09 November 2010

who is your hero?

I believe a hero to be any person who inspires you to be your best. To push limits and surpass expectations. A hero compels you to think, to act. A hero is someone who leads without intending to, inspires without words, and endures in the face of overwhelming adversity.

People often cite famous names when asked who their hero is. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, etc. These are men and women who have achieved great things and whose stories inspire millions.

I have been lucky enough to find my hero in a person I not only know, but with whom I share a very special relationship.

Mom is many things. She is a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, a friend, a doctor. When you see her with her family, you see a woman with immense patience and unwavering loyalty. If you talk to her friends, you will hear of a woman who not only cares tremendously but has the guts to be honest, even if it could jeopardize a friendship. In her interactions with her patients, you see a confident physician with genuine concern and a desire to heal.

People are amazed when they see how close Mom and I are. I believe that we've struck the perfect balance; yes, she is my mother but she has also become one of my closest friends. I have always cherished my relationship with Mom not only because of its rarity but also for its role in shaping my identity. She didn't just give me life; I inherited from her a heart that loves without hesitation, a soul free of demons, and an open mind.

Mom always says she was blessed with the most supportive and wonderful parents anyone could ask for and I couldn't agree more. Neither of my grandparents were educated but of their five children, one is a math genius, one a doctor, one a lawyer, and one an engineer. My grandfather feared nothing and worked tirelessly so his children could have what he never did. My grandmother is a dynamic woman whose generosity and compassion know no limits. An uneducated couple from rural India raising such successful children might elicit surprise but only until you meet them. They are proof that hard-work and perseverance will take you far.

One of the things I admire most about Mom is her strength. She has overcome many obstacles, on both personal and professional fronts. She has a way of finding the good in people and extracting the lessons from bad situations all the while remaining undaunted. She doesn't compromise on her principles and she doesn't rest until she reaches her goal.

As a mother, Mom supports me, guides me; and the best thing about her is that she has never, ever let me doubt that. As a woman, Mom inspires me to be better than my best and reach farther than I dared. I sometimes look at her in awe for who she is, why she is, and how she came to be. I believe myself to be incredibly blessed to have her in my life and am proud to call her my mother. She is compassionate to those in need, devoted to her commitments, and relentless in her pursuits. If I could be a tenth of the person she is, I would consider myself a great success.

19 October 2010

who is the real enemy?

The Guardian reported this week on documents that find Pakistani Intelligence Agency (ISI) to have been involved with the 26-11 Mumbai terror attacks of 2008. The document is a report of the interrogation of suspect David Headley.


Headley claims that ISI not only met with the LeT but also partially financed two of their missions. ISI officials have denied it and it is being said that perhaps the top-ranked officials were "unaware of atleast the scale of the planned strike." Also, Headley's wife stated that she approached the FBI to report her husband's activities but was ignored.

In the wake of all of this, there is going to be a lot of anger and justifiably so. I'm very torn on this issue. I'd like to know why the ISI is not being held accountable for their actions. I think the United States fancies themselves as the "neutral" parent to two fighting children. If they don't want to "pick a side," that's fine. This is not a playground. What concerns me is that more and more administrations are choosing to stay quiet and be "politically correct" rather than condemn that which is wrong.

Is it solely an India-Pakistan thing? Because when Israeli soldiers brutally attacked an aid ship a few months ago, the Obama administration condemned Israel, a US ally.

When the Twin Towers were attacked, Americans sprang into action. President Bush said he would "go get the people who did this" and a war on terror was declared. Less than a month later on October 7, the US Army marched into Afghanistan. The same administration told Indians to be calm, rational, and not act too quickly when over 160 people were killed by armed militants. These men snuck onto Indian soil and brutally shot men, women, and children. Many claim that the attacks were about religion. But it wasn't just Hindus that died. A Jewish center was among the places attacked. Americans and Britons also died that day.

Last month, I criticized the Indian government for not being more cooperative with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. I'm starting to understand a little more now why they are so resistant. In light of all this, I find myself wondering if peace is even on Pakistan's agenda.

I'd like to make clear that I have nothing against the people of Pakistan. From what I've read, seen, and heard, the Pakistani government is an inaccurate representation of its people. It would be wrong to hold the citizens of any nation accountable for the actions of their government.

I may hold citizenship in the US but India is the country of my birth and has shaped my identity and my outlook. I will never apologize for denouncing attacks on India or her people. Moreover, as an educated individual, I have the guts to speak out when that which is precious to me is threatened. Do you?

"That which is morally wrong can never be politically right." -Khushwant Singh

24 September 2010

the Proust questionnaire

Monsieur Marcel Proust was a French writer who came across the following questionnaire at a party. He answered it several times in his lifetime and popularized it with his answers. I thought it would be fun to answer it now, at 23. And then again a few years from now (if I'm still writing!).

Your most marked characteristic?

The quality you most like in a man?
integrity and the courage to defend it

The quality you most like in a woman?

What do you most value in your friends?

What is your principle defect?
so lazy!

What is your favorite occupation?
anything that allows one to make a difference

What is your dream of happiness?
peace of mind and someone to laugh with

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
standing in your own way on the road to success

What would you like to be?

In what country would you like to live?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite flower?
white rose

What is your favorite bird?

Who are your favorite prose writers?
Robert Frost, J.K. Rowling, Homer

Who are your favorite poets?
Robert Frost, Maya Angelou

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Frodo, Dumbledore

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?

Who are your favorite composers?
Mozart, Beethoven, Michael Jackson, A.R. Rahman

Who are your favorite painters?
Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Vincent Van Gogh

Who are your heroes in real life?
Mom and my grandfather

What is it you most dislike?
not being true to one's self

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I would love to sculpt

How would you like to die?

What is your present state of mind?
irritated and impatient

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

What is your motto?
"Anger so clouds the mind that it cannot perceive the truth." -Cato

Your name or pseudo?
Meghana, Megs, Maggi, MC, M, Coco, Thunder

15 September 2010

the Kashmir issue

Kashmir... I've always wanted to go! My parents took a trip about 22 years ago and Mom still tells me how beautiful it was. This blog post will turn a lot of people against me, perhaps even my own father. But, it has to be said. And if approached with an open mind, it might, at the very least, open your eyes.

For many Indians, Kashmir is like the jewel in the crown of India. They are not entirely sure why but it is. It could be because atleast two governments want to claim it as their own. It could be because its a beautiful region, so they've heard. In actuality, Kashmir has lost most of its beauty. That tends to happen when bloodshed and protests take place regularly. For most Indians, it is simply a matter of pride. They have no real, vested interest in the region. It is about one-upping our so-called "enemies." And the thought of surrendering Kashmir to Pakistan results in outrage. They say we shouldn't have to give anything to the Pakistanis, they chose to leave afterall. That may be true and in any case, you are entitled to your opinion. The question I have is, what about the people of Kashmir? Does their opinion matter? Will their voices ever be heard?

It is a fact that since the insurgency in 1989, around 80,000 residents of Kashmir have died. These are Indian citizens. The Indian government spends a sickening amount of money maintaining our Army's presence there. However, it is unclear whether our Army is protecting Kashmiris from Pakistan or attacking protesters. Ever since the 26/11 Mumbai attacks press coverage showed Indian commandos charging into the Taj Hotel, people all over India have come to admire them. Do the children in Bangalore know that the soldiers they are idolizing shoot their Kashmiri brothers in the head mercilessly?

Indians all over the world pride themselves on the fact that India is the largest democracy in the world. When anyone claims India is inferior to China, we immediately hit back with our democratic freedom. Yes, we enjoy liberties that the Chinese don't. What, then, do you say about the fact that these same liberties are not being extended to the people of Kashmir? If a political group in Mumbai can protest petrol prices and shut down the entire city, why then can't the people of Kashmir speak out against that which they believe is unfair? Why is our government silencing their own subjects?

On the world stage, India obnoxiously denies the fact that Kashmiris do not want to be part of India. No one disputes this because India is an economic superpower with nuclear weapons. The US needs India and Pakistan both as allies. In a global perspective, Kashmir is a timebomb waiting to go off. Every time there's any regional or political unrest between India and Pakistan, the world prays that we don't reach for our nukes. It is irrelevant if the insurgency is backed by Pakistan. What deserves attention is that the people we are fighting to call our own don't want to be one of us. I'm not proposing that we hand over the "deed of Kashmir" to Pakistan. In the same breath, I am not suggesting that we let Kashmir be an independent state. I am not learned on politics and frankly, I don't know if that is even feasible. All I'm saying is that we should listen to the people of Kashmir. The very essence of our young country would be destroyed if we cannot grant our citizens the right to voice their concerns.

I have said many times that I would never step foot in China. One of my problems with the Chinese government is the Tibet issue. The Dalai Lama is the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet. Tibetans are not allowed to speak of the Dalai Lama because under Chinese law, it is illegal to utter his name. He is currently in exile and lives in India in an area nicknamed "Little Lhasa." The Indian government has granted him permission to set up "The Government of Tibet in Exile" in Dharamsala. There are about 80,000 Tibetan refugees that live there. The people living in Tibet want more than anything to be rid of the Chinese and live freely again. When we can show so much compassion to our Asian neighbors who are being oppressed by their invaders, why are we being so stubborn about Kashmir? I am aware that India did not invade Kashmir. The region is technically on Indian soil. However, Pakistan and Bangladesh were also technically Indian soil about 63 years ago. When they wanted to go, they went. If this is about land, why are we not fighting to add Lahore back to our territory lines?

I hear many Indians rant about how Kashmir is ours and Pakistan "needs to back off." I defy all of them to go spend 6 months in Kashmir. If you are so hell-bent on the issue, why don't you go live there? Any sane person would not come back the same after seeing firsthand the pain of the Kashmiris. The quality of life in Kashmir is despicable. Curfews last for months at a time. Schools are closed and courts aren't in session. Exams are postponed which further delays graduation. Recently, an 18-year old boy was shot in the legs by an Indian solider. Why? Because he tried to attend the funeral of a protester. I, for one, would be too ashamed to face a Kashmiri. It is very easy for me to shout about India's right to Kashmir from my very comfortable life in America. Same goes for the people in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi who whine incessantly about the traffic. Just imagine that your sister falls ill and needs to get to a hospital. You call for an ambulance and before it gets there, your sister dies. Why didn't the ambulance come even though the roads are empty? Because the Indian Army stopped the ambulance and tore up the driver's curfew pass. This is an incident that happened this summer in Kashmir.

The India we know is very different from the India that Kashmir knows. To them, India is the government sending military officers to control their movements. India is the government ignoring their angst while glorifying her IT millionaires. To me India symbolizes home, family, traditions, and an immense source of pride. But when our government cannot treat ALL of her citizens equally, then it should not be given the privilege to rule them. What is happening today to a Kashmiri can very well happen tomorrow to a Tamilian. So to me, Kashmir is not the jewel in India's crown. Kashmir is a scar on India's face. Indians shouldn't scream ignorantly about Kashmir; we should instead demand that our fellow citizens be heard. The true spirit of democracy lies in the fact that the rights of the minority should not be voted on by the majority. If not for our fellow countrymen, do it for the sake of our country's reputation. Because when the history books are written, someone somewhere will realize that India did not stand by her people.

10 September 2010

writer's block

1. Get the closest book, go to page 18 and write the 4th line down.
Globular proteins are constructed by combining secondary structural elements (alpha-helices, Beta-sheets, nonrepetitive sequences).

2. What’s the last thing you’ve watched on TV ?
Saints vs Vikings football game!

3. Without checking, guess what time it is ?

4. Check, it is...

5. Outside of the computer noise, what do you hear ?
my most favorite sound: rain hitting the ground

6. When you got out the last time, what did you do?
went to a friend's house to watch a football game

7. What are you wearing ?
grey t-shirt and green mens boxers

8. Before answering this questionnaire, what were you doing?

9. Did you dream last night ?
can't remember

10. When is the last time you laughed till you cried ?
a couple weeks ago, when I talked to Aditya

11. What is on the walls of the room you’re in ?

12. Did you see something strange today ?

13. What do you think of this questionnaire?
silly questions

14. What’s the last movie you watched?
Going the Distance

15. Should you be multimillionnaire, what’s the first thing you would buy?
a car

16. Tell us something about you we don’t already know :
tattoo! :P

17. If you could change something in the world outside of culpability and politics, what would you change ?

18. Do you like to dance ?
yes (privately!)

19. What would be your daughter’s name ?

20. And your son’s?
I want two sons: Raj Shankar & Ram Lakshman

21. Did you ever think of living abroad ?
Nope, wanted to stay in apni Hindustan :)

22. What would you want God to tell you when you’ll go through heaven’s gates ?
"your big, white, fluffy bed is ready..."

23. Who are the 4 next victims for this questionnaire ?
no clue! Nandu's already done it...

06 August 2010

in a perfect world

If you could dictate the settings of the world, what would you do? An artist isn't just a man with talent, an artist is a man with vision...

This is how my world would be... (it's fun to lock up the cynicism and walk on the idealistic side once in a while...)

  • coca cola would not be bad for health
  • in fact, coke would be the water of my planet
  • there would be no cockroaches or lizards (i just don't see their purpose)
  • there would be no Alzheimer's
  • people would be straightforward and honest
  • guys would ask out girls (tragic how rarely this happens these days)
  • gay marriage, racism, discrimination, etc wouldn't be the issues they are today
  • if you wanted it to rain, it would rain
  • bestfriends would never drift apart
  • I would have Marc Jacobs and Anna Wintour on speed dial
  • there would be no calories
  • everyone would be required to do one self-less act per day
  • nothing and noone would smell bad
  • there would be no cigarettes (which would in turn do away with a lot of disease)
  • children would not know hunger
Quite a lot of "ideals" for someone so jaded...I did myself proud!

03 August 2010

why, ladies, why?

I have very few friends that are female. This is mostly because I don't identify with women/girls. I don't think like them. My mom always says that I'm a guy trapped in a girl's body. I don't have anything against women. In fact, I don't know enough of them to hold grudges. So, my question to all the girls who read this (if there are any) is, why do women go back to abusive and/or cheating men?

I know of several girls who are in unhealthy relationships. I don't claim to know a thing about relationships, they are a mystery to me. But I would assume that there are pros and cons to every relationship, whatever the nature. So in a particular relationship, if the bad outweighs the good, why would you stay? One must always consider the scope of longevity. Do you see a future? Are there IFs to that future? i.e. "If he changes, I'll marry him." or "If he stops smoking, we'll move in together." Firstly, people don't change. If by chance, a man changes for you, he will ultimately resent you later. True and lasting change comes from within.

I've always wondered about these girls... is it weakness or strength? My cynicism has me assume that these people are weak for not being able to stand up, say no, and walk out. But it wouldn't be fair to consider the other side. Are they strong for sticking it out in the face of adversity? Are they admirable for wanting to see and wait for the good in a person?

And then, the most important question comes in to play. Is it worth it? Many advanced cancer patients refuse treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc). I assume it's because for them the end isn't worth the means. Because sometimes, the treatment will kill you before you're cured. So my question to you is whether the man is worth the pain he causes?

I aim this only at women because I find that they are more likely than men to indulge in self-destructive behavior. If my views offend you, click on the X on the top right corner of this window.

30 July 2010

Listen up, boys!

This one's for all the straight boys because let's face it, most of you need help. I specifically mentioned "straight guys" because the gays know how to dress. As a self-described fashion addict who calls Vogue her Bible, I have some advice for all the men who don't know a thing about what to wear. Bear in mind, these are my opinions only. However, my taste is impeccable and you would be a fool to say otherwise. :p

  • very few men can pull off white linen pants.
  • socks with sandals is never allowed.
  • the white t-shirt under the button-up shirt style went out long ago. let it RIP.
  • skinny jeans are bad for health. they're literally one of the reasons for male sterility. also, it's not attractive to women.
  • Ed Hardy shirts are out. Sorry. Unless you're trying to look like a wannabe, get rid of them.
  • statement shirts are also out. e.g. "your dress would look better on my floor" or "want to study anatomy at my place?"
  • huge gold chains don't look good on you. especially when they're fake.
  • unless you have legs like Rafael Nadal's, don't wear capris
  • jeans that hover at your ankles are not attractive.
  • unless you have arms like Rafael Nadal's, don't wear sleeveless shirts.
  • unless you actually exercise, don't walk around in workout wear. you don't want to be a poser.
  • black denim is still not back in style for men.
  • don't wear one brand head to toe. mix it up.
  • when in doubt, go with a polo and jeans.
  • cargo shorts are good. as long as the color is decent.
  • sweater vests are sexy when done right.
  • make sure you dress appropriately for your height and weight.
  • when you bend over, no one wants to see skin.
  • never wear shorts that end above the knees. never.
  • if you're going to tuck in your shirt, tuck all of it in. don't go halfway.
Some of the best-dressed men I've seen and been told about:

Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Ranbir Kapoor, David Beckham, James Bond, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ronson, Robert Downey Jr, Zachary Quinto, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Siddharth Narayan, Farhan Akhtar

20 July 2010

what's the big deal?

I've been wanting to write about the whole "gay" issue for a long time now. Call me crazy but I don't get it. How does it affect you who I sleep with? I have a lot of friends. Some white, some black, some Indian. Some conservative, some liberal. Some tall, some short. Some gay, some straight.

One thing that bugs me is when straight men (I specify because it's only they who say it) say "I'm fine with it as long as they don't shove it in my face." Excuse me, but don't heterosexual men shove their sexuality in our faces? Women have to put up with a lot that is thrown at them when they step out of the house. It is in rappers' lyrics and it is in the eyes of construction workers. Obviously, I don't mean to say that ALL rappers and construction workers are this way. My point is, what exactly are the straight guys scared of? If a man were to approach you and flirt, will you melt? Are you less of a man now? Have you never gone up to a woman and attempted to get her number? How is this any different? This so-called "problem" has an easy solution. You politely tell the man that you are not interested. There is no need to insult him or cry about "the state of today's society." Besides, what does it say about you that you can dish it out but can't take it?

Now, the marriage issue. I've heard two main arguments. One that marriage is between a man and a woman. Two that homosexuals cannot produce children and therefore shouldn't be married. Firstly, who says marriage is between a man and a woman? The Bible was written by men. The Vedas don't restrict romantic love to be between men and women. The Quran was written by men. Moreover, in a secular country such as the US, religion's definition of marriage is not relevant. I believe marriage to be an agreement to commit to one another wholly and it is born out of mutual love. The love that a gay couple shares is not any different from the love between a man and a woman. Secondly, the argument that gay marriages cannot produce children and so are not credible is total nonsense. A huge number of heterosexual couples do not have children. Whether it be due to infertility or sterility or pure choice, many married couples live and die together without having had children. Are their marriages any less plausible than my parents'? By not allowing homosexuals the right to marry, we as a society are discriminating. If they don't have equal rights, then why should they pay taxes? All men are created equal and it is not up to the majority to vote for the rights of a minority. Whoopi Goldberg often says "If you don't believe in gay marriage, then don't marry a gay person." I couldn't agree more. Some argue that it should not be called marriage because then it lessens heterosexual marriages. Well excuse me but how does it affect you what I call my relationship? The problem with today's world is too many people who can't keep their opinions to themselves.

I've heard some people say that they support gay marriage but not for allowing gay men to adopt. To me, that makes no sense. There are millions of orphans that so desperately need homes. If a couple is willing to give a child a loving home and an education, why does their sexual orientation matter? Gays do NOT breed more gays. If that were true, shouldn't all the homosexuals' parents be gay as well? In a world where we are bombarded with choices in almost everything, why is it that we are trying to take away their right to choose their partners? Studies have shown children raised in a homosexual household to be intelligent, well-adjusted, and open-minded. Shouldn't we be teaching our kids the virtues of tolerance? How can people promote the love of Jesus while holding so much hatred in their hearts?

Homosexuality is not a trend nor is it a disease. Whatever your personal belief may be, it is not right to rob someone of love.

"If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise." -Johann von Goethe

14 July 2010

on a much lighter note

1. What curse word do you use the most? Damn

2. Do you own an iPod? yes

3. What person do you talk to on the phone the most? these days, Mom

4. Do you still remember the first person you kissed? ugh, yes

5. Do you remember where you were on Sep 11, 2001 ? I was at school, 10th grade. In chemistry class when we heard

6. What was the last movie you watched? wake up, sid

7. Has anyone ever called you lazy? mom reminds me every day

8. Do you ever take medication to help you fall asleep? sometimes, when I get desperate

9. Has anyone told you a secret this week? yes

10. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? hair

11. What are you looking forward to? going home in ONE month!

12. Do you own any band t-shirts? yup, Beatles

13. What will you be doing in one hour? sitting in DPS lab :(

14. Is anyone in love with you? probably :p

15. Last time you cried? April

16. Are you on a desktop computer or a laptop? laptop

17. Are you currently wanting any piercings or tattoos? just one!

18. Would you ever date anyone covered in tattoos? depends

19. What were you doing before this? reading a friend's blog

20. When is the last time you slept on the floor? don't remember

21. How many hours of sleep do you need to function? 6-7

22. Do you eat breakfast daily? I try to. But usually don't.

Got this from a friend's blog. Fantastic read. Check it out http://cheerfultornado.blogspot.com


I was watching an old interview in which Sushmita Sen was promoting one of her movies. I'm pasting the part that intrigued me. Anna is the interviewer.

Anna: Cosmetic surgery is a huge thing in Venezuela simply because for a large number of young girls, these international pageants are their goal. How is one not to take it as a shallow beauty pageant?
Sushmita: Because Irene Saez who is an ex-Miss Universe ran for president. And I'm sure she had cosmetic surgery. So what? That's the point.
Anna: But should you not be proud of your looks the way you were born?
Sushmita: That's like saying everybody should have the same mind and opinion. You are born as an individual. You have the right to choose. That's what makes you different. You choose plastic surgery, so be it. You choose being gay, so be it. And it is our job as a society to encourage people to be individuals.

Now, I know very little about beauty pageants and of what I do know, there's very little that I like. I'm not going to go into what it is that I like or don't like. The point of this entry is that we need more women who think like Sushmita Sen. Not only think, but have the guts to be vocal about their opinions. She is very well-spoken and comes across as an intelligent, open-minded woman. It is important to accept and even promote individuality. It is not up to you to tell me how to live my life. If my actions don't affect your well-being, then you have no right to pass judgment. It baffles me when people get offended about others' choices. How does it affect you? How can one say that a Hindu man marrying a Muslim woman is wrong? It is their choice. Just because it's something you would not do, that does not give you the right to tell others not to. It should also be noted that in the excerpt above, Sen is not promoting plastic surgery or beauty pageants. And she's not telling people to get surgery and then compete in a pageant. What she's doing is saying that you have a choice. You are an individual and as long as you are prepared to face the consequences of those actions, you have every right to live life as you see fit. This way, when you fail, you have no one to blame but yourself. And that is a kind of freedom that is priceless. So make your own choices and be brave enough to stand by them. Speak your mind. Fight for your beliefs. Stand up for yourself.

23 June 2010

Fashion has a long way to go

Everyone knows about my obsession with all things fashion. Vogue is my Bible and Anna Wintour is one of my idols. I keep up with the shows, trends, designers, etc. I have my favorites, as does everyone. Today, I was looking at the Menswear Spring 2011 looks from shows taking place in Milan. I can't speak for others but I never look at the models. For the most part runway models are just hangers, in my opinion. They are there to make the clothes shine and are therefore secondary. Ofcourse, I have my favorite models, too. But anyway, as I was looking through collections from Armani, Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, I realized that there is very little color in the industry. And I don't understand why. There were a few black models, one or 2 Asians, and no Indians. The rest were white. There just isn't a good explanation for this. In an industry that claims designers from all over the world, it doesn't make sense that there is no diversity in the models. We have Marc Jacobs (USA), Giorgio Armani (Italy), Nicolas Ghesquiere (France), Prabal Gurung (Nepal), Bibhu Mohapatra (India), Dries van Noten (Belgium), Francisco Costa (Brazil), Alber Elbaz (Israel), Alexander McQueen (England), Carolina Herrera (Venezuela), and so many others. Even more ironic is the fact that when you look at the collections of today's designers, one can see the influence of the East. African prints, Indian jewelry, and Russian furs are all being modeled by the same white faces. Steps need to be taken by the so-called "foreign" designers themselves. Why won't an Italian company such as Armani use Italian models? There are gorgeous, talented models in India. Why are they not being considered for NY Fashion Week? It is unfair and disheartening that very little progress has been made in this issue. Lets hope that as the world races on, the fashion world isn't left behind.

07 June 2010

Mommy Dearest

My mom's coming to visit me for a few days and I can't wait! To me, my parents = home. I am happiest and most comfortable with them. When I was 3 or 4, they moved to the States from India. I didn't go with them as they wanted to get settled first. Then due to visa conflicts, I didn't join them until years later, when I was almost 10. Maybe because of that separation, I'm abnormally close to them and it's very hard for me to be away from them. The first time I left home was last July when I moved to Miami. I thought I would be jumping with joy that I finally got what I wanted: freedom! To my surprise, I was calling them 4-5 times a day. I felt very incomplete and lonely. I had not known loneliness until I moved out of my parents' house. Ofcourse, I will always be their daughter and that will never change. But knowing that whenever I go home now, it is only to visit and I am, technically, only a guest is a thought that kills me whenever I'm reminded of it. It will never again be the same. Most people know that I never cry. I cried twice last year. Once was when Mom came to visit me in Miami; I cried when she left. So as much as I love having her around, it's infinitely harder when it's time for her to leave. Anyway, for now I will just enjoy her visit and not dwell on her leaving. So, this weekend, I will have two of my most favorite things with me: Mom and Mom's food!

25 May 2010

trying to get some perspective

This song is lovely and listening to it makes me sad and happy all at the same time. Michael's voice is beautiful and it breaks my heart every time I listen to it. But I listen to it when I'm really sad and it helps. It was his favorite song as well. I think it was originally composed by Charlie Chaplin.


Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by...

If you smile
With your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just...

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just...

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by...

If you smile
Through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile...

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile

14 May 2010

the most beautiful woman in the world? please!

Lets talk about Aishwarya Rai. Yes, she's beautiful. Yes, she won Miss World more than a decade ago. Yes, she's a beauty queen that actually made it as an actress. Andddd I still don't get the hype.

First of all, it is my opinion that she is not that great of an actress. Her biggest hits/best performances have been in movies which were made my top directors, with top actors, and huge production houses. A real star makes a mark even in a movie that fails. When all else fails, she smiles.

Second, she seems very stupid. She comes across in her interviews as a very ditzy person. If I were a beauty queen, I would ensure that I didn't fall into the "dumb beauty queen" stereotype. She giggles in response to a lot of questions thrown at her. How far can beauty take you in a conversation? Eventually, I would get bored and walk away.

Third, this woman is in a very unique and highly influential position, regardless of whether she deserves to be or not. She is followed and photographed endlessly. People are genuinely interested in the silly details of her life. Why hasn't she taken a stand on any of the issues affecting the world today? She can be an incredible role model to the next generation of Indian women, maybe even women around the world. Why isn't she? She seems to be spending a lot of time posing in couture gowns and filming commercials with her husband.

As corny as it sounds, beauty is not skin-deep. Looks fade, substance is eternal. To me, a beautiful woman is more than just shiny hair and glowing skin. It is Melinda Gates, the woman providing vaccinations to children in Zambia and India. It is Oprah Winfrey, the woman educating young girls in South Africa. It is Michelle Obama, the woman speaking out about the health of American children. It is Queen Rania, the woman fighting so that Middle-Eastern women have rights. Women who make a difference, not for their own gain, but for those who cannot speak for themselves. Instead of sitting at home with their Pradas and Jimmy Choos, these women are making a mark.

Now, who are the role models here?

"A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything." -Unknown


Can we take a minute and celebrate Karl Lagerfeld? The man is a creative genius and inarguably one of the best things to have happened to the House of Chanel since Mme Coco founded it. He has taken Brand Chanel to heights that may not have even occurred to Mme Chanel, who was extremely ambitious.

The Chanel Resort 2011 collection is out and the looks are stunning. Very Chanel and in some ways, very not. Beautiful. The man knows what he's doing. There are many designers in the industry today that are heading up famous houses. Galliano at Dior, Ghesquiere at Balenciaga, and Marc Jacobs at Vuitton to name a few. It wouldn't be unfair to say that Lagerfeld has been the most successful at staying true to Mme Coco's vision while keeping the Brand modern and covete.

"Change is the healthiest way to survive." - Karl Lagerfeld

13 May 2010

here we go!

I always wanted to blog but hesitated because I thought "what if no one reads it?" Then I realized, I've always written to clear my mind and verbalize my priorities and not necessarily for someone else to read my words. I haven't written in years and even then it was for school newspapers. So now, with no one giving me writing assignments, this will be an interesting endeavor for me. I have no agenda. No specific topics. And absolutely no messages aimed at anyone. Despite all of that, if my words make you laugh or smile or just make an impression (good or bad), I will be flattered! Therefore, at the risk of sounding totally cliche, stay tuned!