years, the place hasn't been high on any consumer's list because of many reasons. As, NDMC puts it, Palika is in a state of decay. The place is dirty, stuffy … [Read more...]

Symbolic Festivities – Do they make you think?

We celebrate so many festivals throughout the year. some don't make sense to me, and some... well make me ponder. But this festival makes me feel sad. It's Dussehra. I have written extensively on Raavan and why I feel we could not understand him or probably we chose not to understand him. You can read my views on Raavan, Ram and Sita in my posts (in my blog) "Defending Raavana" and "Raavana Is In My Soul". Here is a glimpse: "OK, alright, yes he abducted another man's wife but did not … [Read more...]

How Indians think?

How do Indians think? As vast and as diverse our nation is, it is nevertheless interesting to get a feel of its pulse. I am not sure if the surveys can go an honest and a good job, but the findings do present an interesting picture. Let's look at some of the findings. The new survey by Pew Research Centre says: As many as 92 per cent Indians believe that the military has a good influence on the nation. The defence forces garnered the highest level of support in a survey The view of the … [Read more...]

Karva Chauth – A Modern View On The Ancient Ritual

As I sit facing my PC, my henaed fingers are striking on the key board making my pink coloured glass bangles jingle sweetly. My pink chiffon saree with floral embroidery, slides off my left arm, as I loosen the strap of my high heeled sandals to concentrate on this post of mine. It is Karva Chauth, the festival hugely glamorised and popularized by Bollywood. So I am in my traditional best, sharing the customs and rituals associated with it. I don't hesitate to say that I am, well ehmm (!!), a … [Read more...]

ABP Ananda Utsav 2010, Pasadena, USA: A perspective

There is something about Bengali cultural programs in the US. They are my dad’s way of remembering good times of yester years, not mine. There is something else too. The organizers of such events, though young at age, are still under the notion that it takes 3 months to reach India by ship from the US so one would do this maybe once in a lifetime. You would want to know why! You see, the elements of such events are mostly a borrowed concept from the age when people would be able to hear a … [Read more...]

Man, Woman and the Marriages in Indian context

Recently, I have seen a spate of failed marriages in India and amongst Indians abroad. The traditional framework of marriage is under stress and that is visible in how easily and regularly the separations and divorces are happening. Even in cases where the marriage is intact, there may be interest of a spouse outside his/her marriage. Why is this happening? When one looks at the situation, it is fairly obvious that the reasons seem very common. The lady feels she wants more freedom and more … [Read more...]

The Chai Story

My day begins with a cup of tea; well actually it begins with the ritual of fixing that perfect cuppa. Out come the tea set and the tea-cosy. Boiling water is poured over tea leaves and allowed to soak in the tea pot to bring out the flavour, not a minute more, not a minute less. Not too milky, a dash of sugar and the perfect brew is ready. For the husband and me, it is almost like an initiation of the long day ahead. Sipping our tea, we pore over the newspapers (we read three of them), have … [Read more...]