Archive for July, 2009

Hillary - What a leader looks like

A True Leader

“If Hollywood and Bollywood were how we all lived our lives, that would surprise me. … And yet it’s often the way our cultures are conveyed, isn’t it? … People watching a Bollywood movie in some other part of Asia think everybody in India is beautiful and they have dramatic lives and happy endings. And if you were to watch American TV and our movies you’d think that we don’t wear clothes and we spend all our time fighting with each other.”
Hillary Clinton in India –

“Hillary has just taken Asia by storm. … On this Asia trip, and more generally, Clinton demonstrates she has done serious homework, is well briefed and articulate”  – Scripps Howard News Service Op-Ed by Arthur I. Cyr.

“Hillary Rodham Clinton is seen as the most intelligent First Lady followed by Eleanor Roosevelt” – Harris Poll on First Ladies.

“Asia trip propels Clinton back into limelight” – Headline story, New York Times.

“Hillary Clinton could be made envoy to Northern Ireland”  – Headline story, Belfast Telegraph.

“Does Hillary ever suffer from jet lag?”  Foreign Policy, Washington Post Company.

It is not certain if  Obama is indeed God as some of his followers claim, but one thing is for sure. His opponent for the party nomination last year, Hillary Clinton is certainly a saint by any measure of sufferance and fortitude.

Early during the campaign for the party nomination, before even the start of the primary elections  season, Hillary Clinton was mocked as Senator (D-Punjab) implying that the Clintons sold out to the Punjabis.

The Obama campaign released that Senator (D-Punjab) smear memo to the media in secret. Amazingly, almost as an omen, it didn’t hurt Obama at all. But, it did set a certain style in motion. Midway through the nomination season she was falsely accused of adopting a so-called ‘kitchen sink’ strategy. All throughout the primaries, she and husband Bill were painted absurdly, erroneously as racists, and assailed as being beholden to India’s business interests.

Hillary was undaunted and, as the season wore on she proved to be a tough candidate. She won every large state that mattered, persisted in her chase for nomination despite the vicious attacks by partisan Obama hacks, by ignorant young voters with no knowledge of history, and at times even by the so-called feminists of the Left who should have known better. Obama, of course ended up buying up the superdelegates, the DNC leadership conspired to take away some of Hillary’s delegates, and selected Obama as candidate even before a nominating convention was held. Just to please the ultra-leftwing of the party, the party bigwigs behaved in the worst manner familiar to the Indian polity – a la the Congress High Command – in disregarding Clinton and in sucking up to Obama and his millions of campaign money. Vote bank polemics in the worst Indian-style were evident during the Democratic Party nomination fight of 2008!

Hillary Clinton was beaten upon, but was never beat down; was written off, but was never written out. The invisible fight the millions of Hillary voters fought to no avail, the birth of the PUMA movement and its continuance. No wonder then that the poet Maya Angelou offered this wonderful paean to Hillary Clinton, as


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Mrs. Hillary Clinton saw it all, weathered it all.

In 2008 Hillary showed the world what a political brave-heart she was. She set the standard for honest political campaigning, integrity, persistence, authenticity, and loyalty. The highly memorable victory statement in Ohio Primary, ending with the phrase “This win is for you!” typified her struggle and vision.

In 2009 the same old Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is Madame Secretary of State. One year after being edged out of the primary process, Hillary is career-wise born again. She is showing the world what a true diplomat she is in sterling performances around the globe.  From somewhere above, Thomas Jefferson is beaming with approval. So are, undoubtedly Elihu Root, Daniel Webster, and the indomitable Marshall.


During her recent trip to India Hillary continued her unique style that blends grace, charm, humor, and vision. At every event she proved herself to be a cut above, way above, her slipperybumbling, lying boss. What a great president she would have made!  Ok, enough of that:

Hillary Clinton is getting high marks for her diplomatic achievements during the India tour.

For those who were not glued to television coverage, here are some clips of her India events:

Mumbai Townhall (3 videos)

University of Delhi Speech (4 videos)

Many official ‘State’ videos here.

And then, you have this person known only as  jcjcd.

No one loves Hillary youtube videos like jcjcd.


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Outrageous, and hard to believe!!

A US based airlines broke protocol and body scanned a President of India.

More shocking, the airline employee brushes it off as routine!!

Such impudence would not have been tolerated by any human being except President Kalam – one of the gentlest human beings alive besides His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet.

Two of the gentlest people of our time APJ Abdul Kalam & Dalai Lama / Reuters Phot.

Two of the gentlest people of our time APJ Abdul Kalam & Dalai Lama / Reuters Phot.

Associated Press has the story here.

The President of India, Mr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was violated by a US based airlines given business permit by the sovereign nation of India to operate on it’s land.

In less refined times this would have been an “international incident.” Among less refined peoples, this would have been a causus belli.




For the record, let it be said that IndiaUnfinished has vowed not to succumb to jingoism, hyper-patriotism or knee-jerk nationalism of any sort, or arguments of cultural supremacy.

IU is dedicated to simply exploring this world as we find it. And, at the same time, calling out nonsensical values and behavior wherever and whenever it is seen. Why then does IU react so strongly to a simple event like this? After all, he was only a former President?

Consider the wide range of reasons why IU finds this event appalling, deplorable and stupid.

1. Mr. Abdul Kalam held the office of the President of India, the orlds largest, free democratic republic. He symbolizes the virtues and the prowess of over a billion people!

2. No world leader has ever been subjected to such violative treatment on his own home soil by any airline, let alone one that is foreign based.

3. President Kalam was no ordinary politician. He was uniformly honored by all political parties in India, before, during and after his elevation to the high office.

4. President Kalam was not just a leader, but a constitutional Head of State. Any violation of his person is an act of aggression against the Nation that he represents. Never mind that he is retired now. Once a President, always a symbol of the nation!

5. President Kalam is the most revered and beloved of all Presidents of India. I have lived through their tenures -all twelve of them.  President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was and remains beloved of the people of India from all walks of life, and all elements of Indian polity.

via IndiaStudiesChannel.com

via IndiaStudiesChannel.com

6. Mr. Kalam was not just the highest office holder of India. He was an honored scientist, proud son, and a genius who dedicated himself to the people of India. He sacrificed more personal comforts and ambition than all the politicians combined. In IU’s estimate, he is second only to the Mahatma.

7. As the Missile Man of India, he doggedly worked to put his people on the cosmic map, in a sense.

8. He was nominated by the so-called Hindu Nationalist Party, BJP, but was uniformly hailed as worthy by all.

9. Simply put, it is bad business. Totally unnecessary to insult a former Head of State, period.

10. Well, there is no number ten. This is not one of those lists of ten. Just a small rant. There, whew!

After all is said and done, we can safely predict a number of the usual lame sequence of events: mumbled apologies, loud chest beating, a low level worker sacked, board room knives out for the weakest, and few late night comic moments.

What the political pundits would want to know is: Is this news of an old event that occurred in April, does this have anything to do with politics. Say, the business deal about nukes just announced?

Whatever, the point is that this is a breach of protocol and courtersy between nations. I predict, the guilty will be punished.

On a lighter note, an American news outlet based in Texas, the same state as Continental’s Houston, made this snide remark in their article.

Note to George W. Bush: think about flying American or Delta on your next trip to New Delhi.

LOL indeed…


It is being reported that Continental Airlines of Houston, TX has formally apologized to Mr. Kalam. If true, this is a belated development. But the airlines should apologize to the Rashtrapathi Bhawan, and the citizenry in general for it’s silly behavior and lack of common sense. No wonder, American business is in the toilet.

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Reetika Vazirani / J.Mandel via Poets.org

Reetika Vazirani / J.Mandel via Poets.org

I knew there was something in the air when I felt like reading poetry aloud early this morning. There was a restless feeling too, that just wouldn’t go away. And a sense of yearning that made me go through a lot of old notes and files, and look up people not lately contacted. In short, there was a spirit about, that bespoke of past times and passed beings, and of a sense of loss. Suddenly, it came to me out of nowhere, a flash.

A quick look-up confirmed it: it’s the anniversary of the death of Reetika Vazirani. What a death it was, when that news first broke. And now looking back at a distance, what a life – a life of the mind – it was!

Reetika was born in Patiala, State of Punjab, India, to a talented and ambitious dentist,  an Oral Surgeon in fact, and a lady diplomat. The Vazirani family came to the USA  when Reetika was just 7 years old. The family  moved around quite a bit, a dozen times as Reetika was growing up in America, getting adjusted to a new land, new life, and a new herself. The little girl had strong impressions of growing up to become a teenager in those days, most famously described in this oft’ quoted poem:

“Daddy always cautioned me
how many rupees it took to get
a dollar; and when I bought my first
Chanel lipstick, it was as if
I might have bought a cow in India.
It was always like that-what I
could have had were we in Delhi.
So that on holiday at Reno Road
he’d hint that Washington was not
like home. That’s why he didn’t want
me window-shopping downtown”

Tragedy seems to have struck Reetika early. A certain darkness was with her, her whole life. She was a gifted person, sensitive, smart and talented. She was fluent in English, French and Hindi, but was never quite comfortable in any particular culture or sure of what life had in store for her. She tried the sciences, she tried the humanities, and only perchance ended up a poet.

Her life ended tragically, horribly. It wasn’t merely that she took her own life, she also took away the life of the one she gave life to.

India-born poet Reetika Vazirani and her two-year-old son were found dead with their wrists slashed at their house in a posh section of the US capital.

Vazirani, who used verse to describe her experience as a child and as an Indian immigrant was staying with her son Jehan for the summer in the the Chevy Chase home of her friend and novelist Howard Norman and poet Jane Shore, who are spending the summer at their home in Vermont.

Police have found a note from the scene with references to the boy’s father, Pulitzer prize winning poet and Princeton University professor Yusef Komunyakaa.

Police called the deaths an apparent murder-suicide, pending an official ruling, The Washington Post reported quoting sources.

Neighbours and friends told reporters that there had been signs that Vazirani was distraught.

Rediff India Newsreport

Reetika’s life was saturated with sadness and tragedy. Here is Jane Albertson, a most unlikely biographer of Reetika.

Calling her Reetika bothers me. See, she wasn’t my friend, or my colleague. In fact, I never knew Reetika. I only knew of her. And I mean that I only knew her work, her poetry, a blue fire burning across a page. I came across her work completely by accident [sic]
In 1968, Reetika and the Vaziranis, her four brothers and sisters and her parents, migrated from Punjab to Silver Spring, MD. At the age of twelve, her father, a Professor of Dentistry at Howard University, committed suicide (Shea, 40). [sic]

Though the strain of his passing ate at the family’s hopes, they did not speak about his death, the mother’s silence a contagion amongst the children. In the 2003 Poets and Writers interview, Vazirani continues to explain that until she was 26, she was emotionally numb, having “…no sense that there was a place for me in the world except in books” (40). Though her father’s suicide was, in Reetika’s terms, a “complete rejection,” his act begins Vazirani’s journey toward definition, not a place for her in the world, but a way to live in the world that doesn’t want you. [sic]

For Vazirani, the intellectual space of the migrant experience and the physical space of the migrant body cannot be metabolized (Morris, 5). She says in her essay, The Art of Breathing, “I didn’t have the cultural confidence to be proud…I felt like a foreigner in my home” (Budhos). In Vazirani, we find the immigrant confronting and conjoining those spaces, those weighty silences alive in the unspoken anxiety of the Indian living in the West, and, importantly, living the West.

The Internet became quickly filled with tributes and life stories when news of her death first broke.

Here is a tribute from someone who knew and worked with her.

This is my elegy for a woman with whom I worked, all too briefly, but whose abundant gifts as a writer, teacher and colleague have been a source of joy and inspiration. She had a precise, analytical approach to craft that reflected the scientific training of the aspiring physician she had once been. Beneath that, however, she was passionate, vulnerable and sometimes brutally frank, but never mean-spirited. We spoke together of what it was to be mother, artist, worker, lover — how it can seem that, without some overarching faith, to be all of these things at once is to be none of them fully — at least not in a way that feeds you, helps you to carry on.

In the community of poets, her work was widely read and respected. Vazirani’s second book, World Hotel(Copper Canyon, 2002) won the 2003 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Her first book, White Elephantswon the 1996 Barnard New Women Poets Prize. Other honors included a 1994 “Discovery/The Nation” Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Poets & Writers Exchange Program Award, and the Glenna Luschei/Prairie Schooner Award. Her work has been published in such venues as Agni, Antioch Review, Callaloo, Partisan Review, and Ploughshares. Professor Kim’s Notes.

This is her official biography page at a poetry website.

Recipient of a 2003 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for her second book, World Hotel (Copper Canyon, 2002), and a Barnard New Women Poets Prize for White Elephants(1996),

Poems written in memory of family members, to husbands, to lovers, and poems from mother to daughter.

Poems written in memory of family members, to husbands, to lovers, and poems from mother to daughter.

Reetika Vazirani was educated at Wellesley College and received her M.F.A. from the University of Virginia where she was a Hoyns Fellow. Her poems have appeared in AGNI, Best American Poetry 2000, The Kenyon Review, Literary Review, Meridian, The Nation, Paris Review, Partisan Review, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and others.

She was a recipient of a “Discovery”/The Nation Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Poets & Writers Exchange Program Award, and the Glenna Luschei/Prairie Schooner Award for her essay, “The Art of Breathing,” which appears in the anthology How We Live our Yoga (Beacon, 2001). She has been a Contributing and Advisory Editor for Shenandoah and was the guest poetry editor of two issues. She was a Book Review Editor for Callaloo and a Senior Poetry Editor of Catamaran, a journal featuring work by artists from South Asia.

Reetika Vazirani page at Poets.org


It is said that depression is the midnight disease of the artistic. To be gifted with sadness and melancholia is a blessing to a soul so sensitive as to suffer the nuances of human feelings, unencumbered by the vicissitudes of mundane existence and preoccupations of the corpus. We all suffer, but also long to record. It is given to the best of us, the talented few to articulate it all for the rest of us. The human soul sings, and longs to sing out loud. To be able to articulate those feelings, to be chosen to be thus talented, that is the choice of the gods, the gift of life, the blessing of being an artist.

Reetika Vazirani is that special gift, specially for those who straddle the culture divide.

One year after her death, netizens were still sounding off, like at this Poetry Forum initiated at the invitation by  About poetry blogger Margery Snyder.


Ms. Paula Span, an author and on death, dying, and suicide wrote an insightful article for Washington Post Magazine, A Failing Light. That article proved to be so popular, there was an online live chat with Span. The original WaPo link is hard to work with, but the post can be accessed here, thanks to Mahbubul Karim (Sohel). Span weaves a narrative combining Reetika’s life story – the most detailed biographical sketch yet – and literary endeavors , with hints at the forces at play in the inner life of the struggling poet. (An alternative source, also with a full reprint of A Failing Light is Chowk, thaks to Samina Sha.)

After her father’s death and her mother’s remarriage four years later, Reetika spent a long time feeling “numb,” she told Renee Shea, who interviewed her for Poets Writers magazine in 2002. “I had no sense that there was a place for me in the world except in books.”

The letters she wrote her friend and adviser E. Ethelbert Miller in the late ’80s and ’90s show her struggling to get noticed, to get published, to connect with the world of culture and literature where she clearly felt she belonged.

She was living, instead, with her husband, John Jordan — a family friend and aspiring musician she’d married in 1989 — in Nashville and then Blacksburg, Va. She was sending her submissions to small literary journals, getting turned down, sending them out again, all the while scrounging for money for postage and photocopying.

By 1994, important publications had begun to accept her work, but she still sounded frustrated. To make ends meet, she’d been working at Pier 1 Imports, then at a bookstore; she taught English at private schools. Restive in her marriage (it ended in 1997), she was starting to think about the graduate writing program at U-Va. “I guess it’s partly the panic of being 32 having no job, no future,” she fretted in a postcard.

Marilyn Hacker, who had discovered her work among the 800 submissions she received each month as editor of the Kenyon Review, was taken with “the novelistic eye for detail and character and landscape, the spoken voices with different inflections.” It was Hacker who awarded Reetika the Barnard New Women Poets Prize, which put her on the map and got White Elephants published.

Establishing a poetry career requires a combination of courage and foolhardiness. Success is likely to bring neither fortune nor fame, yet the competition is ferocious and growing.

Certain key numbers are tiny. Print run of Reetika’s second book: 3,000 copies. Advance paid by the publisher, the nonprofit Copper Canyon Press: probably about $2,500. Circulation of the nation’s largest poetry magazine: about 12,000.

She had an instinct, too, for finding protective older poets to guide and advance her, like Ethelbert Miller, Washington’s Mr. Poetry, who arranged her first readings, and Rita Dove, who included her in the Best American Poetry collection in 2000.

Though she and Komunyakaa never married (she told friends that he was willing but she’d declined), she did want to give their relationship every chance, to give Jehan a family. She left Sweet Briar a year earlier than planned and moved into Komunyakaa’s big old house in Trenton in the spring of 2001. But the place seemed “cavernous,” she complained; the neighborhood felt dangerous; she was far from friends and family. The relationship — about which she was discreet — evidently wasn’t working. She began to talk about being afraid, though she never said exactly what frightened her.

The idea of the tortured artist is such a centuries-old cliche that it’s tempting to dismiss it. Writers themselves bridle at it. Surely accountants and electricians are equally prone to psychopathology? “The making of a monument to these madwomen poets,” Meena Alexander protests, anticipating the inevitable comparisons to Sylvia Plath or Anne Sexton, both suicides, “I think that’s terrible.” And it’s true that most artists don’t suffer from mood disorders, while most people who do aren’t particularly creative.

Despite her reputation for an endearing openness, Reetika was actually selective about her disclosures. She confided lots of details to lots of people, but almost no one knew everything. People who’d felt close to her for years didn’t know about her father’s suicide. Girlfriends outside the literary world sometimes heard more about her relationships than longtime poet friends.

I have so far quoted extensively from Paula Span’s exquisite article. Surely, these blockquotes don’t convey it all, being but a miniscule self-selection out of an extensive, probitive narrative. Others could extract different paragraphs, obviously, but that’s not the point. Here, see what follows, a chilling account of the final moments. Paula shows us from the inside, not a journalist, but a er, as herself a writert:

Sunday, July 13. Reetika — now housesitting in Washington at the comfortable Quesada Street home of poet Jane Shore and novelist Howard Norman — took Jehan to services at Denise King-Miller’s church in Georgetown. She’d been drawn to religion more lately; in Williamsburg, she’d joined a Bible study group. Reetika loved the service, but on the phone with Susan Sears that evening, she was weepy. “She felt hopeless,” Sears says.

Monday, July 14. She invited herself to the Miller home for dinner, bringing salmon, broccoli and cherries from Whole Foods. While they chatted, Denise fixed the meal. (“That was delicious,” Jehan declared afterward.) She was leaning toward Emory again, Reetika revealed, because Jehan had been accepted into an excellent preschool.

Tuesday, July 15. Jay Mandal, a New York photographer friend who took her publicity photos, visited Reetika while he was in Washington on a one-day assignment. “I think I want to kill myself,” she confessed to him. Once he realized she wasn’t joking, Mandal called a psychologist he knew in the District, leaving messages (not returned in time) at his office, his home, on his cell phone: A friend needs your help.

That same day, the Rev. Percival D’Silva received a message at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament down the street: A woman needed to speak to a priest.

He’d seen Reetika before, D’Silva realized as she sat in the brocade wing chair in his quiet office; he’d waved at her as she strolled in the neighborhood with her little boy. Maybe she felt drawn to him, though she wasn’t Catholic, because he was also Indian American. Or perhaps the church itself — an imposing Gothic structure with a bell tower — promised sanctuary. She also knocked on a neighbor’s door that day and asked to borrow a Bible.

“On the outside, she seemed pretty calm. But from what she was telling me, I could see she was disturbed. At times there were tears in her eyes,” D’Silva remembers. After 39 years in the priesthood, he thought he could recognize depression. He asked Reetika, several times, to make no decisions that could harm her — “Put things on hold” — and she agreed. He promised to locate and lend her a book, Spiritual Help for Depression.

Wednesday, July 16. Reetika awakened her friend Diane Taylor with a 7:15 a.m. call. “Diane, I’m going to hurt myself and Jehan,” she said in a whispery voice. Call the suicide hot line right now, Taylor urged.

“No, they’ll put me on drugs, and they’ll put me in the hospital,” Reetika said.

“No, they won’t.”

“Yes, yes, they will.”

Then call that minister you know there, Taylor said, changing tactics, and call me right back.

But the minister, Denise King-Miller, was out and didn’t hear Reetika’s message, “I think I’m going to hurt myself,” until several hours later.

An acquaintance Reetika was scheduled to lunch with on Thursday also got a confusing call. She was having an “emergency,” Reetika said, so the woman, a poet who knew Jane Shore and had a key to the house, should just let herself in. Her apparent role was to discover the bodies.

The Live Online discussion with Paula Spann that covered a number of aspects of Reetika Vazirani death in particular and her mental state in general can be accessed here. Thankfully, this link still works, hope WaPo will keep it viable.

According to the website of her alma mater, Reetika Vazirani’s posthumous collection of poetry, Radha Says, will be published sometime around November of 2009. The release will coincide with the debut of a new literary house Drunken Boat Media.

In the wake of her death, poet Uma Parameswaran was moved to write:

As we circle the flame the Muses have taken to themselves,
Let us pray they grant us the courage, if our time should come,
to let go of our woman strength, our mother love,
our poet pride of honeyed nuances that drop silent into flowers
so subtly no one else can see, hear, feel their awe-ful urgency.
The courage to let go of all and scream loud and clear

I already feel better, having composed this elegy for a beautiful soul I never met. It is my fond hope that Reetika Vazirani is resting in peace somewhere in that timeless place, weaving lovely cosmic lyrics.

For, once a poet, forever forlorn. Plus, the universe is listening, really, Reetika!

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It's a Phenomenon!

It's a Phenomenon!

Some of you never can get enough of Slumdog Millionaire. A variety of reasons – nationalistic pride, joy, delight, and the sheer musical thrill – all add up to the historic creative confluence, itself limned vividly against the background of the historicity of a phenom called Obama, it can get all too giddy for some.

And the opinions, good god man, the opinions, there is no shortage of them either.

The reviews, on the other hand, are generally long on rhetoric and often fall short on thoughtfulness. Except this:

Molly A Daniels-Ramanujan does a superb job of providing a comprehensive overview of all the ideas expressed, and a terrific perspective on what it all says. She offers a particularly powerful vantage point, borne of comparable situations and circumstances half a world away.

The reviews fell into three distinct camps: the ideological, the aesthetic, and the didactic. [ ]

For writers, artists, and creative people on the whole, slum-dwellers are people like themselves. More so in India, where there is only one degree of separation from the people who live on Marine Drive, or Malabar Hill, and slum dwellers: [snip]

If you loved the fairy tale, the romance of rags to riches story; if you marveled at the color, the energy and the sense of community found in an Indian slum, this is your film. [  ]
And, anyone who reviews “Slumdog” should read the original novel by Indian diplomat Vikram Swarup, titled “Q & A.” The ideas in the novel cannot be easily translated into sociology or anthropology. The ideas are subtle, and could have only come from someone who understands, first hand, how knowledge is disseminated in an oral culture. [ ]

There are people like me who take an interest equally in the life lived in an Indian hovel or an Indian palace. Even to me, a woman born and bred in India, India is still exotic. It is an artist’s paradise. The best muse in the world [ ]

There is more, a lot more. I recommend you read all of it to get a comprehensive idea of the different ways you can look at, err India Unfinished.

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Click to go to Tablet.com's podcast page

Click to go to Tablet.com's podcast page

You never know what you run into when you just drift along, and let the surf take you where it will. That’s the joy and beauty of leisurely Internet browsing.

The above image and link popped up unexpectedly while meandering from site to site, and somewhere along the way I stopped at The Kamla Show – that post is coming later – and before you knew it, I am exploring the Baghdadi Jews & Bombay Cinema connection.

Turns out, very early in Bombay’s film history, before Bollywood became a world wide word, Jewish women were starring in Hindi films in Bombay! Who knew!!

Wonders and discoveries never cease. Enjoy this excellent podcast from a terrific Jewish web site that takes great pains to record history and experience.


Hindustan Times Tribute to Silent Screen - Jewish Women of Hindi Cinema

The Hindustan Times has a nice collection of nostalgia plates.

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(This post has to speak for itself. Those who get it, please comment openly. If you don’t get it, email me via the link in the sidebar.)

I am in a celebratory mood, and will offer up these two songs. Each is wonderful and very satisfying in its own way. Together, they are mighty good. I am sure there are other examples, but hey, this is what we have here and now. So, enjoy.

And over here in the USA, a while back these fellows said:

What are your thoughts? Interesting that Japan is on the mind of both these affirmations of a heart tug.

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What is India but the sum total of her parts?

Well, some will argue that the totality of India is more than the sum of her parts. It will be argued, there has to be added that little bit extra something to explain the “real” India. I suppose that such may be true of all large entities. One really can’t grasp any entity without first dissecting it, and then put it back. That’s when you have to add that little something.

What is it then that makes India more than the some of her parts?

I susprect that it is the interaction, that dynamic flux and fusion that is continually occurring internally, tectonically, amongst the diverse internal components or identities. A land and a people as ancient and overrun as those of the India subcontinent will invariably offer a great many such subterranean tectonic gratings.

The only way to look at such clashes is via humor. Nothing but a lighter touch will help us look at ourselves, and smirk and giggle. That’s where we come upon this new feature.

A SLICE OF INDIA is a particular attempt to look at such intra-ethotic cross-currents of the India scene. For centuries, people have mingled, clashed, lived cheek to jowl, and bickered. Every Indian is looked down upon by every other Indian. There is no denying it. Some attitudes are more codified and less learned than others. Nonetheless, Indians love to put down each other, across every possible imaginable divide. And in the next very moment, find something in common, to ride over a third some one else!!

A SLICE OF INDIA will offer portraits of India from a peculiarly slanted, perverted, humorous point of view. Of necessity, they will annoy some, insult others, titillate many. So here goes ….

Madras in Mumbai - A wickedly funny look

Madras in Mumbai - A wickedly funny look

I owe this find to another blog, The Butterfly Diaries carried in their sidebar this very funny, Blogger offering: Shtories and Shtuff from Bharat Bhushan.

SHTORIES AND SHTUFF FROM BHARAT BHUSHAN is wicked, wicked stuff. Side-splittingly funny, razor-sharp in observation, and devilishly accurate in reproduction of the dislocation: Madrasi in Mumbai.
It appears as though the author has gotten tired or busy, but he has a keen ear and a good turn of the phrase. I hope he will post more often in future. But for now there is enough there to bring a chuckle, and as they say, there some good local color!!

Your suggestions are needed!

This category should rightfully belong to the readers, Indian or otherwise. So take it away. Send me your suggestions via email box in the sidebar, suggest a site that you would like featured under the category of A Slice of India, be sure to include your info for a hat tip.

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