Archive for July, 2007

July 12, 2007

Aamir Khan’s blog

I love love love Aamir Khan’s latest post on his blog ( He talks about mainstream Hindi “masala” films and why he does them, and why he thinks they are as important as the more “highbrow” films he is famous for. Here is a small part of what he says (copied and pasted, all spelling etc. errors are his :-):

“I can see that some of you did not like FANAA, and I can understant why. Happily more of you loved it. Which is why it is among my biggest hits. I want you’ll to understand that when I am attempting to entertain such a LARGE and VARIED audience it will not always be possible for me to entertain EVERYONE at the same time. People have different tastes, different emotional keys, different perpectives. And there will be times when a certain section of my audience likes one of my films better and another section some other film. I personally think that this is very healthy. I dont want to do only one particular sensibility or taste of film. I want to give myself the freedom to do all kinds of cinema. I dont want to do just those kinds of films which make a social comment, or are very logical. Sometimes I too feel like doing something mushy, mad, crude, sentimental. RDB, LAGAAN, MANGAL PANDEY, DCH, SARFAROSH, JJWS etc are my kind of films, but that doesn’t mean that I dont enjoy doing FANAA, RAJA HINDUSTANI, ISHQ etc. which are not typically my kind of films.

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July 11, 2007


I started this blog intending to use it to write about Hindi movies. But clearly I need to do some work on focusing.

I knew that already!

Sigh. I have so many movies running around in my head that I can’t decide which one to write about. So I’m attaching a link here to an article in the Washington Post that is about one of my favorite Hindi movies ever: Lage Raho Munna Bhai (and I will write about the film in more detail soon)…

But for now I’m going to go have a glass of wine.

Gandhigiri zindabad!

July 11, 2007


“My little dog, a heartbeat at my feet.”

–Edith Wharton


July 10, 2007


Instead of writing my self-appraisal for my mid-year performance assessment, I have spent my day talking about saris with the sariwalli and researching sperm bank donors for a friend of mine who wants to have a baby (she wants her friends to chime in on her favorites). Donating sperm involves a lot of paperwork just like my mid-year. Pages and pages of it! I suppose if you are going to have a baby and half of its DNA will come from someone you’ve never met, you want that paperwork filled out. It was really fascinating reading, actually, because the donor had to list various qualities of all of his nearest relatives including grandparents, uncles, aunts, from both sides of the family. I liked the ones who took the time to fill in the “Special skills or characteristics” section for each relative, and seemed to know and understand each person’s special quirks. I’d pick one of them if I were doing it. Of course, if I had to fill that section out I couldn’t, since I grew up far far away from my extended family and didn’t know any of them very well.


Back to the hamster wheel. I wonder if procrastination can be “spun” into a leadership quality.


counters for web pages

July 9, 2007

The Sariwalli

My sariwalli Melinda is here visiting. I spent some satisfying time last evening pawing through her stash of saris. She specializes in regional handlooms, particularly cotton, and has wonderful taste (you can see her wares at Since she’s captive in my house I also got her to identify some of the older saris I’ve gotten on eBay and elsewhere.

Turns out I have two lovely gold Chanderi saris from the 1950’s (this one is my favorite):


and she identified another of my favorites as a silk Dhaka sari from Bangladesh (or East Pakistan depending on its age):


What fun!

The last thing I need is yet another sari, but I may not be able to resist one of her baby-soft Kanchi cottons.

website statistics

July 9, 2007

Bara-Dari (1955)

Since I couldn’t find a single synopsis of this film’s story online, I figure I might as well tell it. So reader beware, because I am giving away practically the entire plot.

The movie starts with a woman visiting her husband in jail. He is a Rajput lord from the town of Ajaygarh named Ranvir, imprisoned by the King because he refuses to pay tax. She pleads with him to compromise with the King for the sake of their unborn child. He says that he will not. Cut to palace, with Ranvir in chains before the King and court. Ranvir gives an impassioned speech about being a Rajput and not bowing to some King even though they were formerly friends, blah blah, and although the King pardons him, he is beheaded by the King’s army commander Karan Singh.

A few months later, Ranvir’s widow gives birth to a son (Ajit) at the same time as the Queen gives birth to Prince Vijay. The Chief Minister of the court consults an astrologer, who reads the Prince’s chart and declares that he must be kept away from the King until he is eight years old. The King agrees but says that the prince must be raised by someone of “equal status” (more Rajput pride) and the CM says that the only woman suitable is Ranvir’s widow. They take the prince to Ranvir’s widow and after some argument she takes him in and raises him with her own son, because:

Ma hai


The boys grow up together as brothers until the prince reaches the age of eight, when the Chief Minister comes and retrieves him and promises that the town of Ajaygarh will no longer be raided or taxed by the King’s army. Tearful goodbyes, Ajit’s friend Gauri comforts him; and segue into Ajit and Gauri ten or fifteen years later singing a song and obviously in love. Of course, their peaceful existence is about to come to an end.

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July 6, 2007

2D vs 3D

My friend Sheila cut my hair today. I have been hating my last haircut since I got it; she offered to fix it, and she did. My sister also cuts hair. I cannot imagine cutting anyone’s hair. Well one time I did cut my friend Alex’s hair, but we were both a little tipsy and he hadn’t combed his hair in over 2 years, plus he was a swimmer. So there was no real risk of doing any harm to his appearance. (As a return favor, he pierced a second hole in one of my ears during a power outage, but that’s another story for another day.)

There’s something about 3 dimensional space that I just can’t navigate through. Two-dimensional space is the easiest thing in the world…drawing has always just been really easy for me. But I failed miserably at sculpture and jewelry-making both.

I guess I will just stick with what I can do. I’ve got Sheila and my sister for everything else.

gemma portrait

July 5, 2007


“Memory is a crazy lady who collects colored rags and throws away food.”


July 4, 2007

Sometimes I do get out…

be alert

Went to the Red Sox game last night. Sat in the owner’s box right next to the dugout, apparently a very dangerous place to be. My niece sat next to 2004 World Series demi-god Curt Schilling for a good part of the evening (I reminded her that he is a Bush supporter lest it go to her head). Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched 8 innings, giving up no runs and only 4 hits and striking out 9 to earn part of his $103 million salary.

It was a truly All-American way to kick off the July 4th holiday. I think my pictures will speak louder than anything I can say.





Yes, Manny is my favorite. Just look at those puppy-dog eyes.