Archive for ‘Everything else’

December 3, 2010

The Gori Mem card

This particular long-overdue item that I didn’t even realize I needed until now is inspired by (ie can be blamed on) the ever-witty Amrita over at Indiequill. She told me that if I mispronounced Faryal’s name on an upcoming episode of Masala Zindabad, I could play my gori mem card to get out of it.

So naturally I had to make one!

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October 15, 2010

John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (1965)

This is mostly a Hindi film blog, but I grew up on a strict diet of Hollywood (those are my people!). There were early signs that one day the magic lunacy of “B” grade Indian cinema would suck me in, and my adoration of this admittedly not-classic is one of them. Interestingly when I began looking for it in earnest earlier this year I discovered another parallel: it’s not out on dvd and so I ended up with a pirated version made from a vhs tape. I hadn’t seen it since the mid-70s, when I saw it on television one fine afternoon after school. All I could really remember was that it made me laugh until I cried and had sheikhs, harem girl Shirley MacLaine, a seriously catchy title tune and a military pilot nicknamed “Wrong-Way Goldfarb” who couldn’t find his way out of a paper bag.

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October 10, 2010

Stereotyping and ignorance

Filmi Girl drew my attention to this amazingly uninformed review of the much-talked-about Rajnikant release Endhiran. Now I have not seen Endhiran and so cannot say if I would agree with Roger Moore’s assessment of the film’s merits or not; but that isn’t the point here. I do know that were I writing a professional review as a journalist I would try to avoid such easy-to-research mistakes as calling it a Bollywood picture and criticizing lead actress Aishwarya Rai’s singing voice. And if I did make a mistake (as everyone does on occasion) I would be a whole lot more gracious in acknowledging it than he was in responding to a polite comment pointing out that Bollywood is the term for Hindi language cinema and Endhiran is a Tamil film, where the industry is usually referred to as Kollywood.

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September 23, 2010

The Dementia Diaries

If there’s one thing I can say for sure about my family, it’s that we’ve had a lot of laughs together. My parents quibbled constantly over small things but they always got over it quickly, and I don’t remember them ever having a major disagreement or going to bed angry with each other. Of course, it’s possible that I wasn’t paying attention or they made an effort to hide such things from us, but in any case my perspective is that we have always been able to find “the funny” in any situation (camping and the teen years don’t count).

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July 10, 2010

Am I not womanly? Weeeelll…

Tagged by Banno, a dear friend to whom I cannot say no, I have been asked to elucidate ten ways in which my behavior or desires is not generally reflective of my female gender. This is a much murkier area than it would have been, say, twenty years ago (at least here in Amrika) but it’s still a pretty easy list for me to make. I love being a woman, but I have often rebelled against what women are “supposed to do.” At dinner parties you will find me hanging out with the men and drinking beer, for instance, not helping in the kitchen.

1. I have no maternal instinct. This complete and utter lack of any wish to have a rug rat running around underfoot has also prevented me from getting married (men are like children, no?)…I can take care of myself, but that’s about it. I really don’t want to take care of anyone else. Gemma mostly keeps herself alive by reminding me vociferously to feed and walk her, but she would tell you that it’s not easy to get my attention.

2. I am fiercely independent. I might need your help but I will never ask for it, and much of the time won’t take it when it’s offered freely either. This is not a good or healthy thing, and I am working on it, but it’s still there. I do ask for directions when I’m lost, however. I’m independent, not stupid.

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April 4, 2010

Weekend with the Beiges

As I sorted through a gazillion books and dvds, unpacked boxes, put things away, and found room when it seemed there was no more room to be found, it struck me that instead of doing all that at my parents’ new apartment in the Old Folks’ Home, I should be doing it in MY home. I have 1400+ dvds (yes, mostly Hindi) plus twelve million books (I am not exaggerating), mostly stacked in unruly piles which threaten to kill Gemma should they topple over on her. Obviously, I realized, I have come by my dvd/book habits honestly. But somehow the organizing and putting-away gene escaped me (except when Mom is cracking the whip).

While I moved furniture and flattened boxes, Gemma panted in sympathy for me in the 150-degree temperature which people over 70 always seem to maintain in their homes. She also refused to go to sleep, I think afraid that I might leave her there to slowly roast.

Once when I took her outside I saw a little old man arguing furiously with the large (but very polite) head chef about the gravy served in the dining room. The chef was pointing out nicely that he feeds a lot of people every day and nobody else has complained about his gravy, but his diminutive foe remained vociferous in his antipathy for it (especially on turkey, I gathered). Next time I go, I will be ordering something with gravy for sure.

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March 9, 2010


For the next week or so I am traveling not only over distances, but through time. As many of you know, I grew up in southern Africa, in what was then Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe. When I started at Belvedere School in Salisbury (Harare) in early 1972, my family had just moved into our fourth home in the span of two years—homes that were in four different places on two different continents. We had also lived mostly out in the bush and my mother had taught me and my brother at home. So with all the moving, not having gone to school with other kids much, and my painful (okay, neurotic) shyness, it was not an easy time for me. When a cheerful, outgoing, sports-loving classmate named Jillian befriended me I was both astonished and thrilled. Jill and I hung out at each other’s houses for hours on end talking and giggling. She was the first true friend I ever had, and her friendship brought me out of my shell a bit and helped me to find the confidence to make friends with other classmates as well.

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January 30, 2010

Time travel: Ceylon tourism ads 1939

From various Filmindia magazines, 1939…I think these are just so cute.

In this one, an elephant says “I am a vegetarian” and a kingfisher critiques human fishing techniques.

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January 6, 2010

Fun with stats

One of the many joys of blogging is the stats. I love to see what search terms have brought people to my blog (although occasionally I shudder too).

This one caused my coffee to come out through my nose:


I don’t have any idea which post came up in that search, but it doesn’t really matter.

December 31, 2009

Happy 2010!

Gemma and I wish you all the very best and lots of love and happiness in the New Year! 2010 woo-hoo! (This is as excited as we get without squirrels and food and cocktails and Shammi involved.)