Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Forget the white wedding...

Cultures can be colorful, but think how much more we can get when multiple cultures get together for something as fun as a wedding? Take the joy and promises of your average wedding, add a mehndi ceremony, a Chinese bridegroom, a dancing Spaniard, and the Bollywood hit, Kajra Re, and you have a wedding I would die for.

Monday, March 17, 2008


My family on what it feels like to grow up in a different country...

Abbu: This homesickness you feel for your childhood; it never goes away.
Me: Wherever it is you are, you'll always be longing for the place that you've left.
Abbu: It's this feeling that eats away at me. It makes me feel so empty.
My sister: It's probably worms.

Me and my sister in Pakistan, where my father had grown up.

Me, my sister, and my father in Singapore where my sister and I had grown up.

My sister today.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Now that finals are right around the corner, I am slowly losing sleep, hygiene, and sanity. But in the midst of my 10-page paper on science fiction and the ability for human beings to upload themselves into computers I have discovered something wonderful. This is the perfect music to play while you are studying, driving, eating dinner, taking a bath, washing the dog, doing your taxes, etc...

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I wish I was here...
...instead of freaking out about finals and essays.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day!

Isn't it amazing what women can do?

Shirin Ebadi
Iranian lawyer and human rights activist.
In 2003 she became the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for her dedication to democracy and women and children's rights.

Wangari Muta Maathai
The Tree Mother of Africa
Founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977.
In 2004 she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her dedication to fighting political oppression within the Kenyan government, and her call for womens' equality.

Aung San Suu Kyi
Leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma
In 1992 she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her nonviolent struggle for democracy in Burma where she has been under house arrest for 12 years.

Kurdish women in northern Iraq demanding respect and equal rights.

Katheeja on the left and my mother on the right.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Coming to America

There's something terrifying and brave about establishing a home in a completely different country. Two of my favorite films deal with this very same issue; the first about coming to the United States, and the second about what happens once you've settled down...

The Namesake
Directed by Mira Nair and based on the book by Jhumpa Lahiri

The story of the Ganguli family who decide to start a new family in New York (Boston in the book) after leaving their home in Calcutta.

The beauty of this film is that it not only tells of the love that unfolds within the marriage of Ashoke and Ashima, but about their son, Gogol's struggle as a first generation citizen born to immigrant parents .

Keep an eye out for...
The cinematography - The images captured on film have been based on photographs that Nair chose herself. Shots of India are breathtaking and the contrast between India and New York is interesting when seen through Gogol and Ashima's eyes.
Kal Penn - Penn's portrayal of Gogol/Nikhil in The Namesake is a refreshing change from his roles on Harold and Kumar or Van Wilder (FYI: Skip the links if you're not a college frat boy).
The soundtrack - A beautiful fusion of Western and Indian music by Nitin Sawhney. Nair even included a new version of the classic Ye Mera Diwanapan Hai (loose translation: This Is My Heart's Weakness) by Susheela Raman which I really loved until I made my father listen and he nearly threw up.

Watch the trailer

Saving Face
Written and directed by Alice Wu

The story of a mother and daughter who face some rather modern issues within their traditional Chinese family.

The film is something of an autobiography for Wu and, despite the fact that this is her first film, she more than makes up for some small glitches with a great deal of heart and humor.

Keep an eye out for...
The women - In an industry dominated by men, the women involved in the film have created something that anyone can appreciate (believe me, it doesn't happen as often as it should). Please leave your 'Asian women as quiet and submissive' stereotypes at the door.

The humor
- Even though the film is half in Mandarin and half in English, the dialogue is still hilarious.
Joan Chen - The same woman who played the Emperor's wife in The Last Emperor plays a paranoid and easily excitable mother who has an affinity for Chinese soap operas and younger men. Chen manages to handle the comedy and her character's silent sadness without any effort at all.

Watch the trailer

Blockbuster these movies!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


As Globalization grows and grows the world is introduced to new technology, new ways of communicating, and exciting new places to travel. What it has also brought: Long-distance relationships. They are miserable.

However, Globalization has also meant that you and I can watch videos like this.

That'll cheer anyone up.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

This Month's Resolution

No plastic packaging.

Recently I was sent an e-mail by a wonderful friend about the work of photographer Chris Jordan. I am absolutely blown away. Mr. Jordan focuses a majority of his work on American society and consumerism. One of his latest projects is titled Running the Numbers where the intention is “…to emphasize the role of the individual in a society that is increasingly enormous, incomprehensible, and overwhelming.”

Prison Uniforms, 2007
Depicts 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005.

Plastic Bottles, 2007

Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.

That is why my resolution of the month is to not buy any products that use plastic packaging. I have a feeling my avoidance of said products will not even create a dent in any sales or waste production, but perhaps this resolution will be a lesson. It will be interesting to see how difficult or easy this resolution will be to follow. Care to try it with me?