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Showing posts from 2011

Violence against women awareness month

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As part of this initiative, I want to speak about the story of someone I used to be close to. I grew up with her, thought she was the coolest ever. She was always wonderful to my sister and I and we loved to hang out together every summer. When she got married, I was 18 and I thought she was one of the most beautiful brides I had ever seen. She went off to the US of A with her Prince Charming, the kannadiga version of the fairy tale, off to her fairy tale life, or so I thought.

Her mother-in-law had some problems with the fairy tale, it turned out. Having lost her husband at a young age, she bitterly resented her daughter-in-law's 'happy married life'. Every time she went out to visit them, she managed to inject a dose of venom into their married life. The one time I visited while the mother-in-law was also staying with them I saw some amazingly bitter fights between the MIl and DIL, instigated by the MIL over imagined slights and'misdemeanors' by the DIL who was to…

Fashion Police

While not a fashionista, I think I have a pretty good style sense. Even back when I was obese, I managed to dress stylishly and look well-put together. So it really offends and annoys me when people neglect basic sense when putting themselves together. Honestly, it doesn't take more than a few minutes. It's not a sign of being intellectual to be ill-dressed, really. And it'll make them feel better about themselves. And other people, like me, feel better in general!

Here's what I saw on the streets of Delhi last week:
At the front porch of Le Meridien, a lady, late 40's. And here's what she thought fit to wear - cropped pants; loose, stripey ill-fitting Tshirt. Ankle socks!!! and flat-heeled Mary-Janes. Why ankle socks? Even teenyboppers do not consider it cool anymore! Why flat Mary-Janes - even schoolgirls don't have to wear them anymore. Why cropped pants at a height of barely 5 feet? Urghhh!

And, arriving at a child's birthday party, at 2 pm on a ho…

Avis - We're Number Two, You try harder!

Dear Avis rent-a-car people,

I would like to tell you about a wonderful holiday my husband and I enjoyed last week in France, and how much our enjoyment was enhanced by Avis and its wonderful service. We were travelling to France from India for the 10th year reunion of our business school class at INSEAD, and driving from Paris to Fontainebleau, the venue of the reunion. We looked forward to driving down the familiar roads from Paris to Fontainebleau and enjoying the beautiful French paysage.

We arrived half an hour early at the Avis address given on the confirmation letter of the booking, at 9:30 am. Imagine our surprise when we found that it led into a parking garage! We thought it was a weird place to have an office but with a Gallic shrug, we trustfully marched down with our bags to the second level, following the Avis signs. Weirder still, once we got to the second level, we found that the signs said Avis retour – Avis return. Return is fine but how about going, in the first place?…

The Economist - Racist Much?

Just read an article in the latest Economist that made me see red. In the edit piece about Egypt's revolution and how the West mustn't fear the consequences thereafter, since even the Muslim Brotherhood is unlikely to be able to carry out its more fundamentalist agenda since they will need to go through a democratic process and enjoy only about 20% popularity, it ends by saying that the West can't now fear the aftermath of Egypt espousing 'Western' values like freedom and self-determination.

Hello, are we speaking about the same West that colonized much of the world until recently and refused to get out until they were booted out? The same West that props up dictatorships world over from Saudi Arabia and Egypt to Latin America, for reasons that have more to do with economic or political expdiency and less to d with principle? The same West whose President once famously stated about a dictator that "he may be a son of a bitch but he's our son of a bitch"…

Anish Kapoor Exhibit

A and I finally managed to get to the Anish Kapoor exhibit at NGMA before it got over. I had seen one piece by the artist ath the 2009 Art Summit in Delhi, and of course photographs of his work have been appearing for a while now, but I didn't really know what to expect. I was very curious, because I had heard rave reviews from Mumbai and yet Manjula Padmanabhan's review said that it was almost frighteningly isolationist in terms of dwarfing human experience with scale - art without heart.

As for the exhibit itself, most of the pieces here are models of work that is installed or in progress elsewhere, so in that sense, while one gets an idea of what he is doing, one doesn't get the full experience. There were one or two smaller pieces though, and the one that got A and me hooked was titled triangle mirror. It was a rough circle, composed of hundreds of triangularly shaped mirrors, about 2 inches a side, pieced together like a stained glass piece. And it was magical. It drew…