Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wont anyone say anything?

I grew up in Tamilnadu where the most common dress for a woman was sari (I am talking about those days)...and later I have seen sari worn in all its variations...the South Indian, the Gujju, the Marathi, etc...

In fact, I have seen many women in villages who wear sari without a blouse...but they do it so beautifully that it never comes across as vulgar or even cheap. Sari by nature of the way it is draped is sexy by itself. We do not have to do anything much to sex it up. A look here, a see there, keeps the mystery hidden but worth fighting for...

But in today's fashion world, there is no mystery to spare...it is all left to hang...er...I mean, to be seen...I seriously wonder why people do this to the Sari? I cannot even start with the list of Indian Celebs who drape a sari as if it was designed to showcase one boob...

Lets start with Priyanka Chopra in this song...Desi Girl from Dostana (2008). I know she had to fight real hard to compete with the rock hard abs of John Abraham...but then Why the hell do you go about vulgarizing a sari? And she has repeated this faux pas many a times too.



And then of course we have Lara Dutta


There is also Celina Jaitley...

I mean seriously...these women are Indian...and they know how a sari is traditionally wrapped...they have no excuse for doing this! Seriously...shouldn't there be a rule against it? It is part of our culture...

And then there are people who visit India and think that the minute they wear a sari and go to the Osho Ashram (or other similar places) they become Indian...of course for most, everything Indian is cool...including the poverty...

And this is how they look when they ask people with no experience to help them drape a sari...I mean seriously? Could someone not help the William sisters out and tell them that there is something wrong with the way the sari has been draped? or just with the way they look in a sari?



Or how about this one? Ms. Hurley thinks she owns the world because she is married to some Rich guy with Indian heritage that she can flash for the camera flash? This definitely takes the cake...

From Mid-Day

Ms. Hurley...I am not sure you really wanted this outcome for what you would have thought was a cool Indian Sari...next time remember that the grandma in a no-name village in India could have carried this off better than you can ever imagine...and there is a reason why we wear a blouse...or at least a bra...well unless of course you did want to flash...I am sure you made many a mens dream come true.

Love
ART

EDIT TO ADD:
A friend of mine sent me this photo of another actress (starlet) who forgot that camera flash can see beyond the SHEER!!!


PS: None of the images above are mine. I got them from google images

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Que Sera Sera

So once again I am in a parental rut. I keep wondering what should I do to discover my daughter’s natural talent. I am a firm believer of “all of us are talented but some never land up discovering their calling.”

Did Einstein’s or Newton’s parents take their children to numerous classes before the children decided to do physics? Or was it sheer case of genius that the child grew up to be who he was?

I was talking with my brother about Nick Bollettieri. How Agassi, Seles and many other Tennis greats trained under him and became who they were. When my brother stopped me and told me, “Agassi was Agassi in Tennis even before he went to Bollettieri. Nick would not take anyone who he is not sure of to become a legend which is why he has the whole list to boast of. If Nick had to pick someone off the street and make him a champion then I will give it to him but otherwise he is just using already talented and gifted people to further his cause.”

It made so much sense to me. I cannot push my daughter to play tennis if she is not naturally inclined to do so or naturally talented/gifted and I cannot force her to do anything but then how will I find out what she is born to be? What her calling is, because there are many of us who will die without ever knowing what we are good at. And that very thought is scary for me. Obviously I want the best for my daughter.

The reason I thought of this issue is because my daughter is now 2 years and 4 months old. I have to start preparing her for classes and such but then how will I know what classes to choose for her? What if she does not like piano, violin, ballet, bharatanatyam, tennis, kathak, and all other classes I find for her? What if her calling is becoming a cello player and I do not recognize it? Will I waste her life making her like and play piano because I was a bad mom?

Worries and more worries…lets see where the quest takes me.

Love

ART

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Table Manners...my foot!

I was sitting at the dining table at my friends house, my fingers were drying from the sambar that I had already licked off it. My Plate had dried up too and I was done with the dining table for now, but the rest of the table was abuzz with activity. I had such an urge to get up, pick my plate up, put it in the sink and wash my hands. With a huge restrain I waited for ten minutes and when I could no longer hold back, I stood up and excused myself.

Back home in India I could never have sat this long at the table after having finished my meal. Mom absolutely denounced that behavior. It was then my mind started racing trying to figure out the differences between the Western practice of not eating before everyone has food on the plate and not leave before everyone is ready to finish and the Indian way of eating as soon as you have food in your plate and leaving the table when done. And guess what? I think I nailed it…

Long before we knew otherwise we South Indians ate our meals on a leaf which we still continue to do so on certain occasions. We also ate in the floor using our fingers instead of spoons and forks.

Also in South India we typically eat rice with sambar/dal/rasam or other flowly alternates and some side dish and probably pickle and an appalam. So the minute the sambar or such is poured on top rice, you better start attacking it or else you will run the risk of letting it flow over to the ground or the table whatever the case may be. If you are going to sit and wait for the rest to join you, you might as well lick the sambar off the ground. There, I solved the first piece of puzzle.

Again, as I mentioned above, most Indians use their fingers to eat and if you have never done that, you will never know how annoying dried up fingers can be. Also, since India has a lot of flies and ants, if you let your leaf open with remnants of rice and sambar, you are just inviting the insect population living around for a buffet at your leaf. So, the rule is to get up from your place as soon as you eat and remember to close your leaf at the very least to make sure that your neighbors who got served after you can eat in peace without having to battle annoying flies.

So what is considered as table manners in the Western Hemisphere cannot be applied to Indian living conditions and households. Well, we probably can incorporate it now that we eat the same food in plates and sometimes with silverware too. But my point is, I absolutely hate it when Indians look down upon their fellow Indians for not having adhered to the Western Mannerisms. I wonder what cocky attitude these people have to judge me on what has probably been ingrained in my gene pool for 1000’s of years. I guess that is why I gave this topic so much of a thought and decided to pen it down too.

At least to the time when I still lived there. And today after 30 plus years of having lived my life in that fashion, changing it seems very difficult. I am inevitably the first person to finish eating irrespective of when I actually got food on my table. And if I am sitting with a bunch of people who are not friends, I hold myself back and wait for everyone to finish, and if I am with friends, I politely excuse myself and get up.

I really hate to have dried up fingers and worst of all, dried up plates to put in the dishwasher…

As far as all theories are concerned you will always find postulates and what I have written ehre might not work for a Punjabi family eating Roti and sabzi but this is the gist I can make from my own life experiences…please comment if you agree or disagree!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Four Years Later...

Four years ago I wrote this post after watching the sport Curling on TV during winter Olympics. Since then I have matured. I have understood and actually started enjoying many of the events. Unfortunately Curling is not one of them. Just because some sport has been played since 1600 does not mean it should be included. If that is the case then so should running and catching and four corners be a part of the regular Olympics.

G and I never miss a single day. The only other event that really bores me is Luge. I am really sorry for the 21 year old Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili who passed away on a training run. Luge is plain dangerous and from where I see it is more of a test for daring than of athletic abilities.

I really wonder how it can be interesting to see 20 people go down the Luge track one after the other and find out who won by a fraction of a few seconds. And if I am totally not paying attention to details, someone please point them out and direct in the right path so I shall show more respect to sports of this nature.

Thanks
ART

PS: I want to have hopscotch to be included in Olympics...obviously it is more international than many of the other Olympic sport...and is also historical and we will have a whole contingent from India for a change.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Year is a Month and Half Old!

Babs,

This year started and has also turned a month and half old and I never had a second to stop by and gave where the past six weeks have flown by. I have stopped writing much here. I am not sure why, but the motivation I used to have seems lacking.

Anyways, you and I were on one of those fun trips to the Carolina's again to celebrate your thathaiyya's and ammaamma's fiftieth Wedding anniversary. From where I see it, it is a big deal. Imagine, fifty years of being married to the same person.

They have seen it all, and that too together. Mom got married young and dad was also not that old. They struggled through the initial years of getting a job and settling down to start a family. Mom had issues having children and the struggles and embarrassments they went through. Dad slowly climbed the ladders one after another while mom had three of us little kids to take care, educate and raise.

On January 22nd, 2010, all of us siblings surprised our parents (your grandparents) and it was fun to see the expressions on their faces. You were pampered rotten by your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and your cousins. You started ignoring me and only noticed me when it was time to sleep and you could not get enough of climbing up and down the stairs. You loved it when your Pradnya akka played violin or when Zeal akka babied you or when Advith Anna came and tried his best to play little girly games. The trip was a success. You and I even got to play in the tennis court, it was the first time you held the raquet in your hands and you saw an ant up close and freaked out.

You also promptly fell ill right after we sat in the airplane back to Dallas. You ran a temperature and called the thermometer "tempergen" and would not let me bring it close to you but now you have made peace with it.

You talk a lot now. I cannot explain how much. It is no more goodudu but Goodnight, not babutakuta but Basketball and not naeintukata but nail cutter. You speak clearly and logically, you do not blabber but for the rare once in a while bachha balao...

You Wawa and La came back from India and you cannot get enough of them. Wawa makes fun of your Balathannu...which is how you sing "bagiya bagiya Bala thannu, thithili phir bhi a-bala thannu."

Oh and last weekend Feb 13th, we went to Sweet and Sassy for Sneha akka's birthday party. You along with other girls, got dressed up as a princess and walked the ramp and then danced. You loved it. You sat still when your hair was done and make up was put. You enjoyed it and you wanted to dance more and was upset that the music stopped. You also ate 1.5 slices of pizza toppings and whole lot of cream. You were super bouncy the rest of the night. But it was fun.

Nowdays we (you, me and your papa) do a lot of finger painting, play dough and scribbling. You identify all the alphabets correctly, you can write A, H, P, and the number 1. You enjoy scribbling and you are always teaching us how to do it just like that. The house is one big mess but it is fun.

And before I forget, you can say the capitals of all states in the South Starting from Cali to the Carolina's and love repeating them.

So far this year, even thought both me and your papa have been working like crazy this past two months we have had fun with you. You are growing up so fast now and I am constantly afraid that I will be doing something wrong when it comes to raising you. I am afraid to be too strong when it comes to disciplining you and then I also afraid to be too soft. I wish I was like one of those cocky moms who always know what they are doing.

Anyways, we (papa and I) had tons of chocolate for V-day and so did you...and we are busy having a life and fun :)

Love you
ART
Amma